MLS Power Rankings: Timbers stay on top, Western rivals move up

A busy week of July 4 games as well as the weekend slate jumbled the rankings moderately, with Portland winning its only game of the week to stay on top.

Los Angeles FC continued its impressive form by tying Houston on the road and thrashing Orlando City at home to move into fourth place. Real Salt Lake swept its games against Western Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City (4-2) and FC Dallas (2-0) to tighten up that playoff race.

New York City FC upended the Red Bulls, 1-0, in the Hudson River Derby and moved one place ahead of its rival in the Power Rankings.
MLS Results, Week 20
July 3
Houston 2, LAFC 2. Highlights
July 4
Minn. United 4, Toronto FC 3. Highlights
FC Dallas 3, Atlanta United 2. Highlights
Colorado 1, Seattle 2. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 4, Sporting KC 2. Highlights
L.A. Galaxy 2, D.C. United 2. Highlights
July 7
Philadelphia 0, Atlanta United 2. Highlights
Montreal 2, Colorado 1. Highlights
New England 0, Seattle 0. Highlights
Sporting KC 2, Toronto FC 2. Highlights
Houston 3, Minn. United 0. Highlights
Real Salt Lake 2, FC Dallas 0. Highlights
Vancouver 3, Chicago 2. Highlights
LA  Galaxy 4, Columbus 0. Highlights
LAFC 4, Orlando City 1. Highlights
Portland 2, San Jose 1. Highlights
July 8
NYCFC 2, NY Red Bulls 0. Highlights
Only MLS results are factored into the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record (W-L-T) in parentheses and rank last week.
1. PORTLAND (8-3-5), 1. So you didn’t notice that Fanendo Adi hasn’t scored since late April? In his stead Samuel Armenteros has tallied six goals. Against the Quakes he landed five of his eight shots on target and connected with two of them. For the season he’s 12 on-frame out of 23 attempts.
2. FC DALLAS (10-3-5), 5. Two goals off the bench just two minutes apart by Tesho Akindele provided a stunning defeat of the league’s points leader. That effort took its toll in Utah, where head coach Oscar Pareja fielded another lineup stacked with Homegrown players.
3. ATLANTA UNITED (12-4-4), 2. It’s hard to believe, but Josef Martinez is just about on the same incredible pace he was last year, when he scored 19 goals in his first 20 league matches. He netted his 18th of this season (in 20 games) from the penalty spot as AUFC rebounded from a midweek defeat -- in which he scored twice -- to dominate Philly.
4. LOS ANGELES FC (10-4-4), 7. A run of 13 points in the last five games has been fueled greatly by Adama Diomande, whose double against OCSC upped his take to nine goals in seven games since joining the team.
5. NEW ENGLAND (7-4-7), 6. Five ties and two wins in the last seven games, but the Revs didn’t get many chances despite being the rested team playing at home. Head coach Brad Friedel started his postgame press conference by asking the assembled media members how they managed to stay awake during the game.
6. NEW YORK CITY FC (10-4-4), 9. A tense Hudson River derby turned blue with a goal by Maxi Moralez in the 85th minute. There’s a big opportunity for important points this week with home games against Montreal and Columbus.
7. NEW YORK RED BULLS (10-5-2), 3. Three-game winning streak snapped in the head-coaching debut of Chris Armas, who had about 48 hours to prepare his team and himself following the confirmation of predecessor Jesse Marsch’s departure.
8. HOUSTON (7-6-4), 10. A dream week for defender Phillipe Senderos brought the Dynamo four points. He scored once in the tie with LAFC and twice in the defeat of Minnesota United. No, really.
9. L.A. GALAXY (7-7-4), 11. A goal by Ola Kamara in the 42nd minute against his former team reversed the momentum of a spotty first half and propelled the Galaxy to another victory. It is 4-1-3 in the last eight games.
10. SPORTING KC (9-4-6), 4. The defense has sprung a leak: eight goals allowed in the last three games, from which SKC has earned only a point. Goals by Ilie and Johnny Russell wiped out a 1-0 deficit to TFC but it conceded yet again. At RSL it allowed three consecutive goals in the first half.
11. COLUMBUS (8-6-6), 8. A second-half clunker at StubHub Center dropped Crew SC to its third loss in the last four games, the same number of defeats it had accrued in the first 16 games of the season.
12. REAL SALT LAKE (9-8-2), 14. Four different players scored as RSL downed SKC going away after conceding the first goal. The defeat of FCD upped is home record to 8-1-1. RSL is 6-3-1 in the last 10 games, the same mark as the last 10 games last year when fell short of the playoffs. It is averaging 1.53 points per game this year; in 2017 it finished at 1.32.
13. VANCOUVER (7-7-5), 13. How about these stats: Kei Kamara has scored eight goals and Alphonso Davies leads the ‘Caps with eight assists.
14. MONTREAL (8-11-0), 15. Two goals one minute apart by Saphir Taïder eared the Impact its fourth straight victory and a place in the playoff tier. He had netted just one goal in 17 previous MLS appearances.
15. CHICAGO (6-8-5), 12. Goals by Nemanja Nikolic and Tony Tchani fell short for the Fire, which has conceded 19 goals in the last 10 games. It last posted a shutout May 9 (Montreal, 1-0).
16. SEATTLE (4-9-4), 21. A good week netted four very necessary points. Two goals by Will Bruin and a sensational late-game save from Stefan Frei got the victory at altitude; a solid defensive display earned the Sounders a road tie.
17. D.C. UNITED (2-7-5), 19. In a brutal season to date Darren Mattocks has plugged away. His 85th-minute equalizer completed a two-goal comeback that gives United a momentum bump heading into the unveiling of Audi Field and likely debut of Wayne Rooney on Saturday.
18. MINNESOTA UNITED (6-11-1), 20. One of the most amazing hat tricks in league history carried the Loons past the defending champion. The triplet by Darwin Quintero is a masterclass in finesse finishing.
19. TORONTO FC (4-10-4), 18. The defensive nightmares continue as a season slides deeper and deeper into the abyss. Goals by Justin Morrow and Sebastian Giovinco kept TFC close to MNUFC without reward. A losing streak ended at three games when Jordan Hamilton equalized in the 69th minute but Ike Opara and Khiry Sheldon left the match injured.
20. PHILADELPHIA (6-9-3), 17. The Union has lost four of last five and while two of those defeats have been to Atlanta, at home it can’t afford to give away penalty kicks and muster just three shots to the opponent’s eight. Another tough day for C.J. Sapong (one shot) ended   when Corey Burke (two shots) replaced him in the 64th minute.
21. COLORADO (4-11-3), 16. Losing on the road to a hot team is going to happen, but first the Rapids fell at home to the floundering Sounders. Colorado failed to sustain the momentum after Sam Nicholson scored his first goal for the team shortly before halftime to tie the game.
22. SAN JOSE (2-10-6), 22. It’s been nearly two months since the last win for the Quakes, which tied its fourth – to go with four losses – in the last eight games. Vako missed the target with all five of his shots and a late strike from Florian Jungwirth was all San Jose could get on the board.
23. ORLANDO CITY (6-11-1), 23. If his first game in charge is any indication, the rebuild under head coach James O’Connor can’t start soon enough. Sacha Kljestan’s goal ended a 330-minute drought but not a nine-game losing streak.

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