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MLS 2017 Power Rankings, Week 6: Portland Timbers are on top again

All but one team changed position in the Rankings this week.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

All change this week: Portland bounces back to the top of Power Rankings; Philadelphia sinks to the bottom; only Atlanta holds its position from Week 5.

1. Portland Timbers (up two places)

  • 13 points, 1st in Western Conference
  • 1st in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: Philadelphia Union 1-3 Portland

Is Philly bad? Certainly seems that way right now, but that doesn't change the fact that roads wins are relatively hard to come by in MLS and comeback road wins even rarer. The Timbers won zero games on the road in MLS 2016; in 2017, they have already won two away-days. With back-to-back home games up next, the Timbers might be settling in for another few weeks at the top of these Rankings.

2. FC Dallas (up four places)

  • 10 points, 2nd in West
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 2-0 Minnesota

It is getting hard to overlook the fact that FCD is unbeaten in MLS 2017 and has won three of the four games it has played.

3. Sporting Kansas City (up five places)

  • 9 points, 4th in West
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: SKC 3-1 Colorado

Speaking of a record that is getting hard to overlook: KC picked up just its second win of 2017 this week, but also conceded just its second goal in its first five game of the season. Another undefeated team in the season to date, KC's early-season power will be thoroughly tested in the next couple of weeks - it plays the two teams above it in these Rankings next: Portland and FCD, both on the road.

4. Atlanta United (no movement)

  • 8 points, 3rd in Eastern Conference
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: Toronto 2-2 Atlanta

The Rankings were impressed by Atlanta's 2-2 road draw against (still undefeated in 2017) TFC, and even more impressed that it came on the heels of last week's 0-0 draw in Seattle. The Expansion United has now played both of last year's MLS Cup finalists on their own turf, and it didn't lose either game. Worth a top-five spot for another week.

5. Columbus Crew (down four places)

  • 10 points, 1st in East
  • 3rd in Shield race
  • Last result: Chicago 1-0 Columbus
The Rankings can't be too hard on the Crew for seeing a three-game winning streak snapped by a narrow loss in Chicago, but Columbus also can't expect to be top team on this list after a week in which it let itself be undone by one pass from the edge of the center-circle.

6. New England Revolution (up five places)

  • 7 points, 5th in East
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: Revs 2-0 Houston

Over-compensation time, perhaps. Last week's Rankings expressed some regret at not giving the Revs greater credit for their 1-1 draw in Portland. This week, they beat Houston with some confidence, becoming the first team to keep the reworked Dynamo offense off the board this season. The Rankings think pretty highly of Houston; now they are warming up to the Revs.

7. Orlando City (up three places)

  • 9 points, 2nd in East
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: OCSC 1-0 RBNY

Being one of the few places in the league with reliably warm weather at the start of the season, Orlando gets a lot of home games at the front end of its schedule and has made the most of them. This week brought its third home win of MLS 2017 in its third home game of the new season. And though it hasn't scored many, it has conceded only one goal in those three games. The Lions lost their only away of the season to date, so perhaps the perception of superior power will prove short-lived, but for now they are getting the sort of results the Rankings are inclined to admire.

8. Toronto FC (down one place)

  • 7 points, 9th in East
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 2-2 Atlanta

This week brought TFC its second draw at home this season, in its second game at home this season. The team is still undefeated in MLS 2017 and showing every sign of being a difficult opponent for most in the league, but the Rankings perceive just a little cooling off in Toronto. Just a little.

9. Chicago Fire (up seven places)

  • 8 points, 4th in East
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: Chicago 1-0 Columbus

The Fire is getting a lot of credit for beating Columbus by one goal, but it was the goal that dropped the Crew from the top of this list.

10. Houston Dynamo (down eight places)

  • 9 points, 3rd in West
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: New England 2-0 Dynamo

This is the moment in the season when the Rankings note that Houston - the highest-scoring team in MLS that hasn't yet played Minnesota - has only won at home and just got shut out for the first time in league play this year. It is also the moment when the Rankings note that the Dynamo will play Minnesota in Houston next, so maybe it would be a little premature to drop the team out of the top 10 this week.

11. D.C. United (up six places)

  • 7 points, 8th in East
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last result: DCU 2-1 NYCFC

Two wins in a row for DCU continues the bounce back from its one-point-and-no-goals start to the new campaign. After three scoreless games, the team seems to have found momentum with a couple of home wins. Next up is RBNY at Red Bull Arena: the biggest test yet of DC's revival.

12. New York City FC (down seven places)

  • 7 points, 6th in East
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last result: DCU 2-1 NYCFC

Big drop for NYCFC for a narrow loss on the road, but it was a loss to a team the Rankings didn't rate very highly last week. Brace for how far the team drops if it contrives to lose to Philadelphia next week.

13. Seattle Sounders (down four places)

  • 6 points, 7th in West
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: San Jose 1-1 Sounders

The Sounders haven't lost since opening day, but they also have only won one of their first five games of the season, tied their last two matches, and scored once in those two games.

14. LA Galaxy (up six places)

  • 6 points, 6th in West
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 2-0 IMFC
The pattern of LA's season to date is not convincing. It has lost to FCD (generally agreed to be very good), Portland (starting the year hot), and Vancouver (on the road, but still...). It has beaten RSL in Utah, but at a time when RSL was in poor form (which is basically any time this season but this week), and Montreal - one of only two remaining winless teams in MLS 2017.

So the Galaxy is on the rise again, but mostly because the Rankings must concede the teams below it have looked worse.

15. Minnesota United (down two places)

  • 4 points, 11th in West
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 2-0 Minnesota

Minnesota has now lost four out of six and this was the first game of the season in which it has failed to score. But FCD 'keeper Jesse Gonzalez had to play particularly well for his clean sheet and Dallas is a very good team, especially at home. So Minnesota might be overvalued here, but it will stay that way for another week at least.

16. Real Salt Lake (up six places)

  • 5 points, 8th in West
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 3-0 VWFC

First win of the season sees RSL striding up the Rankings. Next up is the Rapids in Colorado...we'll see how long Salt Lake can stay away from the bottom of the table.

17. Montreal Impact (down two places)

  • 3 points, 10th in East
  • 21st in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 2-0 IMFC
Only Philly and L'Impact have yet to register a win in the league, so Montreal really should be down the very bottom of this list with the Union. The team is on its way down, for sure. But its progress is stalled by some sympathy for the circumstances of this week's loss, which stopped being a fair fight after Jermaine Jones appeared to milk a foul for all he could - which was a red card for Marco Donadel. After being reduced to 10 men, it would have taken quite a fightback for Montreal to get back into the game, and that didn't quite materialize.

18. Colorado Rapids (down four places)

  • 4 points, 9th in West
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: KC 3-1 Rapids
The Rankings are preoccupied with what a team has done recently, and the Rapids didn't play for two weeks and then returned to league action with a 3-1 loss. They have gone cold.

19. Vancouver Whitecaps (down seven places)

  • 4 points, 10th in West
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 3-0 VWFC
Perhaps last week's 4-2 win over LA was a false dawn. Vancouver has now lost three of its last four, and has been shutout in three of the five games it has played so far this season.

20. San Jose Earthquakes (down two places)

  • 7 points, 5th in West
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: SJ 1-1 Seattle

San Jose has now gone three straight games without a win and needed a last-minute equalizer this week from (who else?) Chris Wondolowski to avoid a third-straight loss.

21. New York Red Bulls (down two places)

  • 7 points, 7th in East
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: Orlando 1-0 RBNY
Winless in four, outscored 8-2 in that stretch: let's not pretend RBNY has any place in a conversation about power in MLS at the moment.

22. Philadelphia Union (down one place)

  • 2 points, 11th in East
  • 22nd in Shield race
  • Last result: Union 1-3 Timbers

The first team in MLS 2017 to string together three consecutive losses: the only way is up for the Union.