Week 29 did not treat some of the Major League Soccer’s best teams well. Toronto FC, the Seattle Sounders and the Chicago Fire all lost, while New York City only picked a point in their temporary home of Hartford.
The Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City all won to keep the race atop the Western Conference tight, while Real Salt Lake continued their incredible form under Mike Petke.
Here’s how the power rankings look after last week’s results:
SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 30)
1 (Last Week- 1). TORONTO FC (18-5-8)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 5-3 ,vs. Montreal Impact; Lost, 2-1, at New England Revolution.
THIS WEEK: vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Losing twice in the same week is never a good thing this time of year, but Toronto FC didn’t have a ton on the line in Week 29. With three games left, the main focus of the Reds is officially clinching the Supporters’ Shield and making sure everyone is healthy for the postseason.
2. (5) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (14-9-6)
LAST WEEK: Beat Colorado Rapids, 2-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Seattle Sounders on Wednesday, at Sporting KC on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Whitecaps ended their long homestand with a victory that kept them one point ahead of the Timbers and Sporting KC. However, the Whitecaps will have a hard time staying on top of the West after this week with two tough road trips to Seattle and Kansas City.
3. (2) NEW YORK CITY FC (15-8-7)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, vs. Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Montreal Impact on Wednesday, at Chicago Fire on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: NYCFC clinched their second straight playoff berth this weekend despite a 1-1 draw with the Dynamo. A big week on the road is on the horizon for Patrick Vieira’s men as their quest for the No. 2 seed continues.
4. (6) PORTLAND TIMBERS (13-10-8)
LAST WEEK: Beat Orlando City, 3-0, on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Timbers are one of the few teams at the top of the standings that has to worry about only one game this week. Saturday’s trip to San Jose will be like a playoff test for the Timbers as they try to make waves atop the West.
5. (7) COLUMBUS CREW (14-12-5)
LAST WEEK: Beat New York Red Bulls, 3-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. D.C. United on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Crew are still flying under the radar in the East in fifth place after distancing themselves from the Red Bulls. Gregg Berhalter’s men appear to have an easy three points in front of them to reach the 50-point barrier on Saturday.
6. (3) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (11-8-11)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Real Salt Lake, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, at Philadelphia Union on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: The Sounders saw their 13-game unbeaten run come to an end at the hands of Real Salt Lake in Week 29. All eyes will be on Wednesday’s clash with the Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field, one that could go a long way in deciding the seeding in the Western Conference.
7. (4) CHICAGO FIRE (14-10-6)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Philadelphia Union, 3-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, vs. NYCFC on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The schedule makers did the Fire no favors this week, as they have to make a long trek to San Jose before NYCFC comes to town three days later. After Saturday’s loss to the Union, every game is a must-win if they want to find a way into the top two in the East.
8. (8) ATLANTA UNITED (14-8-7)
LAST WEEK: Beat LA Galaxy, 4-0, last Wednesday; Beat Montreal Impact, 2-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, at New England Revolution on Saturday
OUTLOOK: Atlanta continued to thrive at home with two more wins, but it lost Miguel Almiron for at least three weeks. A true challenge finally awaits the Five Stripes this week as they take their first road trip in a month.
9. (9) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (12-6-11)
LAST WEEK: Beat New York Red Bulls, 2-1, last Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup Final); Beat LA Galaxy, 2-1, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Sporting KC remained unbeaten at home with a victory over the lowly Galaxy on Sunday. After sitting behind the Whitecaps for a few weeks, Peter Vermes’ men could leapfrog the Canadian contenders with a win at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday.
10. (12) REAL SALT LAKE (12-14-5)
LAST WEEK: Won, 2-0, vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at LA Galaxy on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: RSL has gone from struggling bottom-feeder to close to playoff contender in a matter of months thanks to Mike Petke. Sitting in fifth with no in-form contenders behind them, the Claret and Cobalt can start gearing up for the postseason if they beat the Galaxy in California.
11. (10) NEW YORK RED BULLS (12-11-6)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 3-2, at Columbus Crew on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. D.C. United on Wednesday, at Toronto FC on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: It’s not time to hit the panic button yet in Harrison, but the Red Bulls have their fans hovering over it in case the next week goes awry. A loss at home to D.C. would be borderline catastrophic for the Red Bulls at this point in the season.
12. (14) HOUSTON DYNAMO (10-10-9)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, at New York City FC on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. LA Galaxy on Wednesday, vs. Minnesota United on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Dynamo were able to steal a point from NYCFC, which should create some momentum heading into a vital two-game home stand this week. With the Galaxy and Minnesota United coming to town, the Dynamo should be able to produce six points.
13. (11) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (11-13-6)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 4-0, at D.C. United on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Chicago Fire on Wednesday, vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Quakes didn’t need to win in D.C. on Saturday, but a four-goal loss was far from ideal. They’ll have to have a short-term memory entering this week as the Fire and Timbers come to Avaya Stadium for two critical home games.
14. (18) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (11-14-5)
LAST WEEK: Beat Toronto FC, 2-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Orlando City on Wednesday, vs. Atlanta United on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: As crazy as it sounds, the Revolution are not completely out of the East playoff race yet. Bridging the four-point gap to the Red Bulls will be difficult, especially with a tough road trip to Orlando before Atlanta comes to town this weekend.
15. (16) MINNESOTA UNITED (9-15-5)
LAST WEEK: Beat FC Dallas, 4-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: You have to give Minnesota some credit. The Loons are not going down without a fight and proving to be a formidable team at home. Finishing the season off strong will be key as the club tries to build and get better for 2018.
16. (17) MONTREAL IMPACT (11-13-6)
LAST WEEK: Beat Toronto FC, 5-3, last Wednesday; Lost, 2-0, at Atlanta United last Sunday.
THIS WEEK: vs. NYCFC on Wednesday, at Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Impact are still holding on to life in the playoff race, just three points back of the Red Bulls. It’s not an insurmountable gap, but the Impact also can’t afford to lose points this week. Four points has to be the minimum goal for the Quebec side.
17. (13) FC DALLAS (9-9-11)
LAST WEEK: Lost. 4-1, at Minnesota United on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, at Orlando City on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Literally nothing has gone right for FC Dallas in the last two months. Yet somehow they can bounce right back into the postseason conversation with two wins this week against teams they really should be beating.
18. (19) D.C. UNITED (9-17-4)
LAST WEEK: Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 4-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, at Columbus Crew on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: D.C. is in prime position to play spoiler this week on trips to Red Bull Arena and Mapfre Stadium. There will be plenty of teams in the East hoping United can use the 4-0 win over Whitecaps on Saturday as momentum going into the week.
19. (20) PHILADELPHIA UNION (9-12-9)
LAST WEEK: Beat Chicago Fire, 3-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Atlanta United on Wednesday, vs. Seattle Sounders on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: The Union’s reward for beating the Fire on Saturday is a road trip to Atlanta and a home date with the Sounders. It might be tough sledding for the Union back line anchored by Rookie of the Year candidate Jack Elliott.
20. (15) ORLANDO CITY (9-13-8)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 3-0, at Portland Timbers last Sunday.
THIS WEEK: vs. New England Revolution on Wednesday, vs. FC Dallas on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: This week was supposed to be the time the Lions made a push into the top six with two winnable home games. However, Jason Kreis’ men are just trying to salvage their season at this point after another string of disappointing results.
21. (21) LA GALAXY (7-17-6)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 4-0, at Atlanta United last Wednesday; Lost, 2-1, at Sporting Kansas City last Sunday.
THIS WEEK: at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Well, at least the Galaxy didn’t get shut out twice in a week. Sigi Schmid’s men have lost their last three games by a combined score of 10-1.
22. (22) COLORADO RAPIDS (7-17-5)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-1, at Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at FC Dallas on Wednesday, vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Rapids take a visit to Frisco on Wednesday in an attempt to steal a point from struggling FC Dallas. The more realistic opportunity to get out of the West basement comes on Saturday at home.