MLS Power Rankings: Donovan nears history, Bulls claim top spot

Monday October 7th, 2013
Landon Donovan is one goal away from breaking the all-time MLS record for goals scored.
Bret Hartman/AP
Week 32 MLS Power Rankings
 
New Rank Old Rank Team
1 2 New York Red Bulls (15-9-8)
The Red Bulls, unbeaten in six games, became the first team to clinch a postseason birth in this wild MLS season, with Tim Cahill yet again providing the heroics with his header in the seventh minute of stoppage time to lift the club to a 2-2 draw with New England. Cahill is making a charge toward MVP consideration with his recent play.
2 1 Seattle Sounders (15-9-6)
If Seattle was in need of a wake-up call, it certainly is not now. The Sounders were overwhelmed in Colorado, succumbing to a 5-1 pasting and watching their seven-game unbeaten streak go up in smoke in a hurry. Sigi Schmid's side can turn things around in a hurry by beating Vancouver Wednesday night and not only retaking first place in the Western Conference and Supporters' Shield races but also clinching the Cascadia Cup.
3 3 Real Salt Lake (15-10-7)
RSL bounced back from U.S. Open Cup heartbreak to play FC Dallas to a 1-1 draw despite being shorthanded a man for 73 minutes after Abdoulie Mansally's red card. Seattle's slip-up meant that the draw was good enough to give RSL sole possession of first place in the Western Conference again. As for Alvaro Saborio, his goal made it seven in his last six games for the club, although he has been forced to miss five games in that span.
4 4 Portland Timbers (12-5-14)
The Timbers can thank Donovan Ricketts for another astounding performance in goal, with the Jamaican playing a huge role in keeping Portland alive at BC Place long enough to secure a 2-2 draw with Vancouver. The result means that Portland, which is unbeaten in five games, has no shot at retaining the Cascadia Cup, but is comfortably six points clear of falling out of the playoff picture with three games -- including one against rival Seattle -- to go.
5 5 Sporting Kansas City (15-10-6)
How quietly clutch has Ike Opara been for Sporting KC this season? The backup center back's third goal of the year lifted the club to a 1-0 victory over Columbus and kept hopes of a Supporters' Shield alive. Before Saturday night's strike, one of Opara's goals salvaged a 1-1 draw with D.C., and the other was a stoppage-time winner over RSL.  
6 6 LA Galaxy (14-11-6)
Just when it appears as if the Galaxy are starting to slip, they always tend to go ahead and make sure that all is right in their universe. After a quite four-game winless run, the Galaxy jumped all over rival Chivas USA to snag SuperClasico bragging rights with a 5-0 thrashing. Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes overwhelmed the Goats and helped LA pull four points clear of falling out of the playoff picture with three games to go.
7 9 Colorado Rapids (13-9-9)
For anyone who has not been paying attention, the Rapids are indeed for real. If not for the Cascadia histrionics and Galaxy rout from Sunday night, all the focus would be squarely on Colorado, which posted a 4-0 halftime lead on Seattle before completing its 5-1 victory. Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers each gave voters more to think about for the Rookie of the Year race, while Vicente Sanchez is playing the part of the class midseason signing.
8 8 Houston Dynamo (13-10-8)
Anybody still think the Dynamo are doomed? Houston has followed up its four-game winless run with a four-game unbeaten streak, with Ricardo Clark's beautiful strike lifting the club to a vital 1-0 win over Montreal. The Dynamo now sit third in the Eastern Conference and can rise even higher with games against second-place Sporting KC and first-place New York next up before closing the season against D.C. United.
9 7 Montreal Impact (13-10-7)
It's hard to believe that just six games ago, Montreal dominated Houston to the tune of a 5-0 beating. The Imapct were stifled by the Dynamo 1-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium Friday, failing to win for the fourth straight game. More importantly, the loss -- at least temporarily -- knocked the Impact into the wildcard places in the Eastern Conference after the club was comfortably in the top three for the duration of the season.
10 10 Philadelphia Union(12-10-9)
Kleberson had yet to come close to justifying his Designated Player tag, but the Brazilian World Cup winner came through in a major way with his last-second free kick goal, lifting the 10-man Union to a much-needed three points and 1-0 win over Toronto FC. The win kept Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference playoff places, and three more attainable points are on the table this weekend against last-place D.C.
11 11 New England Revolution (11-11-9)
Was there anything more symbolic of the Revolution's season than what transpired in stoppage time at Red Bull Arena? New England's season, especially recently, has come down to a number of controversial refereeing decisions, and after being granted a controversial penalty kick to go ahead, Andrew Farrell was dubiously forced to the sideline despite not bleeding for New York's last-ditch effort to force a 2-2 draw. The Revs are still alive, but three points would have been huge.
12 15 Chicago Fire (12-12-7)
The Fire took care of business in D.C., with Sean Johnson standing on his head in goal and making eight saves to prevent United from coming up with what would have been a deflating upset. Up top, Juan Luis Anangono's work rate and desire helped create opportunities for the Fire, which were eventually buried by Jeff Larentowicz and Bakary Soumare before Quincy Amarikwa finished off the 3-0 win.
13 13 San Jose Earthquakes(12-11-8)
The Earthquakes did not have bye week results go their way, with the two teams ahead of them, LA and Colorado, both securing lopsided victories to push four points clear of the defending Supporters' Shield winners with three games remaining. San Jose can take business into its own hands, as it plays against both clubs in the next two games, but there is no margin for error.
14 12 Columbus Crew(12-15-5)
Columbus' three-game winning streak is over after a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City, and with it likely went the club's hope at sneaking into the playoff picture. With just two games against New England remaining, the Crew are all but eliminated and look set to miss the postseason for the second straight year. Interim manager Brian Bliss certainly has proven his worth as a viable candidate for the full-time job, though.
15 14 Vancouver Whitecaps(11-11-9)
Camilo's dazzling heroics entertained, brought him back within reach of the Golden Boot and earned him a place on highlight reels everywhere, but they were not enough to lift Vancouver to what it sorely needed: Three points. The Whitecaps admirably fought their way to a 2-2 draw with Portland, but they remain six points out of a playoff berth with three games to go. It's essentially win out, or go home, for Martin Rennie's side.
16 16 FC Dallas (10-10-11)
Up a man for more than 70 minutes, FC Dallas was unable to come up with a decisive performance when it needed one most and needed a late goal by Kenny Cooper just to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake. Seven points out of a playoff spot with three games remaining, Schellas Hyndman's side is left wondering where things went wrong after its blistering start to the campaign.
17 17 Chivas USA (6-18-8)
The Goats were blitzed from the opening whistle by the rival Galaxy, winding up down four goals by halftime and having no chance at securing bragging rights in the poorly named SuperClasico. Carlos Bocanegra called the loss "embarrassing," which is exactly right and quite symbolic of Chivas USA's year as a whole, although the club had shown glimpses of starting to right the ship.
18 18 Toronto FC (5-16-11)
TFC gave the Philadelphia Union all it could handle at PPL Park, but goalkeeper Joe Bendik could only turn his head and watch as Kleberson's last-second free kick flew by and sent the Reds to their fourth loss in six games. TFC can still play spoiler with games against Chicago and Montreal remaining before another offseason of major personnel decisions awaits.
19 19 D.C. United (3-22-6)
The U.S. Open Cup champions triumphantly returned home only to resume their putrid league form, conceding backbreaking goals despite carrying the possession in a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire Friday night. Ben Olsen is surveying the pieces he wants to carry into next season, and central midfielder Jared Jeffrey certainly looks the part after another stout showing.
 
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