MLS Power Rankings: Week 32

Top 8 stands pat; RSL enters postseason in #7 spot

The votes are in for the final Power Rankings of the regular season, and it's no surprise that the LA Galaxy are once again the winners at the polls. In fact, they came in at No. 1 in the rankings released before First Kick in March, and they never dropped lower than No. 4 this season. The Power Rankings will be back with a final edition after MLS Cup.

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

Rank Trending Last Club Comment

1

1

They fell short in their bid to become just the fourth team in league history to average more than two points per game, but it’s also totally understandable that Bruce Arena decided to trot out an outmanned, overwhelmed squad of reserves against Houston. All that matters now is being healthy for the playoffs, and that’s that.

  • Last Week: Lost at Houston, 3-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Sunday at TBD
  • Last Five: WWLWL
  • First Kick: 1 High: 1 Low: 4
2

2

The Mauro Rosales injury crisis appears to have been averted, which is even better news than the thumping 3-1 win they hung on Chivas to wrap up a remarkable regular season. Now it’s time to head to Real Salt Lake and do what they’ve never done before: win a playoff game. If they get past the Royals, they’ll have all kinds of momentum.

  • Last Week: Beat Chivas USA, 3-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Real Salt Lake (10 pm, Fox Soccer, TSN2)
  • Last Five: WWLWW
  • First Kick: 6 High: 2 Low: 12

3

3

SKC started 1-6-1 and finished 12-3-11. That’s not quite up there with LA and Seattle, but it’s close. They’ve got a varied and diverse offense that creates tons of opportunities, but need to start finishing to be a top-tier threat. If just one of their strikers gets hot, they could be the team to beat in the East.

  • Last Week: Beat D.C. United, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at TBD (time TBD, Fox Soccer, TSN2)
  • Last Five: TWTWW
  • First Kick: 8 High: 3 Low: 18

4

4

Since moving Geoff Cameron to central defense, they’re 4-0-2 with 11 goals scored and five conceded. Credit not only belongs to Cameron, but to Adam Moffat and Luiz Camargo for locking down the central midfield and making it easy for Dominic Kinnear to make the switch. Favorites in the East? Quite possibly.

  • Last Week: Beat LA, 3-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Sunday at Philadelphia (4 pm, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)
  • Last Five: WWTWW
  • First Kick: 10 High: 4 Low: 15

5

5

They weren’t particularly impressive against the Red Bulls, but the Power Rankings Committee has a sneaking suspicion that the lineup Peter Nowak fielded won’t be his first choice against Houston next week. They match up well with the Dynamo, who don’t have a consistent threat down the right flank.

  • Last Week: Lost at New York, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Sunday vs. Houston (4 pm, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)
  • Last Five: WTWTL
  • First Kick: 11 High: 3 Low: 11

6

6

After a good week that saw them post wins over Chicago and Vancouver, they went back to looking dog-tired against Toronto and San Jose. They didn’t do themselves any favors and now have to find the gas to compete midweek with a RBNY team that’s handled them very, very well over the past two seasons.

  • Last Week: Lost at San Jose, 4-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. New York (9 pm, Fox Soccer, TSN2)
  • Last Five: LLWWL
  • First Kick: 4 High: 1 Low: 16

7

7

Jason Kreis called this his most rewarding season since they had so many hurdles but still produced the league’s third-best record. He’ll be whistling a different tune if they don’t get it in gear for the Seattle series, because anything less than a win at Rio Tinto will likely mean another earlier-than-expected playoff exit.

  • Last Week: Tied Portland, 1-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Seattle (10 pm, Fox Soccer, TSN2)
  • Last Five: LLLTT
  • First Kick: 2 High: 1 Low: 7

8

8

Matt Pickens made a big, hilarious mistake. But Matt Pickens can laugh about it into the MLS Cup he helped win for the Rapids last year, and he can laugh about it with his teammates, who went on to rescue three points at BC Place. Colorado aren’t as good as last season, but they’re a veteran team with a serious homefield advantage. That’s a good playoff recipe.

  • Last Week: Beat Vancouver, 2-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Thursday vs. Columbus (10 pm ET, Direct Kick, TSN2)
  • Last Five: LTWTW
  • First Kick: 5 High: 2 Low: 11

9

11

We’ve been ranking the Red Bulls anywhere from eighth to 12th for about four months now, and they’ve done nothing to convince us they don’t belong in that region. They rarely beat teams they shouldn’t beat, rarely lose to teams they shouldn’t lose to, and generally look mediocre. The good news for RBNY fans is that “mediocre” may be enough to get it done at Dallas.

  • Last Week: Beat Philadelphia, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Wednesday at FC Dallas (9 pm, Fox Soccer, TSN2)
  • Last Five: WTWLW
  • First Kick: 3 High: 2 Low: 11

10

9

Yeah, the Crew tailed off in the second half of the season. But they’ve still managed to take a playoff spot out of what was supposed to be a rebuilding year – ask teams like D.C. United or Chicago how easy it is to do that. They’re dangerous as heck if they stay healthy and Julius James finds his mojo again.

  • Last Week: Lost at Chicago, 3-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Wednesday at Colorado (10 pm ET, Direct Kick, TSN2)
  • Last Five: LLWWL
  • First Kick: 7 High: 4 Low: 16

11

10

It’s a shame they started their run too late in the season to make the playoffs, because this is a team that’s become a lot of fun to watch. But that’s what happens when you forget how to play soccer for the first half of the season. All signs point to them being one of the Eastern Conference favorites in 2012.

  • Last Week: Beat Columbus, 3-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Season finished
  • Last Five: WTLWW
  • First Kick: 15 High: 6 Low: 18

12

13

They came up just short, but gave their fans and foes alike a season to remember. In the end they just didn’t have a consistent threat up top, and no way to change the pace of the game in midfield. That meant if you shut them down on set pieces, they could be had. That’s offseason priority No. 1.

  • Last Week: Tied D.C. United, 1-1 (HIGHLIGHTS), Tied Real Salt Lake, 1-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Season finished
  • Last Five: LWLTT
  • First Kick: 13 High: 7 Low: 17

13

14

They identified their fullbacks of the future in Steven Beitashour and Justin Morrow. They got big contributions from Simon Dawkins and Rafael Baca in the midfield, while Chris Wondolowski remains a star and Khari Stephenson remains a solid contributor. They just need to get healthy in defense and more dynamic in central midfield.

  • Last Week: Beat FC Dallas, 4-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Season finished
  • Last Five: TTWLW
  • First Kick: 9 High: 7 Low: 18

14

 

 

12

Things couldn’t have gone any worse for D.C. down the stretch. They had their playoff destiny in their own hands, and ended up losing five of their last six. Nonetheless, they also showed that they have the pieces to contend in the East in 2012, provided they patch up the leaky defense a bit and get Chris Pontius healthy.

  • Last Week: Tied Portland, 1-1 (HIGHLIGHTS), Lost to Sporting KC, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Season finished
  • Last Five: LLLTL
  • First Kick: 12 High: 5 Low: 16

15

16

A draw at home against the league’s worst team isn’t how TFC wanted to send their fans out, but the Reds still managed to show some of the things that have Torontonians excited for 2012. They’ll need to add pieces in defense, but the attack and midfield are exciting and productive, and Aron Winter’s plan will get plenty of time to work.

  • Last Week: Tied New England, 2-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Season finished
  • Last Five: WLTTT
  • First Kick: 18 High: 13 Low: 18

16

15

The last three months of the season were brutal on Chivas USA, as a combination of injuries and inexperience in the back relegated them to “also-ran” status. For 2012, they’ll need to continue to add steel in the defense while continuing to let Nick LaBrocca handle the organizational and creative duties.

  • Last Week: Lost to Seattle, 3-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Season finished
  • Last Five: TWTLL
  • First Kick: 17 High: 8 Low: 18

17

 

 

17

The ‘Caps will consider 2011 a disappointment, but at least they were able to get playing time for youngsters like Camilo Sanvezzo and Long Tan. Those two guys in particular look like building blocks for the future. What else that future holds is a mystery as new boss Martin Rennie takes the reins.

  • Last Week: Lost to Colorado, 2-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Season finished
  • Last Five: LWWLL
  • First Kick: 16 High: 10 Low: 18

18

18

The big changes are already coming with Steve Nicol being shown the door. It’s a safe bet whoever replaces him will go to work immediately on improving the defense and sorting out the defensive midfield responsibilities. The good news is that there’s nobody more fun to watch in attack than the Revs. So there’s that, at least.

  • Last Week: Tied Toronto, 2-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week:  Season finished
  • Last Five: LLLLT
  • First Kick: 14 High: 8 Low: 18