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MLS Power Rankings, Week 23: Toronto still top, Vancouver plummets, Sounders surge

The Power Rankings are impressed by Seattle this week.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

TFC's streak of wins is over, but it is still unbeaten in five and still top of these rankings.

1. Toronto FC (no movement)

  • 37 points, 2nd in Eastern Conference
  • 5th in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: Houston 1-1 TFC

The hottest team in MLS is the one that just drew 1-1 against a 10-man, worst-in-the-West Houston Dynamo? Yep. LA and FCD also drew this week, but they were at home. TFC at least was on the road.

RBNY has put a solid run together, and is certainly rising - but Toronto has as many points (13) from its unbeaten streak of five as the Red Bulls have got from their last seven league outings.

2. New York Red Bulls (up one place)

  • 36 points, 3rd in Eastern Conference
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 3-1 Montreal

A statement win for the Red Bulls this week, beating back L'Impact's bid to crack the top three of the Eastern Conference - at least for now. It's now seven games since RBNY last lost: the second longest active unbeaten streak in the league. Second to LA, the team the Red Bulls came close to beating last week.

3. LA Galaxy (down one place)

  • 38 points, 3rd in West
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 1-1 Colorado

The longest active unbeaten streak in MLS keeps getting longer: LA has nine straight games without a loss after this week's tie with Colorado. But it was also the Galaxy's third consecutive tie, and the third time in a row the team has had to fight back to rescue a point.

The streak must be respected. But LA has now dropped points at home in back-to-back games. The suspicion is the Galaxy is cooling off.

4. Colorado Rapids (up two places)

  • 42 points, 2nd in West
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 1-1 Colorado

Still only two games played since the 5-1 loss to NYCFC that snapped a 15-game unbeaten run and changed the perception that the Rapids were going to run away with the Supporters' Shield by virtue of being unbeatable.

But Colorado seems to have got itself quickly righted since being capsized by NYCFC. A point against the Galaxy in LA is a good result, and the Rapids remains the league's points-per-game leaders.

5. Seattle Sounders (up six places)

  • 27 points, 9th in West
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: Sounders 2-1 RSL

Over-rating the 14th-placed team in the Shield race? Perhaps. But these rankings are about power. Power is most convincingly expressed by wins. And Seattle is the only team in MLS with a winning streak at the moment. Yes, it's only two games, that's why the Sounders' rise is capped at number five on this list. For now.

6. FC Dallas (down one place)

  • 45 points, 1st in West
  • 1st in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 2-2 Sporting KC

FCD is doing just fine: still leading the Shield race; now unbeaten in four games. But points dropped at home to KC just doesn't add up to a rise in these rankings.

7. Sporting Kansas City (up three places)

  • 35 points, 5th in West
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 2-2 KC

The draw in Dallas was an encouraging reaction to last week's capitulation in Portland. And a surprising one, given that this was just the fourth point on the road KC has picked up since winning its first two away games of the season.

8. NYCFC (down one place)

  • 38 points, 1st in East
  • 3rd in Shield race
  • Last result: Columbus 3-3 NYCFC

Coulda, woulda, and shoulda got three points against Columbus after taking the lead in second-half stoppage time. Didn't. Still top of the East, still on for the playoffs, just a disappointing return for three goals scored on the road this week.

9. San Jose Earthquakes (up three places)

  • 31 points, 7th in West
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: Vancouver 1-2 San Jose

Back in contention for a Western Conference playoff spot after their first road win in MLS of the season, the Quakes are now unbeaten in their last five league games.

10. Philadelphia Union (up three places)

  • 34 points, 4th in East
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: Revs 0-4 Union

Welcome back to the top 10, Philly. Win next week's game against Toronto FC as convincingly as you hammered the Revs this week and we'll be welcoming you to the top five.

11. Montreal Impact (down seven places)

  • 33 points, 5th in East
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 3-1 IMFC

A rough outing in Red Bull Arena for L'Impact in Week 23. A couple of key calls went against Montreal, and what could have been a statement win was instead a brake on the team's progress up the Eastern Conference standings.

12. Real Salt Lake (down four places)

  • 37 points, 4th in West
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: Seattle 2-1 RSL

RSL remains well positioned in the West and should expect to make the playoffs, since it will play six of its last 10 league games at home. But this week's loss only looked close because Seattle missed a penalty and RSL was allowed a goal that should never have been.

13. D.C. United (up four places)

  • 27 points, 6th in East
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: DCU 2-0 Portland

DCU's first win since June included a Lloyd Sam assist. A good result against suddenly slumping Portland saw DC bob into the Eastern Conference playoff spots.

14. Portland Timbers (down five places)

  • 32 points, 6th in East
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: DC 2-0 Timbers

The Timbers' suffered their third loss in their last four games this week, and now have to worry about two of the form teams in the West. San Jose has pulled up close to Portland in the standings, to challenge for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. And the Timbers must play Seattle twice over the next two rounds of league matches.

15. Orlando City (down one place)

  • 27 points, 7th in East
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: Chicago 2-2 Orlando

Orlando doesn't do bore draws. This week saw its ninth 2-2 result of the season. But it also doesn't do nearly enough winning. This was its 12th tie in 23 league games. Goals don't seem to be enough to win games for OCSC, and it is running out of time to fix the leaky defense that keeps costing it points.

16. Houston Dynamo (up three places)

  • 21 points, 10th in West
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: Houston 1-1 TFC

Held off the hottest team in the league for 45 minutes with 10 men. A good result for a team that has tended not to be good this season.

17. Columbus Crew (up three places)

  • 20 points, 9th in East
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: Crew 3-3 NYCFC

The Crew still isn't good enough to win a game. It hasn't been since May. But Columbus did fight back to get an unlikely point after NYCFC had turned a 2-1 loss into what looked certain to be a 3-2 win until Ethan Finlay intervened. The Crew hasn't stopped fighting, which is positive. Of course, (internal) fighting might be what cost Columbus any success this season.

18. Chicago Fire (no movement)

  • 19 points, 10th in East
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: Fire 2-2 OCSC

On the bright side, Chicago didn't lose. On the less bright side, everyone draws with Orlando and the Fire remains rooted to the bottom of the East.

19. New England Revolution (down three places)

  • 26 points, 8th in East
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: Revs 0-4 Union

The Revs were embarrassed at home this week, slumping to their third straight defeat and sixth loss in their last nine league games. New England had too many draws in the opening half of the season, but still only lost four of its first 15 games in MLS 2016. Now the team is losing too many, too often.

20. Vancouver Whitecaps (down five places)

  • 30 points, 8th in West
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last result: Vancouver 1-2 San Jose

The wheels are off in Vancouver. The 'Caps have lost three in a row, and this week's was a bad sign: they handed once-struggling San Jose its first road win of the MLS season. And the Quakes hopped above Vancouver in the standings, still with two games in hand over the 'Caps.

Vancouver's winless run is now at five games, and it will play four of its next five games on the road.