Goal.com MLS Rankings: Week 23

Colorado climbs into the top six in this week's Goal.com MLS Rankings.
By Kyle McCarthy

1. FC Dallas
– FCD will enter the weekend with a 13-match unbeaten run, but Schellas Hyndman's side will do well to extend it with a tricky trip to Buck Shaw Stadium on tap. (1)

2. Real Salt Lake – Few teams in this league could have pulled off the intricate series of passes – plus Kyle Beckerman's audacious longball – to set up Fabian Espindola's matchwinner in the 1-0 victory over New York. Espindola's neat finish extended the Claret-and-Cobalt's unbeaten streak at Rio Tinto Stadium to a record-tying 22 matches. (2)

3. Columbus – Robert Warzycha's side has hovered under the radar despite losing just twice in the past eight games. Another victory in southern California against the returning David Beckham and his Los Angeles teammates would send the Crew to the front of the pack in the race for the Supporters' Shield. (3)

4. New York – The Red Bulls now sport a 1-4 record against the other members of the MLS upper crust – FCD, RSL, Columbus and Los Angeles – after falling 1-0 at Real Salt Lake on Saturday. (4)

5. Los Angeles
– It's patently obvious things aren't right in Los Angeles when Landon Donovan misses a regular-season penalty kick (and a simple header from close range) and the Galaxy needs a late Omar Gonzalez header to draw at 10-man Chicago. Perhaps Bruce Arena's stumbling charges will rise to the occasion with the Crew due in town on Saturday. (5)

6. Colorado
– After spending a couple of weeks feeding on low-hanging fruit, Colorado will take the Conor and Omar show to Red Bull Arena this weekend. It's not a must-have game for the Rapids, but Gary Smith would certainly like to see the Rapids' attack – a group that has scored six goals in the past two matches – continue its fine form away from Dick's Sporting Goods Park.  (7)

7. San Jose
– It is now clear that Frank Yallop did not place Geovanni on the Nery Castillo fitness plan. (8)

8. Seattle
– Sounders FC looked a touch too reliant on Fredy Montero in Saturday's 3-1 defeat at New England. The tired legs probably played a role in that setback, but Seattle can't afford to pin its hopes solely on Montero with Real Salt Lake set to visit on Thursday. (6)

9. Kansas City – After collecting seven points in their past three matches, the Wizards probably would prefer to play instead of rest this weekend. At least they can visit CommunityAmerica Ballpark to catch some pulsating independent baseball action, right? (9)

10. Chicago – Gonzalo Segares deserved an extra game on the pine for the forearm shiver he delivered to the back of Leonardo's head on Saturday, but the Fire will particularly miss him for the vital clash against Toronto FC on Wednesday night. (10)

11. Toronto FC
– The Reds can all but kiss away their playoff hopes if they don't take at least a point from Toyota Park. (11)

12. New England
– One tidbit to watch: how will the Revs use Sainey Nyassi against Chivas USA after his whirlwind trip halfway across the world over the past week? (14)

13. Chivas USA
– While the Red-and-White won't be particularly thrilled about its response to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal defeat in Seattle, Martin Vasquez's side will look to its decent home form – unbeaten in four (2-0-2) at the Home Depot Center – to stop the rot against the Revolution on Friday. (12)

14. Philadelphia – Has Peter Nowak finally lost patience with Chris Seitz? (13)

15. Houston – Leave it to the new Earthquakes to finally condemn the old Earthquakes to a winter's worth of rebuilding. (15)

16. D.C. United
– Add Marc Burch (foot surgery) to the interminably long cast of wounded United players. Ben Olsen will be lucky if he finishes the season with 18 players at this point. (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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