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MLS Power Rankings, Week 28: Landon leads LA Galaxy to the top of the pile

It wasn't a great week for the top teams, but someone has to be first on the list.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

They all tied. Every one of the top six in the Supporters' Shield race after 28 weeks of MLS 2016: they all tied.

Top 10 in the Shield race after Week 28

Top 10 in the Shield race after Week 28

And Philly and RSL both lost. Tempting as it is to punt Portland up to the top of these Power Rankings for being the only team in the top 10 of the Shield race to win a game in Week 28, this week's list swallows its pride and lets a team that tied move up to the top spot.

1. LA Galaxy (up one place)

  • 48 points, 2nd in Western Conference
  • 2nd in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: Kansas City 2-2 LA
The Galaxy has quietly pivoted out of a six-game winless streak into a six-game unbeaten run. And the latest result was secured by an off-the-bench equalizer from no-longer-retired Landon Donovan.

With two of its last four games against league-leading FC Dallas, the Galaxy is within striking distance of the Shield, if it can sustain its Donovan-boosted form.

2. New England Revolution (up five places)

  • 36 points, 6th in the East
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: Montreal 1-3 New England

Yes, the Revs might not even make the playoffs. But New England now has the longest active winning streak in MLS (three games). And they were each solid results: Colorado and NYCFC beaten at home, followed by Week 28's road win over Montreal. That is three teams with post-season expectations, all bested by the resurgent Revs.

3. Portland Timbers (up three places)

  • 41 points, 5th in West
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: Timbers 2-1 Philadelphia

Second win in a row for Portland, now officially making a late surge toward the playoffs and a chance to defend its MLS Cup title.

4. Toronto FC (down three places)

  • 47 points, 1st in East
  • 3rd in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 3-3 RBNY

TFC took a little too long to remember RBNY is fragile on the road, effectively running out of time to post the win that seemed increasingly inevitable as the second half progressed. Turning a 3-1 loss into a 3-3 tie was a positive achievement, but coughing up three goals by the 48th minute was not.

5. Colorado Rapids (down two places)

  • 47 points, 3rd in West
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: Rapids 0-0 San Jose

After some discouraging losses, the Rapids have got back to their binary best: following Week 27's 1-0 win with a 0-0 draw. Tying San Jose at home isn't the best result, but Colorado's form is best judged by the score rather than the opponent: if the ones and zeroes are out and the Rapids are getting points, then things are looking good.

6. FC Dallas (down two places)

  • 52 points, 1st in West
  • 1st in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 2-2 FCD

Between Weeks 27 and 28, FC Dallas won the US Open Cup. So the Rankings are not going to read too much into the fact the team has taken one point from its last two games: there has been a competing priority. FCD is still top of the league, and has to drop a few more points for anyone to catch up. It isn't showing great power right now, but it doesn't need to at the moment.

7. New York Red Bulls (down two places)

  • 45 points, 2nd in East
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 3-3 RBNY

RBNY's ranking will keep falling until the slapstick tendency to drop two-goal leads is eliminated.

8. Houston Dynamo (up 10 places)

  • 29 points, 10th in West
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 0-1 Houston

Not a typo. It wasn't a great week for power, and so Houston gets perhaps excessive credit just for winning a game. Plus it was a win that handed RSL its first home loss of the season. And the Dynamo has now lost only one of its last six league matches.

9. Seattle Sounders (up four places)

  • 35 points, 7th in West
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last result: Sounders 1-0 Whitecaps

Time give credit to Seattle for hauling itself into playoff contention with an impressive one-loss-in-eight-games run. The post-season is still a long-shot for Seattle, whose best hope remains a few more weeks like this when just about every team above it contrives to drop points.

10. D.C. United (down one place)

  • 34 points, 7th in East
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: Chicago 2-2 DCU

Another late injury-time equalizer to claim a second-consecutive 2-2 draw gets DC plenty of marks for grit, but not sufficient points to stay above the red line that cordons off playoff haves from the have-nots. Still, DCU remains in contention for the post-season, about as convincingly as it remains in the top 10 of this list.

11. New York City FC (no movement)

  • 45 points, 3rd in East
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 2-2 FCD

The 2-2 draw against FCD wasn't a bad result for NYCFC, just not good enough to move up or down in the Rankings this week.

12. Real Salt Lake (down four places)

  • 44 points, 4th in West
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 0-1 Houston

It's starting to feel like the wheels might be coming off for RSL: winless in three, scoreless in its last two, and no longer unbeaten at home. It is a safe enough bet to make the playoffs, but the goals - and wins - need to come back for the post-season to be anything but a brief extension to this late-season slump.

13. Columbus Crew (up seven places)

  • 29 points, 9th in East
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: OCSC 1-4 Columbus

The most surprising result of the week gets the Crew a (probably brief) break from being bottom of the heap.

14. Philadelphia Union (down two places)

  • 41 points, 4th in East
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: Portland 2-1 Philly

Philly can probably afford to lose every one of its remaining games and still - just - make the playoffs, and it seems determined to test that thesis. The Union is now winless in three, including losses in each of its last two road games. This does not bode well for a team that must play its next two games away to TFC and RBNY.

15. Montreal Impact (down five places)

  • 38 points, 5th in East
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: IMFC 1-3 New England

Perhaps the least predictable team in MLS this season, L'Impact is slumping again. It has now shipped seven goals in its last two home games, to middleweight opponents (Orlando and New England). So it will surely win its next game (against RBNY in Harrison) by three goals. Such is the confounding logic of the 2016 Montreal Impact.

16. Sporting Kansas City (no movement)

  • 40 points, 6th in West
  • 10th in the Shield race
  • Last result: KC 2-2 LA

On the bright side, the team is scoring: five goals in its last two games. On the less bright side, those two games were draws at home. And now KC heads into a three-game road trip seeking to hold its position in the Western Conference playoff places.

17. San Jose Earthquakes (down two places)

  • 34 points, 9th in West
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: Colorado 0-0 San Jose

A draw in Colorado is a good result, but the Quakes are winless in their last five games. They need wins. Urgently.

18. Chicago Fire (up one place)

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

The Fire is up a place this week more to make room for Vancouver's fall than for anything particularly impressive about letting DC sneak a point out of Bridgeview at the last minute.

19. Vancouver Whitecaps (down five places)

  • 34 points, 8th in West
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: Seattle 1-0 Vancouver

A run of one win in its last 10 games has Vancouver sliding rapidly out of playoff contention.

20. Orlando City (down three places)

  • 34 points, 8th in East
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: OCSC 1-4 Columbus

Sorry, OCSC: losing to Columbus is a bad result in 2016; getting thrashed by Columbus at home is a dreadful result. And the 4-1 loss to the Crew was the second time in a row Orlando has conceded four goals (and lost).