Week 31 MLS Power Rankings

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2013

Week 31 MLS Power Rankings

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    It may be hard to believe, but the reality is that there's just one month remaining in the Major League Soccer regular season.

    With a month left, plenty is still on the line when it comes to earning spots in the MLS Cup playoffs and in the race for the Supporters' Shield trophy. 

    Another hotly contested race is the race to be No. 1 in the B/R MLS Power Rankings. 

    Which club came out on top this week? 

    Read on to find out. 

Criteria

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    Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

    Every week, our MLS experts will rank each team from one to 19.

    Each team will be given a point total for its specific ranking.

    For example, the team that is ranked No. 1 is given 19 points, while the last-place team receives just one point. 

    We will compile the votes each week, and the team with the highest point total will be placed atop the power rankings.

     

    Meet Our Voters

    Joe Tansey (@JTansey90): World football featured columnist

    John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran): MLS and United States national team featured columnist

    Eduardo Mendez (@MendezFC): MLS featured columnist 

    Peter Brownell (@PBNoRegard11):   World football featured columnist 

     

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com

19. D.C. United

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    Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 

    Last Week's Ranking: 19

    Week 31 Result: Loss to Toronto, 4-1. 

    Never has throwing in the towel looked uglier. 

    With the only meaningful match left in their season, the U.S. Open Cup Final, coming up on Tuesday, D.C. manager Ben Olsen decided to field a squad that was full of reserves and academy players. 

    After scoring the opening goal in the the 15th minute, the makeshift United team played just a like a team that was full of reserves and academy players by giving up four goals to a Toronto squad that is far from great itself. 

18. Chivas USA

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Points: 

    Last Week's Ranking: 17

    Week 31 Result: Loss to San Jose, 1-0. 

    Chivas USA suffered a late loss against a 10-man San Jose team on Sunday.

    Six minutes after going up a man, the worst club in the Western Conference conceded a goal and earned their 17th loss of the season. 

17. Toronto FC

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    Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 11 

    Last Week's Ranking: 18

    Week 31 Result: Win over D.C., 4-1. 

    Since Toronto Star columnist Cathal Kelly ripped apart Toronto FC after their win over D.C., I will try and write something nice about the Reds to avoid their feelings being hurt even further. 

    The Reds did score four goals at home on Saturday, but they did come against a D.C. squad that rested every single star player on their roster. 

    Lest we forget, the Reds also snapped their eight-match winless streak. 

16. FC Dallas

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 17 

    Last Week's Ranking: 14

    Week 31 Result: Loss to Columbus, 4-2. 

    FC Dallas bid a fond farewell to their playoff hopes on Sunday night by losing at home to Columbus. 

    Just a few months ago, the Hoops were sitting pretty on top of the Western Conference standings, and now they will have four matches left to wonder what happened to their dream start. 

15. Vancouver Whitecaps

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    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

    Points: 24 

    Last Week's Ranking: 11

    Week 31 Result: Loss to Real Salt Lake, 1-0. 

    The playoff hopes of Vancouver were handed yet another blow on Saturday as they fell to Real Salt Lake at home. 

    With two Cascadia Cup matches and two showdowns with Colorado left, Martin Rennie's side do have a chance of regaining a playoff spot, but that chance is slim at best, 

14. Chicago Fire

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    Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 25 

    Last Week's Ranking: 16

    Week 31 Result: Draw with Montreal, 2-2. 

    Take a second to think where the Fire would be had they not traded for Mike Magee. 

    Magee scored twice on Saturday night for Chicago, but their defense could not hold on for a full three points at home against Montreal. 

    The draw left Frank Klopas' side on the outside looking in at the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

    A win would have put the Fire even on points with Philadelphia for the fifth and final playoff position. 

13. San Jose Earthquakes

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Points: 26 

    Last Week's Ranking: 15

    Week 31 Result: Win over Chivas USA, 1-0. 

    Chris Wondolowski came to the rescue in the 87th minute against Chivas USA to keep San Jose's playoff hopes alive. 

    With Colorado off this week, the Earthquakes were able to move to within a point of the fifth-place Rapids in the West. 

    One thing going against San Jose is the fact that the Rapids still have a game in hand over them.

12. Columbus Crew

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 34 

    Last Week's Ranking: 12 

    Week 31 Result: Win over FC Dallas, 4-2. 

    Four different goalscorers helped Columbus pound FC Dallas on the road as they continued to keep their playoff dream alive. 

    Dominic Oduro and Federico Higuain both recorded a goal and an assist in the third consecutive win for the Crew, who are now just one point away from a playoff berth in the East. 

11. New England Revolution

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    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 36 

    Last Week's Ranking: 9

    Week 31 Result: Draw with Houston, 1-1. 

    In a match where they desperately needed a win to keep themselves in fifth place in the East, the Revolution drew with Houston. 

    Saer Sene scored the lone goal for the Revs in the 64th minute, but it was not enough to keep them ahead of Philadelphia in the race for the coveted fifth playoff spot in the East. 

10. Philadelphia Union

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 37 

    Last Week's Ranking: 13

    Week 31 Result: Win over Sporting, 1-0. 

    Just when you thought the Union were going to self-destruct once again, they surprised us all with a win at Sporting Park. 

    Conor Casey's match-winning goal in the 36th minute was the first goal scored by the Union in four matches. 

    The victory also broke the club's five-match winless streak and handed John Hackworth's men their first ever triumph in Kansas City. 

    Zac MacMath also recorded his league-leading 11th clean sheet of the season in the win. 

9. Houston Dynamo

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    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 46 

    Last Week's Ranking: 8

    Week 31 Result: Draw with New England, 1-1. 

    The Dynamo stayed above the chaos for the fifth playoff spot in the East thanks to a draw with New England. 

    Will Bruin's 78th-minute equalizer handed Houston their 44th point of the season. 

    Dominic Kinnear's squad will have to fight tooth and nail to keep their spot in fourth place over the next few weeks with matches against Montreal, Sporting and New York ahead in October. 

8. Colorado Rapids

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 47 

    Last Week's Ranking: 7

    Week 31 Result: No Match Played

    Colorado had the week off to rest up for a crucial stretch of October matches. 

    Heading into the final month of the season, the Rapids sit in fifth place in the West, just one point ahead of San Jose. 

7. Montreal Impact

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    Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 50 

    Last Week's Ranking: 10

    Week 31 Result: Draw with Chicago, 2-2. 

    Montreal halted their two-match skid with an 87th-minute equalizer from Maxim Tissot against Chicago. 

    Tissot's goal rescued the Impact from what could have been a disastrous third straight loss in the midst of a hotly contested playoff race.

    The Impact, who have not won since September 8, will face another team fighting for a playoff berth in Houston on Friday.

6. Los Angeles Galaxy

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    Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 57 

    Last Week's Ranking: 5

    Week 31 Result: Loss to Portland, 1-0. 

    The Galaxy's winless streak was extended to four matches after falling to Portland on the road. 

    Luckily for Los Angeles, they should not be in any danger of missing the playoffs, but if they do want to host Colorado in the one-match playoff to reach the semifinals, they will have to start getting results soon.

    A positive result will surely be had by Bruce Arena's club on Sunday when they square off against Chivas USA. 

5. Sporting Kansas City

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 59 

    Last Week's Ranking: 3

    Week 31 Result: Loss to Philadelphia, 1-0. 

    Bet you did not expect Sporting to fall at home on Friday night to Philadelphia.

    The team itself did not expect it either, and the loss put the Eastern Conference lead out of reach by four points after New York's draw with Seattle. 

     

4. Portland Timbers

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    Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 64 

    Last Week's Ranking: 6

    Week 31 Result: Win over Los Angeles, 1-0. 

    Max Urruti picked a great time to score his first career goal in MLS. 

    The Argentinian playmaker, who was dealt to Portland from Toronto a few weeks ago, scored the match-winner against Los Angeles at Jeld-Wen Field. 

    With the win, the Timbers were able to extend their lead over the Galaxy for third place in the West to four points. 

3. Seattle Sounders

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 67 

    Last Week's Ranking: 2

    Week 31 Result: Draw with New York, 1-1. 

    With a chance to take the outright lead in the Supporters' Shield race on Sunday, the Sounders could only manage a draw at home with New York. 

    The draw also dropped Sigi Schmid's club out of first place in the West, which is a position that now belongs to Real Salt Lake for the time being. 

2. Real Salt Lake

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    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

    Points: 72 

    Last Week's Ranking: 4

    Week 31 Result: Win over Vancouver, 1-0. 

    Devon Sandoval's noggin helped Real Salt Lake regain first place in the Western Conference.

    Sandoval scored in the ninth minute against Vancouver to hand RSL their 15th win of the season. 

    The victory also handed Jason Kreis' club a lifeline in the Supporters' Shield race, where they sit just one point behind New York. 

1. New York Red Bulls

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Points: 75 

    Last Week's Ranking: 1

    Week 31 Result: Draw with Seattle, 1-1. 

    Although they may have just drawn with Seattle, the Red Bulls once again impressed plenty of people by earning a point in a treacherous road environment. 

    With just three matches left, the Red Bulls lead the Supporters' Shield standings by one point over Seattle and RSL.

    For Mike Petke's club to win the trophy, they will most likely have to win all three of their remaining matches against New England, Houston and Chicago.