MLS Power Rankings: NYCFC surges into top five

The busiest week of the MLS season so far -- 16 games -- didn’t generate all that much change in the Soccer America Power Rankings.

FC Dallas bounced back from a 5-0 thrashing in Seattle to beat Chicago, 3-1, and retain top spot.

The runners-up Colorado Rapids ran their unbeaten streak to 14 games by edging Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, but New York City FC’s impressive 3-1 victory in Montreal vaulted it over the Impact into the top five.
Week 19 Results:
July 13
Seattle 5, FC Dallas 0. Highlights
Portland 1, Montreal 1. Highlights
Vancouver 2, Real Salt Lake 0. Highlights
Chicago 1, Sporting KC 0. Highlights
NY Red Bulls 2, Orlando City 0. Highlights
Columbus 1, Toronto FC 1. Highlights
July 15
LA Galaxy 1, Houston 0. Highlights
July 16
Real Salt Lake 0, New England 0. Highlights
Columbus 1, D.C. United 1. Highlights
San Jose 2, Toronto FC 1. Highlights
Colorado 1, Sporting KC 0. Highlights
Vancouver 2, Orlando City 2. Highlights
FC Dallas 3, Chicago 1. Highlights
July 17
Portland 3, Seattle 1. Highlights
Philadelphia 2, NY Red Bulls 2. Highlights
Montreal 1, New York City FC 3. Highlights
Only league results are factored into the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record in parentheses and rank last week.
1. FC DALLAS (12-6-4), 1. One might question if a bunch of starters needed to be rested for a game against lowly Chicago, yet a convincing 3-1 victory after not risking said players on turf seems justification enough. Fabian Castillo notched two assists as FCD ran its home unbeaten streak to 16 games with goals by Max Urruti, Mauro Diaz and sub Mauro Rosales.

2. COLORADO (10-2-7), 2. So does SKC have a new bogey team, aka Colorado? With a Marlon Hairston goal the Rapids swept the season series, nine points to nil. Hairston picked off a pass to start the sequence and polished off Dillon Powers’ return ball with a shot into the top corner. Another shutout lowers the conceded goals-per-game to 0.68 and that’s just ridiculously good.

3. PORTLAND (7-6-8), 3. Frustrated by a midweek tie against Montreal, the Timbers rolled over the Sounders on the scoreboard but still needed five second-half saves by keeper Jake Gleeson to get the win. Two goals for Diego Valeri -- one of them a cross that hit the inside of the far post and landed in the net -- and two assists on the dribble from Lucas Melano were enough to extend the Timbers’ unbeaten streak to nine games. On Wednesday, Jack McInerney’s header from a corner kick in the 14th minute provided a 1-0 lead Portland couldn’t retain.

4. LA GALAXY (8-3-8), 5. It wasn’t the best night for Robbie Keane – he knocked a penalty kick wide and failed to convert a breakaway as well as two other good chances – but still the Galaxy prevailed. Steven Gerrard banged in the rebound of Keane’s saved breakaway and the Galaxy won its third game in a row, all by shutouts.

5. NEW YORK CITY FC (9-6-6), 6. A typically sharp finish by MLS-leading scorer David Villa (his 13th goal) and another bizarre tally for Frank Lampard, who deflected an attempted clearance into the net, overcame a goal conceded by Josh Saunders from nearly 40 yards out. NYCFC tops MLS with six road victories.

6. MONTREAL (6-5-8), 4. A brutal travel schedule drained the Impact, which flew back across the country after getting a point in Portland and ran out of gas at home against NYCFC. After Ignacio Piatti equalized in Portland just before halftime, Montreal held on thanks in part to defender Victor Cabrera, forced into duty by an injury to linchpin Laurent Ciman. But an error by Cabrera led to a goal against NYCFC that rendered irrelevant a long-distance strike by Harry Shipp.

7. NY RED BULLS (8-9-4), 10. With a neat finish and crisp penalty kick Sacha Kljestan scored the goals to build a 2-0 lead that would ultimately crumble at Philly. Still, it was a four-point week in a busy stretch of the season. Goals by Connor Lade and Felipe helped end a four-game winless streak against Orlando City.

8. PHILADELPHIA (8-6-6), 8. Goals less than two minutes apart by C.J. Sapong and Chris Pontius wiped out a 2-0 deficit against the Red Bulls and the Union got the point by riding out the match at 2-2 after Ilsinho was red-carded in the 72nd minute. Considering NYRB played a midweek game and the Union didn’t, Philly came out on the short end despite the comeback. This week will be tough: road games at New England (Open Cup) and Montreal (league).

9. VANCOUVER (8-8-5), 11. Saves leader David Ousted upped his tally to 75 and by netting four goals in two games the ‘Caps left behind the memories of transferred Octavio Rivero. Goals by Nicolas Mezquida and Masato Kudo reversed a one-goal deficit imposed by Orlando City but the Lions scored again to take a point. Cristian Techera sealed the defeat of RSL by scoring three minutes after an own goal.

10. REAL SALT LAKE (8-6-6), 7. An own goal by Justen Glad put RSL into a hole it couldn’t climb out of in Vancouver, to which it took just 16 players. It got only a point at home against the Revs, and needed a disallowed goal and fine Nick Rimando save on Diego Fagundez to accrue it.

11. SPORTING KC (8-10-4), 9. A five-game unbeaten streaked ended with back-to-back losses at Chicago and Columbus, which won’t look good when the head-to-head games between conferences are tabulated. In midweek, SKC outshot the home team 19-3 and controlled 67.4 percent of possession in vain. It is winless in its last nine road games.

12. SAN JOSE (6-6-7), 13. An astonishing win, no other way to describe it. Down two men to pair of red cards issued by Alejandro Mariscal, who hadn’t worked an MLS game since 2010 and might have as long a wait for the next one, the Quakes won it on a knuckler hit by Simon Dawkins that got past screened TFC goalie

13. TORONTO FC (6-7-6), 12. The road mark that started with an eight-game slog while expansion of BMO Field was completed is 3-6-3 after the loss in San Jose. Ex-Quake Steven Beitashour’s cross was glanced by Jordan Hamilton to another former San Jose employee, Justin Morrow, for the equalizer. Then TFC not only failed to exploit a two-man advantage it conceded the goal by Dawkins. The next four are at BMO, where TFC is 3-1-3.

14. ORLANDO CITY (4-5-10), 14. A rough season for the Lions notwithstanding, Cyle Larin’s equalizer -- his ninth goal of the season -- gives an indication he’s better equipped to score vital goals than he was in his rookie year. But OCSC doesn’t seem to be surging in the wake of Adrian Heath’s dismissal and if Larin is snagged by a foreign team its playoff hopes will take a severe hit.

15. D.C. UNITED (5-7-7), 15. Blanked without a goal for more than three months, Fabian Espindola came off the bench to score in the 89th minute and earn a point at Columbus. United can’t seem to build any momentum when it desperately needs some oomph: it is 2-3-3 in the last eight games.

16. HOUSTON (4-9-6), 16. A spirited effort at StubHub Center wasn’t rewarded and the record under interim head coach Wade Barrett dropped to 1-2-4 after he made three changes: Joe Willis for goalkeeper Tyler Deric (abdominal strain), defender Sheanon Williams for DaMarcus Beasley (left knee surgery), and Andrew Wenger for forward Will Bruin (coach’s decision). Ricardo Clark started his 250th game (all competitions) for the Dynamo, second on the all-time list to SKC midfielder Brad Davis (302).

17. CHICAGO (4-9-5), 18. All the Fire could muster at FCD was a stoppage-time goal by Arturo Alvarez. It was outshot 20-10 and is 0-7-2 on the road this season. The first MLS goal by Michael de Leeuw downed SKC and extended the Fire’s unbeaten streak at home to seven games in all competitions.

18. NEW ENGLAND (5-7-8), 17. A foul by Kei Kamara denied him a goal early in the second half at RSL and the Revs got a couple of good saves from keeper Bobby Shuttleworth to grab a point.

19. SEATTLE (6-11-2), 19. The rout of a backup-laden FCD didn’t carry over into Portland, though a flubbed tap-in by Jordan Morris and a screaming Cristian Roldan shot that required a great save marked another game of missed opportunities in the absence of Clint Dempsey. Deuce was red-carded in the rout of FCD fueled by Andreas Ivanschitz and Dempsey, who each scored a goal and chalked up an assist.

20. COLUMBUS (3-7-9), 20. Teams in chase mode need more at home against conference foes than ties, and in both deadlocks Crew SC blew a lead. After Ola Kamara’s ninth goal, a red card to Harrison Afful in the 74th minute opened the door just enough for United to equalize in the very late stages. In the midweek game, Afful’s goal shortly after halftime was quickly matched by TFC. Six ties in the last 10 games have dragged Crew SC well below the playoff line.
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