The last Rivalry Week in Major League Soccer’s 2018 season was full of drama, especially in the Western Conference. Cascadia was the source of most of the craziness as the Vancouver Whitecaps stormed back from 2-0 down and the Seattle Sounders went into Portland and defeated the Timbers, leapfrogging their arch-rivals for a playoff spot.
Toronto FC is still not out of the running in the East after dispatching the Montreal Impact while the New York Red Bulls staggered in their run for the Supporters’ Shield. Check out how all of the action affected this week’s Power Rankings:
1. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 3)
Seattle won its seventh straight match — and hasn’t lost since the end of June — and has rocketed all the way up to the playoff spots. The Sounders couldn’t get a quality look at goal, but it didn’t matter as Kim Kee-hee’s late cross glanced of Julio Cascante and in. But that’s the luck of Seattle in the second half of the season.
2. Atlanta United (Last Week: 2)
Josef Martinez broke the single-season record for goals scored, but it was overall a poor night for Atlanta in Orlando. Hector Villalba was nonexistent and Jonathan Spector kept Martinez quiet for most of the match.
3. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 1)
The Red Bulls got a unique dose of a Double Rivalry Week with New York City FC midweek and a visit from D.C. United over the weekend. New York struggled to break down a nine-man City side, dropping two points to their arch-rivals, but managed to dispatch D.C. to take four points away.
4. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 4)
Two goals in the span of 15 minutes were enough for SKC against Minnesota United. Yohan Croizet and Diego Rubio got the job done in the second half as Kansas City inched closer to the top spot in the West.
5. New York City FC (Last Week: 7)
It was a gritty draw for the Pigeons against the Red Bulls. Eloi Amagat was sent off for a poor challenge in the first half and Ebenezer Ofori followed behind later on. Down two men, it was a win for NYCFC as David Villa’s blast from outside the box was enough for a point.
6. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 6)
The third El Traffico of the season ended much like the second, in a stalemate. Carlos Vela’s penalty equalized after Zlatan Ibrahimovic snuck one over the goal line. LAFC will feel hard-done after three meetings and multiple leads blown, but Bob Bradley just might get another shot at the Galaxy come October.
7. FC Dallas (Last Week: 5)
A draw with Houston has put the Hoops in a precarious position atop the Western Conference. Michael Barrios remains red hot but if not for a defensive lapse from Andrew Wenger, Dallas might have lost this one.
8. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 8)
It was a good thing that Cory Burke finished the play even after the flag went up. Burke was originally flagged as offside but the forward continued to round Matt Turner and score. Upon further review, the Jamaican was, in fact, onside and his goal was the difference in three points for Philadelphia. Good thing for video review, right?
9. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 11)
With just over 30 minutes to play, the Caps looked doomed to defeat in San Jose. Turns out Vancouver only needed eight. A dramatic comeback with goals from Yordy Reyna, Cristian Techera, and Kei Kamara pushed Vancouver just one point out of the playoff places.
10. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 9)
After a ridiculous unbeaten run, the Timbers have headed south fast. A rough 1-0 loss to Seattle at home was Portland’s fourth in a row. Giovanni Savarese’s side has dropped like a stone to seventh in the West.
11. Toronto FC (Last Week: 13)
Is there hope for Toronto? Sebastian Giovinco’s simple first-half brace was enough on its own, but Jonathan Osorio’s chip in the second half sealed the deal over Montreal. Still with a lot of work to do, the Reds aren’t dead yet.
12. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 10)
Columbus is likely safe above the red line, but drawing with a dour Chicago Fire team isn’t great for the Crew’s postseason prospects, especially with Gyasi Zardes missing a sitter. A tough run of games coming up will tell us just how much of a threat this Columbus team can be in the playoffs.
13. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 15)
It was the Galaxy that gave up the lead to their crosstown rivals this time around. Zlatan did his part but Perry Kitchen clattered into Vela just after the start of the second period and threw away two points for his side.
14. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 17)
Jefferson Savarino bagged a brace and Damir Kreilach, Joao Plata, Corey Baird, and Albert Rusnak all got in on the action as Salt Lake put six past the shorthanded Colorado Rapids.
15. D.C. United (Last Week: 12)
United made one of its rare road trips left on the schedule to take on the Red Bulls, who stifled red-hot D.C. Bill Hamid did everything in his power to keep the Black and Red in the match, but the team couldn’t find an answer for Kaku’s late strike.
16. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 14)
Alejandro Silva’s quick response to Giovinco’s brace was just a consolation in the end. A crucial match for Montreal’s playoff hopes ended with a disappointing beating at the hands of the Impact’s nemesis.
17. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 18)
Ronaldo Pena’s first goal for his new club was a special one. With time ticking down, the Venezuelan turned and fired into the bottom corner to give Houston a draw in the second match of this year’s Texas Derby.
18. New England Revolution (Last Week: 16)
The Revs are in crisis mode, having taken just two points from their last eight matches. Once again, New England struggled to create a clear-cut chance and a failed offside trap on the back end doomed the defense. Once upon a time, the Revolution looked like a playoff-caliber side, but those days are long gone.
19. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 20)
Mikael Stahre might be getting third-degree burns from his seat. San Jose let a two-goal lead slip through its fingers as the Whitecaps stormed back to take all three points. The Earthquakes seem destined for the wooden spoon.
20. Minnesota United (Last Week: 21)
The Loons fired off 16 shots but couldn’t beat Tim Melia. Another pair of goals allowed sunk Minnesota even further from the playoffs as United now sits nine points south of the red line.
21. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 19)
It was a bloodbath in Colorado. Niki Jackson was sent off for a headbutt and Bismark Boateng followed close behind for a studs-up challenge. With just nine men, the Rapids crumbled, allowing six goals to Rocky Mountain rivals RSL.
22. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 23)
The Fire don’t have much left to play for this season, but taking points from the rival Crew is something. The Men in Red will feel like they could have had more, though, after allowing Niko Hansen to find an equalizer late on.
23. Orlando City (Last Week: 22)
The Lions could have taken a result from this match, but once again individual defensive errors doomed them. Joe Bendik spilling a free kick put Orlando down early yet again and the keeper was caught on the turf as Martinez chipped him for the winner.