There’s been a lot of moving and shaking going through the MLS power rankings as June comes to a close with plenty of head-scratching and fist-bumping through a streaky and even league.
Parity continues to reign in Major League Soccer, and we see some serious movement of the sneaky variety. For example, do you realize San Jose has lost just once since April 17, and it was against a very good Toronto FC?
Or that FC Dallas’ derby win over Houston was just its second win overall since the last Texas takedown on May 1?
[ MORE: Portland thumps Seattle 4-1 ]
The challenge becomes how to rank these teams. Reeling Seattle has to fall from the top, but just a bit or a total free fall? Consider the team was on a 6-1-1 run the last time we did our PRs, and part of its three-game losing skid -- four in five -- has come without suspended Clint Dempsey and injured Obafemi Martins.
Those absences certainly play a massive role in where the club stands, and those players will be back, so do we slot them higher than current form or give the current run its just desserts?
Plus when we last met, Orlando City and New York City had yet to go on recent tears, and sat Nos. 19 and 20 in our rankings.
Less talking, more ranking. Feel free to debate in the comments section.
|1||UP 2||Vancouver Whitecaps: Began a four-game road trip with a loss to Montreal, then spun off three-straight wins over L.A., New York Red Bulls and New England. Octavio Rivero is back on the map, and the ‘Caps will bid for their second four-game win streak of the season this weekend before a massive litmus test against KC on July 12.|
|2||-||Sporting KC: Easy, fans, you did jump 12 places last go-round. The only blemish in recent weeks is an understandable but still very frustrating loss to Real Salt Lake which came off a 15-day layoff.|
|3||UP 5||Toronto FC: Take away a loss to a then-raging New York City FC, and Toronto has looked as good as anyone. A derby win against Montreal capped a batch of wins that included DC United, Portland and San Jose (not one of whom is going poorly). And if those didn’t convince you, TFC held DC on the weekend for four of six points from the last two meetings.|
|4||UP 1||DC United: Doing just fine, but hasn’t beaten high quality competition in a while. You have to run back to May to find wins worth holding up. Still, you can only play who’s on your schedule, and Seattle and Dallas are up next.|
|5||UP 3||San Jose: The derby win over L.A. is nice, but don’t discount that the Galaxy had played on Wednesday and San Jose had a week off. That said, I’m a believer in the Earthquakes now and moving forward. One loss since April 17, and that came against TFC.|
|6||UP 1||L.A. Galaxy: Have a legit argument to be higher up, as they can easily dismiss their loss to San Jose as coming against a strong, rested opponent. And by easily dismiss, we mean as a result, not as a derby loss. That still stings.|
|7||UP 12||Orlando City SC: Adrian Heath has his charges in order after an early-season swoon. Their only loss since May 13’s loss to DC United came to Montreal last week.|
|8||UP 2||Portland Timbers: There may be no hotter team in Major League Soccer, but we’re hesitate to latch onto the club due to their schedule run. As we said with DC, you can only beat who’s on your schedule, and Portland has done that. Toss in a win over Seattle when the Sounders were at full-strength, albeit in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and we’re getting there. San Jose’s up next, and a win would make us believers.|
|9||DOWN 3||FC Dallas: Fortunate to not drop much further. A three-game Eastern Conference swing could have them in a bad, bad spot when we meet again, or Oscar Pareja’s men could use the stretch to restore some faith.|
|10||DOWN 9||Seattle Sounders: Woof. Another team without a win of true quality dating back to a Cascadian victory over Vancouver in mid-May.|
|11||UP 1||Columbus Crew: Unbeaten in three is a start, but this is far from the tour de force we expected after last season’s revelatory campaign under Gregg Berhalter.|
|12||DOWN 8||New England Revolution: Jermaine Jones is as important as we thought he was. Get well soon.|
|13||DOWN 2||New York Red Bulls: From May 10’s win over NYC to Sunday night’s victory over the same opponents, New York went 1-4-1, and is still in fourth place in the East because, well, the East refuses to stand up.|
|14||UP 6||New York City FC: After winning just once through 13 matches, Jason Kreis’ boys picked up wins No. 2, 3 and 4 in a row before Sunday’s dispiriting derby loss.|
|15||-||Montreal Impact: Now in a playoff spot (if we ranked by points per game). Have to get points against New York City and Columbus before a two-match run versus Seattle and KC.|
|16||DOWN 3||Houston Dynamo: Back-to-back losses have cooled our brief Dynamo enthusiasm. Bring on Cubo, soon, please and thank you.|
|17||UP 1||Philadelphia Union: Better than they’ve looked, can Maurice Edu possibly overcome their poor start to the season? A gauntlet is up ahead.|
|18||DOWN 2||Real Salt Lake: Just one win in six, but it was a big one against hot Sporting KC.|
|19||DOWN 5||Chicago Fire: Four losses in a row makes them 1-6-2 in their last nine.|
|20|| DOWN 3||Colorado Rapids: Eleven points back of a playoff spot before the calendar finds July. It’s just not a good season.|