MLS Power Rankings, Week 28: It's a two-team race at the top

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Earthquakes still maintain a strangle-hold on the top spot, but it's increasingly obvious that only Sporting KC can even hope to topple them.

There's really no dispute, the Earthquakes are the clear No. 1. They've gone 8-0-0 against the other top 3 teams in the West and are coming off a season-sweep of the Sounders. It's now at the point where there's really only one team that even has a chance of catching them, and that's Sporting KC.

This week's rankings are themed by Pretty Lights.

More Important Than Michael Jordan

1. San Jose Earthquakes (Average ranking: 1.00; Last week's average: 1.00): The Earthquakes cemented their status as the No. 1 team in MLS with a stirring 2-1 victory against the Seattle Sounders in front of a playoff atmosphere at CenturyLink Field. With the Western Conference top seed all but secured, the next item on the checklist is to clinch the Supporters' Shield. Competition from the East has a chance to catch the Earthquakes, but not if they continue to beat up on one another down the regular season stretch run. With clear MVP favorite Chris Wondolowski leading the way, San Jose continues their March to the MLS Cup. - Quake, Rattle And Goal

2. Sporting Kansas City (2.41; 2.87): Earned a tie on the road with the Impact, which suited them just fine. This week's showdown with the Fire could go a long way toward deciding the East. - SB Nation Soccer

Hot Like Sauce

3. Seattle Sounders (3.82; 2.87): Seattle certainly has struggles against San Jose. But outside of that they're performances against other top teams is fine. There's just one problem - the Earthquakes hold the path to the MLS Cup now. - Sounder at Heart

4. Chicago Fire (4.12; 5.13): Chicago continues to roll with 7 wins in their last 8 games. KC stayed up while NY sunk. If a side can win this Friday, they will be top of the East. A tie means Chicago can take first with a win over Philadelphia next Wednesday. - Hot Time In Old Town

5. LA Galaxy (5.35; 6.47): Another week, another easy win. They probably won't catch the Earthquakes, but they are looking mighty scary. - SB Nation Soccer

6. New York Red Bulls (5.94; 4.53): Continued one of the oddest winless streaks in history by giving up a very late goal to the Revolution. The last time the Red Bulls won in New England was June 29, 2002, a stretch of 18 matches. - SB Nation Soccer

7. Real Salt Lake (6.29; 6.67): Halted their negative momentum with a rather easy win over the Timbers. Question now is can they keep it going? - SB Nation Soccer

Finally Moving

8. Houston Dynamo (8.41; 6.87): A single phrase has been thrown about among the Dynamo Theory faithful as of late, and no other phrase speaks to the current plight of the Houston Dynamo, 'Peaked too early'. Still not out of playoffs, but chances are falling woefully by the wayside. - Dynamo Theory

8. D.C. United (8.41; 10.4): United was very quietly built a three-game winning streak and placed itself in a tie for third in the East. The recent schedule has been kind to D.C., and with upcoming matches in Portland and Toronto, that won't be changing any time soon. - Black and Red United

10. Columbus Crew (9.41; 8.93): After a nice run to put themselves in prime position to make the playoffs, they have now lost 3 of 4 and are starting to fade. - SB Nation Soccer

Something's Wrong

11. FC Dallas (11.65; 11.13): Took the week off, but are still just two points behind the Whitecaps for the final playoff spot in the West. Not a bad position. - SB Nation Soccer

12. Vancouver Whitecaps (12.29; 12.2): A draw at home to a Rapids team that lost 10 straight on the road doesn't seem like an improvement, but after 5 straight losses the team should be ecstatic. Except next they face Seattle, and they have yet to register a win against a Cascadian team in MLS. - 86 Forever

13. Montreal Impact (12.35; 12.2): The frustrating agony of seeing the Montreal Impact in limbo: neither officially eliminated, nor with a big chance of making it. All of the what-ifs and the lost points earlier in the season come back to haunt the expansion club. One thing for sure, Stade Saputo has been filled by its loyal fans and huge kudos goes to the Ultras Montreal for keeping the fort. - Mount Royal Soccer

Lonesome Street

14. Philadelphia Union (14.71; 15.00): Making the playoffs seems like a totally ridiculous notion, but at least they showed some life with their win over the Dynamo. Freddy Adu, incidentally, had one of his best games in his MLS career. - SB Nation Soccer

15. New England Revolution (15.35; 15.67): Their 18-match home unbeaten streak against the Red Bulls defies all logic. Unfortunately, they really needed a win. - SB Nation Soccer

16. Colorado Rapids (15.47; 15.87): The Rapids are 2-19-3 this year when letting the other team score at any point. The draw against Vancouver immensely improved that record. That's how good this season's been. - Burgundy Wave

17. Portland Timbers (16.76; 16.87): Every time you think they are starting to figure out their road woes, they do something like they did on Saturday and lose big to RSL. Do deserve credit for holding onto that tie at San Jose on Wednesday, though. - SB Nation Soccer

18. Chivas USA (17.41; 16.87): It's easy to rank Chivas USA at the bottom of the power rankings at this point. They've lost five straight and haven't won in their last nine games. That pretty much says it all. - The Goat Parade

19. Toronto FC (18.82; 18.47): The good news from this weekend's defeat? TFC are one game closer to the end of the season. - Waking the Red

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); Rudy Gomez and Ryan Sealock (Hot Time In Old Town).

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