MLS Power Rankings: Toronto FC takes over top spot

Toronto FC’s third win in the last four games moved it atop Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings in place of FC Dallas, which dropped to third after a 1-0 loss to Colorado.

Despite surrendering a last-second equalizer at home to D.C. United, the Red Bulls moved up a notch into second as the only team to have taken 11 points from their last five games. After playing a wild 3-3 tie with Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy moved ahead of its rival by thrashing Orlando City, 4-2, following RSL’s 1-0 loss in Portland.
 
Week 27 Results
Sept. 7
Montreal 1, Orlando City 4. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 3, LA Galaxy 3. Highlights
Sept. 9
Sporting Kansas City 3, Houston 3. Highlights
Sept. 10
Chicago 1, Toronto FC 2. Highlights
Columbus 1, Vancouver 3. Highlights
FC Dallas 0, Colorado 1. Highlights
New England 3, New York City FC 1. Highlights
Philadelphia 1, Montreal 1. Highlights
Portland 1, Real Salt Lake 0. Highlights
San Jose 1, Seattle 1. Highlights
Sept. 11
LA Galaxy 4, Orlando City 2. Highlights
New York Red Bulls 2, D.C. United 2. Highlights
 
Only league results are factored into the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record in parentheses and rank last week.
 
1. TORONTO FC (13-8-7), 2. Beating the conference’s weakest team on the road lifted TFC’s mark to 6-6-4; only it and NYCFC are at .500 away from home. A goal and assist for Jozy Altidore, who has scored six goals in his last 447 minutes of play, earned TFC its seventh win in the last nine games. Five of the last six are at BMO Field. The conference title is there to be taken.

2. NY RED BULLS (12-9-8), 3. The shorthanded Red Bulls led most of the way but got caught at the wire by two late goals. Alex Muyl and Mike Grella were suspended, Dax McCarty and Omer Damari were injured, and Ronald Zubar hobbled off after five minutes. Gonzalo Veron scored the first goal and Daniel Royer marked his first MLS start by assisting on Bradley Wright-Phillips’ 18th goal of the season. The unbeaten streak is 11 games but this tie tasted as bitter as any loss, especially considering two shots by Sacha Kljestan came back off the woodwork.

3. FC DALLAS (15-8-6), 1. Not starting Mauro Diaz and Michael Barrios proved to be costly; both came on as subs but still FCD’s 20-game home unbeaten streak was snapped. FCD outshot the Rapids, 17-6, and controlled 63.8 percent of possession, yet Colorado’s only shot on goal got past keeper Chris Seitz.

4. LA GALAXY (11-4-11), 6. A great week for Giovani dos Santos -- who scored twice in back-to-back MLS games for the first time -- helped the Galaxy earn four points, though it blew a 3-1 lead at RSL by conceding two late goals. Dos Santos also picked up two assists against the Lions as the Galaxy responded to conceding an early goal by scoring four in 35 minutes of play. The return of Landon Donovan jacked up a sellout crowd at StubHub Center without much influencing the game itself. (By the way, Gio is putting up Landonesque numbers: 14 goals, 11 assists.)

5. REAL SALT LAKE (12-9-8), 5. Comebacks from injury for Sunny, Jordan Allen and Chris Schuler in Portland followed a rally at home against the Galaxy that earned a point. Joao Plata scored twice and Juan Manuel Martinez tallied in the 94th minute as RSL preserved its unbeaten mark (8-0-6) at Rio Tinto. The Timbers scored after a shot ricocheted off defender Justen Glad to Fanendo Adi, so that was a bit of bad luck, as was a shot off the post by Javier Morales, who came on as a sub in the second half, then left 30 minutes later with a quad injury.

6. NEW YORK CITY FC (12-9-8), 4. Another goal for Frank Lampard, good. A changed back line -- Ronald Matarrita, Jefferson Mena, Frederick Brilliant, Jason Hernandez left exposed by Federico Bravo, starting his first game since May 2 -- not so good. No wins and a dozen goals allowed in the last five road games, bad.

7. COLORADO (12-5-10), 9. A seven-save game by Tim Howard and 52nd-minute goal by Dominique Badji knocked off FCD and stopped a four-game winless run despite the absences of Shkelzen Gashi, Marco Pappa, Jermaine Jones, and Bobby Burling. In his third start for the Rapids, Sebastien Le Toux picked up his first assist as they revived their hopes of avoiding the Knockout Round.

8. SPORTING KC (11-12-6), 7. Blown leads of 2-0 and 3-1 kept SKC pinned below the .500 mark. Roger Espinoza blasted home a left-footer from outside the box and both Jacob Peterson and Dom Dwyer scored from close range and still SKC couldn’t hold off a last-place team at home.

9. MONTREAL (9-8-11), 8. The Impact bounced back from a midweek thrashing that was their third loss in five games by taking a point at Philly. In the 88th minute, Matteo Mancosu notched his third goal since arriving on loan from Bologna. He certainly gets his shots; he’s accumulated 21 in his four starts. Thrust in front by a wicked Didier Drogba free kick against Orlando, Montreal crumbled before and after a red card sent keeper Evan Bush to the locker room in the 51st minute.

10. PORTLAND (10-11-8), 12. Noted for his prowess in games with RSL, Adi scored his fourth goal of the season and seventh of his career against that foe as the Timbers rebounded from a 3-1 loss at FCD last week. The fans at Providence Park celebrated a third straight win at home and Portland’s 100th consecutive sellout since joining MLS in 2011. But a 4-5-1 record in the last 10 games isn't much in terms of momentum.

11. SEATTLE (9-13-5), 11. A Nicolas Lodeiro free kick that cleared a cluster of players and bounced inside the far post earned a point in San Jose. Close-range misses by Andreas Ivanschitz and sub Alvaro Fernandez and a scuffed clearance by Tyrone Mears that set up the Quakes’ goal were redeemed by Lodeiro and a fine game by Osvaldo Alonso, whose lunging clearance swept a ball off the goal line with the score 0-0.

12. PHILADELPHIA (11-10-8), 10. Playing a foe fatigued by a midweek game, instead it was the Union that conceded a late goal to end up tied. Tranquillo Barnetta supplied the 1-0 lead by lashing a left-footed shot from the penalty arc just before halftime, but Warren Creavalle reacted too late to a flicked ball on the tying goal. Philly is fourth yet needs at least a few points from a three-game road swing (Portland, TFC, Red Bulls) to ease the pressure.

13. D.C. UNITED (7-9-12), 13. Seemingly defeated at Red Bull Arena, D.C. scraped out a tie by getting late goals from Steve Birnbaum and Lamar Neagle, who equalized by kneeing in a rebound off the post while a yard from goal. D.C. has recovered from a six-game winless streak to take nine points from its last six and stay live in a three-team dogfight with OCSC and the Revs for a playoff berth.

14. ORLANDO CITY (7-8-13), 14. Big games by Kaka (two goals, one assist), Carlos Rivas (one goal, two assists) and Matias Perez Garcia (two assists) carried the Lions to victory in Montreal after they’d fallen behind in the second minute. A long trip to Southern California took its toll; after Kevin Molino knocked in a rebound to supply a 1-0 lead, the Galaxy proceeded to slice open OCSC numerous times.

15. NEW ENGLAND (8-12-9), 18. The Revs rampaged through the revamped NYCFC back line to win their second game in a row. Diego Fagundez scored a great goal -- his first since April 30 -- to round off an impressive display in which strikes by Juan Agudelo and Lee Nguyen opened up a 2-0 lead.

16. SAN JOSE (7-8-12), 15. Among many postgame criticisms at Avaya Stadium was heard, “This team doesn’t know how to win.” Gifted a 1-0 lead when Jordan Stewart pounced on a miscue to set up Chris Wondolowski, San Jose committed a foul in a vulnerable spot and paid the price on a free kick. In its last four home games, it has lost to Houston, and tied NYCFC, New England and the Sounders while scoring two goals. A team in chase mode must do more.

17. VANCOUVER (9-13-7), 20. The ‘Caps ended an eight-game winless drought after waiting out a 90-minute rain delay and conceding an early goal. A cross by Russell Teibert bounced off a Crew SC defender into the net, a big save from David Ousted retained a 2-1 lead provided by Andrew Jacobson’s goal, and Erik Hurtado’s first league goal in nearly two years wrapped up the win.

18. CHICAGO (6-13-8), 16. A third goal in as many games for Michael de Leeuw followed two by TFC. De Leeuw scored on a John Goossens assist after a bold run through the TFC defense by David Accam, who had entered as a sub just two minutes earlier, but the Fire fell to defeat at home for the first time since mid-April. Brandon Vincent trails several players in the Rookie of the Year race yet he made his 19th start.

19. HOUSTON (5-11-11), 19. You have to give some props to interim head coach Wade Barrett; his team doesn’t quit. Mauro Manotas scored his first MLS goal and Alex equalized to wipe out a 2-0 deficit, then defender Raul Rodriguez’s header of a Boniek Garcia free kick in the 94th minute caromed off the crossbar, hit the goalie, and bounced over the line. Lucky, yes, but not undeserved.

20. COLUMBUS (5-11-11), 17. Crew SC dropped back into the Power Rankings cellar by losing to the previous occupant on a rain-saturated MAPFRE Stadium field. It scored early (Ola Kamara), equalized into its own net (Gaston Sauro), and after conceding two more finished with 10 men (Tony Tchani sent off). Kamara ended a five-game goalless drought by netting his 11th  of the season, which two more than scored by Kei Kamara.
1 comment about "MLS Power Rankings: Toronto FC takes over top spot".
  1. Robert Foltman, September 13, 2016 at 8:56 a.m.

    TFC is NOT .500 on the road. It has played 16 road games for a possible 48 points. It has collected 22 of a possible 48, which is a .458 percentage. Can't go by w-l-t in a points-based system.

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