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FC Dallas ascends to the top spot in this week's Goal.com MLS Rankings.

By Kyle McCarthy

1. FC Dallas – With Los Angeles stumbling and other teams distracted by CONCACAF Champions League duties, it's hard to overlook the claims of a side that hasn't lost in 11 matches since May 20.  Columbus, however, should provide a stern test for that unbeaten run at Crew Stadium on Saturday. (3)

2. Real Salt Lake – A weekend off in league play provides the perfect interlude before a difficult road swing through Mexico City (Cruz Azul on Wednesday night) and Toronto (TFC on Saturday afternoon). (2)

3. Columbus – Not even the Crew's hometown newspaper is convinced Robert Warzycha's side has what it takes to lift MLS Cup, but a solid record in the last ten matches (6-3-1) and the continued success despite a rotating cast of contributors for most of the campaign indicates Columbus may be there or thereabouts when the chips finally fall. (4)

4. Los Angeles – If the Galaxy possesses the switch most great teams have, it's about time to flick it. (1)

5. New York – A warning for other MLS sides: the Red Bulls dismantled Toronto FC in Toronto without really finding top gear. (5)

6. San Jose – It may take some time for Geovanni to work himself back into match shape, but the Earthquakes may just be able to withstand his diminished contributions if they keep finding a way to grind out results despite coping with a spate of defensive injuries. (7)

7. Seattle – Question of the week: how will Rave Green supporters welcome Freddie Ljungberg upon his return to Qwest Field on Saturday? (6)



8. Colorado
– With just one win in their past ten matches, the Rapids start a critical two-match homestand against Houston this weekend. A pair of wins against the Dynamo and Chivas USA would certainly strengthen Colorado's currently tenuous position in the table. (8)

9. Toronto FC
– The New York loss represents a potentially significant setback bearing in mind TFC's next three matches: v. Real Salt Lake, at FC Dallas and at Chicago. In other words, the margin for error north of the border shrinks with each passing week. (9)

10. Chicago – Ljungberg represents the key to the Fire's near-term future. If the former Arsenal star maintains this alluring run of form, Chicago could pose some problems for other teams coming down the home stretch. (11)

11. Kansas City – Birahim Diop, target forward and two-goal scorer. Who knew? (12)

12. Houston – Talk about a response. Houston may just have saved its season and sparked its moribund attack with a Brian Ching-fueled 4-3 victory over Chicago at the weekend. (15)

13. New England – After collecting zero points from two critical road games, the Revs face an uphill climb to secure a ninth consecutive playoff berth. (10)

14. Chivas USA – It's just not quite coming together for the Red-and-White over 90 minutes these days. (14)

15. Philadelphia
– At least the Sons of Ben always keep chanting. (13)

16. D.C. United
–There's a good chance Ben Olsen's first (and hopefully not last) victory as United gaffer will stand out as one of the brightest moments of the campaign – though it probably falls below Andy Najar's debut on the scale of importance. (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.

For more on Major League Soccer, visit Goal.com's MLS page.

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