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MLS 2017 Power Rankings, Week 20: LA Galaxy plummets, New York Red Bulls soar

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The Red Bulls sprouted wings in Week 20 and flew into the top 10 of the Power Rankings.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

A bit of reset this week as NYFC takes over top spot and LA sinks ever closer to rock-bottom of the Rankings...

1. New York City FC (up two places)
  • 37 points, 3rd in Eastern Conference
  • 3rd in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last results: NYCFC 2-2 Toronto (July 19); NYCFC 2-1 Chicago (July 22)
Four points from two home games is decent, but not exceptional. Still, NYCFC welcomed the two top teams in the league to Yankee Stadium in Week 20, and sent both home with something to think about. The team will see Toronto again in Week 21 - in Toronto this time - and the result of that game will go some way to deciding whether NYCFC spends any significant time at the top of these Rankings.

2. Toronto FC (no movement)

  • 40 points, 1st in East
  • 1st in Shield race
  • Last results: NYCFC 2-2 TFC (July 19); TFC 1-1 Colorado (July 22)
TFC has been hit a little harder than most teams by Gold Cup, with a slew of players donated to the group stage, and a couple of stars - Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley - called up by the USA for the knockout rounds. In that context, two ties from a double-game week isn't bad at all.

3. Chicago Fire (down two places)
  • 38 points, 2nd in East
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 2-1 Chicago
The Fire's unbeaten streak was ended at 11 games by a spirited NYCFC. Most likely, the result is simply a blip for what looks to be an increasingly confident and consistent team. For now, however, the loss sees Chicago take a step or two down from the top of the Rankings.

4. Atlanta United (up one place)
  • 33 points, 4th in East
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: Orlando 0-1 Atlanta
Atlanta has the longest active winning streak in MLS - four games - with the team it just beat on the road (Orlando) coming to visit in Week 21.

5. FC Dallas (up two places)
  • 34 points, 1st in Western Conference
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: Montreal 1-2 FCD
Dallas' slump is well and truly over: the team has lost just one of its last eight league games, won its last three outings in MLS, and is back at the top of the West.

6. Seattle Sounders (up two places)
  • 30 points, 5th in West
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last results: Seattle 4-3 DCU (July 19); Seattle 3-0 San Jose (July 23)
Seven goals and two wins in one week is quite the display of power.

7. Sporting Kansas City (down three places)
  • 33 points, 2nd in West
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 1-1 KC
KC is unbeaten in its last seven league games, but it has only won two of those - and it has tied its last three matches in MLS. It is doing just fine, lurking on the edge of the Shield race and well established in the race for the Western Conference title, but three consecutive draws isn't the way to advance in the Power Rankings.

8. New York Red Bulls (up eight places)
  • 32 points, 5th in East
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last results: RBNY 5-1 San Jose (July 19); Minnesota 0-3 RBNY (July 22)
Welcome back to the Power Rankings' top 10, RBNY. Back-to-back wins by an aggregate score of 8-1 is perhaps the most power the Red Bulls have shown all year.

9. Houston Dynamo (no movement)
  • 32 points, 3rd in West
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last results: Minnesota 0-0 Houston (July 19); DCU 1-3 Houston (July 22)
Four points from back-to-back road games is arguably worth a little more than simply holding position on this list; Houston has a case for being harshly treated by the Rankings this week.

10. Vancouver Whitecaps (down three places)
  • 27 points, 6th in West
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last results: LA 0-1 VWFC (July 19); VWFC 1-2 Portland (July 23)
Winning in LA was good, losing at home was not so good: on balance, the Rankings thinks Vancouver needs to drop for those points dropped at home.

11. Colorado Rapids (no movement)
  • 20 points, 10th in West
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: Toronto 1-1 Colorado
A point on the road in Toronto is a good enough result for Colorado to hold steady this week.

12. Montreal Impact (no movement)
  • 24 points, 8th in East
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last results: Montreal 2-1 Philadelphia (July 19); Montreal 1-2 FCD (July 22)
A win-one-lose-one week for Montreal in what continues to be a win-some-lose-some season for the team.

13. Columbus Crew (up two places)
  • 31 points, 6th in East
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: Columbus 1-0 Philadelphia
The Crew has won three of its last four games, and could argue it is being undervalued by the Rankings at the moment. It has a three-game road trip starting in Week 21, so the chance to prove the Rankings wrong is arrived.

14. Real Salt Lake (up three places)
  • 24 points, 8th in West
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last results: Portland 1-4 RSL (July 19); RSL 1-1 KC (July 22)
RSL is unbeaten in three games, with 12 goals scored in that run. The club's off-field power was boosted in Week 20 by Mike Petke's magnificent post-match rant about refereeing standards in MLS - complete with hand-outs.


15. Philadelphia Union (down five places)
  • 23 points, 9th in East
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last results: Montreal 2-1 Philadelphia (July 19); Columbus 1-0 Philadelphia (July 22)
The Union has struggled on the road for most of the season, and Week 20 was no different.

16. Portland Timbers (up four places)
  • 30 points, 4th in West
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last results: Portland 1-4 RSL (July 19); VWFC 1-2 Portland (July 23)
A big jump up the Rankings for a team that lost 4-1 at home to RSL. But RSL is starting to resemble a good team, and the win in Vancouver made it clear that the Timbers aren't nearly as troubled as several other sides in MLS at the moment.

17. San Jose Earthquakes (down three places)
  • 26 points, 7th in West
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last results: RBNY 5-1 San Jose (July 19); Seattle 3-0 San Jose (July 23)
San Jose closed out a calamitous three-game road trip with back-to-back losses. The Quakes have lost three in a row - outscored 12-3 - and rather urgently need a return to form on their home field in Week 21.

18. New England Revolution (up three places)
  • 23 points, 10th in East
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: Revs 4-3 LA
We learned this week that the Revs can at least beat LA. That seems to be true for most teams in the league, but it is at least worth a bounce up the Rankings - for now.

19. Orlando City (no movement)
  • 29 points, 7th in East
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: Orlando 0-1 Atlanta
Orlando has won twice in MLS since the beginning of May. All that can be said for it at the moment is that there are other teams with worse problems - but not many.

20.  Minnesota United (down two places)
  • 19 points, 11th in West
  • 21st in Shield race
  • Last results: Minnesota 0-0 Houston (July 19); Minnesota 0-3 RBNY (July 22)
Minnesota hasn't scored in three straight games - and all of those were played at home. It is also on a five-game winless streak. The Loons would appear to have lost their way.

21. LA Galaxy (down eight places)
  • 22 points, 9th in West
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last results: LA 0-1 Vancouver (July 19); New England 4-3 LA (July 22)
LA is now on a five-game losing streak - and it faces in-form Seattle in Week 21.

22. D.C. United (no movement)
  • 18 points, 11th in East
  • 22nd in Shield race
  • Last results: Seattle 4-3 DCU (July 19); DCU 1-3 Houston (July 22)
There are still many games to play in MLS, so it will be a few more weeks yet before we find out whether it is fair to say DC's loss to Seattle - during which it coughed up a three-goal lead - was the moment 2017 became a lost cause for the team.