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SFPI MLS Power Rankings Week 14

Home Sweet Home Edition

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 is complete, and it was a week that saw the home team hold serve across the league and earn at least a point with only NYC (on 5/31), Orlando and DC not getting all three, as all of them fought to draws. Despite that there was still a bunch of movement particularly in the middle of the rankings, as the difference between 2 and 3 (2.0649 points) is greater than the difference between 3 and 16 (1.9164 points). This is good example of the parity in the league, and how sometimes the difference of even a couple goals can affect where you are. The biggest winners of the week were Sporting KC and New England Revolution both climbing 8 spots, biggest losers are Philadelphia and Houston both falling 7.

Just A heads up, I am not sure if there will be a rankings next week, or not, as there are only 3 league games up this week thanks to the International Break and US Open Cup matches, and there will not be much in the way of movement. But we will see.

COMPONENTS OF SFPI

PPG SCORE: Total points per game added to points per game over last five, with last five given more weight. Single largest component of SFPI

GOAL DIFFERENCE PER GAME: Total GD over number of games played.

HOME/AWAY BONUS: Bonus points added for earning results (W/D) on the road, points deducted for dropping results (D/L) at home. Accrues over entire season.

PERFORMANCE SCORE: Above components make up a teams Performance Score.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Average performance scores of a teams opponents thus far, weighted at less than 100%. Teams are counted equal to the number of times they have been played (so if Portland faces Seattle twice, Seattle's performance score will be counted twice)

TOTAL SCORE: Performance Score is added to Strength of Schedule to make a teams Total Score. Teams are then ranked from highest to lowest by total score.

(all times Pacific)

1: TORONTO FC (29pts 8W-2L-5D) SCORE: 10.3153 PREVIOUS: 1 (NC) H1/L10

LAST WEEK: L 3-0 at New England

The fact that Toronto lost by 3 to a team that was in the bottom half of the rankings and stays at #1 shows how much better than the rest of league they've been. Their 8 game unbeaten streak has come crashing to a halt, but they are still in good shape. They could average 1 point a game the rest of the way and finish with 47 points which if they had finished with that many points last year still would have been 3rd in the East (which is where they finished last year with 53 points).

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH NEXT WEEK.

2: CHICAGO FIRE (25pts 7W-3L-4D) SCORE: 9.566 PREVIOUS: 2 (NC) H2/L14

LAST WEEK: D 0-0 at Orlando

Plus side, the fire went to Orlando and came away with points to stretch their unbeaten streak to 6 straight. Downside, they were up a man starting in the 26th minute, and up TWO from the 66th, and still couldn't find a way to break through. But a point on the road is a point on the road, and they had only earned 5 road points heading into this match.

NEXT WEEK: vs (6) Atlanta Saturday 6/10 1pm (Unimas, FB Live)

3: SPORTING KC (25pts 7W-4L-4D) SCORE: 7.5011 PREVIOUS: 11 (+8) H2/L11

LAST WEEK: W 3-0 vs Minnesota

SKC earned some revenge upon the Loon squad that handed them their second defeat and first multi goal defensive performance just under a month ago. Getting one goal in first half stoppage, and two in the second half to coast to a 3-0 win at Children’s Mercy Park, and halt their first losing streak of the year at two games.

NEXT WEEK: vs (10) Montreal Saturday 6/10 5pm

4: NEW YORK CITY FC (24pts 7W-5L-3D) SCORE: 7.3496 PREVIOUS: 4 (NC) H2/L12

LAST WEEK: D 2-2 vs New England, W 2-1 vs Philadelphia

For nearly 80 minutes, it looked like New York City FC’s tough week would continue on Saturday. NYCFC entered the final 10 minutes of their match against Philadelphia trailing 1-0, but answered with a pair of late set-piece goals to rebound from their loss at Atlanta United on Sunday and home draw against the New England Revolution on Wednesday that saw them concede the equalizer in the 86th minute, with a 2-1 win against the Union at Yankee Stadium.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCHES NEXT WEEK.

5: LOS ANGELES GALAXY (18pts 5W-5L-3D) SCORE: 7.2534 PREVIOUS: 5 (NC) H5/L21

LAST WEEK: D 0-0 at DC

While The Gals may be disappointed to only walk away RFK with one point despite firing off 16 shots with 6 on frame, they finish a four game road trip with 10 points from a possible 12 and are unbeaten in their last 6. In the last 5 weeks LA has completely turned their season around. Now the trick will be to see if they can bring the road magic to Stub-hub where they are 1W-3L-2D on the season. Fortunately Houston (only 1 point on the road in 2017) is the next guest to Carson, after a week off.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCHES NEXT WEEK

6: ATLANTA UNITED FC (18pts 5W-5L-3D) SCORE: 7.228 PREVIOUS: 3 (-3) H3/L12

LAST WEEK: L3-1 at Vancouver

"Live by the Press, Die by the Press" should be the new motto for Atlanta United. After riding their fast pace high pressure style to two wins by a combined 7-2 score against Houston and NYC it looked like they might make Vancouver their next victim scoring on this gorgeous Greg Garza goal in the 6th minute. Then Kendall Waston happened. The giant Costa Rican scored his first two goals of the year in the 31st and 44th minutes, and Atlanta could never recover despite dominating major parts of the match, holding possession for 66.6 percent of the game and completing 82 percent of their 514 passes, while Vancouver completed just 67 percent of their 252 passes.

NEXT WEEK: at (2) Chicago Saturday 6/10 1pm (Unimas, FB Live)

7: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (20 pts 5W-5L-5D) SCORE: 7.2131 PREVIOUS: 15 (+8) H7/L17

LAST WEEK: D 2-2 at New York City, W 3-0 vs Toronto.

By all accounts that was a very good week for the Revs, pulling 4 points from a double game week against two Top-5 opponents, and handing an Altidore and Bradley-less Toronto their first shutout loss of the year, and only second loss period. Granted the post was very kind to them against Toronto with this "Better Lucky than Good" goal to ice the game in the 85th minute that bounced off the crossbar TWICE without going out of bounds to be headed in by Juan Agudelo. But 3 points against the table toppers is always something to be happy about.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCHES THIS WEEK.

8: FC DALLAS (23pts 6W-2L-5D) SCORE: 6.9648 PREVIOUS: 7 (-1) H1/L8

LAST WEEK: W 6-2 vs Salt Lake.

This one was over before much of the Frisco crowd had even gotten to their seats as Roland Lamah, of one goal in 11 starts heading into this match, scored the fastest hat trick in Club History with three goals in the first 31 minutes to propel the home team to an early 3-0 lead. Urruti and Akindele would also tally before the first half whistle to send the teams to the locker room at 5-0 for the home team. RSL would score two second half goals to try and make it respectable as Omar Holness and Kyle Beckerman scored two minutes apart, but 16 year old Jesus Ferreira put any hopes of a late comeback out to pasture with his first goal of the year in the 89th minute in his MLS debut.

NEXT WEEK: at (14) Portland Saturday 6/10 730pm

9: VANVOUVER WHITECAPS (19pts 6W-6L-1D) SCORE: 6.8223 PREVIOUS: 8 (-1) H8/L22

LAST WEEK: W 3-1 vs Atlanta

Set Pieces. Set Pieces. Set Pieces. Despite being utterly dominated for most of the match, and going down early Vancouver took advantage of their few opportunities scoring all three of their goals off of Corner Kicks and the Whitecaps got their 4th home win of the season, and second of this 4 game homestand.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCHES NEXT WEEK

10: MONTREAL IMPACT (16pts 4W-4L-4D) SCORE: 6.6904 PREVIOUS: 12 (+2) H10/L17

LAST WEEK: W 1-0 vs New York Red Bulls

Blerim Dzemaili saw a first-half strike that would have opened his MLS account disallowed, but he refused to be denied. Dzemaili scored his first league goal for the Montreal Impact on Saturday night, giving the club a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls at Stade Saputo on Saturday night. Dzemaili found the back of the net in the 67th minute of the Eastern Conference tilt, finishing well from inside the penalty area after receiving a pass from Ignacio Piatti. The Swiss international had netted earlier in the match, but his effort at the half-hour mark was disallowed. It ultimately did not matter, however, as he buried his chance in the second half against a Red Bulls side that did not create too much danger.

NEXT WEEK: at (3) Kansas City Saturday 6/10 5pm

11: SEATTLE SOUNDERS (19pts 5W-6L-4D) SCORE: 6.6785 PREVIOUS: 13 (+2) H8/L17

LAST WEEK: L 3-0 at Columbus W 1-0 vs Houston

The Sounders never seemed in Wednesdays game against Columbus going down 2-0 within 21 minutes, and just played out the string for a 3-0 loss. On Sunday it looked like another disappointing home performance before Will Bruin scored in the 69th minute against his former team to give Seattle its 3rd win in 4 games. Have the Sounders started a late season turnaround like the one that propelled them to MLS cup last year? 3 tough games coming up will tell.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCHES NEXT WEEK

12: COLUMBUS CREW SC (22pts 7W-8L-1D) SCORE: 6.3595 PREVIOUS: 10 (-2) H1/L12

W 3-0 vs Seattle L 2-1 at Colorado

Frederico Higuain scored in the 10th minute, Justin Meram in the 29th, and Ola Kamara put the game to bed in the 59th and Columbus got off the mat against the defending champs, only to be knocked back down at Dicks Sporting Goods Park despite going up 1-0 in the 61st. They gave up the equalizer to Kevin Doyle in the 80th and the winner to MLS veteran Super Sub Alan Gordan in the 86th to leave empty handed.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCHES NEXT WEEK

13: PHILADELPHIA UNION (16pts 4W-6L-4D) SCORE: 5.9796 PREVIOUS: 6 (-7) H6/L22

LAST WEEK: L 2-1 at New York City

Fafa Picault gave the Union the lead in the 69th minute, and for another 11 minutes it looked like they might get back on track following last weeks shocking loss to RSL, but then gave up all three points in the space of 5 minutes. After a 6 game unbeaten streak, Philly suddenly finds themselves on a two game skid. But 3 home games against beatable teams (NYRB, DCU and NER) could help stem the tide.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCHES NEXT WEEK

14: PORTLAND TIMBERS FC (21pts 6W-5L-3D) SCORE: 5.9564 PREVIOUS: 17 (+3) H1/L17

LAST WEEK: W 2-0 vs San Jose

San Jose was the start of the recent spate of poor play for the Timbers, it is fitting that the Quakes were the team that ended it. Portland had to feel unlucky going into halftime still tied 0-0 despite complete domination of the game state, and being up a man. But they came out firing and got a goal and weathered a late storm by the Quakes before Valeri iced it putting away a rebound after Adi hit the post for what felt like the 4th time, and Portland earned their first home clean sheet (2nd overall) of 2017. Next up is Dallas, although Portland will be without Nagbe and Guzman who are both off on international duty. Dallas will also be without both starting center backs and Kellen Acosta.

NEXT WEEK: vs (8) Dallas Saturday 6/10 730pm

15: ORLANDO CITY SC (24pts 7W-5L-3D) SCORE: 5.6801 PREVIOUS: 19 (+4) H2/L19

LAST WEEK: W 2-0 vs DC United, D 0-0 vs Chicago.

Cyle Larin fought through Steve Birnbaum's bear hug to head home Will Johnson's free kick in the 66th minute, Giles Barnes added a late strike from distance that squeezed through Bill Hamid's hands, and Orlando City SC completed a much-needed 2-0 victory over D.C. United on Wednesday night. Larin's eighth goal of the season and Barnes' fourth of his career against D.C. snapped the Lions' six-match winless stretch. Followed by a gritty performance that saw Orlando down at least one man for over an hour and still hold on for a draw, it was a good week for the Lions. They still have a long way to go before they are back to the lofty heights they were at through the first 8 games of the season.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH NEXT WEEK

16: HOUSTON DYNAMO (23pts 7W-6L-2D) SCORE: 5.5847 PREVIOUS: 9 (-7) H4/L16

LAST WEEK: W 5-1 vs Salt Lake, L 1-0 at Seattle.

Still unbeaten at home, and winless on the road, Houston’s fortunes seem to rise or fall depending on where they're playing this week. After blowing past RSL for 5 goals, they couldn't get one past Stefan Frei despite getting off 8 shots (even though they only had 35% possession), and had to watch as long time Dynamo-Man Will Bruin celebrated scoring the winner against his former team.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH NEXT WEEK

17: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (19pts 5W-6L-4D) SCORE: 5.1711 PREVIOUS: 14 (-3) H5/L17

LAST WEEK: L 2-0 at Portland

Yes, the second yellow on Darwin Ceren was a little soft, but a foul like that less than 1 minute after being given a yellow for a borderline red card type foul is going to get you your marching orders more times than not. San Jose looked to be playing for the draw even before the card as they only controlled possession for the first 5 minutes of the match and had no shots at all through the first 45. Going down by one in the second half seemed to revitalize them as they still sought to steal a point on the road, but being down a man made breaking the Timbers D difficult and they were only able to send one shot on frame that was easily handled by Jake Gleeson.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH NEXT WEEK

18: NEW YORK RED BULLS (20pts 6W-7L-2D) SCORE: 4.7288 PREVIOUS: 18 (NC) H7/L19

LAST WEEK: L 1-0 at Montreal

Sacha Kljestan was not at his best on Saturday, and that was one of the main reasons why the Red Bulls struggled to create much danger against the Impact. Kljestan got on the ball a good amount, but not in overly dangerous positions and did not look to be playing with confidence. The one time that he received the ball in a great spot in the second half, he deferred to a teammate by playing a tough pass instead of taking a shot.

The Red Bulls wanted to get some payback against the Impact after losing to them in the playoffs last year, but were unable to despite winning the possession battle by a wide margin. New York had 58.5 percent of the ball on Saturday night, but Montreal were the more dangerous side throughout the 90 minutes by hitting back quickly on the counter.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH NEXT WEEK

19: COLORADO RAPIDS (13pts 4W-8L-1D) SCORE: 4.4357 PREVIOUS: 21 (+2) H17/L22

LAST WEEK: W 2-1 vs Columbus

Even without goalkeeper Tim Howard (international duty), Best XI centerback Axel Sjoberg (injured) and veteran centerback Bobby Burling (suspended), the Rapids backline still kept a strong Columbus offense in check. Mike la Fonte made only his second MLS start - and first at centerback - and was partnered with homegrown rookie Kortne Ford, who was making only his sixth professional start. Columbus finished with 15 shots, but only forced goalkeeper Zac MacMath to make three saves as he posted his first win since the season opener. Colorado now has won two straight and their last three at home.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH NEXT WEEK

20: DC UNITED (15pts 4W-7L-3D) SCORE: 4.1652 PREVIOUS: 16 (-4) H8/L20

LAST WEEK: L 2-0 at Orlando, D 0-0 vs Los Angeles

Minus their two best attackers Ortiz (suspended for simulation) and Mullins (injured) DC couldn't get any offense going against Orlando. Then at home against LA, were stonewalled by Jon Kempin (Of Double-Post shootout fame) forcing the young keeper into five saves to split the points. DC has only scored once in their last 6 games, a PK against Vancouver. Their last goal from open play came in the 55th minute against Atlanta on April 30th, a span of 575 minutes. They haven't scored AT HOME since the 73rd minute against New York City on April 8th and have been shut out 9 times out of 14 games.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH NEXT WEEK

21: REAL SALT LAKE (14pts 4W-10L-2D) SCORE: 3.5577 PREVIOUS: 20 (-1) H17/L21

LAST WEEK: L 5-1 at Houston, L 6-2 at Dallas.

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the blowout losses. In an utterly forgettable week in the Lone Star State, RSL lost by a combined 11-3 against the state of Texas. They trailed Houston 3-0 at the break, and Dallas 5-0. While they have shown fight and refuse to give up, scoring consolation goals in both matches, but it is clear that they are simply overmatched more often than not this season. Expect them to put all their effort into winning the US Open Cup. The beauty of MLS, though, is playoffs, and despite the poor play, they only sit 5 points beneath the Red Line with 20 matches to play.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH THIS WEEK

22: MINNESOTA UNITED (14pts 4W-8L-2D) SCORE: 2.9614 PREVIOUS: 22 (NC) H19/L22

LAST WEEK: L 3-0 at Kansas City

Minnesota United had been showing improvements in recent weeks, but their performance on Saturday was reminiscent of the disastrous ones they put forth at the start of the year. Minnesota looked overmatched from the first minute on, especially when having to defend from wide spots, and they showed little fight throughout the course of the 90 minutes. Minnesota were outshot 27-7 on the day, and will be hoping this poor showing was just a minor setback and not the start of another bad run of form.

NEXT WEEK: NO LEAGUE MATCH THIS WEEK.

PREDICTIONS

The SFPI had its best week of predictions yet, with a winning record of 9-6 (60%) bringing season total to 39-64 (37.9%). Will keep same rules as last week (1.5pt increase for home team, if teams are then within 1 point of each other will be a draw) With an international break and US Open Cup coming up next week there will only be 3 matches this week.

Chicago at Atlanta: DRAW

Montreal at Kansas City: KANSAS CITY

Dallas at Portland: DRAW