Clint Dempsey and Sebastian Giovinco are now sidelined with injuries, which puts a serious dent in the star power of MLS for the next few weeks. Thank goodness Don Garber was smart enough to build a league on parity and not on star players.
1. FC Dallas (Last Week: 3)
After a loss last week, Dallas had the cushy proposition of playing Houston this weekend after some CCL action midweek, and put away the Dynamo to regain the top spot in the power rankings.
2. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 7)
Back-to-back impressive wins over the two front-runners out West (Colorado and Dallas) have RSL in second place in the Western Conference. I might have written off RSL as of a few weeks ago, but they're doing their damnedest to prove me wrong.
3. New York City FC (Last Week: 1)
The Bronx Blues were feeling blue after losing to Orlando, but still should be pleased with their season. They're two points behind a Toronto team that lost its best player for the next month, and play D.C., New England and Chicago in three of their next four games.
4. Toronto FC (Last Week: 2)
Toronto lost to 10-man Montreal this weekend, which is news because it ends the Reds' seven-game unbeaten run that included six wins, but that's not the biggest story out of T-Dot. Sebastian Giovinco will reportedly miss the next four weeks with muscle strains, which is the worst injury at one of the worst times in the year for Toronto. TFC's next month: at CHI, vs. NYRB, vs. Philly, vs. Orlando. That's a stretch that could see the Reds easily go without a win, which would be disastrous for their No. 1 seed hopes.
5. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 8)
Undefeated in nine, the Red Bulls are quietly moving up the Eastern Conference standings. With Giovinco due to miss a month and NYCFC being mostly the little brother in the rivalry thus far, New York might be the favorite to grab the first seed in the East despite starting the year with just one win to six losses. It's not how you start, but how you finish.
6. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 4)
Any one else see Tim Howard kick the net in disgust this week? Tim Howard's Angry Face deserves some MVP votes.
7. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 10)
Montreal pulled off a minor shock this week, beating Toronto after going down a man on the road. Montreal is one of those teams that will beat you just as soon as you dismiss them. The Impact are sneaky good, and are good candidates to duplicate the kind of run that saw Portland win it all a year ago.
8. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 11)
Speaking of Portland, the Timbers dropped a four spot against Seattle this weekend. For all their inconsistency, the Timbers are still clinging to the final playoff spot in the West.
9. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 12)
Alejandro Bedoya has now officially taken the Jermaine Jones role of "National Team Player Who Changes the Trajectory of a Middling MLS Team By Virtue of His Presence." Philly has won two straight and sits tied with the Red Bulls for third in the East.
10. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 6)
SKC lost twice in a week to MLS competition, though one of those games was in the Champions League. If this team wants to get back to championship level contention, you get the feeling they might need to mix things up a bit in terms of personnel. Kansas City's reach for a championship trophy is starting to look like Indiana Jones reaching for his hat under that giant rock door.
11. D.C. United (Last Week: 14)
Patrick Mullins scored three goals this week, which is the same number of teams he has played for in the last three seasons.
12. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 5)
Somehow, LA is looking for its first win since July 23, a span that includes six games. Admittedly, just one of those six has ended with a loss for the Galaxy, but drawing your way into the playoffs is no way to go about business in the highly competitive West.
13. Orlando City (Last Week: 17)
Big win from Orlando and Jason Kreis this weekend. It wasn't just a statement victory, but it also ended a four-game skid without a win.
14. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 9)
Clint Dempsey is sidelined with an irregular heartbeat, which is no laughing matter, and I'm not just talking about Deuce's health. Without Dempsey, any of that attacking chemistry we were seeing from Seattle might go to the wayside just as the Sounders were getting their act together.
15. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 13)
San Jose has won just twice since May 22, yet still is just three points out of the playoffs. #PlayoffExpansionRuinsThePlayoffs
16. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 20)
C-Bus has won two of three, fueled by its refusal to wear those hideous new home unis. Last year's runners-up are just six points out of the playoffs.
17. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 16)
Did you know the Astrodome is still standing? Can we get Houston to play a game there sometime? They could even trot out Astros-themed unis for the occasion.
18. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 15)
Vancouver has gone into absolute free fall. The Caps have won just once since the start of July, and currently sit in second-to-last place in the West.
19. New England Revolution (Last Week: 19)
New England moves up a spot, but deserves no credit for it. The Revs have lost five of six and haven't won since July 23.
20. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 18)
Just when Chicago dragged itself up out of the basement, the Fire went and got outscored by Patrick Mullins.