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MLS Power Rankings, Week 21: Colorado noooooo

NYCFC hi-fives Colorado down the rankings as Dallas reclaim the top spot

MLS: FC Dallas at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

1. FC Dallas (up one place)

  • 44 points, 1st in West
  • 1st in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 2-0 Whitecaps

Rumors are swirling that Fabian Castillo’s proposed transfer to Turkey is "dead in the waters" which is a brilliant boost for the club. It’d be a cruel kick in the gonads for a team playing this well to lose one of their top players in the middle of the season.

Dallas put away Vancouver as Colorado capitulated against NYCFC, lengthening their lead atop the Shield race to six points.

2. New York City FC (up nine places)

  • 36 points, 1st in East
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 5-1 Rapids

Scoring five goals against Colorado? Superb achievement. Frank Lampard hat trick? Woah, turning back the clocks! (We’ll disregard the fact that he completed his hat trick by scoring the fourth and fifth goals in a game that was 3-0 in the 80th minute before that pair.) (#ShoutoutPettiness)

With that win, NYCFC picks up two precious points in the race to win the Eastern Conference, extending their lead over the Red Bulls to four points.

3. Toronto FC (up five places)

  • 30 points, 3rd in East
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 3-0 Crew

Don’t look now, but Toronto are starting to click. Jozy Altidore is fit again and Sebastian Giovinco continues to play like he’s a professional level player sneaking into Sunday league.

Extra points for Giovinco slicing a shot (that was probably bottom corner bound) off Tsubasa Endoh’s back into the top corner. Based on the Italian’s track record, it would shock no one should he say he did that on purpose.

4. LA Galaxy (down three places)

  • 36 points, 3rd in West
  • 3rd in Shield Race
  • Sounders 1-1 Galaxy

There’s no two ways about it: LA were thoroughly lucky to leave Seattle with a point in hand. Even with the current state of the northwest club, leaving Century Link with anything is a decent result, even if they played poorly.

Jelle Van Damme had two goal line clearances and as well as a bevy of chances that went begging from Seattle combined to see Galaxy escape.

5. Kansas City (up five places)

  • 34 points, 4th in West
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: SKC 1-0 Timbers

Kansas City held off a hot Timbers team by the blood on their chinny chin chins (sorry for flailing daggers, Ike Opara, I know you’ve caught enough of them for one weekend) for a professional victory. Portland were catching fire but SKC put them out for the night.

6. Real Salt Lake (up eight places)

  • 34 points, 5th in West
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: Union 1-2 RSL

That Javier Morales chip *kisses fingers like a satisfied chef after delicately placing an oregano leaf on a 5-star dish* MAGNIFICO. Even better that it was the game winning goal to end a winless streak.

With the Timbers on the outside looking in for the playoff race, fifth placed RSL aren’t locked in for a playoff spot, there’s still work to do between now and October but they’ve set themselves up brilliantly.

7. New York Red Bulls (down three places)

  • 32 points, 2nd in East
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: Fire 2-2 NYRB

The Red Bulls conceded twice to the league’s most impotent, insipid and seemingly constipated offense. Finally, though, they were on the right end of a late equalizer, leaving Chicago to mourn settling for a point when three had seemed imminent.

But no one cares. Dax McCarty went down with an injury and Luis Robles nearly had to exit for one as well. Those two incidents happened within minutes of each other, showing how cold the game can be. Two players that are irreplaceable for New York; the club will hold its breath that Robles can shake off any issues, while Captain Dax has since confirmed he is out until September, at least.

Meanwhile, Bradley Wright-Phillips became the club’s all time leading scorer with his 90th minute leveler.

8. Orlando City SC (up seven places)

  • 26 points, 6th in East
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: OCSC 3-1 Revs

Orlando did something different this week: they didn’t draw! They lead the league with 11 draws, handicapping them to midtable for being unable to convert one point into three.

While Kaka is healthy, OCSC must gain as many points as they can before the inevitable next injury strikes.

9. Philadelphia Union (up four places)

  • 30 points, 5th in East
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last result: Union 1-2 RSL

After flirting with the lead of the East for the past few months, Philadelphia have fallen to fourth after their latest stutter, this a loss at home to RSL. While Real Salt Lake surely are a good side, these are the games they need to be more competitive in to be taken seriously heading towards the playoffs.

10. Colorado Rapids (down eight places)

  • 38 points, 2nd in West
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 5-1 Rapids

Colorado. What happened? The best defensive team in the league concedes a hi-five against NYCFC, with Lampard scoring what was the club’s first ever hattrick? Super disappointing.

Seeing that figure conceded by Colorado felt like an anomaly so it’ll be treated as one here. It’s a slippery slope, though, one more of these and they’ll find themselves taking the elevator all the way down.

An optimist would point out that Colorado has three less games played than Dallas and if they win all three, then they’d be in first place for the Supporter’s Shield standings.

11. Portland Timbers (down two places)

  • 29 points, 7th in West
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: SKC 1-0 Timbers

Points deducted for Fanendo Adi’s flailing elbows, a move he must have boosted from Marouane Fellaini. Portland lost a real chance to claw right into the top half of the Western Conference after a hot streak spearheaded by Diego Valeri but misfired at that big chance.

Had they won they’d have leapfrogged Kansas City and been live and direct in the rearview for LA, RSL and Colorado. But one loss doesn’t mean all is lost, their simmering at the correct time.

12. Montreal Impact (down seven places)

  • 30 points, 4th East
  • 9th in Shield place
  • Last result: DC 1-1 Impact

The Impact are steadily holding court in the upper middle class in the East and it’s treating them fine. It’s nice, it’s stable, they’ve got a nice house in a respectable school district with a decent lawn for Ignacio Piatti to run around and a beautiful deck for Didier Drogba to lounge around on. It’s working well for them.

13. New England (down seven places)

  • 26 points, 7th in East
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: OCSC 3-1 Revs

Orlando spoiled Charlie Davies’ inspiring return upon defeating cancer, but take nothing away from his moment. Davies has been lauded in the past for his brilliant attitude. A car wreck couldn’t stop him neither could cancer. Here’s to you, Charlie Davies.

In the standings, the Revs are desperately looking to hold off Orlando in the battle for the final playoff spot in the East, making this week's loss even worse.

14. Seattle Sounders (up five places)

  • 21 points, 9th in West
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: Sounders 1-1 Galaxy

*Continues to wait for Seattle to make their move*

They should have beat LA in their first match without Sigi Schmid and his rotund belly hardly concealed by a sweater. (The MLS will miss that sight.)

Seattle had two goals cleared off the line as well as Jordan Morris enduring a short circuit from his brain to his finishing foot in stoppage time as he lifted a tap in over the net from about three yards out.

J-Mo Smoove didn’t exactly cover himself in glory against the Galaxy. He grew less and less confident throughout the game leading up to his failed tap in.

15. Vancouver Whitecaps (down eight places)

  • 30 points, 6th in West
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 2-0 Whitecaps

Vancouver are desperately trying to block Portland from knocking them out of the playoff positions and it doesn’t seem they’ll hold them off much longer, it feels inevitable.

16. San Jose Earthquakes (down four places)

  • 27 points, 8th in West
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last result: Dynamo 1-1 Quakes

Their stadium hosted the All-Star game, so that was cool. But due to geography, they’re not in a great position to get to the playoffs but it’s certainly not out of the cards yet. If they were in the East it’d be much more plausible. Houston have not been very good, these are the games that they’ve got to win.

17. Chicago Fire (no movement)

  • 18 points, 10th in East
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: Fire 1-1 NYRB

Chi-town scraped together a multigoal game so any diehard Fire fans out there should probably chance their luck with a few lottery tickets, because you’ve got to be feeling lucky.

They let themselves down in the final minutes, though, costing them the foreign feeling of winning.

18. DC United (up two places)

  • 23 points, 8th in East
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: DC 1-1 Impact

Thanks to the fact that the MLS doesn’t regard the regular season seriously enough and allows more than half the teams in the league to qualify for the postseason, DC could still conceivably qualify. But drawing Montreal at home isn’t part of that plan.

19. Houston Dynamo (down one place)

  • 20 points, 10th in West
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: Dynamo 1-1 Quakes

There aren’t many teams in the league that are realistically out of the playoff race. Houston are one of those few, though.

Nine points behind the final playoff spot and not looking much like worrying anyone.

20. Columbus Crew (down four places)

  • 19 points, 9th in East
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 3-0 Crew

Tough week for Columbus. A 3-0 loss to Sebastian Giovinco FC Toronto FC lands them just one point superior to league worst Chicago, who have one less game played.

Just eight short months ago this team was a couple of questionable refereeing decisions and unlucky bounces away from winning MLS Cup, now we’re here. What happened?