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The Mane Land MLS Power Rankings: Week 26

Magic at Audi Field has D.C. thinking postseason.

MLS: Portland Timbers at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Conference remained wacky as the formerly dominant Portland Timbers are now slumping and formerly slumping Sporting Kansas City is on fire once again. LAFC got its first look at splashy signing Christian Ramirez, who slotted into the best attack in the league easily enough.

D.C. United is making things interesting in the East, charging up the table and winning its games in hand in convincing fashion. The race for the regular season title in the East may have gone from three teams to two as New York City FC dropped points in Philadelphia.

Check out all of the moves in this week’s Power Rankings:

1. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 1)

Down a man, down a goal, on the road didn’t mean much for Daniel Royer. Having scored the opener in just the fifth minute, it was the Austrian again at the death to snatch a draw. New York has dropped just four points in its last seven matches and the Red Bulls are in prime position to take the top spot from Atlanta.

2. Atlanta United (Last Week: 2)

Atlanta slashed through the Columbus Crew to remain on top of the East. Josef Martinez is now one goal away from breaking the single-season record and United is in pole position for a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

3. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 5)

Seattle embarrassed the Galaxy, 5-0, to win its sixth match in a row. Five different players found the back of the net and the Sounders are now cruising, looking very much like a playoff team. How high can the Rave Green climb?

4. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 7)

Diego Rubio’s brace began the demolition of the Portland Timbers and Johnny Russell finished it off just before the final whistle. Sporting now has three wins on the bounce — also against top opposition — and is hot on FC Dallas’ heels.

5. FC Dallas (Last Week: 6)

Dallas dominated Minnesota United to retain the top spot in the Western Conference. It’s a slim margin in the battle for the best in the West but with Michael Barrios playing lights-out, the Hoops have a good shot at holding on.

6. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 9)

Christian Ramirez made his entrance with LAFC in style, scoring a brace to defeat Real Salt Lake. Bob Bradley’s side swept its Rocky Mountain opposition with another 2-0 victory over Colorado to cap off the weekend.

7. New York City FC (Last Week: 4)

Domenec Torrent’s transfer into power with NYCFC hasn’t been quite as smooth as his compatriot’s across the river. The Pigeons limped to a 2-0 loss in Philadelphia in a race for the East title that likely won’t afford missteps.

8. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 13)

Back-to-back wins for the Union against conference foes has Philadelphia above the red line. With the young defense jelling and the attack finally finding its form, Philly is a threatening side for any team to face.

9. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 3)

After a miraculous unbeaten run, the Timbers are stuck in free fall all the way to sixth in the West. Portland’s double game week meant seven allowed goals on the road in D.C. and Kansas City and zero points. It’s now three losses in a row for the Timbers, who need to pull out of their tailspin.

10. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 8)

There will be a lot of “what-ifs” in Columbus after a clear handball in the box at 1-0 down sparked Atlanta’s go-ahead counter. The Crew are comfortably fourth in the East but the gap between the top three and the field is a large one.

11. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 11)

The Caps will be disappointed that a positive performance only resulted in a draw. Kendall Waston rose up over Red Bull defenders to bag a brace but some poor defending allowed Royer to get two of his own. Vancouver is desperate for points and letting golden opportunities like that won’t get the Caps back above the red line.

12. D.C. United (Last Week: 20)

Is there some late-season magic in D.C.? United thrashed Portland, 4-1 on Wednesday night, and then brushed aside New England to the tune of 2-0 on Sunday. The Black and Red sit just six points back with several games in hand.

13. Toronto FC (Last Week: 12)

Toronto’s playoff push looks like it will fall short. A point in San Jose likely wasn’t enough. At least the Reds will have Champions League soccer again next year after winning their third Canadian Championship in a row.

14. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 14)

Daniel Lovitz was the hero in stoppage time as his bouncing volley beat Richard Sanchez to give the Impact three points and the Quebec club’s first victory since July 14. Montreal sits in the final spot in the East but is hoping D.C. drops some points.

15. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 10)

The Galaxy have been dreadful for the past four matches. A midweek draw at home to a bad Colorado side was followed up with a 5-0 shellacking in Seattle. With or without Zlatan, LA has struggled to win lately. The Galaxy are clinging to a playoff place and heading in the wrong direction.

16. New England Revolution (Last Week: 15)

Not a lot went right for the Revs at Audi Field. New England couldn’t spend much time on the ball, struggled to get a decent look at goal, and hardly tested Bill Hamid. Brad Friedel’s promising first season may end sooner than he’d like.

17. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 18)

RSL fell to LAFC’s attack in Banc of California Stadium but managed to get the job done in dramatic fashion against the Dynamo. Albert Rusnak’s brace entirely in stoppage time gave RSL its second win in seven matches.

18. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 16)

The Dynamo are dropping like a stone. Five straight losses have put a once-promising season on the brink. Houston hasn’t won since the beginning of July and the normally lethal Dynamo offense has been dormant.

19. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 17)

The ’Pids came from behind in dramatic fashion against the Galaxy on Tuesday night but couldn’t keep it going against LAFC. Colorado couldn’t handle the expansion side’s attack, but it’s not all doom and gloom in Denver.

20. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 21)

Chris Wondolowski did Wondo things and equalized late in the second half to take a point against Toronto. San Jose’s figurehead is now just five goals away from setting the new MLS record.

21. Minnesota United (Last Week: 19)

The Loons didn’t have what it took to take down Dallas. Minnesota saw none of the ball, couldn’t create decent chances, and was significantly outmatched. The middle of the pack is separating itself out West and Minnesota isn’t a part of it.

22. Orlando City (Last Week: 22)

Orlando had the week off.

23. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 23)

Chicago has now lost eight straight and dropped to last in the East. The Fire nearly held on for a point, but yet another late goal doomed the Men in Red.