PST’s Major League Soccer power rankings: Did Seattle, DC leapfrog LA?

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We’re going to have to have a talk about the presupposed power of the superior West at some point soon.

DC United is defending its guts out, New England and Columbus are rampant, and New York is looking like its grateful to have held on to the final spot despite having incredible offensive upside.

Toronto, messy as it may be, will miss the playoffs despite a roster that includes Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe and Steven Caldwell.

Yes, there’s little doubt L.A. and Seattle will be the favorites to win MLS Cup. It’s hard to imagine either of them losing in a single 90 minutes, especially out West.

[ MORE: Last week’s rankings | Methodology ]

But it is a single 90 minutes. And there are plenty of teams surging forward to make statements of intent ahead of the playoffs.

Here’s where it all shakes out for us:

source:  1 LA Galaxy: This is the first time in a many many weeks that L.A.’s No. 1 position felt dicey. Seattle limited L.A.’s stars in Carson and took firm control of the the Supporters Shield. It’s victory or second-place for the Galaxy, and anything short of three points will cost them the Shield and — clearly ore importantly — this No. 1 spot. (17-6-10)
source:  2 UP 1 Seattle Sounders: Obafemi Martins. My goodness. The former Newcastle United flip man was a playmaker in the mold of Alan Shearer against L.A., turning the entire game on its head with his assists to Clint Dempsey and Lamar Neagles. He was, in a sense, the dictator of pace. (19-10-4)
source:  3 DOWN 1 DC United: La Barra Brava, Screaming Eagles, La Norte and District Ultras, bear with me here. Your team looks fantastic and has me convinced that it’s now clear team No. 3 in a 3-way race for MLS regular season supremacy. No one’s been better than L.A., Seattle or DC, and the Red and Black will not be ruled out of going atop the power rankings before the postseason. Going down a spot is not your fault. You won, after all. But did you see that L.A. / Seattle game? It has to be 1 & 2… at least for this week. (17-9-7)
4 New England Revolution: Lee Nguyen is a force to be reckoned with, his first goal last weekend being a sublime piece of combination play between the 28-year-old and teammates Kevin Alston and Jermaine Jones. With a little more follow-through in marking, New England blanks Houston. (16-13-4)
source:  5 UP 2 Columbus Crew: The Crew look outstanding. Ethan Finley and Tony Tchani were a dynamic duo in New York over the weekend, and Andrew Schoenfeld’s brace was a good sign for the strike force. Gregg Berhalter deserves 100 high fives, and let’s hope USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann’s been paying attention to Ohio’s MLS team these past few weeks. (13-10-10)
6 UP 2 FC Dallas: Winning at home is a force of habit for Dallas right now, which finishes its regular season against Portland this week. Dallas has taken care of Seattle and L.A. in recent weeks and if last week’s win over Colorado is a sign, winning everywhere is on the menu. (16-11-6)
7 DOWN 1 Real Salt Lake: Looking to shoot up the rankings? RSL has to make amends for their recent loss to Chivas USA to convince us, and they’ll get the chance on Wednesday night. (14-8-11)
source:  8 UP 1 Vancouver Whitecaps: Seattle, Dallas and Real Salt Lake have all fallen the way of Vancouver as the ‘Caps make a charge toward the postseason. The help Portland needs from Colorado could be a moot point given how well Vancouver has played in D and goal: They’ve allowed one goal in their last five matches (11-8-14)
source:  9 DOWN 4 New York Red Bulls: One clean sheet in a month, a stretch that has seen the Red Bulls give up multiple goals thrice. Their four-slot drop is a function of the muddled middle rather than fall from grace, but the 3-1 loss to Columbus wasn’t a defensive hat-hanger. (12-10-11)
source:  10 Portland Timbers: One year after going “fairy tale” on the MLS, the Timbers need help to even get into the playoffs. The year’s worth of fixes and “Surely this is just a bump in the road” could feel much worse for Timbers Army in a few days time. (11-9-13)
source:  11 UP 1 Philadelphia Union: It would be really nice to see Amobi Okugo and Maurice Edu in the playoffs, but it’ll have to wait. Philly has more than shown its merit this year. Come Monday we may be counting the Rais M’Bohli miscue as the reason they didn’t get in. (10-11-12)
source:  12 DOWN 1 Sporting KC: Every time you want to say KC is back, they go and do something head-scratching. The 2-1 loss to Philadelphia wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t encouraged. Matt Besler’s banged-up and the champs are looking a bit like underdogs. We bet they did that, though. (14-12-7)
source:  13 Houston Dynamo: Giles Barnes is still impressing and, despite the loss to New England, we’re guessing the East is happy Tyler Deric, Dominic Kinnear and company missed out on a postseason slot. (11-16-6)
source:  14 Montréal Impact: As Montreal prepares to say goodbye to Marco Di Vaio, perhaps the biggest question is whether they can replace him well enough to make a playoff run next year. Outside of net, they seem quite capable of being a contender under Frank Klopas. (6-18-9)

15 UP 1 Chicago Fire: They have to turn some of those ties (and losses) into wins, but full marks to the Fire for competing week-in and week-out. Imagine if they were able to get Jermaine Jones as planned. (5-10-17)
source:  16 DOWN 1 Toronto FC: Just really, really… really, really… really, really… poor form. They are perhaps the biggest single-season disappointment in MLS history despite setting a franchise-best for points. (11-14-8)
source:  17 Chivas USA: They didn’t lose again. They also didn’t play. That changes Wednesday night. Drama. (8-18-6)
source:  18 San Jose Earthquakes: Quakes haven’t won since August 2, a stretch of 14 games that includes seven ties. (6-14-12)
source:  19 Colorado Rapids: Pablo Mastroeni and company must be eager to retool, but will he be allowed to be the one to do it? (8-17-8)