Goal.com MLS Power Rankings: Week 26

San Jose continues its reign atop the Rankings after a 2-0 victory over Chivas USA on Saturday night.
1. San Jose – One subplot to watch when Portland visits on Wednesday night: influential midfielder Rafael Baca sits within one booking of a one-match ban ahead of Saturday's trip to Seattle. (1)

2. Sporting Kansas City – This week could imperil Sporting's current spot atop the Eastern Conference with trips to New York (Wednesday) and Montréal (Saturday) on the docket. (2)

3. Seattle – Marcus Hahnemann shared his thoughts on the allocation process with the Seattle Times on Monday. Suffice it to say that he isn't impressed with that particular method of player distribution after he almost missed out on a move to Sounders FC. (3)

4. New York – The next three games – home to Sporting on Wednesday, at New England on Saturday and home to Toronto FC next Saturday – will go a long way to determine whether the Red Bulls can sustain a push for top spot in the Eastern Conference. (4)

5. Los Angeles – Edson Buddle hasn't thrived during his second spell with the Galaxy. A few goals at the sharp end of the campaign might change the calculus a bit. (5)

6. Chicago – Remember the discussion in the Rankings last week about wise moves to upgrade the options off the bench? Former Mexico striker Guillermo Franco fits into that category. The best part? He could even win a game with his quality if he can locate a bit of sharpness before the postseason. (8)

7. Real Salt Lake – How many regulars will Jason Kreis use in Panama to collect a road victory against Tauro FC tonight? (6)

8. Houston – Expect Dominic Kinnear to trust his reserves to brush aside C.D. FAS at BBVA Compass Stadium on Thursday. (7)

9. D.C. United – Perhaps the road to the playoffs in Dwayne De Rosario's absence involves a few more gritty and ugly wins like the one suffered through on Saturday night. Another man-of-the-match performance or two from Bill Hamid wouldn't hurt, either. (11)

10. Columbus – All of that attacking ingenuity offers a nice change of pace. But if the Crew want to make the playoffs, then they will have to defend better than they have in the past couple of games. (9)

11. FC Dallas – A tidbit worth noting as FCD makes its playoff surge: Ricardo Villar played all 90 minutes in a reserve match. (13)

12. Vancouver – File Saturday's visit by Colorado into the must-win category. (10)

13. Montréal – "The Brazilian player he took me to watch was Alex, who's now with Chicago," Impact coach Jesse Marsch told MLSsoccer.com about the first time an agent took him to watch Felipe Martins at Swiss side FC Wohlen. "So I'm watching training, and I'm like, 'Yeah, he's OK, but who's this other little guy?' And he goes, 'Oh, that's another Brazilian. His name is Felipe. ... But I think he’s too small for MLS.'"  (12)

14. Philadelphia – The schedule presents the Union with an opportunity to play spoiler. In the right circumstances (read: at PPL Park), it may just happen on an occasion or two. (14)

15. New England – Juan Toja's brief debut provided encouraging signs for the future. The ex-FC Dallas man displayed his lack of match fitness, but he also hinted at the type of ingenuity and skill he can supply with a full preseason behind him. (15)

16. Colorado – "I think he’s going to continue to impress," former Atlanta coach Eric Wynalda told ColoradoRapids.com about Chris Klute, the Rapids' latest candidate to fill the hole at left back. "When you start comparing him to players, there’s a lot of Eddie Pope in him. But Chris Klute is faster than Eddie Pope. I’m looking forward to his future." (16)

17. Portland – The big days never seem to present a problem for the Timbers. Now they have to find a way to show up for those midweek fixtures at Columbus or Colorado. (17)

18. Chivas USA – How much of a factor has the recent uncertainty in the board room played in the events unfolding on the field? Or is the tumult just part of doing business for the Red-and-White these days? (18)

19. Toronto FC – More determination and more talent required for next season. Full stop. (19)

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