SBNhanced Power Rankings: Major League Soccer, Week 18

SANDY UT - JULY 31: Robbie Findley #10 and Alvaro Saborio #15 of Real Salt Lake celebrate a goal against DC United during the game on July 31 2010 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy Utah. Real Salt Lake beat DC United 3-0. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Once a week, the Major League Soccer minds at SB Nation get together and talk about the true value of the Texas RangersBill Gates giving away more money than we'll ever see, and Naomi Campbell: humanitarian.

Because we all need heroes.

When those issues are exhausted, Major League Soccer's results are weighed and surveyed, then filleted and pureed.  The result is a blend of insight, conjecture, hope, HTML tables, and dub: our SB Nation Major League Soccer Power Rankings.

This week we finally see a change in our top three, albeit a slight one.  Whereas Los Angeles, Columbus and Real Salt Lake had all garnered perfect scores throughout the summer, one disillusioned voter finally knocked the Galaxy into the second tier.  Lower in the rankings, Seattle and Chicago have moved back into the second tier (at Toronto's expense) while the committee's lost patience with Houston.

As solid as a Nolan Ryan fastball, this week's SBNhanced Power Rankings:

The Cup Contenders
Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew


100% (21 out of 21 points)
Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake


100% (21 out of 21 points)
Los Angeles Galaxy

Los Angeles Galaxy


95% (20 out of 21 points)

It was an embarrassing weekend for two of the league's three elites, with Home Depot Center the crash site for both Los Angeles and Columbus.  On the other hand, the defending champions posted a controlled, convincing win at Rio Tinto, and while you could note it was only against D.C. United, both the Galaxy and Crew showed no points can be taken for granted.  More than before, RSL is the league's in-form team.

Postseason, But Little More
FC Dallas

FC Dallas


76% (16 out of 21 points)
Red Bull New York

New York Red Bulls


62% (13 out of 21 points)
Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders


62% (13 out of 21 points)
San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes


52% (11 out of 21 points)
Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire


52% (11 out of 21 points)

Dallas lost some support after their draw in Commerce City, moving the Hoops one more step away from the top tier.  Seattle and Chicago are seeing different swings in support, which weekend wins vaulting each club back into the postseason group.  And where one team dropped out of the second tier after a 1-0, road loss, San Jose can consider themselves lucky for maintaining their stature despite the same result at home.

If they considered these rankings at all.

"Playoffs? Playoffs?"
Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids


48% (10 out of 21 points)
Toronto FC

Toronto FC


48% (10 out of 21 points)
Kansas City Wizards

Kansas City Wizards


19% (4 out of 21 points)
Chivas USA

Chivas USA


19% (4 out of 21 points)

Toronto's the team that drops into this group this week.  Thanks, Adrian Cann.  Colorado continues to hover on the brink of the second tier, while wins from Kansas City and Chivas USA have some SB Nation observers thinking the clubs have a playoff push in them.  Chivas went from no support to four points.

And with the third pick in the 2011 MLS Superdraft ...
Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo


14% (3 out of 21 points)
New England Revolution

New England Revolution


14% (3 out of 21 points)
Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union


0% (0 out of 21 points)
DC United

DC United


0% (0 out of 21 points)

 

Though the Dynamo fought back while down a man to get a point from New York, SB Nation voters seem to feel it's time to give up on Dom Kinnear's team.  They drop to the bottom tier, even with a New England team whose SuperLiga success has failed to convince voters.  Philadelphia lost the little support it had after drawing at home to the Revolution, while Ben Olsen has nowhere to go but up with United.

How It Works: Each of the seven participants puts Major League Soccer's clubs into one of the four tiers. Teams in the top tier get three points. Next tier, two points, then one, then zilch. Voters can put as many teams into each tier as they would like. Though the vote total orders the teams, the clubs are intended to be grouped, not sorted.

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