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MLS 2017 Power Rankings, Week 8: Orlando rising, but FC Dallas is top

FCD claims its reward for beating last week's top team.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The big surprise this week is Philadelphia isn't bottom of the list...

1. FC Dallas (up one place)

  • 14 points, 2nd in Western Conference
  • 3rd in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 1-0 KC
FCD is the last remaining undefeated team in MLS 2017 and just beat the team that was top of these Rankings last week: of course it is top in Week 8.

2. Orlando City SC (up two places)

  • 15 points, 1st in Eastern Conference
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 1-2 OCSC
Orlando's first away win of the season makes it fives wins from its first six league games, and gives it the longest active winning streak in MLS 2017: it has won three straight, and is heading home to play slumping Colorado in Week 9. FCD might have difficulty holding on to the top spot for long.

3. Sporting Kansas City (down two places)

  • 12 points, 4th in West
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 1-0 SKC
Feels like we can't punish KC too badly for the crime of losing its unbeaten record on the road in Dallas, especially since it only lost 1-0. Plus, KC plays its next two games at home, so it might be on the rise again very shortly.

4. Portland Timbers (up two places)

  • 16 points, 1st in West
  • 1st in Shield race
  • Last result: Timbers 2-1 Vancouver

The top team in the league is fourth in the Power Rankings. The Timbers will put that right if they beat FCD in Dallas next week.

5. Atlanta United (up two places)

  • 11 points, 4th in East
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 1-3 Atlanta
Atlanta is currently playing a lop-sided schedule. This week saw it complete a four-game road trip, and it will play seven of its first 10 games of the season away from home. Credit the team with getting through the last four matches with just one loss, and give some thought to the possibility that Atlanta is undervalued even at fifth in these Rankings.

6. Toronto FC (up six places)

  • 10 points, 7th in East
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 3-1 Chicago

This week brought TFC's second win of the season and its first at home, but Sebastian Giovinco has started scoring again and the team is one game into a three-game home stand. Plus, it has only lost once in the league to date. Feels like TFC might be powering up.

7. Chicago Fire (down two places)

  • 11 points, 5th in East
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 3-1 Chicago

It's starting to feel like Chicago doesn't travel well. Three wins out of four games at home (and the other was a tie) has established that this year's Fire might be a lot better than last year's league-worst squad. But even dead-last-in-2016 Chicago only lost three home games; it was the 14 losses on the road (and eight ties at home) that left the Fire a long way off the pace last season. Currently, the Fire has one point from three road games in 2017.

Chicago gets a modest drop for losing to TFC this week, but it has two more away-days before it next plays in Bridgeview. If away form doesn't pick up, however, it is going to slide further quickly.

8. New York Red Bulls (up eight places)

  • 13 points, 3rd in East
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 2-0 Columbus

RBNY now has back-to-back wins, and if an eight-place jump seems like a lot of credit for merely the team's second consecutive 2-0 win at home, consider that it is one of only two teams in MLS at the moment that can claim to be on a winning streak.

Also, the Red Bulls have now gone four straight games at Red Bull Arena without conceding a goal, and they have one match left in the three-game home stand that has snapped them out of what had been a four-game winless slump.

9. Columbus Crew SC (down six places)

  • 13 points, 2nd in East
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 2-0 Crew

A big drop for a team that merely lost a game on the road this week, but it also is a team with a near-identical record to RBNY, and it just lost to RBNY. So the Rankings want the Crew below the Red Bulls, and that means Columbus had to fall however far was necessary for that to happen.

10. Houston Dynamo (up two places)

  • 13 points, 3rd in West
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: Dynamo 2-0 San Jose

Back to winning ways at home this week, back into the top 10.

11. New York City FC (down three places)

  • 10 points, 6th in East
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 1-2 OCSC
This is the second time this season that NYCFC has lost to Orlando, so the Rankings are confident Orlando has more power than the blue team in New York. Also, losing at home tends to reflect badly on a team's power, so NYCFC has to take a step outside the top 10 this week.

12. Minnesota United (up three places)

  • 8 points, 8th in West
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: Minnesota 1-0 Colorado

All the Loons did this week was win at home against Colorado - falling fast enough that even Philadelphia can't stop them hitting the bottom of this list - but they also proved a point. The 1-0 win was Minnesota's first clean sheet of the season, and that is quite an achievement for a team that conceded 24 goals over its first seven games of MLS 2017.

13. D.C. United (no movement)

  • 8 points, 9th in East
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: New England 2-2 DC

A point on the road achieved with goals after getting shut out by RBNY last week is enough for DCU to hold position in Week 8.

14. Montreal Impact (no movement)

  • 7 points, 10th in East
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: Philadelphia 3-3 Montreal

On the one hand, L'Impact feel into a three-goal hole against Philly, a team that had only scored five in its first seven games of MLS 2017. On the other hand, Montreal dug out of the hole for a point on the road. Split the difference: no movement this week.

15. Seattle Sounders (up four places)

  • 9 points, 5th in West
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 0-3 Seattle
Seattle might be the last team this season to get significant credit for beating the Galaxy in LA, because Seattle is now the third team to achieve that feat this year - and only four have tried so far. Still, for now, winning in LA feels like the work of a good team: the other two to do it in 2017 to date are FC Dallas and Portland. So maybe Seattle should have jumped a little higher this week.

16. New England Revolution (down seven places)

  • 9 points, 8th in East
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last reults: Revs 0-0 San Jose (April 19); Revs 2-2 DC (April 22)
Two points from back-to-back home games isn't good enough, especially when one was against San Jose.

17. Real Salt Lake (down seven places)

  • 8 points, 7th in West
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 1-3 Atlanta

After consecutive wins under new coach Mike Petke, RSL has been brought back down to earth. Petke took over a team that looked like it needed a lot of work. In losing 3-1 at home to Atlanta, RSL looked like the team it had been before Petke landed the head coaching job.

18. Vancouver Whitecaps (down one place)

  • 7 points, 9th in West
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: Portland 2-1 Vancouver

After a shaky start, the Caps have settled in to winning at home and losing away, which is respectable if not exceptional form. But Vancouver plays its next three games on the road, so it might be stuck at the lower end of the Rankings for a while.

19. LA Galaxy (down one place)

  • 6 points, 10th in West
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 0-3 Seattle
That there can still somehow be three less powerful teams than LA in the league after it got trounced at home is one of the more puzzling Rankings decisions this week.

20. San Jose Earthquakes (no movement)

  • 9 points, 6th in West
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last results: Revs 0-0 San Jose (April 19); Houston 2-0 SJ (April 22)

Played twice in Week 8, scored none and now six games in to a winless streak. San Jose's league position looks increasingly at odds with its actual form. Still, the Quakes grabbed a point on the road, which is at least worth falling no further in the Rankings.

21. Philadelphia Union (up one place)

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

Yes, the only winless team left in the league is on the rise. Three goals scored this week is as many as the Union had managed in the month preceding the draw with Montreal. Not coincidentally, this week was also the first time the Union hasn't lost since March 11. So the Rankings see the faintest flicker of power in Philadelphia.

22. Colorado Rapids (down one place),

  • 4 points, 11th in West
  • 21st in Shield race
  • Last result:Minnesota 1-0 Rapids
One point from its last five games and currently on a three-match losing streak: things are bad for Colorado. And they seem likely to get worse, since Week 9 brings a trip to Orlando.