MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls' win takes them to the top

By extending their unbeaten streak to 13 games with a 1-0 defeat of Montreal, the New York Red Bulls nudged aside Toronto FC take over first place in the MLS Power Rankings.

TFC is second after a 1-1 tie with Philadelphia, and FC Dallas held its spot, third, by taking a point at Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy dropped out of the top five when beaten, 4-2, by Seattle at StubHub Center.

There's four games Wednesday and another round of games next weekend prior to the FIFA international break.

Week 29 Results:
Sept. 23

New York City FC 4, Chicago 1. Highlights
Sept. 24
D.C. United 4, Orlando City 1.  Highlights
Houston 3, Portland 1. Highlights
NY Red Bulls 1, Montreal 0. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 0, FC Dallas 0. Highlights
San Jose 1, Sporting KC 2. Highlights.
Toronto FC 1, Philadelphia 1. Highlights
Vancouver 3, Colorado 3. Highlights.
Sept. 25
LA Galaxy 2, Seattle 4. Highlights
Columbus 2, New England 0. Highlights
Only league results are used in compiling the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record in parentheses and rank last week.
1. NY RED BULLS (13-9-9), 2. In his third consecutive start, Daniel Royer got his first MLS goal to tack on a 13th straight game unbeaten. NYRB controlled 61.5 percent of possession and Luis Robles rather routinely logged his 10th  shutout. If they’re not top dogs in the league the Red Bulls nonetheless are in a very good place heading into October.

2. TORONTO FC (13-8-9), 1. The BMO mojo has gone missing the last three games. TFC followed up a 1-0 loss to Montreal and 3-3 tie with NYCFC at home by fizzling against Philly until rescued by a Justin Morrow goal in the 70th minute. That was its second, and last, shot on goal, and TFC needed a few big saves by Clint Irwin to stay close. Jozy Altidore rang a shot off the post in the final minutes.

3. FC DALLAS (15-8-8), 3. None of Chris Seitz’s four saves were easy and the last one -- on a tricky shot in the 85th minute -- sealed his eight shutout, which ties his previous career mark coming into this season, his ninth as a pro. Mauro Diaz cracked a shot off the post in the eighth minute; FCD only got two shots on goal all game but did get a point.

4. NEW YORK CITY FC (13-9-9), 5. Two goals by David Villa -- both of them set up by Khiry Shelton, who finished the night with three -- powered NYCFC past Chicago. As he did at the beginning of the season, Steven Mendoza took over for injured Frank Lampard, and scored the second goal of his last three starts. Chances of a conference title hinge on road games with Houston this week and D.C. United after the FIFA break.

5. COLORADO (12-5-12), 6. A second goal in the last three games by Dominique Badji plus a PK and top-shelf free kick by Shkelzen Gashi should have been enough, but the Rapids gave up three tying goals, including two playing 11-against-10. Another warning sign: the Rapids have tied or lost eight of their last 10 games.

6. LA GALAXY (11-5-15), 4. A few cracks spotted in past weeks split wide open and the Galaxy conceded four straight goals after taking an early lead on a goal by Robbie Keane, who also converted a late penalty kick. Defender Jelle Van Damme knocked one into his own net, one of several bounces that favored the Sounders, which nonetheless stormed forth to score three more on merit.

7.  SPORTING KC (12-12-9), 9. For the first time in 11 years SKC won a game at San Jose. The insertion of defender Ike Opara as a sub proved decisive when his majestic leap headed a Benny Feilhaber corner to the feet of Kevin Ellis, who steered home the winning goal. Dom Dwyer notched his 15th for a 1-0 lead and SKC bounced back after a ball scuffed by Nuno Coelho (as he was clipped) wound up in its net. Matt Besler sat after starting four straight games.

8. SEATTLE (11-13-5), 10. Well, if that performance by Jordan Morris didn’t nail down the Rookie of the Year Award, something’s amiss. Big days for Ozzie Alonso and Nicolas Lodeiro and two great goals by Morris blew away the Galaxy and pushed Seattle to within three points of the playoff tier. The Sounders also hold two games in hand on every team ahead of it except Colorado.

9. PORTLAND (11-12-8), 7. At 1-1 after a Diego Valeri equalizer early in the second half, the minimum of a point seemed ideal, but instead the Timbers conceded twice and didn’t threaten until it was too late. They’ve nonetheless won three of their last five but only sporadically display the confidence of defending champions. Yes, the leadership of Nat Borchers is missed but there are other leaders on this team and thus, there’s no excuse for an away record of 0-9-6 (W-L-T).

10. D.C. UNITED (8-9-13), 12. Two more goals by Patrick Mullins and singles from Lloyd Sam and Julian Buescher suitably demonstrated United’s superiority before and after Orlando City went down to 10 men. Aesthetically, the left-sided serves of Taylor Kemp – who assisted on three goals – are wonderful to watch and infuriating to defend.

11. REAL SALT LAKE (12-10-9), 8. Following a wild 3-3 tie with the Galaxy Sept. 7, RSL hasn’t scored in three straight games. Good attempts by Joao Plata, Juan Martinez, Jordan Allen, and Demar Phillips were repelled, yet RSL survived an early shot off the post to claim a point.

12. PHILADELPHIA (11-11-9), 13. No matter how long he plays in MLS, Alejandro Bedoya will need a very special goal to top his first in the league, a masterful chip that floated under the bar in the 35th minute. Fabian Herbers caused some problems and landed two of his three shots on goal. Otherwise, Philly relied on grit to grind out a point and move a little closer to clinching a playoff spot.

13. NEW ENGLAND (9-13-9), 11. Maybe the Revs were too rested – they hadn’t played in more than a week – or maybe they were due to struggle after winning three in a row. Anyway, most of the balls launched to Kei Kamara produced little and though a ridiculous PK call produced a second goal late, they didn’t deserve anything more than being beaten and blanked.

14. HOUSTON (7-11-11), 17. This win was about more than Mauro Manotas, but, wow. Three nice goals brings his to tally to four; more importantly, in the six games he’s started, the Dynamo is 3-1-2. Speaking of records, that of interim head coach Wade Barrett is 4-4-7.

15. COLUMBUS (7-11-11), 18. Still waiting for Ola Kamara to get more mention as Newcomer of the Year; his haul of 15 goals in 22 games includes only two penalty kicks, one in this game. He scored the winner with a sharp move inside and left-footed finish low to the near post. Playoff hopes are slim but with five games left and a spot five points away the ride could be exciting, though Federico Higuain sat out a third straight game.

16. MONTREAL (9-10-11), 14. Winless in four straight games during which it’s been outscored, 9-3, Montreal can rectify matters – at least temporarily -- by beating lowly San Jose at home Wednesday. The Impact stayed perfect at Red Bull Arena – seven games, seven losses – since it joined MLS in 2012. Ignacio Piatti missed an early chance and Didier Drogba managed just one shot, from distance, that was easily saved.

17. ORLANDO CITY (7-10-13), 15. By conceding four goals in a third straight game the Lions dropped into the goals-conceded cellar at 57. Antonio Nocerino enhanced his claim as the worst DP this decade with an elbow to an opponent’s chest to earn a red card. Julio Baptista’s free kick averted what would have been a well-deserved shutout.

18. VANCOUVER (9-14-8), 20. Against the league’s stingiest team the ‘Caps scored three equalizers, and bagged a point with Erik Hurtado’s goal in the third minute of stoppage time. Kendall Waston scored five minutes before being red-carded for the third time this season and Pedro Morales’ goal re-tied the game at 2-2. Applause for fighting spirit, whistles for those 49 goals allowed.

19. SAN JOSE (7-9-13), 16. Just as they did last year, the Quakes have run aground at home in the most crucial phase of the season. Last five home results: 1-2, 1-1, 1-1, 1-2, 0-0. After injuries forced out Quincy Amarikwa and Jordan Stewart, Simon Dawkins equalized from a nice back-heel by Henok Goitom shortly before halftime. The players are down, the fans are upset, and there are major changes a’comin.

20. CHICAGO (6-14-9), 19. The Fire did their best to lose a game it had little chance of winning by conceding two goals 60 seconds apart in the first 10 minutes. Luis Solignac applied a nice finish to Arturo Alvarez’s cross but if you needed one game to differentiate the top teams from the bottom ones in the conference, this was it.
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