MLS Power Rankings: Seattle and Montreal continue surge

Seattle and Montreal are the hottest teams in MLS and another week of wins has pushed both teams into the top five in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings.

The Sounders are third, winners of three in a row and unbeaten in their last nine games. The Impact swept a pair of games to run its streak to four straight victories and jump into fifth place. In between is Atlanta which in a bizarre scheduling quirk necessitated by the delay in the opening of its new stadium sat out a second straight weekend and will be idle next weekend as well due to the FIFA fixture break.

Toronto and New York City FC, first and second respectively, held their places by winning. Desperate for wins are FC Dallas and Chicago; they have slid into the middle tier with a combined total of one victory in their last 10 games.
 
MLS Results:
Aug. 16
Montreal 3, Chicago 0. Highlights
Aug. 18
Portland 2, New York Red Bulls 0. Highlights
Aug. 19
Chicago 1, Toronto FC 3. Highlights
Sporting Kansas City 2, FC Dallas 0. Highlights
Vancouver 2, Houston 1. Highlights
Colorado 0, D.C. United 1. Highlights
Orlando City 1, Columbus 1. Highlights
San Jose 2, Philadelphia 2. Highlights
Montreal 3, Real Salt Lake 1. Highlights
Aug. 20
New York City FC 2, New England 1. Highlights
Seattle 2, Minnesota United 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 (14-3-8), 1. TFC had little trouble creating chances; nine of its 18 shots were on goal, and hitting the net were Marky Delgado, Nicolas Hasler, and Sebastian Giovinco. In the matchup of midfielders, Michael Bradley, Victor Vazquez and Delgado overran the Fire trio.

2. NEW YORK CITY FC (14-7-4), 2. A very clumsy Sean Johnson fumble rebounded nicely for the goal that put NYCFC behind, yet it still notched a fourth victory in five games thanks to scorers David Villa (of course) and Jonathan Lewis (a stoppage-time screamer for his second goal in as many games).

3. SEATTLE (11-7-7), 5. Stepping up to the penalty spot in stoppage time with the score tied is a severe test of self-belief, and all in a day’s work for Clint Dempsey, who fired home his seventh goal in the last six games.

4. ATLANTA UNITED (10-7-5), 3. The rust might be thick by Wednesday, when a break of 17 days ends at RFK Stadium, and AUFC plays again on two days’ rest at Philly. Then there’s a 14-day break for the FIFA international fixture dates.

5. MONTREAL (19-8-6), 10. Thumpings of Chicago and RSL extended the Impact’s winning streak to four games, during which it has outscored the opposition, 11-2. Ignacio Piatti has scored six of those goals, including two in each game last week. Not coincidentally, he’s a bit miffed at either slow or no progress in discussions about a new contract. Anthony Jackson-Hamel strengthened his case for more time with a goal and two assists against RSL. TFC comes a'callin' Sunday.

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6. NY RED BULLS (12-10-2), 4. Three days after playing 120 minutes against FC Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup, NYRB head coach Jesse Marsch made nine changes for the interconference game. Vince Bezecourt made his MLS debut, Dilly Duka played his first game for the club, Sacha Kljestan came off the bench, and Bradley Wright-Phillips didn’t play. Much more important is the Friday night derby with NYCFC, which has already captured the season series by winning the first two meetings.

7. SPORTING KC (10-5-10), 8. So far, there is life – and goals – after Dom Dwyer. Diego Rubio and Gerso Fernandes did the honors as the Tim Melia Express (10 shutouts, 0.76 goals allowed average) rolls on. Going forward, does SKC fight tooth-and-nail for a spot in the Western Conference’s top two, or measure player minutes to avoid playoff fatigue?

8. VANCOUVER (10-9-4), 9. The emergence of Yordy Reyna gathers momentum. He scored a brilliant winning goal after earning the penalty kick converted by Fredy Montero and the Caps have won four of their last seven. This week? Hey, about a home Cascadia Cup game on Wednesday against Seattle and a cross-country flight to the heat of Orlando three days later?

9. HOUSTON (10-8-7), 7. Left home to rest for a run of three games in eight days, Erick Torres, Vicente Sanchez and Ricardo Clark sat out the defeat in Vancouver. Trailing 2-0 early in the second half the Dynamo got a goal from Romell Quito and threatened a few more times, so the battle with FC Dallas on Wednesday looks like a real Texas tangle.

10. PORTLAND (10-9-7), 15. Three wins in the last five games have lifted the gloom, somewhat, though rarely do the Timbers finish a game with as few as seven shots. Los Dos Diegos provided the decisive moment, when Chara chased down a ball into the corner and centered it unerringly for Valeri to stroke home first-time. Portland overcame a red card in the 80th minute to Larrys Mabiala by netting a Kekuta Manneh clincher deep into stoppage time.

11. SAN JOSE (9-10-6), 12. Two more goals conceded on set plays -- including yet another from a throw-in -- required the Quakes to strike in the final seconds, which they did. Chris Wondolowski converted a penalty kick to extend his run of seasons with at least 10 goals to eight. A wonderful goal by Designated Player Vako had opened the scoring, but scuffed clearances and second balls continue to plague the defense.

12. CHICAGO (12-8-5), 6. Yes, in MLS even a good team can slog through a messy patch, but the Fire are leaking goals at a notorious rate: it has allowed 15 in the last six games, five of which are defeats. A packed house of 21,891 watched the first home loss of the season despite an equalizer by David Accam early in the second half.

13. FC DALLAS (9-6-8), 11. FCD is the other good team sinking like a stone but the problem is at the other end. In the last four games it has scored one goal and been blanked three times (obviously). Against SKC, FCD maintained only 38.1 percent of possession and managed only two shots on goal.

14. REAL SALT LAKE (8-13-5), 13. A terror for much of the match, Luis Silva scored an excellent goal as a good run of three straight road wins ended, as did a six-game unbeaten streak. A return home finds RSL five points out of the playoff tier and four behind San Jose, the visiting team on Wednesday. Colorado drops by on Saturday.

15. PHILADELPHIA (8-11-6), 16. With seconds of a road win that would have done wonders for momentum as well as mindset, Philly wound up tied on penalty kick awarded for a very late and very correct foul called on defender Josh Yaro in the box. His centerback counterpart, Jack Elliott, had scored from a scramble to tie the game and nodded a throw-in that Roland Alberg swept into the net first-time from a fair distance. Up next is a killer double-dose of Toronto away and Atlanta at home.

16. NEW ENGLAND (8-11-5), 14. As many teams have done this season, the Revs fell victim to the curse of conceding late, late road goals that strip away points. A lead provided in the 57th minute when a rebound fell right into the path of Teal Bunbury eventually ebbed away even though they finished with a 16-12 edge in shots.

17. COLUMBUS (11-12-3), 17. A free kick headed home by Lalas Abubakar and a few clutch saves by Zach Steffan earned Crew SC the point, a pretty good return from a match of being outshot, 20-4.

18. COLORADO (6-13-4), 18. The debut of Steve Cooke as head coach turned on a long-distance own goal by Jared Watts steered just out of keeper Tim Howard’s reach and just over the goal line. Two shots hit the woodwork and several others forced good saves. Only wins can chase away the specter of Pablo Mastroeni.

19. MINNESOTA UNITED (6-14-4), 19. His first goal with a target on the front of his jersey marked a milestone for Ethan Finlay, but opportunities squandered by Abu Danladi and a last-second handball decision against Jermaine Taylor doomed the Loons. The equalizer came from a free kick they defended poorly and their 18 goals conceded on set pieces is the most in MLS.

20. ORLANDO CITY (8-10-7), 20. A fortress no more: the Lions string of Orlando City Stadium games without a win stands at five. They landed eight of 20 shots on target but only scored with Giles Barnes’ equalizer midway through the second half. On the positive side, Dom Dwyer came on for his first home appearance in the 63rd minute, but his presence and a man-advantage for the final 13 minutes didn’t yield a winning goal.

21. D.C. UNITED (6-15-4), 22. From the wreckage of this season will emerge a few survivors vital to the team’s future. Goalie Bill Hamid did his thing once again to preserve a shaky victory fashioned by the work of Paul Arriola, who tormented Colorado’s back line repeatedly. Still it took one of the own goals of the season to snap an eight-game winless skid.

22. L.A. GALAXY (6-12-5), 21. No game last week. Stiff tests Wednesday in Columbus and at home against San Jose on Sunday.

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