OK, Orlando. I know we're all bummed that the Lions didn't make the cut. However, all is not lost because these playoffs figure to be the best in league history. There are stars everywhere, and every team except for D.C. has a realistic chance of winning. Sit back with your favorite snack, beverage, and person(s) and enjoy the scene, because we all know Orlando will be in on the fun soon enough.
Your regular season-ending edition of The Mane Land MLS Power Rankings:
1. FC Dallas (Last Week: 1)
What's that you say? How can Dallas be ranked higher than New York when the Red Bulls edged them for the Supporters' Shield? Because they're a better team, that's how. New York is excellent, but they certainly benefited from playing in a weak Eastern Conference whose bottom three playoff teams wouldn't have made the cut above the red line had they played out West.
2. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 2)
Congrats to Jesse Marsch and the Fightin' Energy Drinks for winning the Supporters' Shield. For their sake, let's hope the caffeine high doesn't wear off before the Eastern Conference Championship.
3. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 4)
In the crowd department, I'm interested to see if Ohio gets behind this team. The crowd was better than usual for the season finale against D.C., but I'm skeptical about the turnout at
Mapfre Crew Stadium for the playoffs. This team deserves to have a raucous crowd behind it.
4. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 5)
I get that he's Darlington Nagbe, but his free kick goal this week was more due to bad goalkeeping than anything else. However, a goal is a goal no matter how it goes in and you'd have to think his confidence was helped heading into the postseason. Count Portland among the team's I want no part of this week.
5. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 6)
This is the first year that all three Canadian teams qualified for the playoffs. Postseason, eh?
6. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 3)
LA is 2-9-6 away from home this season, but 3-0 against the Sounders in playoff elimination scenarios. This is the kind of match-up that really gets a rivalry going, so consider me (and the entirety of MLS Twitter) geeked for this one.
7. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 7)
Here you go, Seattle. You get exactly what you wanted, a chance to exorcise those playoff demons and sink a hook into the Moby Dick that is the LA Galaxy at home.
Bold prediction: Newly minted Hall of Famer Sigi Schmid gets fired if the Sounders lose.
8. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 10)
Dark horse? With Drogba, Montreal looks like a better version of that team that drew Club América at the Azteca this spring. Oh, I really dig that bell, by the way.
9. Toronto FC (Last Week: 8)
That Montreal atmosphere was electric this week vs. T-Dot, and the game lived up to it. The best part? We get to do it all over again in the playoffs on Thursday night. Don't disappoint me, Canada. I want a real playoff atmosphere.
10. New England Revolution (Last Week: 12)
NYCFC was just what the doctor ordered for the Revs. After going without a win in four games, they put a good whoopin' on the Soccer Yanks. Now let's see if they can carry that success into the postseason.
11. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 11)
I'm not really sure what to make of SKC's week. They had a 2-0 loss to Colorado, followed by a win over LA on Sunday night, and I'm not sure if that's more of a reflection on LA or SKC. Either way, I'm not expecting the Kansans to take home a second trophy this year.
12. D.C. United (Last Week: 12)
D.C. lost by five goals to a Columbus team that didn't have two of its biggest stars (Kamara and Higuain) in the lineup. If D.C. United were a stock, its price would be so low that Jordan Belfort would be peddling it off the pink sheets to some schmuck postman, along with 40,000 shares of Aerotyne International.
13. Orlando City (Last Week: 13)
I was wrong in my preseason prediction that the Lions would be playoff bound, but outside of that there isn't a lot to be disappointed in with Orlando. Cyle Larin has proven his worth -- which was anything but a sure thing heading into the year -- and were it not for some key injuries, Orlando would probably be counting itself among the postseason 12. Not a great first season, but certainly not a bad one. There are many reasons to be optimistic heading into year two.
14. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 14)
Thank you, Soccer Gods, for not allowing Dominic Kinnear's gross team to continue playing.
15. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 15)
This week's Salt Lake lineup was either a look to the future plan or an audition to be a part of that plan. Jordan Allen and Luis Gil, I'm looking at you.
16. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 16)
MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle suggested it in his power rankings, and I'll piggyback on the idea; Houston needs to trade Cubo Torres for something. There's definitely value in Cubo, but I'm not sure he has a place in that Dynamo lineup going forward.
17. New York City FC (Last Week: 17)
Firing Jason Kreis after the first season would be a bit like getting mad at the bartender for not making your cocktail quickly enough, only if your ordered a vodka martini that you requested be shaken at exactly 12 miles per hour, strained through a clean baby's diaper, served with a bendy straw and a single blue Fruit Loop as a garnish, but with a brand of vodka that the bartender had to walk down the street to get.
18. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 19)
Way to spoil the party, Philly.
19. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 20)
If you think there's hope for the future in Colorado then you probably live there and are confused by your smoke-filled delusions of grandeur.
20. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 19)
Congrats Chicago, you win the Booby!