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MLS Power Rankings, Week 27: Who needs Giovinco anyway?

And the playoff race continues to be inclusive, allowing just about the whole league to still be alive.

MLS: Toronto FC at Houston Dynamo Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

1. Toronto FC (up four places)

  • 46 points, 1st in Eastern Conference
  • 3rd in Supporers’ Shield race
  • Last result: Chicago 1-2 TFC

Wait— Toronto continue to play well without Sebastian Giovinco? That’s the biggest upset of the weekend. (I know it’s Chicago, but still.)

The Jozy Altidore resurgence has been a thing of beauty for Toronto (and the United States Men’s National Team), making Toronto that much more dangerous steaming towards the playoffs.

2. LA Galaxy (up four places)

  • 47 points, 2nd in Western Conference
  • 2nd in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: LA 4-2 Orlando

I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for pyrotechnic attacks, a legend pulled out of retirement for one last mission and teams that could absolutely eviscerate anyone who stands opposite them any given day.

The Galaxy’s +17 goal difference can attest to the last point. When things go right in Los Angeles, there’s not a team that can hang, even with these injuries. Dos Santos is carrying the team and in unplayable form, Steven Gerrard will be back and Robbie Keane is still Robbie Keane.

The wildcard is Landon Donovan now. You’re lying if you can’t see a scenario in which Donovan, who’s had a flair for the dramatic, scores the winning goal in an MLS Cup final, even at this stage of his life.

3. Colorado Rapids (up eight places)

  • 36 points, 3rd in Western Conference
  • 4th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Dallas 0-1 Colorado

To get this disclaimer out of the way off the bat: Colorado holds two extra games in its back pocket on the two teams ahead of them in the West, and if they win both they’ll top the conference (and likely the Shield race) so their destiny is still firmly in their own hands.

But this win in Dallas, giving the Texas side their first loss at home this season, is huge for Colorado as it halted a four game winless streak.

The Rapids easily have both the least goals scored and conceded of teams in playoff places. Interesting to see what would happen if they played, say, Real Salt Lake, who have a ton of goals conceded as well as goals scored. Would it be 1-0 or 4-3?

4. FC Dallas (down two places)

  • 51 points, 1st in Western Conference
  • 1st in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 0-1 Colorado

Dallas and Colorado fittingly go next to each other after the Rapids beat Dallas this week in a tight 1-0 encounter. These two seemed primed for a November collision course in the playoffs, don’t they?

Both teams have been within the top few places in the standings essentially since the first day of the new season and have continued to battle it out for the Supporters’ Shield.

It’s churlish to see Dallas drop two slots here, but, that’s the nature of the beast. Instability around these parts. Like a managerial role at Chelsea.

5. New York Red Bulls (down four places)

  • 44 points, 2nd in Eastern Conference
  • 5th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: NYRB 2-2 DC United

If the MLS matches this weekend lasted 88 minutes, Red Bulls would have retained their room in the penthouse of the Power Rankings.

As many astute readers will point out WELL ACTUALLY an MLS game, according to the rules, will last 90 minutes plus added time, no exceptions, idiot, and thank you for that, such is why the Red Bulls have been evicted from the penthouse suite at Hotel Metro.

There are positives to take out from the 2-2 draw, but never has a 13 match unbeaten run been rife with this amount of disappointment. In their last five MLS contests, New York has thrice dropped two goal leads to draw.

Just think: if only counting that treble of inability to hold a second half two goal lead, not to mention the others earlier in the season, the Red Bulls would be atop the Shield race. Yeah.

6. Portland Timbers (up nine places)

  • 38 points, 6th in Western Conference
  • 10th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Timbers 1-0 RSL

This is the kind of team that no one wants to play if they’re able to limp into the playoffs. Portland are tough to beat whenever they play their best soccer, though that hasn’t seemed to happen so often this year.

7. New England Revolution (up five places)

  • 33 points, 8th in Eastern Conference
  • 16th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Revs 3-1 NYCFC

Can someone please explain to me how a team with a -14 (!!!) goal difference, the worst in the league, can still control their own destiny for a playoff spot?

The hugely disappointing Revs somehow are sticking around the playoff race like a cockroach. After coming up short in the Open Cup finals, will their season finally be killed off or will it give them yet another breath of life?

At any rate, a 3-1 win against NYCFC last time out in league play is a quality result.

8. Real Salt Lake (down four places)

  • 44 points, 4th in Western Conference
  • 6th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Timbers 1-0 RSL

Good news for RSL: They realistically won’t finish below fourth in the West (barring a shocking end to the season.)

Bad news for RSL: They don’t much look like catching Colorado, Los Angeles or Dallas.

9. DC United (down one place)

  • 33 points, 7th in Eastern Conference
  • 14th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: NYRB 2-2 DC

A fantastic DC comeback or fantastic RBNY collapse? Doesn’t matter for United, who need to continue accruing as many points as they can to usurp Orlando for that last playoff spot and hold off New England.

10. Montreal Impact (down one place)

  • 38 points, 5th in Easter Conference
  • 11 in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Union 1-1 Impact

L’Impact are sitting precariously at 5th in the East and there is a scenario out there in which they don’t make the playoffs, however unlikely that may be. But they can’t afford to toboggan in form down the home stretch.

A 1-1 draw in Philadelphia is a good result for the Canadian side.

11. New York City Football Club (down eight places)

  • 44 points, 3rd in Eastern Conference
  • 7th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: New England 3-1 NYCFC

Tough result to take against New England, but things ain’t half bad at Yankee Stadium these days. The Yankees are riding a resurgence and NYCFC never needed one.

Patrick Viera’s men continue to lurk for the top seed in the East, just two points behind Toronto.

12. Philadelphia Union (down five places)

  • 41 points, 4th in Eastern Conference
  • 8th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Union 1-1 Impact

The right run of form could see Philadelphia jump into the top half of the playoff seeds before this season ends. Missed opportunity against a quality opponent at home this week, though.

13. Seattle Sounders (up three places)

  • 32 points, 9th in Western Conference
  • 17th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: San Jose 1-1 Seattle

Despite being second to last in their conference, they’re still in playoff contention. Because MLS.

14. Vancouver Whitecaps (up four places)

  • 34 points, 7th in Western Conference
  • 13th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Vancouver 3-1 Columbus

A match against the shambolic Columbus Crew is exactly what the doctor ordered for Vancouver, but will it be the magic elixir to solve their problems and reignite a playoff push or will it just be an Advil that temporarily alleviates the pain?

The win breaks an eight game winless streak, at least. And three goals trebled their output from their previous seven.

15. San Jose Earthquakes (up four places)

  • 33 points, 8th in Western Conference
  • 15th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: San Jose 1-1 Seattle

Shouts to Chris Wondolowski for continuing to score goals, his seventh consecutive with double digits.

Don’t look now, but San Jose aren’t actually out of the playoff race yet. Would’ve been a lot better for them had they beaten the Clint Dempsey-less Sounders at home.

16. Sporting Kansas City (down two places)

  • 39 points, 5th in Western Conference
  • 9th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: SKC 3-3 Dynamo

At home to Houston. Still fighting to keep a playoff spot. Simply has to be three points.

17. Orlando City (down four places)

  • 34, 6th in Eastern Conference
  • 12th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: LA 4-2 OCSC

In a vacuum, losing to Los Angeles on the road isn’t the worst thing in the world. Not even when conceding a quartet of goals, because Galaxy seem to do that regularly.

But a team embroiled in a three team race for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot, this is less than ideal.

18. Houston Dynamo (no movement)

  • 26 points, 10th in Western Conference
  • 18th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: SKC 3-3 Dynamo

At least their still fighting, still competing, still bothering teams who are trying to secure a playoff spot.

19. Chicago Fire (last week #10)

  • 26 points, 9th in Eastern Conference
  • 19th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Fire 1-2 TFC

After a brief reprieve from the lower places on this list last week, Chicago have drifted back to familiar territory on the back of a home defeat to Toronto. Call it the “three goals scored hangover”, a phenomenon so unfathomable from the Fire’s anemic attack yet they scored a treble two games ago.

20. Columbus Crew (down three spots)

  • 26 points, 10th in Eastern Conference
  • 20th in Supporters’ Shield race
  • Last result: Crew 1-3 Vancouver

There’s not a single more disappointing team in MLS this season than last season’s runners up. And they’ve hit their 2016 low with a 3-1 loss at home to Vancouver.