Goal.com MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

San Jose once again retains its spot atop the Rankings after a 4-0 home win over Chivas USA on Sunday night.

1. San Jose – The primary goal for Frank Yallop right now: keeping his team sharp for the work ahead in the postseason. (1)

2. Sporting Kansas City – Maybe Sporting boss Peter Vermes should wrap C.J. Sapong in cotton wool to ensure he doesn't pick up a knock during the international break. (2)

3. New York – The long layoff ends in rather dramatic fashion with a pair of home games against Columbus (Sept. 15) and Sporting Kansas City (Sept. 19) starting next weekend. (3)

4. Seattle – It isn't ideal for Sounders FC to play during the FIFA window this weekend, but the club might just accept the situation in this particular case with reeling Chivas USA set to visit CenturyLink Field on Saturday. (4)

5. Chicago – Four wins in the past five outings have kept the Fire right in the mix of a jumbled Eastern Conference picture. (6)

6. Los Angeles – The mooted signing of Swedish international winger Christian Wilhelmsson would provide the Galaxy with one quality it sorely lacks: natural width. (8)

7. Real Salt Lake – Los Angeles and Seattle certainly appear threatening in the rear view mirror, don't they? (7)

8. Columbus – Victory over New England in midweek would extend the current winning run to five matches and vault the Crew into third spot in the Eastern Conference. All of a sudden, this Federico Higuaín-inspired group looks like a playoff side. (12)

9. Houston – Even with a liberal squad rotation policy in place, the Dynamo are struggling to cope with the additional CONCACAF Champions League demands (no wins in the past four matches). The good news: four of the final seven domestic games take place at the seemingly impenetrable BBVA Compass Stadium. (5)

10. Montréal – Jesse Marsch may look back at Emilio Renteria's late winner at Crew Stadium on Saturday night and wonder if that moment represented the death of the Impact's playoff hopes. (11)

11. D.C. United – The folks at RFK Stadium are probably getting a bit nervous right now with Columbus in such torrid form. The probable playoff berth now appears on tenuous ground. (9)

12. Vancouver – Is it time for Martin Rennie to shift to a 4-4-2? He must make a change of some sort to pull the Whitecaps out of their current stupor. Fortunately for this ambitious group, the chasing pack isn't exactly bearing down upon them at the moment. (10)

13. FC Dallas – Imagine the difference in FCD's results this year if David Ferreira and Blas Pérez had managed to stay on the field on a regular basis. (13)

14. Philadelphia – The planning for next year starts right now. (14)

15. Toronto FC – Are Reds fans really up in arms about Paul Mariner's work at BMO Field? It seems a bit foolish even with the shoddy work in possession and the so-so results. He's done well to keep this team competitive and start the process of upgrading the roster. Expect more changes during the close season. (15)

16. Portland – Bright Dike offers the movement Kris Boyd never will. But if the Timbers want to compete at the top end of the table, they will need another option or two up top to start next season. (17)

17. Chivas USA – This club is in complete and utter disarray at the moment with the changes at the top and the leaky unit (13 goals shipped in three matches) at the back. (16)

18. Colorado – Hendry Thomas settled in nicely during his debut at Portland on Friday night. He still needs to find his fitness and learn about the league, but there were plenty of little moments to offer encouraging signs about his ability to fill the pressing vacancy alongside Jeff Larentowicz.  (18)

19. New England – All of the progress from earlier in the campaign has frittered away during this club record 10-game winless run. This is a better team than last season's outfit, but the poor results and the switch to a direct approach means the two groups currently appear more similar than one might expect. (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.