It was not exactly the most impressive week for the teams at the top of our MLS Power Rankings. Real Salt Lake won their game, but needed a stoppage-time goal against reeling FC Dallas to do it. The Earthquakes had to come-from-behind against the now-lowly Galaxy and then lost to Sporting KC. The Sounders lost a stinker to the Columbus Crew and only managed a draw at Chivas USA.
In light of all that, maybe it's not a huge surprise that RSL managed to bolster their position atop our leaderboard even if it wasn't their best performance of the year.
(This week's rankings are themed by Depeche Mode)
1. Real Salt Lake (Average ranking: 1.18; Last week's average: 1.68): To be fair, they did dominate FC Dallas even if the scoreboard didn't entirely reflect that. The two goals they allowed were both avoidable and in a world in which we have goal-line technology, one of them might not even have counted.
2. San Jose Earthquakes (3.41; 3.16): Managed to move up in our charts despite seeing their average ranking dip. Such is the sometimes strange nature of our ranking system.
3. Seattle Sounders (3.76; 2.25): Didn't look nearly as awful as some would have you believe, but their now four-match winless streak is at least a bit concerning. Clearly will want to get it straight during their break.
4. Sporting Kansas City (4.29; 5.13): Ended a four-match winless run by taking care of business at home against the Earthquakes. Looked a lot like the team that started the season with seven straight wins.
5. D.C. United (4.41; 5.88): Don't look now, but your Eastern Conference leaders are tied for the second most points in MLS and tied for the best goal-difference.
6. New York Red Bulls (4.53; 4.25): Only result of the week was a tie at home against suddenly respectable Chivas USA. Hardly cause for concern, though.
7. Houston Dynamo (8.06; 8.19): There are a ton of home games awaiting them on the other side of the international break, which could signal the start of a nice little run.
8. Vancouver Whitecaps (8.47; 7.5): Coach Martin Rennie gave his team a nice little pat on the back for "surviving" a tough portion of the schedule. Not sure what he meant, exactly, as the Whitecaps managed to lose the Canadian Championship and claim just two points in their last three MLS games.
9. Colorado Rapids (8.65; 8.94): Is it the week where they win? (checks calendar) Yes, apparently it was.
10. Chicago Fire (10.06; 9.56): Just when it seemed they were rounding a corner, they fell to the Crew and were pretty well out played in the process.
11. Columbus Crew (10.88; 14.88): A two-win week suddenly has them back in the thick of the playoff race. Maybe they aren't as bad as we all thought.
12. Chivas USA (12.18; 14.00): There's still lots of room for improvement but a tough week resulted in a pair of ties and things seem to be headed in the right direction.
13. New England Revolution (12.53; 11.94): Fits and starts, fits and starts. For all the seeming improvement, the Revolution are basically in the same place they were at this time a year ago.
14. Montreal Impact (14.94; 14.13): It's clearly not as bad as some of us predicted, but managed to lose another game despite playing with a man advantage.
15. Portland Timbers (15.00; 15.75): Currently on a four-match unbeaten streak. Unfortunately for them, it's resulted in just six points.
16. LA Galaxy (15.29; 12.94): Ever week we say "this must be rock bottom." Then they do something like losing twice in a week.
17. FC Dallas (15.47; 13.56): They last won a game on April 14. Let that sink in.
18. Philadelphia Union (18.24; 17.69): What's it say about your team when you are basically played off the field by the "Worst Team in the World"?
19. Toronto FC (18.65; 18.89): They won, even if it took a rather comical goal against a rather hapless team to do it.
How the poll works: Each voter ranks the teams from 1-19. The teams are then ordered by average, with the lowest average going first and so on. The editor then splits the rankings into five tiers, looking for natural breaks in the averages. We then pick some kind of group of songs to theme them to.
Who participated: Jeremiah Oshan (SB Nation, soccer); Aaron Campeau (SB Nation, soccer); Ryan Rosenblatt (SB Nation, soccer); Drew Epperley (SB Nation, soccer); Jason Anderson (SB Nation, soccer); Phillip Quin (SB Nation, soccer); Martin Shatzer (Black and Red United); Scott Kessler (Brotherly Game); Denzel Eslinger (RSL Soapbox); Robert Jonas (Quake, Rattle and Goal); Daniel Robertson (Big D Soccer); Dave Clark and Josh Yockey (Sounder at Heart); Duncan Fletcher (Waking the Red), Steve Stoehr (The Bent Musket); Ben Schneider (Once a Metro); Alicia Ratterree (The Goat Parade); Brenton Walters (The Vancouver Whitecaps Offside); Geoff Gibson (Stumptown Footy); Sofiane Benzaza (Mount Royal Soccer); Alex Englen (The Daily Wiz); Tweed Thornton and Ryan Sealock (Hot Time In Old Town).