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Crunchy Power Rankings: Week 26

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An updated look at how MLS teams stack up statistically. The rankings have mostly settled into a stable order, but Seattle is on the rise and contenders Real Salt Lake and New York aren't impressive.

Can Henry's Red Bulls stay competitive in the stretch run?
Can Henry's Red Bulls stay competitive in the stretch run?

Nearly 4 weeks after the previous edition the CPR has become pretty stable. There are only 4 teams that gained or lost 10 or more points (versus 7 in the last update), but that list contains some interesting teams.

Here are the new rankings:

Team Duels Box Shots Off
Pass %
Recoveries Total
1 Sporting Kansas City 0.89 4 12.6 4.79 91
9th 2nd 1st 1st
2 LA Galaxy -0.68 4.72 6.85 1.1 74
13th 1st 2nd 8th
3 Colorado Rapids 3.17 2.57 3.96 -0.75 66
2nd 3rd 6th 13th
4 San Jose Earthquakes 2.64 1.16 -1.86 2.59 64
3rd 4th 11th 4th
5 Portland Timbers 1.64 0.05 4.71 1.95 62
7th 10th 4th 5th
6 Columbus Crew 3.69 0 0.74 1.14 61
1st 11th 8th 7th
7 Seattle Sounders FC 1.8 0.24 4.04 0.67 60
6th 9th 5th 10th
8 Chicago Fire 2.02 -0.38 -4.85 3.27 57
5th 13th 16th 2nd
9 New York Red Bulls 1.48 0.59 3.85 -0.56 56
8th 6th 7th 12th
10 Houston Dynamo -0.33 0.43 -3.43 3.1 56
12th 7th 12th 3rd
11 Philadelphia Union 0.04 0.94 -3.7 1.9 55
10th 5th 14th 6th
12 Montreal Impact 2.6 0.3 -8.65 -1.18 45
4th 8th 19th 14th
13 D.C. United -2.74 -3.19 0.06 0.86 35
16th 18th 9th 9th
14 New England Revolution -4.57 -0.17 -1.37 -1.63 34
19th 12th 10th 16th
15 Vancouver Whitecaps -0.1 -2.97 -5.75 -0.15 33
11th 17th 17th 11th
16 FC Dallas -2.72 -1.29 -3.46 -1.33 32
15th 14th 13th 15th
17 Real Salt Lake -3.98 -1.34 5.93 -3.27 32
18th 15th 3rd 17th
18 Toronto FC -1.33 -1.67 -4.33 -5.59 21
14th 16th 15th 18th
19 Chivas USA -3.1 -4.63 -6.22 -6.42 5
17th 19th 18th 19th

So among the double digit movers we have Seattle. Their loss at Houston hasn't hurt them much in the rankings. Lots of good teams lose in Houston in August. Instead, the fact that they have the only away win in the last 19 MLS matches (over Toronto) is a sign that they're doing well in a league drunk on parity. The stat that was really killing them was net shots in the box, and now they've climbed into the top half of the league in that stat. And with the addition of Dempsey, I wouldn't be Dempseyed if they continued to Dempsey in that regard.

The other double digit movers are all sinking. Chicago has flirted with a late playoff run since the addition of Mike Magee and they were undefeated in 4 up to their loss to New England last week, but the CPR is not impressed with their play. Their next three matches are against Kansas City, Houston, and Seattle, so if they're going to stay in it they'll need some impressive wins.

Then we have New York, who's dropped into an erratic mediocrity. They scored 7 goals in two games against Sporting and Real Salt Lake, then scored 0 in two games against Columbus and Philadelphia. Figure that out. They're still near locks to make the playoffs in the East, but are in real danger of dropping out of the top 3 and into the wild card game.

And finally there's Real Salt Lake. They were already low in the rankings in the last update and now they've dropped further. My question last month was whether they'd follow the path of previous low-ranked Supporters Shield leaders FC Dallas and Montreal and drop out of the top spot. And the answer is. . kind of. They're still on top by points, but have some games in hand on Montreal and Portland, who are both ahead of them in points per game. If the CPR is any judge at all, the Timbers are the best bet to come out of that three team race, and indeed they match up tonight at Jeld Wen.

Chivas has returned to a legendarily low value and Sporting maintains their high standing. Given the lack of competitive Eastern Conference teams around them, they're probably the most likely team to reach the MLS Cup at this point, though the odds are it'll be an away trip to a Western Conference venue.