MLS Power Rankings: Galaxy takes third, Red Bulls fifth

The last weekend of play before the All-Star Game produced some stellar performances.

Leader FC Dallas played a 1-1 tie with No. 2 Colorado that kept those teams in the same spots. The Galaxy jumped past the Timbers into third place by winning 2-1 in Portland and a 5-1 pulverizing of Philly lifted Montreal into fourth. The Red Bulls overpowered New York City FC, 4-1 to take over fifth place in the rankings.
Week 20 Results
July 22
Real Salt Lake 1, San Jose 1. Highlights
July 23
Portland 1, LA Galaxy 2. Highlights
Montreal 5, Philadelphia 1. Highlights
Houston 0, Vancouver 0. Highlights
Columbus 2, Orlando City 2. Highlights
New England 1, Chicago 0. Highlights
Toronto FC 4, D.C. United 1. Highlights
Colorado 1, FC Dallas 1. Highlights
July 24
NY Red Bulls 4, New York City FC 1. Highlights
Sporting Kansas City 3, Seattle 0. Highlights
Only MLS results are factored into the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record in parentheses and its rank last week.
1. FC DALLAS (12-6-5), 1. A belter from distance by Victor Ulloa with eight minutes remaining earned FCD its 14th road point, which leads the Western Conference. After he set up that chance, Michael Barrios nearly won the game with a low rip that required an excellent save.

2. COLORADO (10-2-8), 2. The Rapids ran their unbeaten record to 15 games but couldn’t hold off FCD after a great effort by Marlon Hairston gave them the lead. He stripped the ball away from Atiba Harris to score just before halftime. Jermaine Jones sat out to rest his injured knee, so Dillon Powers played the No. 10 role. The Rapids were outshot, 16-9, and needed five saves from Tim Howard to avoid defeat. 

3. LA GALAXY (9-3-8), 4. Early goals by Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes opened up a 2-0 lead in the 11th minute that the Galaxy held onto to win a fourth straight game. Left mid Emmanuel Boateng scorched the Timbers several times and defender Jelle Van Damme hit an incredible ball out of the back that Keane volleyed just over the bar. Take note: the Galaxy beat the defending champs at their place without Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard

4. MONTREAL (7-5-8), 6. A Didier Drogba hat trick reminded everyone he’s still mighty dangerous on his good days and the Impact is right there in the Eastern Conference race. Ignacio Piatti notched a goal and two assists as Montreal treated its sixth sellout crowd of the season to a scintillating display. Two assists for left back Ambroise Oyongo gives him a team-record of five in 2016.

5. NY RED BULLS (9-9-4), 7. Given that NYCFC had won five of its last six, the Red Bulls’ romp might rate as the weekend’s most impressive win. Sacha Kljestan exploited a stagnant NYCFC defense to set up the first two goals and then banged home the third on a penalty kick. Bradley Wright-Phillips’ second of the game rounded off the rout.

6. PORTLAND (7-7-8), 3. In a case of bad news-bad news, the Timbers lost at home despite a nice strike from distance by Zarek Valentin and lost defender Nat Borchers for the season to a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Amobi Okugo replaced him on Saturday but the Timbers probably need to make a move to fill this huge hole long-term.

7. NEW YORK CITY FC (9-7-6), 5. The Tommy McNamara Show won’t get the reviews it deserves. He nailed a shot from distance into the far top corner for NYCFC’s only goal and with a similar effort struck the junction of post and crossbar. Head coach Patrick Vieira departed after berating the officials. When a possession team has just 39.5 percent of the ball after it falls behind early, it’s in trouble.

8. VANCOUVER (8-8-6), 9. Another big night from keeper David Ousted earned the 'Caps a point. The MLS saves leader (79) posted four, including a last-minute deflection that denied a David Horst header. The 'Caps are unbeaten in their last four games though three of them are ties.

9. SPORTING KC (9-10-4), 11. Figuratively speaking, a struggling team needs to kick opponents when they are down and that’s precisely what SKC did to the Sounders on a sweltering Sunday afternoon. Goals by Dom Dwyer before and after Jacob Peterson fired a shot into the top far corner silenced Seattle.

10. PHILADELPHIA (8-7-6), 9. A Chris Pontius goal, his team-high eighth of the season, was about all that could be praised about a third loss in the past five games. A Keegan Rosenberry giveaway led directly to one of the goals but this was a total team effort.

11. TORONTO FC (7-7-6), 13. TFC took care of business in the first of four straight home games. Sebastian Giovinco -- goalless in his last eight games  -- reverted to atomic mode and rang up a hat trick. Another of his shots came back off the crossbar for Marky Delgado to tuck away. Starting Sunday against Columbus, TFC plays three games within seven days.

12. SAN JOSE (6-6-8), 12. Poised for their first road win of 2016 after Chris Wondolowski scored in the ninth minute, the Quakes succumbed to RSL’s home mojo and left town with a point. The goal ended an 11-game drought (counting games missed for international duty) for Wondo, but still his eight goals are more than double the total of any teammate. Only three teams have fewer goals than San Jose’s 22.

13. REAL SALT LAKE (8-6-7), 10. Maestro Javier Morales turned back the clock to float a delicate chip that Luke Mulholland volleyed into the net as RSL retained its unbeaten home status (5-0-5). Overall, though, the recent record is rather dull: four ties and no wins in the last five games and only 11 points from the last 10. Three of the next four games are on the road and in the playoff chase two teams are within two points.

14. NEW ENGLAND (6-7-8), 18. When Fire keeper Sean Johnson couldn’t reach a Chris Tierney corner kick, Je-Vaughn Watson got to the right spot to score his first league goal in a Revs’ jersey. (His busy week included a goal and the winning shootout PK in an Open Cup victory against Philly on Wednesday.) Gerson Koffie got a few minutes off the bench after sitting out 10 games with a sprained right knee.

15. ORLANDO CITY (4-5-11), 14. The most-tied teams in MLS did it again and both lost more ground in the playoff chase. In their last game under interim head coach Bobby Murphy, the Lions rallied from a 2-0 deficit behind Kevin Molino and Kaka, who came on as a sub in the 60th minute after missing three games with a calf injury. Molino scored after Crew SC failed to clear a Kaka corner kick and then Cyle Larin cashed in a Molino cross to tie the game. Jason Kreis took over Monday and gets a good test at home Sunday against the sixth-place Revs, which OCSC trails by three points in the standings.

16. HOUSTON (4-9-7), 16. A 4-4-2 formation pairing Erick Torres and Will Bruin up top produced 17 shots though none found the net. Torres has left to join Mexico’s Olympic team and so the defense, which posted a shutout despite the injury absences of DaMarcus Beasley and Agus, will carry a larger burden for the next few weeks. Its shutout streak at home is an impressive 491 consecutive minutes.

17. CHICAGO (4-10-5), 17.Johnson held off the Revs with a string of saves prior to the corner kick they converted for the game’s only goal. The Fire has lost eight of its 10 road games and is tied for the league-low in road goals scored (7).

18. D.C. UNITED (5-8-7), 15. United couldn’t contain Giovinco though Jared Jeffrey equalized three minutes after the Italian opened the scoring midway through the first half. Keeper Travis Worra registered a career-high six saves in place of Bill Hamid (hand injury). Recent trade acquisitions Lloyd Sam (first assist) and Patrick Mullins (team debut as a 58th-minute sub) are working their way into the team.

19. COLUMBUS (3-7-10), 20. By the time Federico Higuain made his first appearance since June 1 following sports-hernia surgery, Crew SC had blown the lead built on goals by Tony Tchani (his first of the season) and Ola Kamara (his 10th). The stats tell the tale: Crew SC has the worst record (2-2-6) after scoring the first goal and no team has allowed more goals in the second half (24).

20. SEATTLE (6-12-2), 19. After squandering a couple of early half-chances the Sounders succumbed despite a few heroic plays by keeper Stefan Frei. The absence of Osvaldo Alonso (suspended) weakened the central midfield, which needed more than it got from Erik Friberg, who came off at halftime. Herculez Gomez added some life off the bench but nothing more needs to be said when a team doesn’t generate its first shot until the 88th minute.
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