MLS Power Rankings: Week 4

Sounders, FC Dallas make their move after impressive wins

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Photo Credit: 
Gail Oskin / Getty Images

Just who managed to avoid the buzzsaw of yellow and red cards might have meant something in the win column this week, but that's not all that went into this week's rankings. We also saw the return (was he ever gone?) of David Ferreira and a cathartic first win for the Sounders, both of whom took some huge steps up the ladder. Got an issue? Vote for your own!

All match times for this week's games are ET, only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule.

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Real Salt Lake are Rafael Nadal. The rest of MLS is the tennis ball.

Last Week: Beat New England, 2-0 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Wednesday vs. Colorado (9 pm, MatchDay Live)

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2

The Power Rankings committee gave LA a mulligan for their inept performance two weeks back, and we’ll do the same for the Rapids. They played a very talented and motivated Dallas team without their two veteran leaders, and got hammered. It happens.

Last Week: Lost to FC Dallas, 3-0 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Wednesday at Real Salt Lake (9 pm, MatchDay Live)

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4

The defense has rounded into shape with the return of Omar Gonzalez, David Beckham is suddenly dangerous on free kicks again and they should have had three points on the road even without Landon Donovan. Speaking of Donovan, it’s been nearly 1,000 minutes since his last league goal, and as yet, no one’s picked up the slack.

Last Week: Tied D.C. United, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Wednesday at Toronto (8 pm, MatchDay Live), Sunday at Chicago (4 pm, MatchDay Live)

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5

Manager Peter Nowak was borderline gleeful in pointing out that there are no style points awarded in soccer, a truism that certainly benefits this Union team. Also benefitting them is a rock-solid back line and ‘keeper, giving the offense time to round into shape.

Last Week: Beat New York, 1-0 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Saturday vs. Seattle (4 pm, MatchDay Live)

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3

New York have all the elements you’d want of a Supporters’ Shield contender on paper. On the field, they’re missing a center forward who makes unselfish runs and, as a result, their spacing in the final third is static and predictable. Tim Ream's giveaway in Philly was out of character and not a trend.

Last Week: Lost to Philadelphia, 1-0 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Saturday vs. San Jose (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)

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Donovan isn’t the only DP who’s struggling as Fredy Montero is actually more than 1,000 minutes without a goal. Didn’t matter at home on the weekend, though, as O'Brian White got his second in as many games, Mauro Rosales took the creative conch and Steve Zakuani continued his explosive play.

Last Week: Beat Chicago, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Saturday at Philadelphia (4 pm, MatchDay Live)

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6

The Power Rankings committee is starting to believe in this Fire crew, especially with the way they attacked in the second half at Seattle. The tying goal never came, but only a vintage Kasey Keller performance was the reason. Gastón Puerari and Diego Cháves are, thus far, the real deal, but there's reason to be concerned with the space Chicago allows on the flanks.

Last Week: Lost at Seattle, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Thursday at Portland (11 pm, ESPN2), Sunday vs. LA (4 pm, MatchDay Live)

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7

Simon Dawkins picked up some of the forward line’s slack with his second goal, but drawing at home is not acceptable for a team with this much talent. ‘Keeper Jon Busch called out his strikers on Sunday, and hopes are high in San Jose that Chris Wondolowski and the gang can finally lace up their shootin’ boots.

Last Week: Tied Toronto, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Saturday at New York (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)

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The Aarón Galindo rumor was just that, and the Aurélien Collin move is still in limbo, which means that KC are still in need of back-line reinforcements which may or may not be coming. Still, a 1-0 midweek win over Houston in the US Open Cup is reason to believe this team is more than just their forward line.

Last Week: Bye

This Week: Saturday at Columbus (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)

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16

The defense locked in, Ferreira led the attack, and most importantly, Andrew Jacobson very quietly ran the show in central midfield for the 3-0 win over Colorado. He’s not Dax McCarty yet, but after a month of uneven play from that spot, Jacobson’s performance is maybe the most encouraging thing from FCD’s big Friday night.

Last Week: Beat Colorado, 3-0 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Sunday at Portland (6 pm, MatchDay Live)

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8

Probably more disappointing than the 2-0 home loss to an RSL reserve team is just how it went down. Red cards and broken offside traps are not what you’d want to see from your veterans, but that’s what they produced. And the offense is still sputtering.

Last Week: Tied Vancouver, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH), Lost to RSL, 2-0 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Sunday at Houston (7 pm, MatchDay Live)

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This team will be murder on set pieces. The key is having enough of the ball to win them occasionally. The Orange did just that against Vancouver in Sunday’s 3-1 win, but there are still big questions – where the midfield creativity will come from, for starters – down in H-Town.

Last Week: Beat Vancouver, 3-1 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Saturday vs. Chivas USA (7 pm, MatchDay Live)

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10

The ‘Caps come out of the toughest week on their schedule with heads held high, even if they weren’t able to get three points out of any one game. The fact remains, though, that the pieces are in place for this to be a very, very successful team.

Last Week: Tied New England 1-1, (RECAP/WATCH), Lost to Houston, 3-1 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Sunday vs. Chivas USA, (7 pm, MatchDay Live)

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12

Three straight shutouts is a good building block for a team in rebuilding mode. Chad Marshall looks to have recovered his “Defender of the Year” form and the guys around him haven’t been bad, either. Problem is, no one can find the net.

Last Week: Tied Chivas USA, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Saturday vs. Kansas City (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)

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14

The Dwayne De Rosario trade may have changed this team for the better. It’s hard to understate the difference a physical presence like Tony Tchani makes in the middle of the 4-3-3, and Danleigh Borman’s made them significantly more dangerous down the left side.

Last Week: Tied San Jose, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Thursday vs. LA (8 pm, MatchDay Live), Saturday vs. D.C. United (7 pm, Fox Soccer)

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15

Gotta give this DC team credit for finding a way, even if that way is a bit of late-game cynicism. There’s a unity and togetherness of spirit from this bunch that could drive them higher as long as the defense eventually comes together. Still leaky at the back.

Last Week: Tied LA, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Saturday at Toronto (7 pm, Fox Soccer)

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A week off to sort a few more things out in the attack will have been welcomed by manager John Spencer. Getting his midfielders on the same page with Kenny Cooper and Jorge Perlaza will be job one for the historic home opener on Thursday.

Last Week: Bye

This Week: Thursday vs. Chicago (11 pm, ESPN2), Sunday vs. FC Dallas (6 pm, MatchDay Live)

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A formation change wasn’t enough to get the Rojiblancos out of their funk. They managed their second consecutive draw, but were uninspiring at home against a Columbus team that has struggled through most of the year.

Last Week: Tied Columbus, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH)

This Week: Saturday at Vancouver (7 pm, MatchDay Live)