MLS Power Rankings: Crew surge into playoff race
MLS power rankings: Sept. 27
Ola Kamara is starting to make Columbus Crew fans forget about Kei Kamara. The Crew have won two straight and are back in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Check out how much of a move they made in CSN Chicago's latest Major League Soccer Power Rankings.
1. FC Dallas (15-8-8, 53 points)
None of the top teams in MLS are particularly hot at the moment. Dallas is winless in three in a row, but of the five teams all tied with 48 points just behind Dallas in the standings, none have won more than one in the past three matches.
2. Toronto FC (13-8-9, 48 points)
Toronto closes the regular season with five of the final six matches at home. To start that stretch, TFC drew two games at home. They had a golden opportunity to take the Supporters' Shield, but are chasing FC Dallas again.
3. New York Red Bulls (13-9-9, 48 points)
The Red Bulls have the longest unbeaten streak in the league at 13 matches (6-0-7). The last two were a 3-3 draw at Toronto and a 1-0 win against Montreal in New Jersey. The battle for the top two spots, and a playoff bye, is tight in the Eastern Conference. Bradley Wright-Phillips is up to 20 goals on the season.
4. New York City FC (13-9-9, 48 points)
NYCFC's early home struggles are a thing of the past. Andrea Pirlo and company are 6-0-1 in the past seven at Yankee Stadium. This team has had its bouts with inconsistency, but who would want to face David Villa in the playoffs?
5. LA Galaxy (11-5-15, 48 points)
Landon Donovan has already scored in his return, but the Galaxy were thumped 4-2 at home to Seattle on Sunday. The Galaxy faded late last year and exited in the playoff round. Is that Seattle loss a sign of a repeat or a one-off?
6. Colorado Rapids (12-5-12, 48 points)
Colorado blew two leads to Vancouver when the Whitecaps were playing with only 10 men in a 3-3 draw. Vancouver entered the match having been shutout in seven of its previous nine matches. The Rapids need Jermaine Jones back.
7. Real Salt Lake (12-10-9, 45 points)
RSL is winless in its past four matches and three of those came at home. A playoff spots still looks fairly secure, but they don't want to drop outside the top four and have to go on the road for the playoff round.
8. Sporting Kansas City (12-12-7, 43 points)
With the teams in front of them not exactly pulling away, Sporting pulled within two points of Real Salt Lake for fourth in the Western Conference, and a first round home game. The 2-1 road win at San Jose was a big boost for a club that failed to win in two home matches preceding that and saw Seattle put the pressure on from below them in the standings.
9. Seattle Sounders (11-13-5, 38 points)
The Sounders have turned things around with a 5-1-2 record in the past eight matches. Clint Dempsey has missed the last five and was ruled out for the remainder of the season due to an irregular heartbeat. Rookie Jordan Morris has scored four goals in the past four games, including two in Sunday's win at LA, to make up for Dempsey's absence.
10. Portland Timbers (11-12-8, 41 points)
Portland's 3-1 loss at Houston means the Timbers are still the only remaining team in MLS without a win on the road this year. Seattle is three points behind Portland with two games in hand on the Timbers for the last playoff spot. With the rivalry in mind, that's going to be a fascinating race to close the regular season.
11. Philadelphia Union (11-11-9, 42 points)
The Union are winless in the last four matches, but with Montreal struggling just below them in the Eastern Conference it looks like Philadelphia's playoff spot is still secure. However, moving back into the top three will be tough. The conference leaders are six points ahead of the Union and Philadelphia has only three matches left.
12. D.C. United (8-9-13, 37 points)
D.C. is clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A resounding 4-1 win against Orlando was a huge result. The two teams entered tied with 34 points entering the match. United is a point ahead of seventh-place New England with a game in hand.
13. Houston Dynamo (7-11-11, 32 points)
Wade Barrett seems to have something going in Houston. The interim coach led the Dynamo to back-to-back wins against playoff teams, a 1-0 win at Real Salt Lake and a 3-1 home win against Portland. The playoffs are likely out of reach in the stronger Western Conference, but Houston has built some reason for optimism for 2017.
14. Columbus Crew (7-11-11, 32 points)
Ola Kamara has 15 goals on the season in just 22 matches and 18 starts. He has five goals in the past three matches. The Crew picked up huge wins at Orlando and against New England, both ahead of them in the standings, to get back into the playoff race. This is the late season push the Fire were hoping for. Those two teams were tied two weeks ago with 26 points. The Fire could be eliminated on Wednesday and Columbus has life. However, the Crew only have one home game remaining.
15. New England Revolution (9-13-9, 36 points)
The Revs had won three matches in a row before stumbling at Columbus 2-0 on Saturday. It dropped New England below the red line, one point behind D.C., which also has a game in hand.
16. Orlando City (7-10-13, 34 points)
The outlook for the Lions is now bleak after a three-game losing streak. Orlando has lost all three by multiple goals and given up four goals in each match.
17. Montreal Impact (9-9-11, 38 points)
Holy nosedive, Batman. Montreal had been towards the top of the Eastern Conference all season. After an ugly 1-5-2 record in the past eight, the Impact's playoff position is suddenly looking less secure. The question is whether the chasing pack can catch Montreal to know them out. The Impact haven't scored more than one goal in 10 straight matches.
18. San Jose Earthquakes (7-9-13, 34 points)
San Jose has scored two goals in its last five matches to fall almost completely out of the playoff race. Chris Wondolowski, who is usually a sure-fire bet to rack up some goals, has scored once in the past eight.
19. Vancouver Whitecaps (9-14-8, 35 points)
At least the Whitecaps are scoring again. Vancouver put three past Colorado in a draw two games after scoring three in Columbus in a win. The Whitecaps are six points behind sixth-place Portland with three games to go so playoffs seem unlikely. At 15 years old, Alphonso Davies became the second-youngest player to start in an MLS match when Vancouver hosted Colorado on Saturday.
20. Chicago Fire (6-14-9, 27 points)
Just as the Fire had appeared to be showing improvement, the current three-game winless streak appears like a regression. The Fire have also fallen behind the rest of the league. Chicago is five points behind Houston and Columbus just to get out of last place in the league.