PST’s Major League Soccer power rankings: DC, Seattle jockey for No. 2

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This time of year doesn’t see movement on our list without plenty of good reasoning, so there’s been little movement in the Top Ten as the good teams keep their form and the strugglers, well, struggle to find the motivation to avoid “seeing out the string.”

It’s seemed the elite teams were solely Los Angeles and Seattle for much of the year, but DC, New York and New England are three teams looking like they could join the upper echelon.

Down at the bottom, however, plenty of change could still occur by the end of the year. Who will finish dead last?

[ MORE: Last week’s rankings | Methodology ]

Here’s where it all shakes out for us:

RANKING Up/Down
source:  1 LA Galaxy: Yes, they lost in Dallas, but a lot of teams do and the Galaxy were without Robbie Keane (whose form was just fine with a hat trick for Ireland). It’s a little bit alarming that they didn’t get the finish, but they did dominate for large portions of the game. Now they need four points of six up for grabs against Seattle to become the first team in MLS history to snag five Supporters Shields. (17-6-9)
source:  2 UP 1 DC United: One loss since August 27, and just one time allowing more than one goal in a match since then as well. The trio of goal scorers in Sunday’s win over Houston is a boost for DC, which is about to complete worst to first in the East. (16-9-7)
source:  3 DOWN 1 Seattle Sounders: Really hard to get a read on Sigi Schmid’s squad, which is one win away from the Supporters Shield but also looked distracted and disorganized in a match for the Cascadia Cup. Clint Dempsey had an off-game, and perhaps that’s the whole story. (19-10-3)
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4 New England Revolution: Battled back twice to cancel out Marco Di Vaio goals and pull together a draw. The Revolution still has only lost once dating back to the beginning of August, and is perhaps the most threatening team in the East. Oh, and Lee Nguyen is out of control(15-13-4)
source:  5 New York Red Bulls: Do we give New York credit for dismantling a desperate Toronto FC? Of course, but this weekend’s match against Columbus is a much better measuring stick. (12-9-11)

6 Real Salt Lake: RSL is back in the playoffs, much to the chagrin of anyone who might have to find their way to Rio Tinto. (14-8-10)
source:  7 Columbus Crew: The rapid fire comeback to beat Philadelphia was impressive. Now just one more point and the rise into the playoffs is complete. (12-10-10)
source:  8 FC Dallas: Winners of eight straight at home, Dallas defeated L.A. in a tight match at Toyota Stadium. Even if the Californians were without Robbie Keane, a win is a win is a win. (15-11-6)
source:  9 Vancouver Whitecaps: Kekuta Manneh gutted through an injury just long enough to ensure the ‘Caps would enter the final two matches of the season with the inside track to the West’s final playoff spot. (11-8-13)
source:  10 Portland Timbers: Looked strong in defeating San Jose, but still don’t hold their destiny in their hands. Bummer. Bet that permission slip isn’t feeling too good right about now. (11-9-12)
source:  11 UP 3 Sporting KC: Graham Zusi’s bullet lifted KC into the playoffs and, much like Real Salt Lake, once they’re in they’re dangerous. Three clean sheets from their last four games is a nice way to build up for the second season. (14-11-7)
source:  12 Philadelphia Union: It was all so promising when the Union beat Toronto in early September to cap a three-match win streak. Five matches later, there have been just three points added to their total. Tough end to a decent ride. (9-11-12)
source:  13 DOWN 2 Houston Dynamo: Giles Barnes is impressing in wins, like Wednesday’s defeat of Toronto, and losses, like the weekend’s not-so-fun match against DC United. (11-15-6)
source:  14 UP 1 Montréal Impact: Marco Di Vaio was brilliant in his penultimate home match. Here’s hoping they can keep up the CONCACAF Champions League success to end his career on a brighter note (6-18-8)
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15 DOWN 2 Toronto FC: It’s really, really dire in Toronto, where the Reds have lost three in-a-row. Unlike the midweek loss to Houston, TFC looked flat-out beaten by New York on Saturday. They are in a bad, bad place and a single point lost by TFC or gained by Columbus ends this season far too early given expectations. (11-14-7)
source:  16 Chicago Fire: It’s been a month and a half since the Fire have won. Just five wins this season has to be quite taxing on a fan base, even if they’ve only seen nine losses. (5-9-17)
source:  17 UP 1 Chivas USA: They weren’t the better team in this weekend’s win over Colorado, but the Goats are winning more than the two teams beneath them. Scoreboard. (8-18-6)
source:  18 DOWN 1 San Jose Earthquakes: Quakes haven’t won since August 2, a stretch of 13 games that includes six ties. (6-14-11)
source:  19 Colorado Rapids: John Neeskens first MLS goal went for nought. Despite outshooting Chivas USA 21-6, they couldn’t get a second on the Goats.  (8-16-8)