MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls stay on top

The penultimate week of regular-season play cemented playoff slots for two teams and officially eliminated two others.

Conference leaders New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas won their games to fill the top two spots in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings. Despite suffering a tough loss in Portland, Colorado jumped into third when New York City FC took at loss at D.C. United, which earned a reward for its recent surge by clinching a postseason berth.
MLS Results, Week 32:
Oct. 12
Seattle 0, Houston 0. Highlights
Oct. 13
Colorado 2, San Jose 1. Highlights
Chicago 2, Columbus 2. Highlights
Oct. 16
Chicago 2, New England 1. Highlights
D.C. United 3, New York City FC 1. Highlights
FC Dallas 2, Seattle 1. Highlights
Houston 0, LA Galaxy 1. Highlights
Montreal 2, Toronto FC 2. Highlights
New York Red Bulls 3, Columbus 2. Highlights.
Philadelphia 0, Orlando City 2. Highlights
Portland 1, Colorado 0. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 0, Sporting KC 0. Highlights
San Jose 0, Vancouver 0. Highlights

The MLS Power Rankings are based solely on league results. They included a team’s record in parentheses and rank last week.

1. NY RED BULLS (15-9-9), 1. After romping to a 3-0 lead early in the second half, the Red Bulls failed to close down the game but still posted a victory. Bradley Wright-Phillips bagged a pair of goals to top the charts heading into the final weekend of the season with 23. Sacha Kljestan failed to convert a PK in the first half before recording his league-leading 19th assist on BWP’s first goal.

2. FC DALLAS (17-8-8), 2. A good win but a bad day in Big D. Mauro Diaz left the field on a stretcher in a victory that closed out the home portion of the schedule at 12-1-4. He went down after setting up the winner for Carlos Ruiz after Max Urruti had equalized 10 minutes earlier.

3. COLORADO (15-6-12), 4. A loss in Portland followed a defeat of San Jose in which Kevin Doyle, deployed as a No. 10, scored on a spectacular diving header and converted the winning PK. The Rapids can still win the Supporters’ Shield but Job One in the finale against Houston is to stay healthy -- and maybe give Doyle more looks in his new role?

4. NEW YORK CITY FC (14-10-9), 3. NYCFC felt the sting of revenge at RFK, conceding three first-half goals as United sought to wipe out memories of a 3-2 loss at Yankee Stadium. David Villa converted a penalty kick for his 22nd goal but otherwise this was a slap across the face, the perfect playoff wake-up call.

5. D.C. UNITED (11-9-13), 6. United clinched emphatically, winning a fourth straight game in front of 30,943 fans. Ex-Red Bull Lloyd Sam assisted on two goals, one of them by Patrick Mullins, who netted his eighth goal since being traded by NYCFC. Mullins also earned an assist by relaying an intercepted ball to Rob Vincent.

6. TORONTO FC (13-9-11), 7. In his first match since suffering an adductor injury in late August, Sebastian Giovinco rattled the woodwork with a shot and registered a secondary assist on Toisant Ricketts’ equalizer in the 86th minute. Jozy Altidore scored his 10th goal and chested down a ball for Ricketts’ to earn his fifth assist. TFC needs to beat Chicago in its finale and get some help to avoid the Knockout Round.

7. SEATTLE (13-14-6), 5. A two-game week was supposed to nail down a once-unlikely playoff spot, but only Nicolas Lodeiro’s free kick found the net and Seattle couldn’t make his goal stand up for the second point it needed. It conceded just one goal in the two games but could still miss the playoffs if it doesn’t win the final game Sunday against RSL. Another 0-0 might not get it done.

8. LA GALAXY (12-6-15), 8. On his 35th birthday, Alan Gordon made up for the injury absences of two other over-30s –-- Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard -- by blocking the attempted clearance of a rebound. The ball bounced off his leg into the net for the 52nd goal of his career and third of the season as LA clinched third place and a home date in the Knockout Round.

9. PORTLAND (12-13-8), 11. The Timbers prevailed, barely, while surviving a failed PK attempt by Fanendo Adi and a two Rapids’ shots off the woodwork. Adi converted his first PK opportunity but then with another spot kick failed to beat the keeper and horribly scuffed the rebound off-target. (Both PKs were awarded by fouls on left back Vytas.) Head coach Caleb Porter is in double jeopardy this week with a home Concacaf battle against Saprissa and the season finale at Vancouver.

10. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (12-13-8), 10. Like a few teams, SKC is wheezing towards the finish line and its final placing is completely up in the air. It did post its first shutout in nearly two months and several clutch saves by keeper Tim Melia ended a futile run -- five games, five losses -- for him against RSL. He got some help from, of all people, forward Dom Dwyer on a goal line clearance.

11. MONTREAL (11-10-12), 13. The Impact squandered a 2-1 lead yet clinched a playoff spot nonetheless thanks to a pair of goals by Ignacio Piatti, who stepped into the void left when Didier Drogba refused to be named as a substitute, according to head coach Mauro Biello. For what happens with the season finale at New England, stay tuned.

12. NEW ENGLAND (10-14-9), 9. Only a miracle, as in a 12-goal swing, can edge the Revs into a playoff spot after a dispiriting performance. A Diego Fagundez equalizer just before halftime and a Chicago red card early in the second half set the stage, but then keeper Brad Knighton was dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity and seven minutes later another such situation produced the winning goal.

13. COLUMBUS (8-13-12), 12. Goals 10 minutes apart by Adam Jahn and Harrison Afful jangled the nerves and shrank the gap at Red Bull Arena but the result didn’t change. Jahn got both goals in Chicago; in 12 games since being traded by San Jose he’s scored five.

14. REAL SALT LAKE (12-11-10), 14. Another great night of work by Nick Rimando, who stopped Dwyer with an excellent save and also frustrated him by racing out to clear at the edge of the penalty area, got RSL a point but it needed a win to clinch. It probably needs one again Sunday in Seattle and that’s a tall task. A goalline clearance robbed Juan Manuel Martinez of the goal that might have got it done.

15. HOUSTON (7-14-12), 16. The revival has run out of steam; the Dynamo lost its third straight home game despite some sharp work by keeper Joe Willis. One of this parries rolled to defender David Horst, whose off-balance effort to clear instead hit the ball into the legs of Gordon.

16. ORLANDO CITY (8-11-14), 18. The Lions got another “spoiler” victory on a goal credited to Carlos Rivas and a Julio Baptista tally well into stoppage time. The Lions snapped a five-game winless run and improved the mood somewhat for the season finale at home Sunday. It will be a farewell for many players.

17. PHILADELPHIA (11-13-9), 15. A fizzle instead of a flourish is how Philly is ending the season. Twice it conceded goals on counterattacks, one of them from its own corner kick, and thus is 0-4-2 in the last six games. Keegan Rosenberry didn’t get credit for an own goal though his touch directed the ball into the net.

18. CHICAGO (7-16-10), 20. It was a good week for Michael de Leeuw -- he scored a goal in both games -- and for David Accam, who ran down a long ball to score the goal that beat the Revs. Still, Chicago needs a win on the final day of the season and some help to avoid posting the league’s worst record in back-to-back seasons.

19. SAN JOSE (8-11-14), 17. After a bright start, the Quakes went all dark and gloomy to finish the home campaign with a 1-2-3 record in their last six home games. Tommy Thompson drove the attack in a first half that produced 12 shots and 10 corners but no goals. Big changes are ‘acomin’, starting as soon as president Dave Kaval hires an executive to oversee the team’s competitive wing.

20. VANCOUVER (9-15-9), 19. The ‘Caps were unable to break a barren run of just one victory in their last 13 games but in his first MLS start after three years on the team roster, Paolo Tornaghi logged a shutout. Quiet outings for Masato Kudo and a few others cast clouds over their futures.
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