Coming out a break that saw many teams take at least three weeks off MLS play, we saw some subtle movement. Real Salt Lake remains the clear No. 1, but the Earthquakes inched a little closer despite having the week off. The Sounders and Red Bulls took the biggest hits, seeing their average ranking drop about two spots apiece. The largest positive move belonged to the Fire, who saw their average improve about two spots.
This week's rankings are done to the theme of Radiohead.
1. Real Salt Lake (Average ranking: 1.22; Last week: 1.18): While everyone around them seems to be showing flaws, RSL keeps out-classing opponents.
2. San Jose Earthquakes (2.89; 3.41): Will be interesting to see how the shake off the rust from a very long break
3. Sporting Kansas City (3.28; 4.29): Could be regaining their swagger from earlier in the season.
4. D.C. United (3.33; 4.41): Could their ugly win over the Union be a sign they've taken the next step?
5. Seattle Sounders (5.72; 3.76): Still among the most talented teams in the league, but their five-game winless streak is certainly concerning.
6. New York Red Bulls (6.5; 4.53): The Fire may have exposed some weaknesses on the backline.
7. Vancouver Whitecaps (6.83; 8.47): Quietly putting together a nice four-match unbeaten run.
8. Chicago Fire (8.17; 10.06): Can't seem to string two results together, but scored a nice win this week.
10. Colorado Rapids (9.89; 8.65): Alternates between looking perfectly capable and completely punchless. This was a punchless week.
12. New England Revolution (11.89; 12.53): Keep showing signs of progress.
13. Montreal Impact (13.11; 14.94): There's no denying they absolutely handled the Sounders. Now can they repeate the effort?
14. LA Galaxy (13.89; 15.29): A win's a win, even if it's against the Timbers.
15. Chivas USA (14.06; 12.18): Some decent progress came to an absolute halt with their 3-0 trouncing to RSL.
16. Portland Timbers (16.00; 15.00): Seem to be an example of a team less than the sum of its parts.
17. FC Dallas (16.89; 15.47): Just can't get out of their own way.
18. Philadelphia Union (18.06; 18.24): A change in leadership shows some promise, but not much.
19. Toronto FC (18.56; 18.65): Looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better.
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).