MLS Power Rankings, Week 9: The Earthquakes Shake Up Our Rankings

May 2, 2012; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Chris Wondolowski (8) celebrates with fans next to a poster of himself after the win during the second half against D.C. United at Buck Shaw Stadium. San Jose won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The Earthquakes move into the top spot as Sporting KC slides to No. 3 behind the Sounders in this week's MLS Power Rankings.

Funny what one week can do to our rankings. There is now nothing close to a consensus as to who is the rightful No. 1 team and one voter has even moved Toronto FC out of their No. 19 spot.

This was probably the toughest week I've had in terms of creating tiers for these teams, too. I really wasn't sure what to do, but I ended up with a bottom tier that consisted of seven teams that our voters just don't seem to like very much. I also changed up the way I presented the rankings, as I included last week's average rather than last week's ranking. I found that a more relevant metric, hopefully you agree.

With all this craziness in the air, the rankings are themed by Lupe Fiasco.

The Champ Is Here

1. San Jose Earthquakes (Average ranking: 2.11; Last week's average: 2.32): Split two games this week, pinning five on United and losing on a late goal at Vancouver. The lapse at the end of Saturday's match aside, this is looking like a team in it for the long haul.

2. Seattle Sounders (2.26; 3.79): Two wins actually put them as the top team by points per match and could well find themselves in the overall points lead by the end of this week. A year after leading the league in goals scored, they have allowed just three goals in eight matches.

3. Sporting Kansas City (2.74; 1.00): Badly outplayed the Impact, but they did lose 2-0 at home. That is not what we'd come to expect from this team.

4. Real Salt Lake (3.16; 3.21): Needed to come from behind to beat the Revolution, but they still look like an elite team.

The Cool

5. D.C. United (5.84; 5.58): Their defense is not good, no matter how you slice it. But their offense is really clicking.

6. Vancouver Whitecaps (6.21; 8.21): Have yet to get their offense untracked, but Eric Hassli finally scored his first goal of the year. He made it count, too, as it was stoppage-time winner against the Quakes.

7. New York Red Bulls (7.00; 8.00): Without Thierry Henry, they rode a no-name defense to a second-straight shutout. Could Hans Backe have finally figured something out?

Just Might Be Okay

8. Colorado Rapids (8.63; 9.58): The roller-coast ride continued with a win at FC Dallas. Of course, they did it while playing up two men for the bulk of the match.

9. Houston Dynamo (9.16; 8.79): Head into their home opener at BBVA Compass Stadium right where they want to be at 2-2-2.

10. LA Galaxy (9.89; 7.11): Bruce Arena's lineup juggling gamble blew up in his face as he lost both games this week. Time to panic? No, but it is time to worry.

I Don't Wanna Care Right Now

11. Chicago Fire (10.95; 11.95): Continue to prove they can beat bad teams, but what does that really tell us?

12. FC Dallas (11.21; 9.47): Depth has never been Dallas' strong suit and now they'll be tested by the hottest team in the league. This could be trouble.

Hurt Me Soul

13. Chivas USA (14.68; 14.47): Finally drew and converted a penalty. If that's the best thing you can say, you know you're in trouble.

13. New England Revolution (14.68; 15.89): Continue to show promise against more talented opposition, but still aren't getting the results they need.

15. Montreal Impact (14.74; 16.42): Maybe we had it all wrong. Maybe Jesse Marsch really does know what he's doing. Then again, one impressive win does not a season make.

16. Columbus Crew (15.00; 14.47): Seemingly without a style or a direction, the Crew are going nowhere fast.

17. Portland Timbers (16.11; 14.89): The latest experiment is trying Jack Jewsbury at right back. A year ago, that was their MVP.

18. Philadelphia Union (16.79; 15.74): Their might not be a more inept team in the offensive third, but their defense will keep them in most games.

19. Toronto FC (18.89; 19): This is just getting sad.

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).

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