October has gone off to a flying start in Major League Soccer, with the race for the playoffs thickening with each passing moment. This week, the Colorado Rapids are at the top of the list with a big victory at home. Also moving up are the Los Angeles Galaxy, who posted an even bigger victory at home, albeit over smaller, noncompetitive competition.
Movers, shakers and more. This the MLS Power Rankings on the View from Avalon and it starts…now.
1. Colorado Rapids
The kids are all right when it comes to talking about Oscar Pareja’s Colorado Rapids. One of those kids: rookier DeShorn Brown, the club’s leading goalscorer. Brown’s brace in the first and 31st minutes paced the Rapids to a 5-1 statement victory over the Seattle Sounders at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Other goalscorers included Dillon Powers (10′), Drew Moor (41′) and Gabriel Torres (90′ + 1′).
Colorado can smell that playoff berth coming. Up next is a match with the San Jose Earthquakes, another team in the hunt, at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif. on Oct. 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Altitude.
2. Houston Dynamo
Dominic Kinnear’s Houston Dynamo are also delivering the goods. A goal in the sixth minute from Ricardo Clark gave the Men in Orange a big 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tex. Up next for the Dynamo is a match with Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 9. Kickoff at BBVA is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet Plus.
3. Los Angeles Galaxy
Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy were under the tutelage of Dave Sarachan on Sunday afternoon against Chivas USA, but Bruce wasn’t really needed as they steamrolled to a 5-0 shutout win over the Goats at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Braces from Robbie Keane (6′, 90′) and Landon Donovan (23′, 41′) combined with an insurance strike from Gyasi Zardes (26′) told the story for LA.
The Galaxy are off this week and return to action on Oct. 16 at home against the Montreal Impact. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Time Warner Cable Sportsnet and Time Warner Cable Deportes. On Oct. 20, a massive showdown with the San Jose Earthquakes awaits at Victoria Street. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
4. New York Red Bulls
Mike Petke’s New York Red Bulls punched their playoff ticket with a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. Fabian Espindola opened up the scoring in the 14th minute and Tim Cahill delivered a late equalizer in the seventh minute of second half stoppage time.
However, this result won’t clinch the Supporters’ Shield for them, and they will need some help ahead of their Oct. 20 contest with the Houston Dynamo. Kickoff at BBVA Compass Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and will be televised by UniMas.
5. Real Salt Lake
After dropping a 1-0 defeat to D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup Final on Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, Jason Kries’s Real Salt Lake drew 1-1 with FC Dallas at home. Alvaro Saborio scored in the 60th minute for RSL, who are back in action on Oct. 19 against the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by CW30.
6. Portland Timbers
Caleb Porter’s Portland Timbers battled to a 2-2 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. Darlington Nagbe (41′) and Will Johnson (77′) gave the Timbers leads, but their defense was stymied by one Camilo Sanvezzo.
Porltand will hope for a better defensive performance on Oct. 13 against the Seattle Sounders at JELD-WEN Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN.
7. Sporting Kansas City
Peter Vermes’s Sporting Kansas City kept their chase of the Supporters’ Shield alive with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Columbus Crew at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ike Opara scored in the 17th minute for Sporting, who are back in action on Oct. 9 against the Houston Dynamo. Kickoff at BBVA Compass Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KSMO-TV.
8. San Jose Earthquakes
Mark Watson’s San Jose Earthquakes were off this week. They will host 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. New England Revolution
Jay Heaps’s New England Revolution will rue blowing a critical victory over the New York Red Bulls as they gave up a header down a man to draw 2-2 at Red Bull Arena. Lee Nguyen (85′) and Diego Fagundez (90′ + 1′) scored for the Revolution, who return to action on Oct. 12 against the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Que. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet.
10. Columbus Crew
Robert Warzycha’s Columbus Crew slide down after getting shut out by Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, at Crew Stadium. With the loss, Columbus are close to being eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Crew are back in action on Oct. 19 against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by FOX Sports Ohio.
11. Chicago Fire
Goals from Jeff Larentowicz (24′), Bakary Soumare (26′) and Quincy Amarikwa (89′) paced Frank Klopas’s Chicago Fire to a 3-0 victory over D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. However, the result may not be enough, as the Fire remain out of the top five in the MLS Eastern Conference.
Chicago are back in action on Oct. 12 against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Tex. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by My50 Chicago.
12. Philadelphia Union
Kleberson was the hero in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time as John Hackworth’s Philadelphia Union shut out Toronto FC, 1-0. A victory over hapless D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Oct. 12 could inch the Union closer to a playoff spot. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will be televised by The Comcast Network.
13. Seattle Sounders
Eddie Johnson kept his scoring hotstreak going in the 63rd minute, but it was too little, too late as Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders were sounded off in the first half by the Colorado Rapids en route to a 5-1 defeat at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Sounders will need to pick themselves up, and fast, as they have a couple of big games this week.
On Oct. 9, they host the Vancouver Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by KONG 6/16 and KOMO2. On Oct. 13, they hit the road to clash with the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN.
14. Vancouver Whitecaps
Take a bow, Camilo Sanvezzo. The 76th minute goal was nice, of course, but the 78th minute goal? That’s what you see in the big leagues of Europe. A Goal of the Year contender. MLS needs more goals like that. But despite Camilo’s heroics, Martin Rennie’s Vancouver Whitecaps drew 2-2 with the Portland Timbers and are staring at elimination from the postseason.
They can turn their fortunes around on Oct. 9 against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by TSN.
15. FC Dallas
Like Tim Cahill, Kenny Cooper spared Schellas Hyndman’s FC Dallas some Major League blushes in the 72nd minute. Dallas, however, drew 1-1 with Real Salt Lake 1-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium and find themselves in a must-win game against another opponent on the make, the Chicago Fire, on Oct. 12. Kickoff at Toyota Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Time Warner Cable Sportsnet.
16. Montreal Impact
The slump continues for Marco Schallibaum’s Montreal Impact, who fell 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. L’Impact will need to rebound when they host the New England Revolution on Oct. 12 at Stade Saputo. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by RDS and TSN.
17. Toronto FC
The streak of bad luck continues for Ryan Nelsen’s Toronto FC, who fell to the Philadelphia Union late, 1-0, at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Toronto will take the week off before returning to action on Oct. 19 against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by TSN 2.
18. D.C. United
Ben Olsen may have kept his job at D.C. United after all. Lewis Neal’s 45th minute strike gave D.C. a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup Final. This is D.C.’s 13th trophy. Unfortunately, they could not pull off a similar shock-the-nation result against the Chicago Fire at RFK, getting smoked in predictable fashion, 3-0.
Still, with their U.S. Open Cup win, D.C. are given immunity from the cellar for the rest of the season. Congratulations, D.C. United and their fans. Up next on their Victory Tour is a match on Oct. 12 against the Philadelphia Union at home. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet.
19. Chivas USA
Jose Luis Real’s Chivas USA are in doghouse this week, and they could be stuck here for the rest of the season after their 5-0 shutout defeat to the Los Angeles Galaxy at StubHub Center. Chivas will take the next two weeks off before facing Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 23. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by KWHY.