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Just when Houston and Columbus was beginning to have their way with Major League Soccer, a pair of struggling sides helped slow down the streaking title contenders.
FC Dallas defeated Columbus while Real Salt Lake held the Dynamo to a draw in a week of MLS action limited by SuperLiga.
One team that did well near the top of the rankings was Colorado, which returned from its bye week to thrash D.C. United at home. Now the surprising Rapids sit just behind Houston and Chivas USA both in the West standings and in the SBI MLS Power Rankings.
Here are this week's rankings:
SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 14)
1 (Last week- 1). Houston Dynamo (8-2-4)
2 (2). Chivas USA (8-4-3)
3 (7). Colorado Rapids (5-2-5)
4 (4). D.C. United (5-3-8)
5 (3). Columbus Crew (4-3-7)
6 (5). Seattle Sounders (5-3-7)
7 (6). Chicago Fire (5-3-6)
8 (8). Kansas City Wizards (5-5-4)
9 (9). New England Revolution (4-4-4)
10 (10). Toronto FC (5-5-4)
11 (11). Real Salt Lake (4-6-4)
12 (13). FC Dallas (3-7-4)
13 (14). San Jose Earthquakes (3-8-3)
14 (12). Los Angeles Galaxy (2-3-9)
15 (15). New York Red Bulls (2-10-4)
Some Week 14 thoughts:
D.C. United got thrashed by Colorado but MLS schedule-makers didn't do D.C. any favors. First, United had to travel to Seattle in mid-week (where it managed a draw) and then had to travel to Colorado to face a rested Rapids side coming off a bye week. That's not to take anything away from the Rapids, which played very well despite the absence of scoring leader Conor Casey.
If anything, Casey's absence has allowed Omar Cummings a chance to shine. The speedy Jamaican is enjoying a great year and is rewarding the Rapids, who turned down at least one major trade offer for him this off-season.
Seattle is playing some of the quality attacking soccer we saw earlier in the year, but the Sounders still can't finish. The result is a two-draw week when the Sounders had the better of the play in both matches. Those draws leave Seattle's record at 2-3-7 since that memorable 3-0 start to the season.
FC Dallas has been playing better in recent weeks and that improved form finally resulted in a victory against the previously red-hot Columbus Crew. With contributions coming from youngsters such as Brek Shea, Anthony Wallace, Eric Avila and Ray Burse, the future is bright in Frisco. Now if only they could get fans to turn out.
As happy as U.S. national team fans were to see their team reach the Confederations Cup semifinals, LA Galaxy fans can't be quite as happy considering that means one more week without Landon Donovan. LA looked terrible vs. San Jose and will now be missing Donovan for its showdown with first-place Houston.
As you may have noticed, I've changed the format for the MLS Power Rankings, no longer including schedules And results, and also scrapping the individual team outlooks for this post-ranking recap. You can find results and the upcoming schedule here.
What do you think of this week's rankings? Which team impressed you in Week 14? Which team disappointed you?
Share your thoughts below.