MLS Week 24 Power Rankings: Galaxy Shines, Beckham Returns, Red Bulls Roll

The playoffs are within sight. Let’s see how the teams stack up after an interesting weekend.

1. Real Salt Lake (12-4-8) Without Saborio and Espindola, they scrapped out a draw at the league’s toughest venue, Seattle’s Qwest Field, and hold on to our top spot. They’ve lost just one in their past 18.

2. Los Angeles (14-5-5) Statement game: The recently slumping West leaders met Colmbus, the leaders in the East, and thumped them 3-1. And whosits got on for the final 20 minutes.

3. FC Dallas (10-2-11) We’re keeping them in the top 3 for now—they haven’t lost in 14 games, after all—but these ties are getting old. They got their 11th in a goal-free affair at San Jose on Saturday—a game between two teams content with their current playoff positions. Their home tilt against New York on Thursday will be a better indicator.

4. Columbus (13-6-5) Flat game in Los Angeles for the Supporters’ Shield holders, who are 0-4-4 against Western Conference teams on the road this season, and 1-3-2 collectively against LA, RSL, and FC Dallas. Now they turn around for a CONCACAF Champions League game on Tuesday. Should Crew fans be worried?

5. New York (12-8-4) The first-choice Red Bulls—with Coundoul, Marquez, Miller, and on-a-roll Richards back in the fold—produced a scintillating first half to go up 2-0. They slept on the Rapids at the start of the second, but ended up with a solid 3-1 win. They need at least a point at Dallas on Thursday to keep the momentum going.

6. Seattle (9-9-6) Sounders FC holds steady with a draw at home against the defending champs.

7. San Jose (9-7-6) Geovanni seems to be settling in more and more with each passing week, nearly setting up Eduardo for a winning goal in the 86th minute of the Quakes’ 0-0 tie with Dallas on Saturday.

8. Colorado (9-7-7) New York had the better of the play, but Colorado hit the post and got a screamer, a Goal of the Week candidate, from the red-hot Omar Cummings.

9. Kansas City (7-9-6) We can’t penalize them for having no game this weekend, so the Wizards hold on to their spot.

10. Philadelphia (6-11-6) They’re not out of it yet, and the expansion Union believe! They got their first home shutout ever with a 1-0 win over Chicago, a team with everything to play for entering the game. We like the way Philly plays, and we’re bumping them up three spots to 10th this week. That’s right.

11. Chicago (6-8-8) While Geovanni and other DPs are meshing with their new teammates, the Fire’s Nery Castillo is … not. That does not bode well for Chicago’s playoff hopes.

12. Toronto FC (7-10-7) The Toronto Sun’s Ryan Wolstat said the Reds looked in “pre-season form” in a “stumbling, bumbling, largely putrid” 1-0 loss to out-of-it DC United.

13. Chivas USA (7-12-4) Justin Braun—or “Braunaldinho” as Fox Soccer recently dubbed him—bagged his ninth goal of the year to open the scoring six minutes in to the Goats 2-0 win over New England on Friday night. Chivas is still in the playoff chase, for now.

14. New England (7-13-3) Yep, there was not more where that 3-1 win over Seattle came from two weeks ago.

15. DC United (5-16-3) It was ugly but they’ll take it: DC scrapped out a 1-0 victory over playoff-hunting Toronto on a goal by former TFC man Julius James.

16. Houston (6-12-5) Maybe we can penalize a team for not having a game this past weekend: the idle Dynamo drop to 16th.

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