Goal.com MLS Rankings: Galactic Playoff Return Leads To L.A.'s Climb

Landon Donovan's goal, combined with D.C. United's 2-0 loss at Chivas USA, ensured Los Angeles would return to the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and lifted the Galaxy two spots in this week's Goal.com MLS Rankings.
1. Columbus – The MLS-record 22-game home unbeaten streak is now over. It only took two rare occurrences – Roger Levesque's first MLS goal and Guillermo Barros Schelotto's first MLS penalty miss – to end the Crew's stellar home run. (1)

2. Los Angeles – The Galaxy have won six games by a 1-0 scoreline at the Home Depot Center this season (five home games, plus one “at Chivas USA”). (4)

3. Houston – The Dynamo has picked up five red cards in its past six games. Poor discipline doesn't win championships. (3)

4. Chicago
– Doesn't something about the Fire appear just a bit off-kilter as the season winds to a close? (2)

5. Chivas USA
– The Goats hadn't scored in its three previous away games before Maicon Santos and Jesus Padilla found the net in D.C. (5)

6. Seattle – A little bit of luck goes a long way and Sounders FC had just enough of it to escape Columbus with a victory. (8)

7. Colorado – The Rapids could ill afford a draw against New England, but they really couldn't stomach losing Mehdi Ballouchy (caution accumulation) and Julien Baudet (ejection) for the trip to FC Dallas in two weeks. (6)

8. New England
– One point from trips to FC Dallas and Colorado isn't exactly what the doctor ordered, but that point hands the Revs chance to control their destiny with home games against Columbus and Chicago over the next two weekends. (7)

9. Toronto FC – Chris Cummins must have smiled as he watched Chivas USA thump United at home. The road to the postseason just got a tad bit easier. (9)

10. D.C. United – With Saturday night's 2-0 submission to Chivas USA, United has now lost three on the trot at R.F.K. Stadium for the first time since 2000. (10)

11. Real Salt Lake
– Not sure that 4-1 win over BYU on Friday night will help prepare RSL for the end of the campaign. (11)

12. Kansas City
– A 1-1 draw in Houston would taste sweeter if the Wizards hadn't played the majority of the match up a man after Cam Weaver's diabolical challenge early in the first half and hadn't watched their faint playoff hopes all but disappear with the point. (12)

13. FC Dallas – Was anyone surprised to see the 3rd Degree report that stated Jeff Cunningham has an incentive clause in his contract tied to his goal production? Cunningham could see his contract for next year renewed automatically should he reach a certain scoring threshold, according to the report. (13)

14. San Jose – This belated four-match unbeaten streak will make the 2009 season appear a bit more productive than it actually was. (14)

15. New York – The Red Bulls are now at 26 consecutive games on the road without a victory after Saturday night's 1-0 loss in San Jose. (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 MLSnet.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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