MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls, Dynamo, Sounders climb

Another solid week for the top teams in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings didn’t cause much change in those slots, but the second tier is another story.

Seattle moved into fifth place by edging Sporting Kansas City, and Houston and the Red Bulls also moved up. Their success caused the Fire and SKC to tumble a few places.

Further down the ladder Philly dropped after losing to Montreal at home and the Galaxy’s incredible ineptitude at StubHub Center yielded yet another defeat.
MLS Results, Week 23:
Aug. 12
Toronto FC 4, Portland 1. Highlights
Columbus 3, Chicago 1. Highlights
Seattle 1, Sporting Kansas City 0. Highlights
New York Red Bulls 3, Orlando City 1. Highlights
Houston 3, San Jose 0. Highlights
FC Dallas 0, Colorado 0. Highlights
L.A. Galaxy 0, New York City FC 2. Highlights
Philadelphia 0, Montreal 3. Highlights
New England 1, Vancouver 0. Highlights
Aug. 13
D.C. United 0, Real Salt Lake 1. Highlights
Only MLS results are factored into the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record in parentheses and rank last week.
1. TORONTO FC (13-3-8), 1. Four goals – including two by Justin Morrow – in 30 minutes buried Portland following nearly an hour of goalless play. Sebastian Giovinco played a tepid game and was cautioned, and still TFC romped to its fifth win in the last nine matches, during which it has outscored opponents, 20-9.

2. NEW YORK CITY FC (13-7-4), 3. Rather than slipping after an emotional 3-2 defeat of the Red Bulls last weekend, NYCFC made the long trek to Southern California and captured a seventh win in the last 10 games. Some fine saves by Sean Johnson preceded a mazy run and game-winning shot by Jonathan Lewis. To cap off the win David Villa curled his league-leading 18th goal into the top corner.

3. ATLANTA UNITED (10-7-5), 2. A break for AUFC precedes a double-dip road trip this week to D.C. and Philly.

4. NY RED BULLS (12-9-2), 6. He’s not drawing the same notice as Villa but Bradley Wright-Phillips is scorching. His 10th goal in 11 games was the gamewinner by which the Red Bulls got back on track with a fifth victory in the last six matches. Sean Davis slid a ball into the channel for Alex Muylto set up that goal, then secured the victory with a swerving shot inside the far post.

5. SEATTLE (10-7-7), 9. About a year after starting the push to their first MLS Cup title, the Sounders are looking capable of a repeat. A Clint Dempsey goal – his sixth in the last five games -- and Stefan Frei’s ninth shutout (tied for the league lead) downed SKC and ran their mark in the last 10 games to 6-1-3.

6. CHICAGO (12-6-5), 4. The Fire has gone a bit cool with three losses in the last four games, during which it has allowed nine goals. Michael de Leeuw scored his second goal in as many games but the lead lasted only five minutes.

7. HOUSTON (10-7-7), 8. The Dynamo needed late goals by Vicente Sanchez and Mauro Manotas to subdue San Jose and run the unbeaten streak to six games. The goals marked the seventh game this season Houston has rung up at least three. Alberth Elis’ opener was his seventh of the season and he also assisted on Sanchez’s goal.

8. SPORTING KC (9-5-10), 5. Five changes were made to the team that endured 120 minutes of play plus penalty kicks in the Open Cup on Wednesday and SKC could not extend its unbeaten streak of 13 in all competitions. James Musa took over for midfielder Ilie Sanchez, who had played every minute in 2017.

9. VANCOUVER (9-9-4), 7. The loss of points may not be as costly as the loss of midfielder Matias Laba, who came off in the 29th minute with a knee injury that could be serious. He’s played 113 games for the club since joining it in 2014. Goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic saved three shots in his MLS debut.

10. MONTREAL (8-8-6), 12. Of his six MLS goals since arriving in early May, Swiss international Blerim Dzemaili has netted three against the Union in two meetings. He struck the winner in the 69th minute, earned a penalty kick converted by Ignacio Piatti, then scored again deep into stoppage time. Spanish midfielder Samuel Piette won a lot of balls and passed crisply in his MLS debut.

11. FC DALLAS (9-5-8), 11. A dozen corner kicks and eight shots on goal added up to a frustrating result that included another Max Urruti goal annulled by video review. FCD has scored just one goal -- plus two wiped out by VAR -- while failing to win any of its last three games.

12. SAN JOSE (9-10-5), 10. After a tough midweek battle against SKC in the Open Cup, the Quakes eventually wilted in the Houston heat. Andrew Tarbell saved a penalty kick to keep the game close until the final minutes. Since Chris Leitch took over as head coach, in league play they have lost four straight road games – all against teams with winning records – while being outscored, 15-3.

13. REAL SALT LAKE (8-12-5), 15. Flooding of the playing field and corridors at RFK Stadium forced a one-day postponement, after which a goal by Luis Silva extended RSL’s unbeaten streak to six games and earned its first-ever victory at RFK.

14. NEW ENGLAND (8-10-5), 16. A perfect cross by Kelyn Rowe set up Teal Bunbury to volley the winner from close range. Rowe’s seventh assist of the season ties his output of last year and is within one of his personal best of eight (in 2013). The Revs have won their last three home games and the shutout is their sixth of 2017.

15. PORTLAND (9-9-7), 14. A clunker in Toronto leaves the Timbers with a 1-3-3 record against the Eastern Conference and a fourth loss in the last 10 games. Fanendo Adi sat out with an injury and not until the 89th minute did Diego Valeri get Portland on the board.

16. PHILADELPHIA (8-11-5), 13. Philly faltered in a game it had to win and is six points out of a playoff slot with 10 games to play. Numerous chances were squandered and Giliano Wijnaldum banged a shot off the post with the score 0-0. The Union seldom threatened once it had fallen behind.

17. COLUMBUS (11-12-2), 18. A rally triggered by Kekuta Manneh scoring five minutes after Crew SC fell behind early wasn’t consummated until Justin Meram notched a winner in the 73rd minute, but the victory ended a three-game winless skid. A run of three games in eight days starts Saturday in Orlando.

18. COLORADO (6-12-4), 17. The Rapids got a point on the road but were shut out for the seventh time in 10 games away. Rookie Kortne Ford came off the bench when centerback  Axel Sjoberg suffered an injury and twice cleared balls away from the goal line. Tim Howard contributed six saves.

19. MINNESOTA UNITED (6-13-4), 21. The Loons didn’t play but moved up since their one victory in the last five games is more than Orlando City and the Galaxy combined.

20. ORLANDO CITY (8-10-6), 19. The Lions scored first through Carlos Rivas but couldn’t recover after Leo Pereira equalized into his own net. In his MLS debut Yoshimar Yotun played the full 90 minutes and crashed a shot off the crossbar as OCSC lost its fifth game of the last seven. Video review produced a red card to Kaka, who put his hands twice to the face of former teammate Aurelien Collin.

21. LA GALAXY (6-12-5), 20. The home record fell to 1-7-4 despite a promising debut by Jonathan Dos Santos that sparked a 21-10 advantage in shots. In just 15 minutes as a sub Jack McInerney took four shots and landed two of them on target. With 42 goals conceded the Galaxy has already exceeded last year’s total of 39.

22. D.C. UNITED (5-15-4), 22. A one-day delay at RFK didn’t help D.C. A Marcelo Sarvas giveaway led to RSL’s goal. Paul Arriola looked lively and played the full 90 in his MLS debut.

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