Goal.com MLS Power Rankings: Week 30

The 10 playoff teams – including recent entrants D.C. United, Houston, New York and Vancouver – comprise the top 10 in this week's Rankings.
1. San Jose – How long can the Earthquakes continue to pull out results in the second half? At some stage, that tendency must come back to burn them, right? (1)

2. Sporting Kansas City – Is there a heavier favorite in either conference at the start of the postseason? And, if so, is that perch a good thing considering the congested nature of the Eastern Conference right now? (2)

3. Real Salt Lake – Get ready for another playoff slugfest between RSL and Seattle. It's going to be fun. (3)

4. Seattle – Perhaps Mario Martinez should look at the players ahead of him in the Sounders FC midfield and try to beat them out on the training field instead of carping about his playing time on a strong, playoff-bound team. (4)

5. Los Angeles – Edson Buddle hasn't produced much this season for a variety of fitness and injury-related reasons. Those stumbles won't matter if he replicates the goal he scored at San Jose on Sunday a couple of times during the postseason. (6)

6. Chicago – Would the Fire have secured a 0-0 draw at New England with Arne Friedrich in the starting XI? The veteran German center back certainly would have directed someone to close down Fagundez's space as he approached the penalty area, right? In the end, the point lost is probably worth it if it means Friedrich will enter the playoffs at something close to full strength. (5)

7. D.C. United – Who would have though the idea of integrating Dwayne De Rosario back into the mix at some stage could pose any sort of problem for United's playoff hopes? (8)

8. New York – The 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City could provide an important confidence boost for the Red Bulls if they run into that particular side during the playoffs. They didn't fold in the face of pressure. They played through it. And coping with the pressure is job one for any team that will try to topple Sporting in the next month or so. (7)

9. Houston – This team – even with its spotty form over the past couple of months – isn't the type of outfit any club wants to see in a one-and-done affair. (9)

10. Vancouver – Forget about the recent stumbles. A playoff berth gives the Whitecaps new life. They will likely have to turn to Darren Mattocks and Dane Richards in order to make the best use of it. (12)

11. FC Dallas – Talent isn't the issue in Frisco right now. Devising the right approach and forming the correct deportment are the biggest tasks ahead of Schellas Hyndman this winter. (12)

12. Columbus – Robert Warzycha will probably look to upgrade his central midfield options and his defensive corps during the close season. Another forward wouldn't hurt the cause, either. (11)

13. Montréal – The rather unimpressive denouement to an altogether successful expansion season may concern Jesse Marsch, but a visit by New England could allow the Impact to send their faithful home for the winter with a warm and fuzzy feeling. (13)

14. Philadelphia – Nice header, Jack McInerney. (14)

15. New England – The days of keeping the ball ended long ago. This group has scrapped and clawed for survival over the past few months. In the long run, the experience in such fundamental endeavors may help the team push onward next season. (15)

16. Colorado – This part of the season sure seems like a nice time to evaluate Steward Ceus, doesn't it? (16)

17. Portland – It should come as little surprise that Jack Jewsbury popped up when the Timbers needed him to do so in a big spot. The real question at this point: where does he fit into Caleb Porter's plans for the future? (17)

18. Toronto FC – It probably wouldn't have been fair for the Reds to end their home campaign on a high note. (19)

19. Chivas USA – Time is running short for Robin Fraser. The results – and Jorge Vergara's notoriously itchy trigger finger – will likely mandate a change at the end of the season. But it never seemed like the former RSL assistant truly had a chance to succeed with all of chaos ravaging the club during his tenure. (18)

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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