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Americans Abroad - Feb. 13-16 Review the top Americans that have taken their talents overseas this year. /foxsoccer/usa/gallery/gallery-americans-abroad-feb-13-16-performances-players-overseas-021614 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021614-SOCCER-hitting-the-mark-PI_20140217014153889_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Week - Feb 15 - 21 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/world/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-15-21-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-021514 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/15/021514-SOCCER-Bayern-Munich-Shaqiri-HF-PI-_20140215113846610_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Week - Feb 9 -15 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/world/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-9-15-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-021214 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/11/121113-Soccer-Steven-Gerrard-PI-AA_20131211153738813_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Weekend - Feb. 8-14 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/premierleague/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-8-14-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-020814 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/08/020814-Soccer-Eden-to-the-top-PI-AA_20140208115908126_136_102.JPG
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MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31411442 MLS Rankings: Playoffs edition MLS+Rankings%3A+Playoffs+edition MLS

Drama and excitement rippled through the first legs of the MLS conference semifinals this weekend. Goals were at a premium – the four matches yielded five goals total – as the combatants tried to keep hope alive ahead of the second legs in midweek. All eight teams remain alive at this stage, but some sides enjoy a better chance of going through than others do at this point.

FOX Soccer went through and ranked the teams from most likely to progress to least likely to secure a conference final berth. Read on to find out where each team landed after the weekend:

 

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G9_20121105165215863_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G9_20121105165215863_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31409479 #8: Sporting KC %238%3A+Sporting+KC MLS

The Eastern Conference favorites dug themselves a two-goal hole heading back to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. While the deficit is an issue, the greater problem comes from the performance in the 2-0 defeat to Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium. Sporting lacked the necessary sharpness in possession (on a chewed up field, admittedly) and watched the influential Roger Espinoza struggle to impact the match. Every player must improve in order to repair matters in midweek and snatch a first victory over the Dynamo in five attempts this season.
 

Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G8_20121105162030853_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G8_20121105162030853_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31409482 #7: LA Galaxy %237%3A+LA+Galaxy MLS

One poorly conceded goal in second-half stoppage time transformed a manageable 0-0 home draw with San Jose into a disastrous 1-0 defeat on Sunday night. Los Angeles will rue its lack of sharpness in the final third and wonder how the tie might have changed if Robbie Keane's second-half drive had hit the goalframe just a few inches lower. Now the defending champions must travel north to overturn a one-goal deficit in their third game in seven days. It is foolish to count the Galaxy out at this stage, but the task ahead is a difficult one even for this seasoned group of campaigners.
 

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G7_20121105162028851_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G7_20121105162028851_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31409480 #6: Seattle Sounders %236%3A+Seattle+Sounders MLS

Seattle can thank Nick Rimando for the mountain it has to climb at Rio Tinto Stadium on Thursday night. A 0-0 home draw isn't the worst result, but the Sounders desperately needed a goal or two to take to Utah as they try to reach the Western Conference final for the first time. Seattle boss Sigi Schmid must hope Michael Gspurning can replicate Rimando's heroics and Eddie Johnson returns from his abductor strain to give the Sounders a realistic shot of defeating RSL.
 

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G6_20121105162028850_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G6_20121105162028850_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31409474 #5: D.C. United %235%3A+D.C.+United MLS

United should have finished Saturday night with a lead in the series based on the run of play at RFK Stadium. Instead of creating an advantage to bring to Harrison on Wednesday, United settled for a 1-1 draw after exchanging own goals during the second half. Ben Olsen will need his side to display more composure – a quality that has deserted United at times this season – to bolster its second leg chances after Andy Najar harmed his side with a senseless second-half red card in the first leg.
 

Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G5_20121105161956844_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G5_20121105161956844_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31409475 #4: New York Red Bulls %234%3A+New+York+Red+Bulls MLS

New York somehow escaped from the District with a 1-1 draw after a poor first-leg showing against D.C. United. If the Red Bulls submit a better performance in the second leg and work Kenny Cooper (restored to the starting XI for the second leg, surely?) and Thierry Henry into the match more frequently, then they should find a way to progress to the Eastern Conference final.
 

Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G4_20121105161956846_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G4_20121105161956846_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31409477 #3: Real Salt Lake %233%3A+Real+Salt+Lake MLS

Nick Rimando stood on his head on Friday night to send RSL back to Utah after a 0-0 draw in Seattle on Friday night. Rimando's heroics place the Claret-and-Cobalt in a fairly comfortable spot in the series, but Jason Kreis and his players will also note that this position – second leg at home, favored to win the tie – hasn't treated them particularly well in the past. RSL must involve Álvaro Saborío early and often to ensure this series does not add to the current trend.
 

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G3_20121105161956847_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G3_20121105161956847_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31409478 #2: San Jose Earthquakes %232%3A+San+Jose+Earthquakes MLS

Victor Bernárdez's fortunate stoppage-time winner placed the Earthquakes in control of their series with Los Angeles on Sunday night. A one-goal lead doesn't mean a whole lot in a series where both teams can score plenty of goals on a given day, but it does provide a modest cushion for the return leg at Buck Shaw Stadium on Wednesday night. Expect Frank Yallop's side to adopt a more aggressive approach after exhibiting a measured deportment at the Home Depot Center.
 

Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G2_20121105161957848_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G2_20121105161957848_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Playoffs - Power Rankings 31409481 #1: Houston Dynamo %231%3A+Houston+Dynamo MLS

Dominic Kinnear's side leaned on its ample experience to maintain its hex over Sporting Kansas City with a 2-0 victory on Sunday afternoon. The victory will give the Dynamo a nice cushion to take to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Wednesday night, but the job isn't done yet. Houston must once again frustrate Sporting and interrupt the rhythm of the contest to ensure the solid team performance at BBVA Compass Stadium does not go to waste. One point to watch for the Dynamo: is Jermaine Taylor healthy enough to feature in midweek after limping off with a left knee injury during the first-leg triumph?
 

Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G1_20121105161956845_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/05/110512-MLS-Playoff-Rankings-Gallery-DG-G1_20121105161956845_107_80.JPG
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