MLS Power Rankings: Toronto FC doubles up on wins

In a weird week -- many teams played twice, and one didn’t play at all -- there was no change at the top but some big moves further down the ladder.

Columbus, D.C. United, and Real Salt Lake all swept a pair of games to move up a few notches, and four-point weeks for Cascadia Cup rivals Portland and Vancouver solidified their spots in the Western Conference playoff tier. Both teams played 1-1 ties with Seattle, which held third behind dominant Toronto FC -- which also won a pair of games -- and New York City FC.

Chicago and FC Dallas continued their skids into the lower half of the rankings. In their last 10 games combined, they have garnered just five points, all ties.
 
MLS Results, Week 25:
Aug. 23
Toronto FC 3, Philadelphia 0. Highlights
Vancouver 1, Seattle 1. Highlights
D.C. United 1, Atlanta United 0. Highlights
Columbus 2, LA Galaxy 0. Highlights
Portland 2, Colorado 1. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 4, San Jose 0. Highlights
FC Dallas 3, Houston 3. Highlights
Aug. 25
NY Red Bulls 1, New York City FC 1. Highlights
Aug. 26
Orlando City 1, Vancouver 2. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 4, Colorado 1. Highlights
Columbus 2, FC Dallas 1. Highlights
Chicago 1, Minnesota United 2. Highlights
Philadelphia 2, Atlanta United 2. Highlights
D.C. United 1, New England 0. Highlights
Aug. 27
Montreal 1, Toronto FC 3. Highlights
L.A. Galaxy 0, San Jose 3. Highlights
Seattle 1, Portland 1. Highlights
 
Only MLS results are factored into the Power Rankings, which weigh a team’s recent results along with overall record. They include a team’s record in parentheses and rank last week.
 
1. TORONTO FC (16-3-8), 1. After overrunning a weak team at home, TFC played shrewd and defensively sound at a tough venue to win its sixth game of the last nine. Sebastian Giovinco scored three of TFC’s six goals, yet against Philly recent addition Nicolas Hasler nailed his second headed goal in as many games. Hasler has filled in well for Steven Beitashour, who played the last 19 minutes Sunday after sitting out two months to treat a lacerated pancreas.

2. NEW YORK CITY FC (14-7-5), 2. His goalscoring prowess sometimes overshadows the rest of David Villa’s game, but his first-time, first-rate pass provided a prime chance that Maxi Moralez put away. With his ninth assist Villa has set a personal best in MLS and with 19 goals he’s on track to challenge the 23 he scored last year.

3. SEATTLE (11-9-7), 3. Neither result produced satisfaction, which is what one would expect after six wins in the previous seven games. And in both games the Sounders squandered early leads provided by goals from Nicolas Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan at nearly identical times (19th minute and 18th minute, respectively). The offensive struggles continued for Jordan Morris -- three goals after a rookie season of 12 -- but he did a fair share of defensive work as his teammates battled through two exhausting Cascadia Cup encounters.

4. MONTREAL (10-9-6), 5. How to move up after a defeat? Well, that loss ended a four-game winning streak, which still gives the Impact more points (12) in its last five games than any team except Toronto FC, to which it lost, 3-1, at BMO Field. The addition of Samuel Piette and emergence of Michael Salazar have added some energy to a counterattacking team that had gone a bit stodgy.

5. NY RED BULLS (12-10-3), 6. A small step for the Red Bulls but maybe a significant leap for Gonzalo Veron, who insisted on taking the ball to convert a pressure penalty kick that tied the game. NYRB outshot its rival, 21-9, and controlled 61.3 percent of possession.

6. SPORTING KC (10-5-10), 7. SKC sat out the busy week and also sits out this weekend, but gets back to work midweek (Sept. 6) at NYCFC.

7. VANCOUVER (11-9-5), 8. Counting their game of Aug. 19, the ‘Caps extracted seven points in eight days. Brek Shea got the winner against his former team to secure the victory in Florida, and Fredy Montero’s goal and seven David Ousted saves helped override a second caution to Tony Tchani, sent off eight minutes after incurring his first yellow.

8. PORTLAND (11-9-8), 10. By taking care of business at home and rallying to get a point on the road the Timbers increased their haul to 10 points in the last five games. Quality serves from Vytas set up Diego Valeri and Darlington Nagbe to score excellent goals at Providence Park; in Seattle Valeri converted a PK awarded when a storming run into the penalty area by Darren Mattocks forced a foul.

9. HOUSTON (10-8-8), 9. A pair of goals by Erick Torres earned the Dynamo a valuable point, its sixth in the last four games away from home. It also bounced back from a 3-1 deficit after opening the scoring in the first minute on a defensive miscue, and is looking more and more like the Western Conference sleeper team once the playoffs ensue.

10. ATLANTA UNITED (10-8-6), 4. A bit rusty after sitting out the previous week, AUSC put just two shots on goal against D.C. but rallied to score a stunning stoppage-time equalizer at Philly. Defender Michael Parkhurst logged an own goal at RFK Stadium, and Tyrone Mears scored near the end after Yamil Asad had tallied in the first half. It has another 15-day break before league play resumes Sept. 10, with the first of eight home games in its new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

11. REAL SALT LAKE (10-13-5), 14. Back-to-back wins for the third time this season keeps RSL on the fringe of playoff consideration. Luis Silva bagged his second goal of the game early in stoppage time to subdue the Rapids, who were outshot, 22-10. He had opened the scoring against San Jose, and also netting were Albert Rusnak, Jefferson Savarino, and sub Yura Movsisyan, who has not started a game since the 6-2 drubbing of L.A. on July 4. RSL is 4-1-3 with Yura as sub or DNP.

12. SAN JOSE (10-11-6), 11. The red cards giveth and the red cards taketh away. The Quakes capitalized on a 10-man Galaxy to score twice and inflate a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 win. On Wednesday, they had stumbled at Rio Tinto yet were already trailing, 2-0, when midfielder Anibal Godoy departed with the third red card of his MLS career.

13. COLUMBUS (13-12-3), 17. Ola Kamara took his two-year tally in MLS to 30 goals in the defeat of FCD and he also netted the winner against the Galaxy. Crew SC has only six more games remaining, but a sweep of its remaining home games (SKC, Red Bulls, D.C.) should be enough for a playoff spot.

14. FC DALLAS (9-7-9), 13. A header by Walker Zimmerman cut the deficit in Columbus to no avail; Houston scored twice within 15 minutes to wipe out a 3-1 lead established with goals by Tesho Akindele, Maynor Figueroa, and Max Urruti. FCD hasn’t won in its last six games, and caused a lot of its own problems against Houston with defensive miscues by Matt Hedges, among others.

15. D.C. UNITED (8-15-4), 21. Three wins in a row of the 1-0 variety have at least rewarded the staunch work of keeper Bill Hamid, shelled far too many times the past few seasons.  Luciano Acosta scored on Saturday and D.C. parlayed an own goal into victory in Atlanta.

16. MINNESOTA UNITED (7-14-4), 19. He’s endured some rough times as the No. 1 SuperDraft pick, but Abu Danladi got both goals as the Loons posted their historic first road victory. Crosses by Ethan Finlay and Jerome Thiesson set up the chances converted by Danladi, who moved into a tie for second in team scoring with five goals.

17. CHICAGO (12-9-5), 12. Four straight losses has dragged it down the standings. A great through ball by Bastian Schweinsteiger set up David Accam to score his 14th goal of the season, two behind team leader Nemanja Nikolic, who has been stuck on 16 for the past eight games. In that span Chicago has conceded 19 goals. There’s still time to reverse the rot in time for the playoffs but it plays at Montreal during the FIFA break.

18. PHILADELPHIA (8-12-7), 15. Last weekend, a last-minute goal robbed Philly of a win at San Jose, and Saturday Atlanta United did the same thing at Talen Energy Stadium. First-half goals by Roland Alberg and Alejandro Bedoya opened up a 2-0 lead that lasted just three minutes and eventually it succumbed to fatigue caused in part by a red card to Josh Yaro early in the second half. The expected loss in Toronto dropped the road mark to 1-8-4.

19. NEW ENGLAND (8-12-5), 16. No team personifies the home-road discrepancy in 2017 more vividly than the Revs. The loss in D.C. dropped their road mark to 0-10-3, which belies their smart home record of 8-2-2. Deprived of Kelyn Rowe (knee injury) they were blanked for the first time in seven away contests.

20. ORLANDO CITY (8-11-7), 20. Trailing to an early own goal by defender Tommy Redding, the Lions clawed back with a goal by sub Cyle Larin but couldn’t get an equalizer. In their last six road games they are 0-3-3 and despite some good interplay between Larin and Dom Dwyer don’t seem to be making any headway.
 
21. COLORADO (6-15-4), 18. In his 12th MLS appearance Josh Gatt scored his first goal to cut a deficit to 2-1. Mohammed Saeid (73rd appearance) did the same in Portland. The Rapids have lost three in a row and are winless in their last eight.
 
22. LA GALAXY (6-14-5), 22. A miserable season in every regard got even worse with the news that defender Pele Van Anholt is out for the season after suffering damage to his MCL and ACL. Loss to Quakes is the fourth straight time L.A. has been blanked at home, which is a first in team history

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