Goal.com MLS Power Rankings: Week 25

San Jose celebrates its return to the playoffs – courtesy of Seattle's 2-1 victory over Chivas USA on Saturday – with yet another week atop the Rankings.
1. San Jose – Chris Wondolowski struck in second-half stoppage time to give the Earthquakes a 1-0 victory over San Luis on Thursday. The take-away point from that irrelevant result: even friendly opponents find themselves subjected to the Earthquakes' late heroics. (1)

2. Sporting Kansas City – Credit Sporting manager Peter Vermes for a touch of real world pragmatism regarding the discovery process. Although Sporting once pursued current Seattle target Eidur Gudjohnsen, the interest did not yield a deal and the club did not attempt to retain its discovery rights to the player in subsequent years.

"We looked at him, but it never materialized," Vermes told MLSsoccer.com last week. "It's not our philosophy to try to hold back a guy from another team. If we're not going to sign him, then it doesn't make sense for us to then hold him so nobody else can sign him." (2)

3. Seattle – Why wouldn't Sounders FC try to sign Gudjohnsen? The move might not pan out for any number of reasons, but players of his quality do not offer to come on trial every day of the week. No harm in taking a look, right? (4)

4. New York – One glance at the chasing pack reinforces the importance of Saturday's home date with Columbus. A defeat could see the Red Bulls slip to fourth spot in the Eastern Conference depending on other results. (3)

5. Los Angeles – Galaxy boss Bruce Arena named Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan and Christian Wilhelmsson in his squad for Monday's reserve league match against Portland. It should come as little surprise that the trio delivered a 4-0 victory over the Timbers. (6)

6. Real Salt Lake – The best part of RSL's expected postseason itinerary: no trips through Texas in the Western Conference bracket. (7)

7. Houston – Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear can identify with the problems faced by Roy Hodgson as England prepares to face Ukraine today. Kinnear named just 16 players in his squad for Thursday's 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake after a virus affected several players prior to the match. (9)

8. Chicago – Dishing a conditional draft pick to Colorado for Wells Thompson represents a wise piece of business for Fire boss Frank Klopas. The pesky winger may or may not play a role in the postseason push, but he strengthens the bench at a modest cost. Little upgrades matter in the grand scheme of things, especially when the Fire can cut ties with Thompson at the end of the season if the move doesn't pan out for both parties. (5)

9. Columbus – One rather uncharacteristic stat for the usually stout Crew: no shutouts in the past nine matches. (8)

10. Vancouver – The international break did not provide much of a respite for the beleaguered Kenny Miller. Instead of dealing with the growing criticism in British Columbia, Miller heard the Hampden Park crowd chanting for Jordan Rhodes in the second half of Scotland's abject 0-0 draw with Serbia on Saturday. (12)

11. D.C. United – United fans likely smiled and nodded after hearing about Dwayne De Rosario's clever finish from a quick Atiba Hutchinson free kick. Some players just have a keen sense for goal. (11)

12. Montréal – The playoffs look a bit beyond the Impact at this point. Will Jesse Marsch enjoy the latitude required to usher out a few of his Serie A veterans in the close season and take this squad to the next level in 2013? (10)

13. FC Dallas – One snippet of video worth watching during the downtime this week: David Ferreira taking a few moments to explain his new tattoos. (13)

14. Philadelphia – The most shocking part of MLSsoccer.com's 24 Under 24 feature: Freddy Adu is still eligible for the list. That fact puts Adu's foibles in a wider perspective, doesn't it? (14)

15. New England – At some point, the regular supply of goals Jerry Bengtson provides for Honduras will make the return trip to Massachusetts with him. (19)

16. Colorado – The next (and quite modest) step in the rebuilding process: the conditional draft pick acquired in exchange for Thompson. (18)

17. Portland – Lovel Palmer, Steve Purdy and Rodney Wallace all featured for their countries on Friday. Will any of the three players earn a spot in Caleb Porter's new regime next season? Call it a toss up at this point. (16)

18. Chivas USA – Fifteen goals conceded in the past four games. That defensive work simply isn't good enough. (17)

19. Toronto FC – The next big task for this side: acquiring a bit of depth. The recent CONCACAF Champions League travails and the concurrent MLS struggles showed the dearth of options currently available to Paul Mariner at the moment. (15)

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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