So here we are, the final month of the 2013 Major League Soccer regular season. Heading into the final push for playoff positions, Real Salt Lake take the top spot in the MLS Power Rankings. Seattle and New York give chase, while D.C. United continues to lag at the bottom.
Movers, shakers, and a lot of money-makers. The parity-fueled MLS Power Rankings on the View from Avalon continue…now.
1. Real Salt Lake
Jason Kreis’s Real Salt Lake move up to the top of the MLS Power Rankings once again after a ninth-minute goal from Devon Sandoval gave RSL a massive 1-0 shutout victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C.
Two matchups are on the way for RSL this week. First, it’s the U.S. Open Cup Final with D.C. United at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Oct. 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by GolTV. On Oct. 5, the home stand continues as Real Salt Lake host FC Dallas. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by CW30.
2. New York Red Bulls
Tim Cahill sent the New York Red Bulls closer to the MLS Supporters’ Shield with a 76th-minute strike, giving the Red Bulls a 1-1 draw with the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash. New York can clinch the Shield at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on Oct. 5 against the New England Revolution. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will be televised by MSG.
3. Columbus Crew
Robert Warzycha’s Columbus Crew continue to pile on the wins. Goals from Federico Higuain (9′), Jairo Arrieta (17′), Dominic Oduro (44′) and Bernardo Anor (86′) paced the Crew to a massive 4-2 victory over FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Tex. Columbus are back in action on Oct. 5 against Sporting Kansas City at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by FOX Sports Ohio.
4. Portland Timbers
Take a bow, Maximiliano Urruti. Maxi gave a rousing introduction in the 52nd minute with a trademark backheel goal to give Caleb Porter’s Portland Timbers a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore.
Urruti will need to keep adding to his contributions so that Portland are in the running for a spot in the playoffs. The Timbers travel to BC Place Stadium on Oct. 6 to face the Vancouver Whitecaps in a Cascadia Cup match. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET and will be televised by ROOT SPORTS.
5. Seattle Sounders
Brad Evans put Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders ahead on a penalty in the 45th minute of play, but they could not build on their result and were consigned to a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls at CenturyLink Field. Seattle continue their season on Oct. 5 against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC Sports Network.
6. Houston Dynamo
Dominic Kinnear’s Houston Dynamo opened up the week with a 2-0 shutout victory over W Connection in CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tex. Jason Johnson (39′) and Bobby Boswell (51′) scored for the Dynamo, who traveled to Gillette Stadium on Saturday and drew 1-1 with the New England Revolution. Will Bruin spared the Men in Orange some Major League blushes in the 76th minute.
Houston return to action on Oct. 4 when they host the Montreal Impact in an important MLS Eastern Conference clash. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet.
7. Colorado Rapids
Oscar Pareja’s Colorado Rapids were off this past week and will return to action on Oct. 5 against the Seattle Sounders at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC Sports.
8. San Jose Earthquakes
Mark Watson’s San Jose Earthquakes won another game shorthanded as they shut out Chivas USA 1-0 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Chris Wondolowski was the hero in the 87th minute after he took advantage of a botched save from Dan Kennedy.
San Jose will take the week off before hosting the Colorado Rapids at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif. on Oct. 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet.
9. Los Angeles Galaxy
Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy first team can learn a thing or two from the reserves in knowing how to close out a match.
That’s because on Wednesday, the reserves were in action against Club Sport Cartagines in CONCACAF Champions League play at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica. Goals from Jack McBean (6′), Chandler Hoffman (18′) and Laurent Courtois (29′) sunk Los Azules, 3-0. On Sunday, the first team couldn’t do their end of the bargain as they were shut out 1-0 by the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.
Still, the Galaxy are now in the quarterfinals of the CCL, but if they want to play in the CCL after that, they need to qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs first, and for a team that just finds creative ways to lose games…that’s easier said than done. Los Angeles are back in action on Oct. 6 against Chivas USA in the final installment of the SuperClasico at the StubHub Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET and will be televised by UniMas and Time Warner Cable Sportsnet.
10. New England Revolution
Saer Sene gave Jay Heaps’s New England Revolution a 1-0 lead, but they couldn’t hold on and were consigned to a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium. It won’t get any easier for the Revs, who face the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 5 at Red Bull Arena. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet.
11. Sporting Kansas City
Peter Vermes’s Sporting Kansas City fell to the Philadelphia Union 1-0 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. and will look to rebound from their production issues on Oct. 5 at Crew Stadium against the Columbus Crew. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KSMO-TV.
12. Chicago Fire
Mike Magee scored a brace in the 57th and 73rd minutes to give Frank Klopas’s Chicago Fire a 2-2 draw with the Montreal Impact at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The Fire continue their season on Oct. 4 against D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC Sports.
13. Philadelphia Union
Conor Casey was the hero for John Hackworth’s Philadelphia Union in the 36th minute as the Union stunned Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, at Sporting Park. Up next for the Union is a match with Toronto FC at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. on Oct. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by The Comcast Network.
14. Toronto FC
Ryan Nelsen’s Toronto FC had their best game of the year, routing D.C. United 4-1 at BMO Field in Toronto, Ont. A 71st-minute own goal from Conor Shanosky combined woith goals from Darel Russell (25′), Bright Dike (57′) and Alvaro Rey (87′) put smiles on the faces of the 15,879 long-suffering fans. At least those in TFC colors, at that.
Toronto return to action on Oct. 5 against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by TSN 2.
15. Vancouver Whitecaps
After getting shut out 1-0 at BC Place Stadium by Real Salt Lake, Martin Rennie’s Vancouver Whitecaps are running out of time and points to get back in the chase. They need a win on Oct. 5 against the Portland Timbers at home to stay in contention for a playoff spot. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by TEAM 1410.
16. Montreal Impact
It was a sour week for Marco Schallibaum’s Montreal Impact. They did defeat C.D. Heredia 2-0 in CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday at Stade Saputo, but they were eliminated from quarterfinals contention on the tiebreaker. Daniele Paponi (4′) and Andrew Wenger (53′) scored for L’Impact. On Saturday at Toyota Park, goals from Marco Di Vaio (25′) and Maxim Tissot (87′) salvaged a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire.
Montreal are back in action on Oct. 4 against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by TVA Sports.
17. FC Dallas
Despite goals from Blas Perez (21′) and Mauro Diaz (54′), Schellas Hyndman’s FC Dallas dropped another match, 4-2, to the Columbus Crew at Toyota Stadium. Once a lock to enter the postseason, Dallas stand on the brink of being eliminated from contention if they don’t turn it around on Oct. 5 against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by Time Warner Cable Sportsnet.
18. Chivas USA
Chalk up another sour result for Jose Luis Real’s Chivas USA. Dan Kennedy, for all the praise he receives, is just not that good of a goalkeeper. His howler late in the second half gave the Goats a 1-0 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes. That is poor timing to have a result like that…because on Oct. 6, the Los Angeles Galaxy are coming!
Kickoff at StubHub Center is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET and will be televised by KDOC and UniMas.
19. D.C. United
Ben Olsen’s D.C. United continued to stumble like a bunch of drunken laggards to the finish line as they capitulated against Toronto FC, 4-1, at BMO Field. Jared Jeffrey scored in the 15th minute for D.C.
All hope is not lost for D.C., however. They have a chance to pull off a Wigan and qualify for the next CONCACAF Champions League by beating Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup Final on Oct. 1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET and will be televised by GolTV. After that, it’s back to league play as they face the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium on Oct. 4. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC Sports NEtwork.