The whole "Goonies Never Say Die" thing started at as a cute little saying for the Earthquakes to rally around. It's probably safe to say that no one envisioned that they'd take it to this extreme. For the seventh time this year, the Earthquakes scored a goal in stoppage time, this time trumping a Sounders equalizer just a minute earlier.
If you're the kind of person who believes in destiny, this is just another piece of evidence to support that philosophy. It's now at the point that we must wonder if there's any reason to pretend they aren't going to win the Supporters' Shield.
This week's rankings are themed by the Old 97's.
1. San Jose Earthquakes (This week's average ranking: 1.17; Last week's: 1.2): What more can you say about this team. They don't always look pretty doing it, but they know how to get results. Sometimes, that's plenty.
2. Sporting Kansas City (3.58; 4.53): Weeks don't get much better than theirs was. A league win over United and their first trophy since 2004, courtesy of that penalty shootout with the Sounders in the U.S. Open Cup.
3. Real Salt Lake (3.83; 3.47): Dropped a road game to the hard-to-figure-out Whitecaps. Starting to look like catching the Quakes is not in the cards.
4. Houston Dynamo (4.0; 2.8): Were looking pretty nice until they ran face first into the Red Bulls. Time will tell if that 2-0 road loss is a harbinger of future struggles.
5. New York Red Bulls (4.17; 5.87): Bounced back with a nice win over the Dynamo that they really needed in order to keep the Eastern Conference race tight.
6. Seattle Sounders (5.25; 4.4): Didn't look bad in either of their losses this week, but probably missed their chance to make a run at the Supporters' Shield.
7. Vancouver Whitecaps (7.42; 8.0): A nice win over RSL can't entirely mask their up-and-down recent past. If their new parts can gel, they'll make noise. If not, well, there's always next year.
8. D.C. United (8.08; 6.47): Can't seem to find any traction since the international break and are quickly fading from the Eastern Conference race.
9. LA Galaxy (8.75; 9.47): Their first-team defense finally got on the field at the same time. They manhandled Chivas USA and are looking like the team so many of us expected at the start of the season.
10. Chicago Fire (8.92; 9.33): Quietly hanging around. It's still a bit of a longshot, but don't count them out as a contender for the Eastern Conference crown.
11. Columbus Crew (11.75; 11.8): Took the week off in order to mourn the unexpected passing of Kirk Urso.
12. Montreal Impact (12.08; 12.93): They seem to be doing it with smoke and mirrors, but the move to get Troy Perkins suggests they are serious about making a run at the playoffs.
13. New England Revolution (13.92; 13.0): Fun to watch ... as long as you don't have a vested interest in their performance.
14. Chivas USA (14.67; 13.07): Even their normally reliable defense is starting to spring leaks. Does Robin Fraser make it to 2013?
15. Colorado Rapids (15.0; 15.13): Coach Oscar Pareja now admits that the absence of Pablo Mastroeni is more significant than he thought. About time.
16. FC Dallas (15.33; 17.07): Their performance of late makes you wonder where this team was for most of the year. Unfortunately, they've gotten themselves in a bit too deep.
17. Philadelphia Union (16.0; 15.47): Seems intent on taking at least one step back for each step forward. Obviously improved, but not nearly enough.
18. Toronto FC (17.33; 17.07): No game last week so I have nothing new to snark.
19. Portland Timbers (18.75; 18.67): Note to future expansion clubs: Rebuilding in the middle of Year 2 is generally frowned upon.
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).