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Goal.com MLS Power Rankings: Week 18

San Jose maintains its perch atop the Goal.com MLS Rankings despite suffering a controversial 2-1 defeat at Vancouver on Sunday.

1. San Jose – “I didn’t think it was the right call,” Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch told reporters after referee Jair Marrufo relied on his assistant referee to award Barry Robson's match-winning penalty kick in the 2-1 defeat at Vancouver on Sunday night. “The head referee waived it off at first; I had the ball in my hands and there was no danger. I was shocked when the assistant referee overruled the call from the sideline. It’s unfortunate that the game was decided in that way. I thought both teams played great and deserved a point out of that match.” (1)

2. Sporting Kansas City – Expect more teams to continue to bunker at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park if Peter Vermes' side cannot find a way through those roadblocks on a regular basis. (2)

3. New York – Consider the pending acquisition of Everton midfielder Tim Cahill as a prudent gamble for the Red Bulls. While Cahill hasn't found his best form in a couple of years, his direct and industrious approach to the attacking midfield role should fit into MLS nicely. (5)

4. Real Salt Lake – Is the Rocky Mountain Cup victory the first step toward a consistent second half? (4)

5. D.C. United – How odd is it that United played just two league matches in July? Odd enough to suggest the pair of defeats may just stem from the inactivity. (3)

6. Vancouver – As the Breakdown discussed on Monday, the Whitecaps have made a whole host of changes to bolster their attacking potency for the second half of the season. The key to all of them: reliable production from Kenny Miller. (6)

7. Los Angeles – Remember all of the questions surrounding the poor form of the Galaxy's three Designated Players? Consider them answered. (7)

8. Chicago – In order to consolidate their current spot in the table and secure a playoff berth, the Fire must find a way to score more regularly. (8)

9. Seattle – A 4-2 defeat to Chelsea constitutes progress, right? (9)

10. Houston – Not even a wonderful tackle from Montreal defender Shavar Thomas could keep the Dynamo from yet another home win. (10)

11. Philadelphia – Delegates from across the league have descended on Chester and Philadelphia for the All-Star Game on Wednesday. Even with the uptick in form masterminded by John Hackworth, the Union can use this showpiece as a distraction from the tumultuous season to date. (12)

12. Toronto FC – Clever move by the Reds to secure Eric Hassli's services for a reasonable rate until the end of the season. One caveat: is his arrival worth passing on the opportunity to sign Olof Mellberg? (13)

13. Columbus – In a recent interview with the Sporting News, MLS commissioner Don Garber called the Crew “a fun team.” Garber now ranks among the very few people who would use the adjective 'fun' to describe Robert Warzycha's side. (15)

14. Montréal – If Felipe Martins played with a big-market club in the U.S., then pundits wouldn't stop raving about him. (16)

15. New England – Credit the Revs for doing something they don't like to do very much (sit back and soak up pressure) and doing it well enough to secure a result at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. (14)

16. Chivas USA – It is particularly difficult to win matches when the forwards cannot supply more than one goal per game. (17)

17. FC Dallas – What to do about Brek Shea? The answer is simple: hold onto him for the short and medium-term. At this point, Shea needs focus his energy on boosting his transfer value and earning a move away from Frisco. (18)

18. Colorado – Rapids coach Oscar Pareja could really use a match with a full complement of starters and a paucity of those crippling mistakes at the back. (11)

19. Portland – The Timbers may have finally hit rock bottom with that devastating defeat at FC Dallas on Saturday. Now comes the hard part: finding a way to push onwards and upwards. (19)

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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