Last week I gave you a decent rant on the academy vs. college debate. This week? No rant for you!
This week's edition of the Internet's second-least biased MLS power rankings:
1. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 7)
I tried really hard not to put LA back in front this week, but the competition didn't really do themselves any favors. Of the teams in the top seven of last week's rankings, LA was the only team to win this week.
2. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 1)
Could the Red Bulls have relaxed this week as the result of having already clinched a playoff berth? Maybe. Perhaps more accurately, they may have just run into a buzz saw in an Orlando side that has finally hit its stride this season.
3. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 2)
This game is the poster for how the PRO (Professional Referee Organization) can better the quality of officiating in the league. Too often in MLS we get bad penalty calls, and in this game we got two on either end of the field in the deciding minutes.
4. Columbus Crew SC (Last Week: 3)
Jekyll and Hyde strike again in Ohio. The Crew is a team with enough talent to win everything but without enough consistency to ever be the favorite.
5. FC Dallas (Last Week: 4)
I can't decide how I feel about Dallas' MLS Cup chances. They've got some young talent and athleticism but, as their loss to LA exemplified, I'm not convinced that their championship chops are fully developed. This is a team for the future, not for this year.
6. New England Revolution (Last Week: 5)
I blame the New England
loss draw at home to Philly on the Patriots' football lines.
7. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 6)
I nearly moved Seattle up higher as a result of everyone in front of them losing, but decided against it. Regardless, Seattle is getting its business in order at the right time.
8. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 8)
SKC seems stale to me. They've more or less got the same core they've had for years but seemingly don't have the gusto this year they've had in the past.
9. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 10)
10. Toronto FC (Last Week: 11)
Next time you watch Toronto play, see if you notice any derisiveness among the three big stars. On a few occasions I've thought I noticed some negative interaction among the big three in T-Dot, which wouldn't be surprising considering they have hardly had to share the field with one another this season.
11. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 11)
If San Jose wins the MLS Cup, I'll rescind my MLS Fandom. I swear.
12. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 13)
My, what a difference an over-age former global superstar can make. All of a sudden, Montreal is the talk of the league.
13. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 9)
14. Orlando City (Last Week: 15)
They say cats have nine lives, and if the Lions are going to go down, at least they're going down punching. With their backs against the wall, Orlando is now on its longest MLS winning streak ever at three games, and just resoundingly beat the only team to have clinched a playoff berth. Momentum is momentum, and it's heartening to see a young club with a young star go for broke and make a push late in the season.
15. New York City FC (Last Week: 16)
If you went off of what you see from the league, you'd think NYCFC was the best team in the world. Unfortunately for MLS's Little Man Syndrome, they're not.
16. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 17)
Houston found its winning form this week with two wins, but still is on the outside looking in. With games remaining against Dallas, Seattle and Vancouver, Owen Coyle and his pajamas will have to beat some of the best in the league to crack the postseason.
17. D.C. United (Last Week: 14)
Ben Olsen's fellows have lost five in a six-game winless streak which plummets them to 17th in this week's rankings. If there were more games left in the season, D.C. could easily be playing themselves out of the playoffs, but with a seven-point cushion over first-team-out Orlando, with only three games remaining, it looks as if MLS's original power will cross the finish line into the postseason with a severe limp.
18. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 19)
19. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 18)
20. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 20)
On the positive side, at least Chicago isn't as bad as the Antigua Barracuda were in their 2013 USL days.