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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889516 Stand up Stand+up MLS

MLS remains in dire need of events to force people to stand up and take notice of its progress. Seattle delivered on that account yet again by packing 67,000 people into CenturyLink Field on Sunday night for the derby match against Portland. Clint Dempsey's full home debut added to the buzz in the stands, but the rancor between the sides – as it usually does – really fostered the proper atmosphere and turned the encounter into an occasion worth remembering. The next step for the league on these sorts of nights: finding a way to make these one-off occasions more useful over the long haul by combining the attention paid to the match with a better on-field product.

Honorable mention
11. New England Revolution
12. Philadelphia Union
13. Chicago Fire
14. Columbus Crew
15. San Jose Earthquakes
16. FC Dallas
17. Chivas USA
18. Toronto FC
19. D.C. United

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889517 Real Salt Lake Real+Salt+Lake MLS

Other teams bask in the glow of national attention. RSL just proceeds with its business and picks up points on a regular basis. The latest example in this trend: a comprehensive (65 percent of possession, according to Opta statistics) and thorough 4-0 victory over Columbus on Saturday. In this sort of form, RSL will pose problems for any side in the league.

Next on the docket: RSL hosts Portland in a clash of Western Conference contenders on Friday.

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889518 LA Galaxy LA+Galaxy MLS

The visit to Vancouver on Saturday inspired a throwback Galaxy performance: a bit of brilliance from Landon Donovan and a miserly defensive display secured all three points at B.C. Place. Bruce Arena's side will present a significant threat to lift its third consecutive MLS Cup if it continues to ally the matchwinning qualities of Donovan and Robbie Keane with the solidity often missing so far this season.

Next on the docket: San Jose meanders down to Carson for the California Clasico on Saturday night.

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889519 Sporting KC Sporting+KC MLS

Friday night's 1-0 defeat at Chicago served as another exercise in frustration for Sporting. Peter Vermes' side controlled large portions of the match without finding a way to break down the resolute Fire rearguard. Sporting's inability to translate possession into production could prove troublesome if left unresolved before the start of the postseason.

Next on the docket: Sporting flies to Honduras to play C.D. Olimpia in a critical CONCACAF Champions League fixture on Tuesday before hosting Colorado on Saturday.

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889520 Portland Timbers Portland+Timbers MLS

Any derby loss to Seattle counts as a painful rebuke, but the Timbers can at least take solace in their display on Sunday night. The visitors arguably shaded the first half behind Diego Valeri's influential performance and subdued Clint Dempsey for most of the 1-0 defeat at CenturyLink Field. The impending returns of Diego Chara and Will Johnson will further strengthen a side that proved itself plenty capable against its bitter rivals.

Next on the docket: Chara returns from a one-match ban in time for the visit to Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake on Friday.

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889521 Colorado Rapids Colorado+Rapids MLS

Scoreboard watching constitutes a worthwhile hobby on a bye weekend, particularly for a side that entered this matchday tied for the most games played in the league. The practice did not prove particularly satisfying in the wake of victories for LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and Seattle, but the in-form Rapids – unbeaten in their past nine outings – will expect to take care of business on the field nonetheless.

Next on the docket: Colorado ends its temporary reprieve with a date at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.

George Frey - Getty Images
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889522 New York Red Bulls New+York+Red+Bulls MLS

Leave it to dejected and infuriated Red Bulls coach Mike Petke to sum up his side's stunning 3-2 defeat at Chivas USA on Sunday.

“Listen, I apologize to everybody watching out there,” the Red Bulls coach told MSG in a post-match interview. “I apologize for that loss. We lost to one of the worst teams in the league. We had many chances. We didn't capitalize on them, we made some mistakes and we had no creativity in the second half. We looked like we were confused out there.”

Next on the docket: New York will receive an immediate chance to show it can beat a poor side when D.C. United arrives at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889523 Montreal Impact Montreal+Impact MLS

Perhaps the rumors of the Impact's premature demise were a bit exaggerated. Montreal hung five goals on Houston at Stade Saputo on Saturday courtesy of a vibrant attacking display marshaled from the front by Marco Di Vaio. Impact boss Marco Schällibaum – even with another match to serve on a two-game ban for his third dismissal of the season – must continue to rotate his roster carefully over the next couple of months to ensure similar reprisals en route to the postseason.

Next on the docket: Di Vaio and his teammates will trek to PPL Park to play reeling Philadelphia – sans the suspended Amobi Okugo – on Saturday.

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31892528 Vancouver Whitecaps Vancouver+Whitecaps MLS

Only a lunging stop by Jaime Penedo prevented the Whitecaps from snatch a point against LA Galaxy on Saturday. Vancouver will rue its inability to take something from the game (Camilo's absence certainly hurt), but the Whitecaps – despite waking up on Monday morning out of the playoffs – will remain confident of their ability of securing a postseason berth over the remaining nine fixtures.

Next on the docket: Chivas USA visits B.C. Place on Sunday.

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889524 Seattle Sounders Seattle+Sounders MLS

Mauro Rosales does not occupy a prominent place in Seattle's stratosphere any more. Other players – the recent $9 million signing, the bleached blond U.S. international up front, etc. – warrant more attention and more praise. But the clever Argentine playmaker – as evidenced by the free kick to prompt Eddie Johnson's winning and by his overall contribution upon his second-half arrival – still has a part to play for the Sounders as they attempt to secure their first MLS Cup triumph.

Next on the docket: Rosales and the Sounders travel to Columbus to face the Crew on Saturday.

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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week 29 31889525 Houston Dynamo Houston+Dynamo MLS

So much for the promise of that trip to Quebec. The normally stout Dynamo conceded five goals and perhaps looked even worse than the 5-0 scoreline suggested. Consider this poor day at the office an aberration for a side more than capable of competing on two fronts and posing problems in the postseason once more.

Next on the docket: Houston hosts Arabe Unido in an important CONCACAF Champions League game on Tuesday before embarking upon a visit to Chicago on Sunday.

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