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MLS 2017 Power Rankings, Week 12: Philadelphia Union on the move

The Power Rankings respect wins above all else, and Philly is racking 'em up.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

TFC is still top - a draw at Red Bull Arena isn't a bad result - but the Rankings are finding Philly's recent form hard to ignore.

1. Toronto FC (no movement)

  • 26 points, 1st in Eastern Conference
  • 1st in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 1-1 TFC
Toronto's winning streak is stopped at six, but only because Luis Robles saved a penalty. And TFC is still unbeaten in its last seven league games.

2. Philadelphia Union (up 10 places)

  • 16 points, 7th in East
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last results: Union 2-0 Houston (May 17); Union 2-1 Colorado (May 20)
Entirely fair to point out that Philly's four-game winning streak has been compiled against teams that aren't in great form (RBNY, DC, and Colorado), or at home against a side that struggles on the road (Houston). But the Rankings only see a string of wins.

3. New York City FC (no movement)

  • 20 points, 3rd in East
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last results: RSL 2-1 NYCFC (May 17); Orlando 0-3 NYCFC (May 21)
The Rankings are baffled by NYCFC. It has four points from its last three games, which is middling form. But the draw was on the road against FCD, which was impressive. The win was on the road over Orlando: very impressive. The loss was against RSL in Utah: struggling Salt Lake's only win in its last six games.

Losing to RSL doesn't justify any upward movement; being the first team to beat Orlando in Orlando this season is an achievement to make the rest of the league take notice. So NYCFC stays where it is this week, and the Rankings hope next week will provide a clearer read on this team's current trajectory.

4. FC Dallas (down two places)

  • 19 points, 3rd in Western Conference
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 0-1 San Jose

It took a stunning goal for FCD to lose its first game of the season, and maybe an arguably freak result isn't good reason to drop Dallas out of the top three. But FCD hasn't won its last three home games, and that looks like a sign of a team cooling off.

5. Chicago Fire (up three places)

  • 21 points, 2nd in East
  • 3rd in Shield race
  • Last results: Fire 3-0 Colorado (May 17); DCU 0-1 Fire (May 20)
Three wins in a row, just one goal conceded in that stretch, and all three wins sandwiched into the week between May 13 and May 20: well worth a top-five spot on this list.
6. Vancouver Whitecaps (up one place)
  • 16 points, 6th in West
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: VWFC 2-0 KC
Good time to notice the Caps have won three of their last four games and just beat the best team in the West.

7. Sporting Kansas City (down two places)
  • 22 points, 1st in West
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last results: KC 3-0 Seattle (May 17); VWFC 2-0 KC (May 20)
The big win over Seattle was KC's only three-point haul in its last four games - and also its only home game in that stretch. The top team in the West is certainly a lot better than most in the league, but it doesn't feel like its exhibiting top-five power at the moment, so a step down the list seems to be warranted.

8. San Jose Earthquakes (up three places)
  • 19 points, 4th in West
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last results: SJ 1-1 Orlando (May 17); FCD 0-1 SJ (May 20)
The first team to beat FC Dallas in MLS 2017 this season - and in Dallas, no less. Also should be noted that the Quakes have now lost just one of their last five league games.

9. LA Galaxy (up six places)
  • 14 points, 7th in West
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: Minnesota 1-2 LA
This was supposed the time that the Galaxy's season tipped into crisis: a four-game road trip seemed likely to be disastrous for a team that could only get two points from a three-game home stand and had won just twice in its first nine games of the regular season.

But LA is loving the road so far. This week, it racked up its second consecutive away-day win, against a team - Minnesota - that some thought had started to figure itself out.

10. New England Revolution (up three places)
  • 16 points, 8th in East
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: Revs 2-1 Columbus
There are only four teams in the league with active winning streaks (i.e. consecutive games won) at the moment, and the Revs couldn't be the only one left out of the top 10 this week.

11. Columbus Crew (down two places)
  • 19 points, 5th in East
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: Revs 2-1 Columbus
Bumped out of the top 10 by New England this week. Columbus plays three of its next four games on the road, so it could be a while before its back in the upper tier of this list.

12. Atlanta United (up two places)
  • 15 points, 9th in East
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: Atlanta 4-1 Houston
Atlanta's first win since April and just its second win since March, so it's premature to say the team has turned itself around. But three points at home after a point in Portland in Week 11 is certainly progress.

13. Houston Dynamo (down nine places)
  • 19 points, 2nd in West
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last results: Union 2-0 Houston (May 17); Atlanta 4-1 Houston (May 20)
Houston played seven of its first 10 games of MLS 2017 at home, and it made them count - as its league position suggests. But it's as bad on the road (five losses from five games) as it is good at home (six wins and a draw from seven played), and it is now in the balancing part of its schedule: eight out of 11 games on the road between the week just concluded and July 22. It's looking like a rough summer for Houston if road form doesn't pick up.

14. Orlando City (down seven places)
  • 20 points, 4th in East
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last results: SJ 1-1 OCSC; OCSC 0-3 NYCFC
The shine has come off Orlando fast. The team is now winless in its last five, and just suffered its first loss at home of the new season (and in its new stadium).

15. Montreal Impact (up two places)
  • 13 points, 10th in East
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: IMFC 4-1 Portland
Just when you think L'Impact is reliably bad, it thumps a seemingly playoff-bound Portland.

16. Portland Timbers (down six places)
  • 18 points, 5th in West
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last result: Montreal 4-1 Portland
The Timbers have won one of their last six games and none of their last four.

17. Minnesota United (down one place)
  • 11 points, 9th in West
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: Minnesota 1-2 LA
Minnesota has flipped quickly from a team that had lost only one of its last four (on May 7) to one that has won just once since April 29.

18. Seattle Sounders (up three places)
  • 13 points, 8th in West
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last results: KC 3-0 Seattle (May 17); Seattle 1-0 RSL (May 20)
Overvalued in these Rankings perhaps, but the Sounders bob up the list because they did find a win this week and that's more than the teams below them can say.

19. New York Red Bulls (no movement)
  • 17 points, 6th in East
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 1-1 TFC
A team that can tie Toronto FC is probably better than a lot of teams in MLS, but the Red Bulls needed a little good fortune to claim the point (TFC had a penalty saved and a goal ruled out for offside - the correct call, but not a species of the offside rule MLS refs are consistently good at calling). And RBNY is still winless in four games.

20. Real Salt Lake (up two places)
  • 11 points, 10th in West
  • 21st in Shield race
  • Last results:  RSL 2-1 NYCFC; Seattle 1-0 RSL
Beat NYCFC and didn't lose by much in Seattle - a good week for a team that had lost four straight.

21. Colorado Rapids (down three places)
  • 7 points, 11th in West
  • 22nd in Shield race
  • Last results: Chicago 3-0 Colorado; Philadelphia 2-1 Colorado
Unlucky perhaps to play two of the hottest teams in the league on the road in the same week, but Colorado has lost seven of its last eight games, and eight of its last 10: the team can't claim it is unlucky to lose anywhere to anyone in MLS at the moment.

22. D.C. United (down two places)
  • 11  points, 11th in East
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: DCU 0-1 Chicago
DCU has lost three in a row - all at home, all without scoring. Welcome to rock-bottom form, DC.