Goal.com MLS Rankings: Week 20

New England climbs into the top ten in this week's Goal.com MLS Rankings.
By Kyle McCarthy

1. Los Angeles – Saturday's victory over New York saw the Galaxy return to their best: opportunistic in attack, composed in midfield and organized at the back. (1)

2. Real Salt Lake –“All of these games are going to affect every decision,” RSL coach Jason Kreis said as he reflected on the impending impact of the CONCACAF Champions League after Saturday's 2-0 win over Columbus. “Talking to quite a few of the guys last week, we made the decision to rest a bunch of them. I talked to all of them individually, and I was a little surprised. I thought it was going to be a little bit of a sales job for me to tell them how important this tournament is for our club. As has happened many times before, my players made me very pleased because they were all saying how important it was to them.” (2)

3. FC Dallas – Jarring stat of the week: FCD has compiled a ten-match unbeaten run (6-0-4) since losing 1-0 to Los Angeles on May 20. (3)

4. Columbus – Good news for the Crew: Brian Carroll (illness), Eddie Gaven (concussion), Andy Iro (right knee) and Gino Padula (right knee) could all return in time to face Colorado on Saturday, according to the Columbus Dispatch. (4)

5. New York – While the Red Bulls failed to take any points from the Galaxy's visit, they did improve significantly in possession. As Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez continue to work their way toward full fitness, Hans Backe's side will start use the ball more deftly. (5)

6. Seattle – Sounders FC can focus solely on its Champions League commitments in Honduras on Thursday night with a free weekend ahead in MLS play. (6)

7. San Jose
– Geovanni should bolster the Earthquakes in the attacking third with his creativity and his incisiveness on the ball, but can the former Hull City schemer find his feet quickly enough to exert his influence on matches? (9)

8. Colorado – At some point in the not too distant future, the Rapids must start turning all of these draws – six of the past nine Colorado matches have ended all square – into victories. Saturday night's trip to Crew Stadium, however, may not be the spot to start a new trend. (7)

9. Toronto FC
– One player who really needs to show up as TFC starts its hectic month with a home date against Cruz Azul on Tuesday night: Mista. The former Spanish league plunderer must blemish the scoresheet sooner rather than later for the goal-shy Reds. (8)

10. New England – This road swing – Chicago on Wednesday and Kansas City on Saturday – should reveal whether the Revolution can mount a viable playoff charge. (11)

11. Chicago – Nery Castillo could start against New England on Wednesday and may see time on the left flank, Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. If Castillo does indeed feature out on the wing, it would represent a peculiar choice for a player still well short of match practice. (10)

12. Kansas City – Safe to say Saturday's home match against New England falls into the must-win category. (13)

13. Philadelphia – One of these days, the Union may find a way to translate its superiority from the run of play into a full complement of points. (15)

14. Chivas USA – Mariano Trujillo should probably plan for a brief vacation. Two chucked elbows, two games on the sideline?  (14)

15. Houston – The six-point gap between Houston and the final playoff spot feels more like a gulf at this point with the way the Dynamo is playing at the moment. (12)

16. D.C. United – The spat over Jaime Moreno's departure at the end of the season adds yet another miserable chapter to an already awful campaign. (16)

Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for Goal.com. He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and MLSsoccer.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at kyle.mccarthy@goal.com and follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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