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MLS Power Rankings: Movement as the league returns from break

This week's power ranking, featuring a Shea Salinas and lots of shame.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This week is "a really hard week. I don't know how the league can arrange a week like this for us" according to Jesse Marsch. Don't we agree Jesse. Mondays man, Mondays. And Tuesdays! Ugh, Tuesdays.

Despite the trials and tribulations of Mondays (and Tuesdays!), we here at Once a Metro enter our second week in the power rankings business.

For the record, the purpose of these rankings are to be active, to be volatile, and to reflect the league of the moment. That means if a team loses a few games in a row they're going to drop; it doesn't matter what they did a month ago, it matters what they did today.

And so from last week's baseline we continue as Major League Soccer returns from its midseason Copa America break.

Lets get to it, shall we?

1. Colorado Rapids (remains the same)

  • 31 points, 1st in West
  • Last result: Colorado 2-1 Chicago

Inexplicably the Colorado Rapids continue to be really, really good. I don't understand it. Dwight D. Eisenhower doesn't understand it. No one understands it. Pablo Mastreoni and John Spencer, coaching geniuses, who knew?

Their win this week wasn't pretty, it wasn't glorious, it was an eaked out 2-1 against lowly Chicago, but hey, a win is a win is a win is a win. When you're leading the Supporter's Shield race all that really matter at the end of the day are those three points.

2. New York Red Bulls (Up four places)

  • 22 points, 2nd in East
  • Last result: New York 2-0 Seattle

Where did these New York Red Bulls come from? After a beyond slow start to the season, the Red Bulls have finally found their footing.

This past weekend New York swept past Seattle thanks to a brace from Mike Grella. It wasn't New York's prettiest game. If Aaron Kovar was capable of finishing his chances, Seattle may well have won the game. But he didn't and New York's defense was otherwise solid, shutting down Jordan Morris, producing the team's fifth clean sheet in a row in the process. New York is on a roll, and it will be interesting to see if a long road trip can bring an end to this momentum.

3. FC Dallas (down one place)

  • 28 points, 2nd in West
  • Last result: Dallas 0-2 SKC

Dallas lost this week to an average Sporting Kansas City team, but that wasn't the whole story. A 2-nothing loss to a subpar, underperforming team, shouldn't they be dropping quite a bit?

Yes, but no. There were a few shall we say iffy calls on the day, mostly harming Dallas. It was a 2-0 loss, but it wasn't a clean one.

It wasn't Dallas' best day, and they'll have to improve and truly maximize their talent if they want to make a push on Colorado for the first position in the West and in the league, but that's what Óscar Pareja does best.

4. Real Salt Lake (up one place)

  • 24 points, 3rd in West
  • Last result: Salt Lake 2-2 Portland

Salt Lake tied a team below them in the Western Conference, but went up.Hhhmmm. It's not so much that they had a good week as they had a less bad week than everyone around them. LA, Philly, Montreal; all the second tier teams really struggled this week coming back from the break.

So despite getting bossed around by Fanendo Adi and despite the continuing issue of not having any real star centerbacks, RSL continues to chug on. If they can pick up a big centerback over the summer to partner with Aaron Maund as they ease Justin Glad in, RSL could be very dangerous come the postseason.

5. Los Angeles Galaxy (down two places)

  • 21 points, 6th in West
  • Last result: Los Angeles 0-1 Toronto

LA's league position continues to be dragged down by the fact that they have played fewer games than those ahead of them, but as great as points-per-game is it's even better to have points in hand.

This past week two of the league's most star-studded teams met without many of their stars. LA lacked Giovani Dos Santos and Robbie Keane while TFC were missing Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, yet TFC came through with the three points. The contrast in who made up these two team's non-stars is really striking. LA relies on league veterans like Mike Magee, Alan Gordon, and Jeff Larentowicz while Toronto is pushing through their own youth and draftee as Tusaba Endoh, Jordan Hamilton, and Jonathan Osorio helped push TFC to the win.

6. Philadelphia Union (down two places)

  • 23 points, 1st in the East
  • Philadelphia 2-3 NYC

Philly fell to NYCFC in a match that certainly wouldn't be described as pretty. One could argue they should have had a last minute penalty to tie the match, but they also had 90 minutes before that to play better. With Vincent Nogueira leaving and Maurice Edu still far from returning, the Union's struggles may just be beginning and that is only compounded by both New York teams on the rise.

7. Toronto FC (up four places)

  • 19 points, 5th in East
  • Last result: Toronto 1-0 LA

A goal from Drew Moore powered Toronto past LA this last week. New money versus slightly less new money, everyone's favorite matchup!

What is really the biggest news to come out of this game is TFC's clean sheet. For a team that has historically struggled to defend, before and after they have decided to spend silly money, a clean sheet is a rare sight. On paper, Justin Morrow, Steven Beitashour, Drew Moore, and Eriq Zavaleta should be among the best defences in the league. In reality, that isn't the case, but their cohesion certainly seems to be improving on the field. The East should be scared if they can truly get it together.

8. Montreal Impact (remains the same)

  • 20 points, 4th in East
  • Last result: Montreal 0-0 Columbus

Montreal should be winning a game like this. Columbus is far from the dominant force that took the league by storm last year. Despite the majority of the player personnel looking very similar, Columbus looks a skeleton of their former selves. With Drogba in the lineup, Johan Venegas back from Copa America, and Ambroise Oyongo tearing up the left flank, Montreal should have had more than enough to push past the Crew. They find themselves lucky to be in a very mediocre East, as they really shouldn't be able to afford to drop points like this.

9. New York City FC (up three places)

  • 21 points, 3rd in East
  • Last result: New York City 3-2 Philadelphia

Ugly match. Lots of DPs. Really slow three-man central midfield. Exciting front three. Got a few lucky calls as Philly pushed for an equalizer. Moving up the ranks of the East. Still attempting to forget 7-0.

10. San Jose Earthquakes (down one place)

  • 21 points, 7th in West
  • Last result: San Jose 2-2 Orlando

Their talisman Chris Wondolowski is still on international duty, but even without him San Jose managed to play spoilsport twice to Orlando City as the Florida city looked for a feelgood moment.

Shame on you Shea Salinas, shame.

11. Vancouver Whitecaps (down four places)

  • 21 points, 5th in West
  • Last result: Vancouver 1-2 New England

2-1 losses to the Revolution don't look good on paper or in reality. Vancouver is apparently entering in to contract renewal talks with head coach Carl Robinson, but first they should be focusing on finding some consistency. For all the talent on this roster, it's amazing that Vancouver isn't performing better. For them to be a real threat this year, Robinson will need all parts of his roster to produce more.

12. Portland Timbers (down two places)

  • 20 points, 8th in West
  • Last result: Portland 2-2 Salt Lake

Good news: Fanendo Adi is really good at soccer. Bad news: Fanendo Adi looks to be on the way out. Good news: Portland already has an MLS Cup in its trophy cabinet. Bad news: This team looks to be a shadow of the team who were crowned last year's MLS champions. Other news: This Lucas Melano barrel-roll though.

13. New England Revolution (up two places)

  • 19 points, 6th in the East
  • Last result: New England 2-1 Vancouver

Sometimes I question if Jay Heaps is truly a professional soccer coach, but hey that's just me.

For a team from the supposedly inferior East to beat a solid Western club like Vancouver is nothing to scoff at. New England still needs to shore but their defense if they want to be a legitamate playoff team, but there's this AJ Soares guy supposedly floating around. I wonder if they've heard of him?

14. Sporting Kansas City (up three places)

  • 21 points, 4th in West
  • Last result: Kansas City 2-0 Dallas

SKC got a win against a really good team, so why aren't they higher if these power rankings are as volatile as you claim? Well they got quite a bit of help from the ref, but you're right, imaginary soccer friend, KC did manage to find a win over a top opponent. For a team that is usually one of the most consistent in the league but finds themselves struggling to find their magic of year's past, a win like this could be just what they need to spark a midseason revival.

15. Orlando City FC (down one places)

  • 17 points, 8th in the East
  • Last result: Orlando 2-2 San Jose

Sorry Orlando, in a storybook world you're able to hold one of your late winners and find a much-needed win for club and for city. Unfortunately we live in this dull world. As it stands Orlando needs to find out how to make their team function without Kaka, as his absences seem to be increasing in occurrence, or they need remind Antonio Nocerino that he was once an Italian National Team player. Either or.

Shame on you Shea Salinas, shame...

16. Seattle Sounders (down three places)

  • 16 points, 9th in West
  • Last result: Seattle 0-2 New York

Honestly, Seattle looked pretty good for large parts of this game. Jordan Morris looked dangerous, Aaron Kovar had plenty of chances, and Osvaldo Alonso was active in the midfield. However, a rebound and a mistake later and Mike Grella has a brace. As New York switched their pressing strategy in the second half, rotating to a back five in the process, Seattle looked lost. The fact that they couldn't capitalize on their good stretch of play left them chasing the game and ultimately had them looking down the barrel at another loss.

At this point in the year looking just good isn't going to cut it anymore, results matter. As it stands Seattle didn't get one.

17. Columbus Crew (up one place)

  • 15 points, 9th in East
  • Last result: Columbus 0-0 Montreal

After such an awful start to the year, a goalless draw with Montreal looks fantastic for Columbus. Yet, the fact that that sentence can be written and be true is quite the indictment of how their season has gone; from MLS Cup finals to here. Not pretty.

Frederico Higuain's continued absence, the lack of a true forward, a shaky defense, and Ethan Finley's lost ability to be consistently amazing has the Crew in a hole. Maybe, just maybe, if they can get back to being the hardest working team in the league, then maybe they'll have a shot at salvaging a respectable season from this year.

18. Chicago Fire (up two places)

  • 11 points, 10th in the East
  • Last result: Chicago 1-2 Colorado

Chicago lost this last week, but how they lost also matters. The worst of the theoretical worst, Chicago, barely lost to the (somehow) best, Colorado. When it comes to differentiating who's really that awful, being able to play a top team close is certainly a plus. Who knows, maybe one of these days Chicago may just turn this ship around?

And yes, I may be a bit of a softy when it comes to Chicago. What can I say, good Chicago teams tend to make any professional sports league much more entertaining.

19. DC United (down three places)

  • 17 points, 7th in the East
  • Last result: DC 0-0 Houston

0-0 ties kills soccer as a sport to the stereotypical sports fan in America. In reality, a 0-0 tie can be just as exciting and enthralling as any other game, it just needs the right mix of back and forth attacking soccer and a bit of bite. This was not one of those games. Oh, this was not one of those games.

It's a little sad to think that DC and Houston are two of Major League Soccer's most historically successful clubs after a game like this, isn't it?

20. Houston Dynamo (down one places)

  • 14 points, 10th in the West
  • Last result: Houston 0-0 DC United

Not only did Houston tie zero-zero, they tied DC United zero-zero. I can't think of a less watchable game in Major League Soccer. Hopefully Wade Barrett can return this team to respectability.