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ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings

Aug 12, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

FC Dallas v Real Salt Lake Getty Images

Ten rounds remain, and the races for playoff spots are deliciously tight; our weekly re-ordering of Major League Soccer teams, following 24 rounds of play:

19. D.C. United – The average of Ben Olsen’s starters in a loss at Philadelphia was just more than 22 years old. On the other hand, the Black and Red did advance into the U.S. Open Cup final with a mid-week win at Chicago.

18. Toronto FC – Ryan Nelsen’s men were huffing and puffing and ready to blow the Seattle Sounders recently fortified house in during the last 45 minutes Saturday in Ontario. But some abysmal defending in the first 45 had left too large a deficit, and the Reds fell at home yet again.

17. Chivas USA – Still not much offense being generated in Goats Valley, but a 1-1 draw with Colorado at the StubHub Center can be considered a little bit of a “win” for the wayward club in 2013 – especially considering Chivas USA finished with nine men on the field. These needless ejections are killing the club.

16. FC Dallas – Blaz Perez scored twice as FC Dallas kept its fading playoff hopes alive in a 3-3 draw with the Galaxy. Set piece strikes are this club’s saving grace. Giving up three goals at home, however, is not a recipe for success. Overall, the club has allowed 11 goals in its last 5 league matches.

15. Columbus – Federico Higuain’s sumptuous chip was the icing on a desperately needed win, a 2-0 result over New York that keeps Columbus, now under new ownership, just close enough to remain a player in the post-season pursuit.

14. New England Revolution – Charlie Davies’ arrival into Gillette Stadium may not help – but it surely cannot hurt, either. The Revs were just blanked for the second consecutive match, falling at Sporting KC, 3-0. Kevin Alston returned to the starting lineup, a nice story on an otherwise forgettable evening.

13. San Jose Earthquakes – It was a bummer of a week for the ‘Quakes, but two matches in two Canadian cities just three nights apart was a tough task. San Jose fell to Montreal in a Champions League contest and then fell to Vancouver on Saturday in MLS action.

12. Houston Dynamo – The slow summer days are over for Dominic Kinnear’s men. Starting with Saturday’s big match in Houston against Clint Dempsey and Seattle, the Orange has a stretch of 7 matches in 23 days (including MLS matches and CONCACAF Champions League contests.)

11. Chicago Fire – A slightly injured Mike Magee did not dress for Saturday’s match in Bridgeview against Montreal – so the 2-1 win without a leading league MVP candidate is a terrific result for Frank Klopas’ team.

(MORE: MLS Round 24 week in review)

10. LA Galaxy – Bruce Arena was hopping mad about some of the Dallas goals in a 3-3 draw – and he was right. Then again, he’s also correct about his team’s need to defend better, especially on set pieces. All three FCD goals came off a corner kick or a free kick.

9. Montreal Impact – The Impact has just one win in its last eight games and has fallen from first to fourth over the last four weeks.

8. Philadelphia Union – Two months ago, it was unthinkable that anyone other than early season scoring sensation Jack McInerney would lead the team in scoring. And yet, today, Conor Casey’s nine goals is just one behind “Jack Mac’s” team-leading 10. Sebastien Le Toux leads MLS with 12 assists.

7. New York Red Bulls – No Tim Cahill and no Thierry Henry meant no offense in the 2-0 loss at Columbus. The club was also missing midfielder Loyd Sam and coach Mike Petke, who served a one-game suspension for previous sideline shenanigans.

6. Seattle Sounders – As we told you late Saturday night, the Sounders just went from too many star strikers to not enough of them. Eddie Johnson will be out for this week’s match in Houston, and possibly Obafemi Martins, too. A win on the road boosted the Sounders into second place in the standings (if you go by points per game).

5. Colorado Rapids – Martín Rivero’s wonderful header was the late equalizer against nine-man Chivas USA, the late, late capper Sunday night to MLS Round 24. Oscar Pareja’s team is unbeaten in its last eight.

4. Portland Timbers – It just has to be a better week in Portland Timbers Valley, doesn’t it? Smack in middle of having to listen to all this Dempsey Delirium, all that attention devoted to Clint Dempsey’s arrival in rival Seattle, the Timbers fell in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal, dropping an opportunity to host the 100-year-old tournament’s championship.

3. Vancouver Whitecaps – The Whitecaps are 8-3-3 since early May, one of the league’s more consistent sides. And in the MLS Weekly Review, we ask the question: are we giving enough credit to one Nigel Reo-Coker? He had two assists in the weekend win over San Jose.

2. Sporting Kansas City – DP striker Claudio Bieler has been a fine addition, but it is Kei Kamara who is driving the summer scoring around Sporting Park. Bieler has 9 goals in 24 matches, but Kamara has 7 in 14 matches since returning in the spring from England. He had two goals in Saturday’s commanding 3-0 win over New England.

1. Real Salt Lake – Two close wins made for a benchmark week around Rio Tinto. Jason Kreis’ useful blend of young and old contributed to a U.S. Open Cup semifinal win over Portland, and then again over the weekend to a 1-0 victory over Houston in league play. Alvaro Saborio (pictured above) has six goals in four games since returning from Costa Rican international duty.

  1. Jackson Scofield - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Fire still being underestimated?

    • takethelongview - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      The Fire have been good lately. On the other hand, if the rankings reflect a “total view,” and not merely league play, then we can’t overlook that this week saw the Fire defeat a team ahead of them in the standings at home, as well as get pasted by a team substantially worse than they are…also at home. So middle of the pack seems a fair spot.

  2. takethelongview - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Uh oh. This week will feel long and slow because my internal clock just reset itself to Tuesday afternoon.

    • Steve Davis - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Thanks for noticing! We are all so flattered! … Yes, With EPL beginning later this week we are moving a couple things around. Monday is the new Tuesday where MLS rankings are concerned.

      • charliej11 - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        With only four links to previous articles, looks like too much is being moved around.

  3. charliej11 - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    How is LeToux that underrated ? By everyone, except Philly.

    He won a championship for Seattle, then he was the first Sounder…and they still held onto Jaqua instead of him.

    • facebookuser111 - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      Yeah they protect Jaqua and not LeToux, but it was an expansion draft so it wasnt like they released LeToux in favor of Jaqua. In hindsight, terrible move. Then again a young Lamar Neagle was unprotected that draft and in hindsight that seems pretty dumb too.

  4. jpan007 - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Vancouver is doing pretty well

  5. talgrath - Aug 12, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    As I’ve been saing all along, if the Sounders can capitalize on their games in hand they will make it into the playoffs. The Sounders are tied with LA on points, down in the standings only because of the odd MLS rule that most goals is the determining tie-breaker, of course they have two games in hand vs LA which could explain things a bit.

    The Fire for me are the comeback team of the season though, since getting Magee it is like someone lit a fire under their asses (sorry, had to do it). Real Salt Lake being top of the standings is extremely impressive given that many thought this would be a rebuilding year for them.

    • jramsdale - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

      “As I’ve been saing all along, if the Sounders can capitalize on their games in hand they will win the Supporters Shield.” Fixed it for you…

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