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MLS Power Rankings Week 34: DC United, Portland Timbers on the rise

Find out where your favorite Major League Soccer team landed in the Pro Soccer USA Power Rankings for Week 34.

After more than eight months, the Major League Soccer regular season comes down to one day — Decision Day — with still so much to play for.

There is no hotter team in the league than D.C. United, which clinched a playoff berth with a 3-1 win over New York City FC, their fifth straight win. It is also a victory that moved the Black-and-Red up to a season-high third place in the Pro Soccer USA Power Rankings. The Portland Timbers are the biggest movers, jumping four spots after a playoff-clinching win over Real Salt Lake.

The Major League Soccer Power Rankings are created by averaging the rankings submitted by a committee of Pro Soccer USA’s editor and writers.

  1. (1) New York Red Bulls (21-6-6, 68 points): Kaku scored the game’s lone goal from the penalty spot as the Red Bulls beat the Philadelphia Union for their fourth consecutive win heading into a regular season finale at home against Orlando City SC.
  2. (2) Atlanta United (21-7-5, 69 points): The Five Stripes clinched a berth in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League and inched closer to the Supporters’ Shield, which they can clinch in Toronto, with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire.
  3. (6) D.C. United (14-11-8, 50 points): Wayne Rooney struck for a brace and Luciano Acosta added a goal and a ridiculous assist on Senor Wayne’s first goal in a 3-1 win over NYCFC. That’s nine games without a loss and five straight wins for D.C., which plays at Chicago Sunday with a chance to clinch a home playoff game.
  4. (3) Sporting Kansas City (17-8-8, 59 points): Daniel Salloi, Roger Espinoza and Johnny Russell scored and Tim Melia came up with a penalty-kick save in a 3-0 win over FC Dallas that moved Sporting into first place in the Western Conference heading into a big Decision Day showdown with second place LAFC.
  5. (4) Seattle Sounders FC (17-11-5, 56 points): Nico Lodeiro had a hat trick of assists, serving in perfect corner kicks headed home by Chad Marshall and Gustav Svensson, as well as Raul Ruidiaz’s eighth goal of the season in a 3-2 win at Houston.
  6. (5) Los Angeles Football Club (16-8-9, 57 points): Diego Rossi struck for an early brace, but LAFC conceded a pair of goals to settle for a 2-2 draw with the Whitecaps before a showdown with Sporting KC that will likely determine the top seed in the Western Conference.
  7. (11) Portland Timbers (15-9-9, 54 points): The Timbers booked a postseason berth with a 3-0 home win over Real Salt Lake on goals by Larrys Mabiala, Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco. Portland heads to Vancouver with a chance to lock up a home game in the Knockout Round.
  8. (6) FC Dallas (16-8-9, 57 points): If FC Dallas is forced to play a Knockout Round game, they’ll know exactly where their fate turned, losing at home to Sporting Kansas City, 3-0, on Sunday. That’s back-to-back defeats going into a regular-season finale at Colorado.
  9. (8) Philadelphia Union (15-13-5, 50 points): The Union played well and can hold their heads up following a 1-0 home defeat to the Red Bulls. A win over struggling New York City FC Sunday will lock up the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
  10. (9) LA Galaxy (13-11-9, 48 points): Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a goal and assisted on Romain Alessandrini’s tally, which came one minute after Ola Kamara scored to lead the Galaxy to a 3-1 win over Minnesota United. An LA win over Houston Sunday books their playoff ticket.
  11. (10) Montreal Impact (14-15-4, 46 points): Ignacio Piatti struck for a brace to lead the Impact to a 2-0 win over rival Toronto FC and keep him team’s playoff hopes alive. Montreal will need to beat the Revolution and hope the Crew falter against the Loons.
  12. (13) Real Salt Lake (14-13-7, 49 points): A win over the Revs gave RSL hope, hope that was all but crushed with a regular-season ending 3-0 loss at Portland on Sunday. Now they need the Dynamo to draw or beat the Galaxy to get into the playoffs.
  13. (14) New York City FC (15-10-8, 53 points): Yangel Herrera looked good in his return and David Villa scored a goal. Outside of those two positives, NYCFC fell to D.C. United, 3-1, and will need a win or draw against the Philadelphia Union Sunday to clinch a home Knockout Round game.
  14. (12) Columbus Crew SC (13-11-9, 48 points): It’s now consecutive losses and three games without a win for the Crew after a stunning 2-1 defeat at Orlando. The Crew will need a win over the Loons to insure a playoff spot. If not, they will need to hope the Revs beat the Impact.
  15. (15) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (12-13-8, 44 points): The rally was inspiring, as Yordy Reyna and Jordon Mutch equalized, but a 2-2 draw against LAFC eliminated the ‘Caps from playoff contention.
  16. (16) Toronto FC (9-18-6, 33 points): Toronto FC can still impact the Supporters’ Shield race. A win over Atlanta United would not only snap a three-game losing streak, it might also mean avoiding seeing the Five Stripes celebrate winning the Shield on their field.
  17. (21) Minnesota United FC (11-19-3, 36 points): More than 50,000 fans packed TCF Bank Stadium. That and Angelo Rodriguez’s 54th-minute goal were about the only positive to draw from a 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy in their home finale.
  18. (17) Houston Dynamo (9-16-8, 35 points): The Dynamo conceded twice off set pieces — their bugaboo all season — in a 3-2 loss at home to the Sounders, their third consecutive defeat. Kevin Garcia and Mauro Manotas scored second-half goals for Houston.
  19. (18) New England Revolution (9-13-11, 38 points): Kelyn Rowe scored in the 69th minute, but it came after the Revs conceded four times in the opening 50 minutes in a 4-1 loss to Real Salt Lake.
  20. (19) Chicago Fire (8-18-7, 31 points): Michael de Leeuw made 70,000 Atlanta United fans squirm in their seats with a 24th-minute equalizer, but an own goal by Johan Kappelhof put Atlanta in front for good in a 2-1 win.
  21. (22) Orlando City SC (8-21-4, 28 points): After three consecutive losses and 13 games without a win, the Lions roared in their home finale, beating Columbus, 2-1, with Yoshi Yotun and Sacha Kljestan scoring from the penalty spot.
  22. (20) Colorado Rapids (7-19-7, 28 points): The Rapids drew the Earthquakes, 0-0, Sunday and close out what has been a miserable season at home against FC Dallas.
  23. (23) San Jose Earthquakes (4-20-9, 21 points): The Quakes have but one thing to play for Sunday in Seattle — get Chris Wondolowski to break the league’s all-time record for goals. Oh, and winning for the first time since late August.

Pro Soccer USA’s writers Dylan Butler and Emily Olsen contributed to this report.

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