D.C. United has perched themselves atop the Eastern Conference standings, and as a result, the club is at its highest spot of the season in the SBI MLS Power Rankings.
D.C. is up to No. 2 after finishing off a three-win home stand over the weekend, but the team was not the highest riser of the week. The Columbus Crew shot up seven spots to No. 8 after a tremendous week, which included a landmark victory in Seattle over the Sounders and another win over the Chicago Fire to punctuate their five-game unbeaten stretch with six points.
Real Salt Lake still hold down the top spot entering the international break, while the Sounders have suffered a dip in form and as a result have dipped a bit in the rankings as well.
Here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings (as voted on by SBI staff):
SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 12)
1. (Last week — 1) REAL SALT LAKE (9-3-2, 29 points)
Last week: Beat FC Dallas 3-2 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m.
Outlook: Alvaro Saborio and Nat Borchers made sure that not having Nick Rimando or Kyle Beckerman available did not hold RSL back, with their heroics accounting for the club's goals in a wild win over FC Dallas. After losing consecutive games to Sporting Kansas City and San Jose, RSL have responded with a six-game unbeaten run and currently sit in pole position for the Supporters' Shield.
2. (5) D.C. UNITED (8-4-3, 27 points)
Last week: Beat New England 3-2 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 at Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m.
Outlook: D.C. has been able to keep winning despite a rash of injuries, and getting balanced contributions across the roster is a big reason why the club is currently in first place in the East. Maicon Santos' winner was his seventh goal of the season, but Branko Boskovic, whose contract is up next month, played a major role in the team's hot start while centerbacks Brandon McDonald and Dejan Jakovic got on the board.
3. (4) NEW YORK RED BULLS (8-3-2, 26 points)
Last week: Tied Chivas USA 1-1 on Wednesday
Next Game: June 17 at Chicago Fire, 5 p.m.
Outlook: The Red Bulls' five-game winning streak is no more after being held to a draw by Chivas USA, but the club still has not lost since bottoming out in D.C. on April 22, and is just a point of United's pace in the East with two games in hand. With stars and starters returning to health, the Red Bulls are set up for a successful summer.
4. (3) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (8-3-3, 27 points)
Last week: Beat Los Angeles 3-2 on Wednesday; Lost to Sporting KC 2-1 on Sunday
Next Game: June 20 at Colorado Rapids, 9:30 p.m.
Outlook: Alan Gordon's heroics could not stretch to a fourth straight game against SKC after a wild stretch in which he singlehandedly saved points for the club in games against Chivas USA, Columbus and Los Angeles. With Chris Wondolowski off on national team duty, Gordon's stepping up certainly helped the club wade through a tough stretch.
5. (T-6) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (8-3-1, 25 points)
Last week: Beat San Jose 2-1 on Sunday
Next Game: June 16 vs. Toronto FC, 8:30 p.m.
Outlook: For the first time in a while, Sporting Kansas City got back to playing its brand of soccer. The club looked rejuvenated in its win over San Jose, which put an end to a four-game winless run. Graham Zusi returned from U.S. national team camp like a man on a mission, and Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong and Aurelien Collin returned to their respective effective forms after a bit of a lull.
6. (2) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (7-3-3, 24 points)
Last week: Lost to Columbus 2-0 on Wednesday; Tied Chivas USA 1-1 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 at Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: What is going on in Seattle? The club fell for the third time at home this season and has not won in four matches despite getting all of its attacking stars — Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales, Alvaro Fernandez, Eddie Johnson — healthy and playing. Thankfully for the Sounders, David Estrada stepped up again with his equalizer to salvage a point heading into the break, and perhaps the U.S. Open Cup is what the club needs to rediscover its winning ways.
7. (8) HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-4, 16 points)
Last week: Beat Los Angeles 2-1 on Saturday
Next Game: June 10 at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7 p.m.
Outlook: After falling behind early to the Galaxy and looking a bit lost without Geoff Cameron in the back line, the Dynamo presevered, getting a bit lucky on Mike Magee's own goal, and then going to their bread and butter — set pieces — to find the winner through Andre Hainault. With a 2-0-1 mark at home so far, BBVA Compass Stadium is proving to be quite a comfortable new base.
8. (15) COLUMBUS CREW (5-4-3, 18 points)
Last week: Beat Seattle 2-0 on Wednesday; Beat Chicago 2-1 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: Finally, the Curse of Sigi is no more. The Crew beat former manager Sigi Schmid for the first time behind Justin Meram and Emilio Renteria, and Renteria and Eddie Gaven stepped up in Saturday's win to keep the Crew unbeaten in five matches and soar up the standings with a six-point haul.
9. (T-6) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (5-3-4, 19 points)
Last week: Tied Portland 1-1 on Saturday
Next Game: June 10 vs. Houston Dynamo, 7 p.m.
Outlook: A week after missing badly on a handful of chances, rookie Darren Mattocks came through when the Whitecaps needed him to, showing great poise to finish late in Portland and steal a point in their Cascadia Cup match.
10. (10) COLORADO RAPIDS (6-6-1, 19 points)
Last week: Beat Montreal 3-2 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7 p.m.
Outlook: These Rapids have some fight in them. Despite being down a man after Tyrone Marshall's ejection, Colorado fought back behind the newcomer tandem of Martin Rivero and Jaime Castrillon to snatch some extra points and remain in fourth place in the West.
11. (9) CHICAGO FIRE (5-4-3, 18 points)
Last week: Beat FC Dallas 2-1 on Wednesday; Lost to Columbus 2-1 on Saturday
Next Game: Saturday at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: The Fire had a bit of Lady Luck on their side in the mid-week victory over FC Dallas, with Marco Pappa being a good 4-to-5 yards offside when Sebastian Grazzini's penalty kick was stuffed by Kevin Hartman and rebounded right to the Guatemalan for the game winner. The lack of consistency has hurt Chicago, but the club is right in the mix for playoff contention in the East.
12. (12) CHIVAS USA (4-6-3, 15 points)
Last week: Tied New York 1-1 on Wednesday; Tied Seattle 1-1 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m.
Outlook: The two Juans got it done for Chivas, with Pablo Angel making for a memorable return to Red Bull Arena with his highlight-reel goal and Agudelo opening his account for his new club with a tally against the Sounders. The club will undoubtedly be unsatisfied with blowing one-goal leads in both matches, though.
13. (11) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-7-1, 13 points)
Last week: Lost to D.C. United 3-2 on Saturday
Next Game: Saturday vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: Credit the Revs for battling back from a 2-0 deficit to tie D.C. on the road, but in a way that makes falling on Santos' game-winner even more cruel as the club fell to 1-6-0 away from Gillette Stadium.
14. (13) PORTLAND TIMBERS (3-5-4, 13 points)
Last week: Tied Vancouver 1-1 on Saturday
Next Game: June 17 at Los Angeles Galaxy, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Another late-game lead, another blown opportunity for three points, as the Timbers succumbed to a late strike by Mattocks to settle for a home draw against the Whitecaps. The killer instinct and consistent finishing going forward just have not been there for Portland.
15. (14) MONTREAL IMPACT (3-7-3, 12 points)
Last week: Lost to Colorado 3-2 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 vs. Seattle Sounders, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: Again, Montreal failed to seal a result while playing with a man advantage, wasting a strong performance in the midfield from Patrice Bernier and Felipe and a goal from rookie Andrew Wenger, who made his first career start. The Impact turn their attention to their second home opener, as they are scheduled to play in the renovated Stade Saputo for the first time when they resume the season.
16. (T-16) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (3-8-2, 11 points)
Last week: Lost to San Jose 3-2 on Wednesday; Lost to Houston 2-1 on Saturday
Next Game: June 17 vs. Portland Timbers, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Galaxy had a chance to enter the break with a six-point haul, but instead could not hold leads against both versions of the San Jose Earthquakes and are left with even more questions going forward. The home loss to San Jose, in which the club blew a 2-0 lead late, is one that will linger the most.
17. (T-16) FC DALLAS (3-8-4, 13 points)
Last week: Lost to Chicago 2-1 on Wednesday; Lost to RSL 3-2 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 at Houston Dynamo, 5 p.m.
Outlook: FCD's season full of injury, suspension and heartbreak continued in spectacular fashion, with a horrendous no-call on Pappa's PK follow-up accounting for the Fire's game-winner, and then twice battling back from one-goal deficits against RSL in the final 15 minutes only to lose in stoppage time.
18. (18) PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-7-2, 8 points)
Last week: Lost to Toronto 1-0 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 vs. D.C. United, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Things can't be more restless in Philadelphia, where the club had the dubious distinction of ending Toronto FC's nine-game losing streak to open the season. Third-string goalkeeper Chris Konopka fared well in his spot start, but the defense that just lost centerback rock Danny Califf fell apart late to gift Danny Koevermans the winner.
19. (19) TORONTO FC (1-9-0, 3 points)
Last week: Beat Philadelphia 1-0 on Saturday
Next Game: June 16 at Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.
Outlook: After weeks of heartbreak, the Reds not only won their fourth straight Canadian championship to earn a place in the CONCACAF Champions League, but they won their first league game as well. The club doesn't play for three weeks and resumes with games at Sporting KC and Houston, but for now, there are at least some positive vibes at BMO Field.