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MLS Power Rankings, Week 25: Real Salt Lake steps into the spotlight

Several of the top teams took a step back this week, so RSL took a few forward.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Change at both top and bottom of the list this week...

1. Real Salt Lake (up four places)

  • 43 points, 2nd in Western Conference
  • 3rd in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 2-1 Colorado

Sorry, TFC: you can't be top of the Power Rankings when your last result was a loss. Fortunately, RSL is quietly building some momentum. This week's win over Colorado pairs neatly with last week's over FC Dallas: RSL has beaten the frontrunners for the Shield in back-to-back games. Next up is LA.

2. New York Red Bulls (up two places)

  • 40 points, 3rd in Eastern Conference
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 1-0 New England

It wasn't the most impressive win, but RBNY has pushed the league's longest active unbeaten streak out to nine games with its 1-0 win over the slumping Revs.

3. Toronto FC (down two places)

  • 43 points, 1st in East
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last results: OCSC 1-2 TFC; TFC 1-0 IMFC

Can't be too harsh on TFC for losing to 10-man Montreal in Toronto, but top spot has to be relinquished - at least for this week. The midweek win over Orlando keeps TFC in the upper reaches of this list.

4. Philadelphia Union (up 12 places)

  • 40 points, 4th in East
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last results: Columbus 1-2 Union; Union 2-0 KC

Surprised me too, but there's no arguing with results. The Union didn't have the most challenging opponents this week, but they did beat both Columbus and KC. Back-to-back wins; one at home, one on the road; suddenly transformed from one-win-in-six to three-wins-out-of-four: welcome back to the top five, Philly.

5. FC Dallas (up four places)

  • 48 points, 1st in West
  • 1st in Shield race
  • Last result: Dynamo 1-3 FCD

Look at that: the favorite to win the Shield won a game. FCD has a crowded schedule ahead, but the three-goal flurry that trashed Houston's dream of beating its in-state rival was a reminder that Dallas is one of the better teams in MLS.

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

  • 32 points, 6th in East
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last results: Montreal 1-1 DC; DC 6-2 Chicago

Steamrollered what had seemed to be an improving Chicago to put an exclamation mark on what is now the second-longest active unbeaten streak in MLS. Six games since its last loss, unbeaten in August: things are looking up for DC. The team now faces three consecutive road games, so it might also be the last time we see DCU up this end of the Rankings for a while.

7. New York City FC (down four places)

  • 41 points, 2nd in East
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: OCSC 2-1 NYCFC

You don't lose to Orlando, NYCFC - you tie. Everyone knows this. Take a few steps back from the upper reaches of the Rankings to cool off and think things through.

8. Montreal Impact (up 10 places)

  • 37 points, 5th in East
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last results: IMFC 1-1 DC; TFC 0-1 IMFC

That tie with DC looks better now we think DC is good. And beating Toronto was unexpected, especially after Callum Mallace got sent off in the first half. Of course, this is L'Impact - so expect to see 'em yo-yo back down the list next week.

9. Colorado Rapids (down two places)

  • 43 points, 3rd in West
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 2-1 Rapids

Three games now without a win, and looking at three of the next four on the road. The Rapids might be gently sliding out of the top 10.

10. LA Galaxy (down two places)

  • 40 points, 4th in West
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last results: Chicago 2-2 LA; LA 0-0 Vancouver

Two more draws push LA's winless streak to six straight games. It is getting difficult to justify having the Galaxy even this high in the Rankings. We'll give 'em one more week to snap out of their funk.

11. Orlando City (up one place)

  • 31 points, 7th in East
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last results: TFC 2-1 OCSC; OCSC 2-1 NYCFC

Two games in a week and neither were ties? That counts as an improvement for OCSC.

12. Portland Timbers (up five places)

  • 35 points, 6th in West
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: Timbers 4-2 Sounders

Just as the Timbers seemed to be sliding out of the playoff spots, they rally to slap down their biggest rival and stay on course for the post-season.

13. Sporting Kansas City (down seven places)

  • 38 points, 5th in West
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: Philadelphia 2-0 KC

A long fall for a routine loss on the road, but inconsistent teams will suffer from inconsistent treatment by the Power Rankings.

14. Seattle Sounders (down 12 places)

  • 31 points, 8th in West
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: Houston 1-1 Sounders; Timbers 4-2 Sounders

Tough week for the resurgent Sounders. Houston snapped Seattle's winning streak, and Portland shut down an unbeaten run that had been going for five games.

15. Columbus Crew (no movement)

  • 26 points, 9th in East
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last results: Crew 1-2 Union; Crew 2-0 San Jose

The loss to Philadelphia suggested the Crew isn't really going to stage a late charge into the playoffs; the win over San Jose suggested Columbus will spoil things for a few teams before the season is out.

16. Houston Dynamo (down five places)

  • 25 points, 10th in West
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last results: Dynamo 1-1 Seattle; Dynamo 1-3 FCD

One point from two home games is not a good week.

17. Chicago Fire (down four places)

  • 23 points, 10th in East
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last results: Fire 2-2 LA; DC 6-2 Fire

That DC result might leave a mark, but the Fire now has three consecutive home games to make it better.

18. Vancouver Whitecaps (up one place)

  • 31 points, 9th in West
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 0-0 Vancouver

Compared to the teams below, Vancouver's 0-0 draw in LA is an encouraging sign.

19. New England Revolution (no movement)

  • 27 points, 8th in East
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last results: SJ 0-0 Revs; RBNY 1-0 Revs

Zero goals and one point isn't a good return, but we already knew the Revs aren't good. What we didn't know was that San Jose might be worse.

20. San Jose Earthquakes (down six places)

  • 32 points, 7th in West
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last results: SJ 0-0 Revs; Crew 2-0 SJ

The Quakes managed to play two of the worst teams in the East this week and not score a goal. Throw in last week's loss to the worst team in the West, and you have a team that has lost all its power.