MLS Power Rankings: Top teams stay put

A strong week of performances by teams in the top tier generated little movement in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings; top three Toronto FC, Chicago, and New York City FC all won to keep their places, and Atlanta United moved up a notch by beating Columbus, 3-1.

The recent good form shown by the Red Bulls and Colorado -- the only team to win its last three games -- facilitated sharp upward moves.
June 17
New York City 2 Seattle 1. Highlights
Toronto FC 2 D.C. United 0. Highlights
New England 1 Chicago 2. Highlights
L.A. Galaxy 2 Houston 2. Highlights
San Jose 0 Sporting KC 0. Highlights
Orlando City 3 Montreal 3. Highlights
Colorado 2 Portland 1. Highlights
Atlanta United 3 Columbus 1. Highlights
Vancouver 1 FC Dallas 1. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 1 Minnesota 0. Highlights
June 18
Philadelphia 0 NY Red Bulls 2. Highlights
1. TORONTO FC (9-2-5), 1. Two great serves by Sebastian Giovinco and sharp finishes from Jozy Altidore and substitute Jordan Hamilton typified the difference in class between TFC and D.C. United (as well as a few other teams). Yes big moments from Giovinco, Altidore and Michael Bradley determined the outcome but Hamilton is a Homegrown signing who scored his fifth goal in the 18th appearance of the past two seasons. Not bad.

2. CHICAGO (9-3-4). 2. Outshot on the road, 24-8, of course the Fire won to extend its unbeaten streak to eight games and stay right on the heels of TFC. Nemanja Nikolic ran onto a long ball from Matt Polster to score on the rebound of his saved shot and Luis Solignac finished off a chance set in motion by a Nikolic ball over the top. Four saves by Matt Lampson and nine blocks by his teammates secured the points.

3. NEW YORK CITY FC (8-5-3), 3. How do you win without Andrea Pirlo? Place your trust in everybody else, and especially David Villa. Trailing 1-0, NYCFC equalized with a penalty kick earned – controversially -- and converted by Villa, who scored again moments after the entry of sub Sean Okoli as Pirlo stayed on the bench. Jack Harrison worked Joevin Jones to make space for the cross Villa knocked home for his 51st MLS goal.

4. SPORTING KC (7-4-6), 4. SKC nearly stole a road win in stoppage time when Graham Zusi got in behind the Quakes back line but he couldn’t put the chance away. Earlier, Benny Feilhaber had banged a shot off the post and a goal line clearance thwarted Roger Espinoza. Keeper Tim Melia earned his ninth shutout of the season and though SKC is only 1-4-4 on the road it has legit claim to be a championship contender with a league-fewest 11 goals conceded.

5. L.A. GALAXY (5-5-4), 5. This may not be your glitzy and glamorous Galaxy of years past and its home mark (1-3-3) is particularly jarring but can be a tough team to beat. Romain Alessandrini scored a very late equalizer (not offside by the way) after his recovery dribble and precise pass had cut open the Dynamo back line for Emmanuel Boateng to tie the match at 1-1. However, something must be done in the net; Clement Diop’s poor parry gave Houston its first goal.

6. VANCOUVER (6-6-2), 6. A great equalizer by Cristian Techera and more good minutes off the bench from Alphonso Davies took some of the sting out being outplayed at home. Brek Shea arrived just in time to suit up after attending the birth of his son and injuries ruled out Christian Bolanos and Kendall Waston, so a point against an elite team is credible after a run of off-field problems.

7. ATLANTA UNITED (6-6-3), 8. DPs Hector Villalba, Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez -- with his sixth goal in five games -- registered the scores, yet a couple of sharp saves by Alec Kann deserve praise, as does an amazing combo of tackle, dribble and pass by centerback Leonardo Gonzalez Pirez that set up Almiron for the winner. Nearly 45,000 fans went bonkers at Bobby Dodd Stadium at the final whistle.

8. FC DALLAS (6-3-6), 7. The eighth goal of the season by Max Urruti gave FCD a 1-0 lead but again, failure to get a second goal proved costly. True, it took a spectacular shot to tie the game but any time you outshoot the home team, 16-6, and don’t win, the aftertaste is bitter.

9. HOUSTON (7-6-3), 9. Still winless (0-6-2) on the road, the Dynamo is getting closer to that first win and left StubHub Center stunned. Mauro Manotas stuck in the rebound of a saved DaMarcus Beasley missile, and Alberth Elis neatly chipped the keeper when played through by a great ball from Boniek Garcia.  Six of its next 10 games are on the road, where it has tied two of the last three after losing five in a row. Progress.

10. MONTREAL (4-4-6), 11. Scoring three goals on the road without winning takes some good and bad work at either end of the field. Ignacio Piatti scored a pair of goals a minute apart after setting up the first one for Montreal but the victory was lost in stoppage time by conceding from a corner kick.

11. NEW ENGLAND (5-6-5), 10. The Revs generated plenty of looks and two dozen shots but not enough goals in suffering their first home loss since last August. Defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea led the team with four shots and bagged his first MLS goal after Kelyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez failed to put away chances.

12. NY RED BULLS (7-7-2), 17. NYRB got its second road win of the season – following six straight defeats -- by outlasting 10-man Philadelphia with a pair of late goals by Bradley Wright-Phillips, who rated his game overall as “dreadful.” Much less dreadful was a flying save by Luis Robles that helped fend off Philly until the Red Bulls could exploit a man advantage.

13. PORTLAND (7-6-3), 12. A shot rifled into the top corner by Sebastian Blanco set the stage for success but the Timbers wasted several chances -- especially Fanendo Adi, who shanked a rebound from close range -- and eventually paid the price with their fifth road loss of the season.

14. COLORADO (5-8-1), 19. Come off the bench, score a goal. Repeat. Alan Gordon did just that in the 80th and 89th minutes, respectively, to complete a comeback. Dominique Badji equalized with an elegant chip and the Rapids’ pressure eventually paid off. As stated, wins in the last three games place Colorado in a category by itself.

15. SAN JOSE (5-6-5), 14. Ties at home, even against the top teams, are rarely cause for celebration, yet the Quakes were missing four starters and still launched 24 shots and got a shutout, for which they needed a saving clearance from Cordell Cato and stoppage-time stop by keeper David Bingham.

16. ORLANDO CITY (7-5-4), 15. For the first time in nearly two years - since a 2-0 San Jose victory over Seattle on June 20, 2015 -- former Quake Matias Perez Garcia notched a goal and assist in the same game. He poked home a feed from Kaka in the eighth minute and in the fourth minute of stoppage time swerved a corner kick that Jonathan Spector looped into the net off his head. However, the Lions also squandered a pair of one-goal leads.

17. COLUMBUS (7-9-1), 13. Crew SC turnovers opened the door on all three Atlanta goals, so a couple of squandered opportunities after an equalizer by Federico Higuain were not the primary causes of defeat, of which it has four in the last five games.

18. SEATTLE (5-7-4), 16. A dodgy penalty kick and slack marking cost the Sounders two goals, which was enough to wipe out a 1-0 lead provided by a wonderful low shot Cristian Roldan drilled into the net five minutes before halftime.

19. PHILADELPHIA (4-7-4), 18. Philly held out for more than half an hour with 10 men after a red card was issued to Derrick Jones but succumbed to a pair of late goals and has lost three in a row. A great save denied Chris Pontius, who scored 12 goals in 33 games last year but has been blanked in all 15 of his appearances in 2017.

20. REAL SALT LAKE (5-10-2), 22. RSL won the Struggle of Stragglers with a goal by sub Yura Movsisyan, who’s not been shy about questioning his role off the bench. Head coach Mike Petke started young Venezuelan Jefferson Savarino as well as U-20 World Cup returnees Danilo Acosta, Justin Glad and Brooks Lennon, and used Sebastian Saucedo off the bench along with Movsisyan.

21. D.C. UNITED (4-8-3), 20. The anemic attack stretched its goalless streak from the run of play to 665 minutes and has produced a league-low 10 goals. Some more heroics from keeper Bill Hamid (five saves) kept it close but very seldom did United pose a serious threat. It has lost five of the last seven games.

22. MINNESOTA UNITED (4-9-2), 21. Being overrun (29-5 in shots) by one of the league’s worst teams is not the best of signs during a busy run of six games in 21 days. This was number two and next up are Portland and Vancouver, both at home, and both critical for a team that has lost four of its last five.
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