Is it Week 14? Week 15? Week 16? Who knows anymore. What we do know is that the Earthquakes suddenly look like the team to beat after taking care of RSL on the road. This team is maybe living by their "Never Say Die" ethos a little literally, but the results are undeniable impressive.
This week's ranking tiers are themed by De La Soul.
1. San Jose Earthquakes (Average ranking: 1.07; Last week's average: 2.89): Taking that whole "Goonies Never Say Die" theme a little too seriously, they once again scored a comeback victory, this time over RSL.
2. Real Salt Lake (2.29; 1.22): Blowing a two goal lead and giving up a pair of late goals in a pair of losses at home did not make for a good week for the Claret-and-Cobalt.
4. D.C. United (3.64; 3.33): Defense continues to be a concern, but that offense is just about making up for it.
5. Sporting Kansas City (4.93; 3.28): That loss to the Impact seemed to come out of almost no where. Sign of things to come or a mere blip?
6. Vancouver Whitecaps (6.00; 6.83): Their defense has an odd penchant for being all or nothing, a trend that continued with their blowout loss to the Galaxy.
7. Seattle Sounders (6.07; 5.72): Seven straight without a win. That's bad, very bad.
8. Chicago Fire (8.14; 8.17): Followed up their win over the Red Bulls with another over the Crew. Might they be poised for a run?
9. LA Galaxy (8.71; 13.89): Don't look now, but they've won three straight and are in playoff position.
10. Houston Dynamo (8.79; 8.83): Look fine at home, but suffered another disappointing loss on the road, giving up four to the Impact.
11. Columbus Crew (11.07; 11.17): One step forward, one step back.
12. Colorado Rapids (11.29; 9.89): Have now lost two straight and dropped out of playoff position.
13. New England Revolution (12.36; 11.89): On the plus side, they overcame a 2-0 deficit to get a point. On the other, they were trailing TFC by two goals.
14. Montreal Impact (12.43; 13.11): Have now scored four goals in three straight at Stade Saputo. Not too shabby.
15. Chivas USA (12.64; 14.06): The win against the Impact actually looks kinda impressive now. Too bad they followed it up with a tie against lowly Dallas.
16. Portland Timbers (14.36; 16.00): Oddly enough, their average ranking improved after beating the Sounders, but their ranking relative to everyone else dropped.
17. Philadelphia Union (15.64; 18.06): Shockingly, maybe Peter Nowak was the problem.
18. FC Dallas (16.29; 16.89): Buckets full of ugh.
19. Toronto FC (17.64; 18.56): Gotta squint to find the positives, but blowing leads is probably better than never having them.
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).