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Real Salt Lake ascends to the top of the Rankings this week after Portland watches its 15-match unbeaten run come to a close in Columbus.

1. Real Salt Lake – The absence of several key figures places significant strain on the improved depth within the ranks. Every point – even home draws against Philadelphia – matters a great deal in order to keep things ticking along. (2)

2. Portland – The world will not come crashing down after one defeat. Or two. Or even three at this point. The Timbers will lick their self-inflicted wounds from Columbus and respond accordingly. (1)

3. Montréal – Marco Schällibaum and his players expected more than two points from this favorable stretch of matches. Now the Impact must improve results quickly in order to reclaim them. (3)

4. Sporting Kansas City – The primary building blocks for the future are now sorted. But how will Sporting augment its foundation during this summer window with a heavy fixture list ahead? (8)

5. Vancouver – Finally, a victory over a Cascadia rival. It really is all going according to plan at the moment for the Whitecaps. Now the focus turns to the transfer window, particularly in the wake of last year's extensive alterations. Have the playoff chasers learned their lesson? (9)

6. Los Angeles – Any modest worries about this recent stretch dissipated in the wake of two home victories in four days. Consider business resumed as normal, even with Landon Donovan off at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. (10)

7. Seattle – Osvaldo Alonso's impending return will cure most of the current ills. He cannot meld the partnership between Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins, though. (5)

8. FC Dallas – Recent results suggest that FCD may need further reinforcements during the summer window. (4)

9. New York – Juninho Pernambucano's departure paves the way for an acquisition more suited to MLS. And the Red Bulls can assess the potential pool carefully with Tim Cahill and Dax McCarty already in house. (7)

10. Philadelphia – No McInerney, no problem, right? The recent defensive uncertainty perhaps suggests otherwise. And if the prolific scorer doesn't find his way onto the field in the Gold Cup, it could prove a particularly painful spell for the Union. (6)

11. Colorado – Keep an eye on the status of Marvell Wynne. The veteran defender dropped out of the Rapids' matchday squad over the weekend. If he remains on the periphery of the side, then the club may have to weigh its options given his significant budget number ($200,000 in base compensation in 2013, according to Players Union documents). (11)

12. New England – Saër Sène's resounding blast from distance offered some hope that the double-digit scorer from last year can provide a necessary source of goals with Juan Agudelo sidelined for the short-term. (12)

13. Chicago – Mike Magee straddled the line between proper prodding and outlandish critiquing in the wake of the 2-1 home defeat to Sporting Kansas City. But his recent form and his vast influence on the Fire since his arrival grants him plenty of latitude to speak his mind. (13)

14. Houston – File the 1-0 victory over Philadelphia into the critical win category. After seven matches without a triumph and the recent wobbles at BBVA Compass Stadium, the Dynamo – even without Corey Ashe and Will Bruin – needed these points desperately. (14)

15. Columbus – Bold changes by Robert Warzycha – including a spot in the starting XI for son Konrad – and a poor start by Portland led to a much-needed win over the Timbers on Sunday. The unexpected triumph ended a three-game losing streak and reinforced the Crew's place in the congested Eastern Conference playoff race. (15)

16. San Jose – It just simply isn't possible to win consistently in MLS with the scarce options at Mark Watson's disposal right now. But the Earthquakes must do better with what they have at the moment or face the prospect of an increasingly irrelevant denouement to the campaign. (16)

17. Toronto FC – TFC is linked with Diego Forlan in the Toronto media on Sunday. Forlan bats those rumors down on Monday. What will the rest of the week hold as this saga lurches onward? (17)

18. D.C. United – Joe Willis offered his best Bill Hamid impression and salvaged a point against Colorado on Sunday. At this stage, a 0-0 draw against the Rapids probably represents a decent result. (18)

19. Chivas USA – A third consecutive draw – this time in Montréal – constitutes genuine progress. The continued presence of a winless streak dating back to March indicates plenty of work still remains. (19)

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