NEW YORK (AP) – Each week, Ives Galarcep takes inventory of the contenders and pretenders in Major League Soccer. This week, the pace-setter reclaims its place atop his MLS Power Rankings.
Rank Team Record (W-L-D) 1. Los Angeles Galaxy 11-2-9 Scored a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Columbus to roll their unbeaten streak to 13 games. With matches against Vancouver and Portland on deck, the Galaxy may not be truly tested until an August 6th visit from FC Dallas, the last team to beat the Galaxy in MLS play. 2. Seattle Sounders 10-4-8 The 7-0 exhibition loss to Manchester United put a sour note on what was supposed to be a week of rest for a Sounders side rolling in MLS. Now the Sounders begin CONCACAF Champions League play eager to do better than last year, when they crashed out in the group stage. 3. FC Dallas 11-5-6 Four points from two road games is good, but Dallas will regret not taking all three points from the Red Bulls in a game they looked to have in the bag. A trip to El Salvador in CONCACAF Champions League looms. The good depth Dallas possesses will be tested. 4. Real Salt Lake 9-3-6 RSL probably would have beaten San Jose anyway, but Alvaro Saborio's blatant dive to earn a penalty and red card for Earthquake defender Bobby Burling left a smear on RSL's eventual 4-0 romp. A tough stretch of matches is next, with Columbus, Sporting KC and New York all capable of providing a stiff challenge. 5. Philadelphia Union 8-4-7 No MLS games this week, but still thoroughly impressed by beating Everton, 1-0, and then losing 2-1 to Real Madrid in a match in which the Union didn't look overwhelmed. Folks got a good look at all the impressive young talent on the Philly roster, and it's tough to see the Union giving up their hold on first place in the East. 6. Columbus Crew 8-6-7 The Crew just keep finding ways to win games, this time scoring on a late Portland blunder for a 1-0 victory. Scoring 22 goals in 21 games isn't all that impressive, but the Crew's defense has been good enough to make that total manageable. 7. Sporting Kansas City 6-6-8 With a healthy Omar Bravo in place, KC is looking like a team that could make a serious charge up the East standings. Make that another charge even further up the standings, as the team's 12-match unbeaten streak has helped KC climb from the Eastern Conference basement to the heels of New York for third place in the East. With their next eight straight matches at home at Livestrong Sporting Park, Sporting KC is a real threat to go from worst to first. 8. Colorado Rapids 7-5-10 Squandered a late lead against New England, which forced the Rapids to settle for a 2-2 tie, but the mid-week 4-1 blowout of New York still made it a good week. Sanna Nyassi has the look of a productive forward, but can he be a real long-term solution? 9. New York Red Bulls 6-5-12 Thierry Henry played the role of hero yet again, salvaging a point for the struggling Red Bulls against FC Dallas. New York struggles when Teemu Tainio doesn't play and could use Luke Rodgers back, but the club's woeful bench leaves you wondering if the Red Bulls won't run out of gas before they even get to challenge for a title. 10. Chivas USA 6-7-8 Justin Braun did it again, scoring his second hat-trick of the season. Chivas USA is probably just as happy with the fact the team recorded a shutout, the team's third in four matches. With the defense playing really well, the Goats should offer up a good test for FC Dallas when they meet at Pizza Hut Park. 11. Houston Dynamo 5-7-9 Inconsistency continues for the Dynamo. Dom Kinnear's side hasn't posted consecutive wins since April. Offense continues to be a problem, but surrendering three goals to Chivas USA has to raise some eyebrows about the defense. 12. San Jose Earthquakes 5-7-9 One point from two matches had to leave Frank Yallop feeling blue, but that pain was made worse by the fact San Jose looked ready to push RSL before Saborio's dive and Burling's red card. The bad call won't change the fact the Earthquakes are winless in eight and in real danger of falling out of the playoff race. 13. DC United 5-6-8 The home loss to New England has to hurt because it was a game DC dominated early and could have put away. United continues to drop points in matches it shouldn't, and questions about the squad's toughness persist. Charlie Davies is struggling, and it will probably take him recapturing his early-season form for DC to turn things around. 14. Portland Timbers 6-10-3 Just when you thought Portland might turn things around and build off its win in Chicago, a late blunder leaves the Timbers with zero points from a trip to Columbus where points could certainly have been gained. John Spencer traded for Mike Chabala and Lovel Palmer to help strengthen the defense, but the offense continues to struggle to generate chances. 15. New England Revolution 4-9-8 Arguably the best week of the season for the Revs, who took a win at RFK then stole a point with a late Shalrie Joseph penalty against Colorado. New England still has a hill to climb to get into playoff contention, and the offense still doesn't look overly dangerous, but this could be the week that helps the Revs salvage something from this season. 16. Chicago Fire 2-6-12 Looked good early in their exhibition against Manchester United, but eventually succumbed despite several scoring chances. Chicago has some pieces in place, and with newly-acquired Sebastian Grazzini and the rumored (pending arrival) of Pavel Pardo, Chicago could still have a chance at a late charge. Time is running out, though. 17. Vancouver Whitecaps 2-10-9 Eric Hassli continues to show that he's a worthy Designated Player, but the defense continues to leak goals and keep the Whitecaps from putting together results. One question for the Whitecaps: Why sign a second Designated Player striker when you drafted a striker No. 1 overall back in January? 18. Toronto FC 3-11-9 So much for new blood changing things in Toronto. TFC showed some promise in a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas, but were promptly pummeled, 4-2, by Sporting Kansas City. With the playoffs looking more and more like a pipe dream, TFC will soon have to focus on the CONCACAF Champions League for any consolation for this season.