MLS Power Rankings: Rally keeps Toronto FC in first

In a matchup of the Power Rankings’ top two teams, two late goals by Toronto FC earned a wild 3-3 tie with the Red Bulls that was just enough to keep the Canadian team on top.

FC Dallas held onto third place -- and clinched a playoff spot -- by tying NYCFC, 2-2, at Yankee Stadium, and the Galaxy retained fourth by getting the same result at Sporting Kansas City.

Cascadia rivals Portland and Seattle both won to solidify their spots in the top 10, and just off that first tier is New England, which jumped over Montreal in the rankings by thumping the Impact at Stade Saputo. The Timbers and Revs are the only teams with at least two wins in their last three games.
Week 28 Results
Sept. 16
Chicago 2, D.C. United 2. Highlights
Sept. 17
Colorado 0, San Jose 0. Highlights
Montreal 1, New England 3. Highlights
New York City FC 2, FC Dallas 2. Highlights
Orlando City 1,Columbus 4. Highlights
Portland 2, Philadelphia 1. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 0, Houston 1. Highlights
Seattle 1, Vancouver 0. Highlights
Sept. 18:
Sporting KC 2, LA Galaxy 2. Highlights
Toronto FC 3, NY Red Bulls 3. 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 (13-8-8), 1. Lacking one Designated Player, TFC got goals from its other two big names to take a point at BMO Field. Michael Bradley arrived late into the box to polish off a nice sequence, and then Jozy Altidore scored twice to wipe out a 3-1 deficit. He struck home a superb free kick that conjured up memories of his U.S. goal three years ago in Sarajevo, and then twisted free to net an equalizer. Despite giving up three goals, one after an egregious giveaway by Eriq Zaveleta, TFC has conceded the fewest goals (32) in the Eastern Conference.

2. NY RED BULLS (12-9-9), 2. For the second straight week the Red Bulls squandered a two-goal lead and ended up tied. Speaking of two goals, the pair tallied by Bradley Wright-Phillips registered him in the history books as the first MLS player to score at least 20 goals in more than one season, but another blown lead upped NYRB’s total of points squandered from leading positions to a league-most 18. Dax McCarty came on as a sub in the 81st minute but couldn’t stop the entry pass that produced the equalizer.

3. FC DALLAS (15-8-7), 3. So far, FCD is making up for the departure of Fabian Castillo and has already clinched a playoff spot. It rallied from a 1-0 deficit with goals by Max Urruti (his eighth) and Michael Barrios (ninth), both from Mauro Rosales assists during a 60-minute performance, and a good save foiled Tesho Akindele in the final minute. Recent signing Carlos Ruiz made the game-day roster but did not play.

4. LA GALAXY (11-4-15), 4. It took all of two minutes of his second appearance for Landon Donovan to affect the playoff race. His sharp finish of a return pass from Robbie Rogers earned the Galaxy a point. He had replaced Alan Gordon, scorer of the first goal, and the Galaxy overcame the absences of Giovani dos Santos (hip flexor) and Steven Gerrard (hamstring). The Galaxy is unbeaten in its last six games despite conceding 10 goals because it has scored 13. How potent can it be with Donovan available and Gerrard and Dos Santos healthy? Very.

5. NEW YORK CITY FC (12-9-9), 6. He hasn’t scored a goal since mid-July but Jack Harrison showed up on the scoresheet by pocketing his fourth and fifth assists of the season. Harrison relayed a cross from Ronald Matarrita to Tommy McNamara and then crossed the ball himself to Khiry Sheldon. A calf injury forced Frank Lampard out of the game shortly before halftime and he is expected to be out three to six weeks.

6. COLORADO (12-5-11), 7. Still in search of their midseason mojo (15 games unbeaten), the Rapids got a point despite sputtering offensively. They have scored just two goals in the last four games (two losses followed by a win and a tie). Tim Howard marked his sixth shutout in 11 games since returning to MLS with an excellent kick save.

7. PORTLAND (11-11-8), 10. His best game as a Timber earned Darren Mattocks two assists and Portland a 2-1 victory in which all three goals were scored early in the second half. Mattocks twice schooled Union rookie Keegan Rosenberry to set up point-blank finishes for Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi. Still, the Timbers needed seven saves from keeper Jake Gleeson to win their league-leading 11th home match.

8. REAL SALT LAKE (12-10-8), 5. An unbeaten home record ended and RSL lost a second straight game, 1-0, after scoring three against the Galaxy Sept. 7. Houston got its goal after John Stertzer lost the ball in midfield and RSL landed just one of its 15 shots on target.

9. SPORTING KC (11-12-7), 8. Trailing at halftime, 1-0, SKC stormed into the lead when Dom Dwyer scored a go-ahead goal after serving up a cross that Jacob Peterson battled to knock into the net. It then fell victim to the Landon Donovan Revival Tour and though it has a five-point lead on the non-playoff pack, two pursuers hold two games in hand. It can all but eliminate one of them in San Jose this weekend.

10. SEATTLE (10-13-5), 11. The Nicolas Lodeiro-Jordan Morris combination struck again to end a goalless struggle with Vancouver. In the 81st minute, Morris went down-low to head home Lodeiro’s cross for his 10th goal of the season. In winning four of their last seven games, the Sounders have scored 13 goals, an average of 1.86 per game. They averaged a goal per game in the first 21 games of the season.

11. NEW ENGLAND (9-12-9), 15. The Revs showed their road resolve by winning a third straight league game three days after losing the Open Cup final. Kelyn Rowe’s double consisted of sharp finishes with either foot that followed his crossing assist to Kei Kamara in the first minute. Rowe is second on the team in goals (five) and assists (seven). In 17 games for the Revs Kamara has scored five goals, the same number he netted in nine games with Columbus prior to a blockbuster trade.

12. D.C UNITED (7-9-13), 13. This week ‘The Late Show’ starred defender Bobby Boswell, who scored during a stoppage-time scramble to claim a point. (Last week United tallied in the 89th and 95th minutes to snatch a tie at Red Bull Arena). Ex-Riverhound Rob Vincent scored his first MLS goal by slamming into the roof of the net an indirect free kick touched to him by Luciano Acosta. Crucial run of three games in eight days is on tap starting Saturday: at home against Orlando City and Columbus, at TFC.

13. PHILADELPHIA (11-11-8), 12. A 1-1 tie forged by Chris Pontius’ goal shortly after halftime lasted only six minutes and Philly fell for the second time in the last three games despite putting eight of 14 shots on target. A first-time shot off the goalpost extended C.J. Sapong’s goalless drought to six games and a few more big saves from Andre Blake weren’t quite enough.

14. MONTREAL (9-9-11), 9. Stunned by Kamara’s goal 30 seconds after the opening kickoff, Montreal chased the game thereafter and fell to its fourth loss in the last seven matches. Didier Drogba converted a penalty kick five minutes into the second half to cut a 2-0 deficit in half but a third goal conceded nine minutes later sealed the result. This bad run -- aside from a 1-0 defeat of TFC, 15 goals have been allowed-- has dragged the Impact into a four-way playoff tussle from which only two teams can emerge.

15. ORLANDO CITY (7-9-13), 14. Like the Impact, getting belted at home has reinforced defensive concerns. The Lions have conceded four goals apiece in back-to-back games and in this one were down, 3-0, at halftime. Seb Hines knocked one into his own net and on the other two long balls scorched the OCSC back line. On the plus side, Cyle Larin’s sweet curler from just beyind the penalty arc moves him to within three goals of his rookie-record 17.

16. SAN JOSE (7-8-13),16. Here’s the team with the fewest points, three (all via ties), in the last five games. Both of Simon Dawkins’ shots on goal were saved – one of them superbly – and a late entrance by Tommy Thompson livened up the attack without reward. The Quakes have six games in which to make up six points and pass three teams.

17. HOUSTON (6-11-11), 19. A goal in his third straight game by Alex and some tough defense carried the day at Rio Tinto Stadium. Ricardo Clark set up the goal by stripping Stertzer and poking the ball to Alex, who clipped it over the keeper. Mauro Manotas smacked a shot off the woodwork but the Alex goal proved sufficient.

18. COLUMBUS (6-11-11), 20. As bad as this season has been, Crew SC served up a reminder of what it is capable of in Orlando. Ola Kamara bagged his 12th and 13th goals (in just 21 games); and Ethan Finlay scored the first goal and assisted on numbers three and four. If nothing else, the victory lifted Crew SC out of the conference cellar.

19. CHICAGO (6-13-9), 18. A goal and assist by Razvan Cocis overturned a 1-0 deficit against D.C. but in stoppage time the Fire couldn’t clear a loose ball and it wound up in the net. Chicago fell behind on a defensive miscue when keeper Sean Johnson handled a back pass and United scored off the indirect free kick; Cocis equalized with a header from a Johan Kappelhof service, and David Accam ran onto a Cocis feed to seize a 2-1 lead.

20. VANCOUVER (9-14-7), 17. Excellent chances for Erik Hurtado and Giles Barnes set up by Pedro Morales went unconverted, and keeper David Ousted’s failure to reach a cross turned into the only goal. The ‘Caps have been blanked 11 times this season; Barnes’ shot off the post typified his 440 scoreless minutes since arriving from Houston in a trade; and last week’s defeat of Columbus is their only victory in the last 10 games.

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