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MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31719180 The next Chicharito? The+next+Chicharito%3F MLS

MLS has its own way to fete its young and promising players: it heaps attention and pressure on them when they start to emerge as potential stars.

Need proof? Take a look at the treatment Philadelphia striker Jack McInerney has received over the past few weeks. McInerney, 20, currently sits atop the MLS scoring charts with six goals in seven appearances. In light of his recent form (including four goals in his past three games), McInerney has drawn rather fanciful comparisons with Manchester United striker Javier Hernández.

McInerney, to his credit, brushed aside those overtures when asked about it recently. And that perspective remains the right one to take as he continues to hone his craft and produce goals on a regular basis for the Union for the rest of the season. After all, if he keeps scoring, the plaudits – and maybe even those comparisons to Chicharito – will continue to follow.

Honorable mention
11. San Jose Earthquakes
12. New York Red Bulls
13. Vancouver Whitecaps
14. Colorado Rapids
15. Chicago Fire
16. Toronto FC
17. Seattle Sounders
18. New England Revolution
19. D.C. United

Brad Mills - USA TODAY Sports
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31719182 FC Dallas FC+Dallas MLS

FCD just keeps on ticking along in its bid to confound the skeptics. A straightforward 2-0 home victory over Vancouver keeps Schellas Hyndman's side eight points clear at the top of the Western Conference. Not bad for a side expected to struggle in its attempts to secure a playoff spot.


Next on the docket: FCD will visit B.C. Place for a return match against the Whitecaps on Saturday.

Tim Heitman - USA TODAY Sports
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31719181 Houston Dynamo Houston+Dynamo MLS

The most dominant home side in MLS knows how to claim a result under adverse circumstances on the road, too. Warren Creavalle popped up in second-half stoppage time to snatch a 1-1 draw for 10-man Dynamo at Toronto FC on Saturday. That one late show might not compare to the 35-match unbeaten run at home in all competitions, but it could prove just as vital by the end of the season.


Next on the docket: Houston will attempt to extend its MLS record unbeaten run in Houston with a result against Colorado on Sunday.

John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31714553 LA Galaxy LA+Galaxy MLS

Landon Donovan dispelled any lingering worries about his return to form with an impressive display against Sporting Kansas City. The veteran U.S. international prompted Marcelo Sarvas' opener and scored the killer second goal to secure a 2-0 victory at the Home Depot Center. U.S. boss Jurgen Klinsmann may take his time before inviting Donovan back into the national team fold, but Donovan will work his way into the mix quickly if he continues to improve from week to week and influence matches on a regular basis.


Next on the docket: Donovan and his teammates will try to produce a similar effort at Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.


Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31719184 Montreal Impact Montreal+Impact MLS

Yet another weekend off allowed the Impact to prepare for its Canadian Championship obligations against Toronto FC in midweek. The three MLS sides usually rotate their lineups a bit for this tournament, but the prizes at the end – a berth in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League and a protracted period of bragging over their rivals – mean the Impact will take the two-legged tie against the Reds seriously.


Next on the docket: Montréal will turn its attentions back to MLS play by the time Chicago enters Stade Saputo on Saturday.


Graham Hughes - AP Images
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31718491 Sporting KC Sporting+KC MLS

Sporting's 545-minute shutout streak deserved a finer ending. Instead, it concluded in the middle of a controversy after Marcelo Sarvas handled in the buildup to that fateful goal. Landon Donovan added a second in the Galaxy's 2-0 victory on Saturday to heap further frustration on the visitors.


Next on the docket: Sporting will try to start another streak when Portland travels to Sporting Park for a date on Saturday night.

Ed Zurga - Getty Images
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31714556 Real Salt Lake Real+Salt+Lake MLS

Nick Rimando continues to make the difficult look simple between the sticks for RSL. The veteran goalkeeper saved yet another penalty last weekend – at this point, it feels like a surprise when an opponent scores one – to help his side secure a 1-0 home victory over Chivas USA. His assured displays provide the necessary foundation for RSL's success further up the field.


Next on the docket: Rimando will hope to contribute to another victory when Landon Donovan and LA Galaxy visit Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.

Russ Isabella - USA TODAY Sports
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31718492 Portland Timbers Portland+Timbers MLS

Caleb Porter's renovation project in Portland has gone well enough to prompt the onset of a new term to describe it. Porter rejects the use of the term “Porterball” for his aesthetically pleasing approach to the game, but its implementation has yielded significant dividends in the early stages of this season. The latest proof: a 1-1 draw at San Jose to make it four points gained against the Earthquakes in the span of two weeks.


Next on the docket: Porter and his players will attempt to continue their encouraging start at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.


Steve Dykes - Getty Images
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31714555 Philadelphia Union Philadelphia+Union MLS

Jack McInerney has made all of the difference for the suddenly surging Union. The in-form striker now sits at the top of the Golden Boot race after notching twice in a 3-2 victory at D.C. United Saturday. His six goals have played a significant role in the Union's surprising start to the season.


Next on the docket: McInerney will aim to continue his torrid run at New England on Saturday.

Brad Mills - USA TODAY Sports
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31719186 Chivas USA Chivas+USA MLS

Penalty kicks should lead to goals, but, for the Red-and-White, they do not. In the past two weeks, a Chivas USA player stepped up and spurned an opportunity to convert from the spot. The narrow defeats in both matches – including the 1-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake on Saturday – provided the corresponding punishment for the profligacy from 12 yards.


Next on the docket: Chivas USA will attempt to rectify those peculiar woes before San Jose arrives on Saturday night.

Russ Isabella - USA TODAY Sports
MLS 195 2341 MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight 31714554 Columbus Crew Columbus+Crew MLS

Every so often, Andy Gruenebaum stands on his head to keep the Crew a match. His latest effort to fall into that category occurred at Chicago last Saturday. Gruenebaum produced six saves (including a stunning one-handed effort to repel Austin Berry's header) before Jeff Larentowicz finally scored to hand the Fire a 1-0 victory at Toyota Park.


Next on the docket: Gruenebaum will hope for a little more support from his teammates – or at least a shot on the opposing team's goal – when the Crew hosts D.C. United on Saturday.

Dennis Wierzbicki - USA TODAY Sports
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