The MLS Power Rankings are getting a bit more interesting. While the Earthquakes remain the clear No. 1 team, the gap has shrunk considerably. More notably, there are now a solid five times in our top tier, all of whom seem capable of jumping taking over the No. 1 spot if the Earthquakes slip up.
This week's rankings are themed by Weird Al Yankovic (you can blame Zach Woosley for that).
1. San Jose Earthquakes (Average ranking: 1.2; Last week's average: 1.07): In this fickle world we live in, taking a week off is an almost guaranteed way to losing some points in our rankings. The Earthquakes committed that awful sin this week.
2. Houston Dynamo (2.8; 4.67): Left for an afterthought as recently as a few weeks ago, the Dynamo suddenly look to be an improved side over the one that went to the MLS Cup last year. That three-man midfield may well be the best unit in the league.
3. Real Salt Lake (3.47; 2.6): Just as it seemed like they were turning it on, they go and lose to the Rapids. If you figure out RSL, let us know.
4. Seattle Sounders (4.4; 6.47): Signed a new Designated Player and put a beat down on the Galaxy. Not a bad week for the boys in Rave Green.
5. Sporting Kansas City (4.53; 4.4): Winning on the road is no easy task and KC is doing that as well as anyone right now.
6. New York Red Bulls (5.87; 3.6): Still might be the most talented team in MLS, but there recent slide once again makes us wonder if there was any thought given to chemistry when they were assembled.
7. D.C. United (6.47; 6.67): Won this week, but they just don't seem to have the defensive talent to hang with the rest of the big boys in the East. Prove us wrong.
8. Vancouver Whitecaps (8.00; 7.73): For all the movement, they don't seem to have gotten any better. Maybe Martin Rennie had more of an eye on the longterm health, but in the short term he doesn't seem to have done himself any favors.
9. Chicago Fire (9.33; 10.47): Just continuing to hang around. Seem to be good enough to make the playoffs, but really a step below talent wise from the four teams above them in the East.
10. LA Galaxy (9.47; 8.33): Well that was a bit of a shock. Just as they seemed to have turned it around, they accepted an absolute beating from the Sounders with a full roster at their disposal.
11. Columbus Crew (11.8; 11.27): Missed a chance to really make the playoff race interesting by losing this week, but they are still in a strong position to make a good late push.
12. Montreal Impact (12.93; 13.4): Still hard to see them making the playoffs, but have upgraded at goalkeeper by picking up Troy Perkins.
13. New England Revolution (13.00; 13.4): Have said it before, will say it again: They are as fun to watch as any team in MLS. Too bad they don't yet know how to win.
14. Chivas USA (13.07; 13.27): Just kinda hanging around. If they can beat the Galaxy this weekend, it could get interesting.
15. Colorado Rapids (15.13; 16.3): They ended their 6-game winless run by beating rival RSL. Good for them.
16. Philadelphia Union (15.47; 14.53): Nothing ends your momentum quite like a 2-0 loss to the Impact. Still, seem to be headed in right direction, it's just that the direction is still unknown.
17. FC Dallas (17.07; 16.67): Brek Shea actually played and looked good. Gotta find the silver-lining somewhere.
17. Toronto FC (17.07; 16.73): This too shall pass.
19. Portland Timbers (18.67; 19): If you're the guy who set course for an iceberg, why are you still making decisions about deck chairs?
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).