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MLS Power Rankings Week 20: NYCFC, DC United making moves

Josef Martinez keeps scoring, the fans keep coming out in record numbers at the Benz and Atlanta United are atop the Supporters’ Shield standings, but New York City FC is breathing down their necks after three shutout wins in seven days and D.C. United moves up four spots after winning on Wayne Rooney’s debut that doubled as the grand opening of Audi Field.

Without further Freddy Adu, here’s the Pro Soccer USA Week 20 power rankings, compiled by Dylan Butler and Emily Olsen.

  1. (1) Atlanta United (12-4-5, 41 points): Another record crowd came out to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but Atlanta was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sunday. Tata Martino  is looking for more scoring options than Josef Martinez, who scored No. 19.
  2. (3) New York City FC (12-4-4, 40 points): What a week it was for NYCFC, with three home wins, all clean sheets, against Eastern Conference foes, capped by a 2-0 win over Columbus. Best week ever? You bet.
  3. (2) Portland Timbers (8-3-6, 30 points): In one of the weekend’s most anticipated matchups, there was nothing separating Portland and LAFC, which played to a 0-0 draw. A point on the road, though, means 12 games without defeat and counting.
  4. (4) New York Red Bulls (11-5-2, 36 points): Marc Rzatkowski came off the bench and struck for a brace as the Red Bulls rallied to beat Sporting Kansas City to improve to 7-1-1 at Red Bull Arena.
  5. (5) LAFC (10-4-5, 35 points): LAFC remain unbeaten at the Banc in nine league contests after a 0-0 draw against Portland. In a scheduling quirk, they faceoff again in the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night.
  6. (7) FC Dallas (11-3-5, 38 points): FC Dallas is also undefeated at home (7-0-4) after a 3-1 win over Chicago. Kellyn Acosta and Reto Ziegler (PK) scored seven minutes apart in the second half to seal the win.
  7. (6) Sporting Kansas City (9-5-6, 33 points): It’s now four games without a win, and a third defeat in those four games for SKC, which dropped a 3-2 decision at Red Bull Arena. A bye week is just what the doctor ordered for walking wounded.
  8. (9) Houston Dynamo (7-6-5, 26 points): Wilmer Cabrera touted his squad’s defensive shape in a 0-0 draw at Colorado. It was the Dynamo’s second straight clean sheet in three matches without defeat.
  9. (10) LA Galaxy (8-7-4, 28 points): Don’t look now, but here come the Galaxy. They’re unbeaten streak is now six games after a dramatic 3-2 win over the Revs, with Dave Romney and Chris Pontius scoring one minute apart in stoppage time.
  10. (8) New England Revolution (7-5-7, 28 points): Brad Friedel said there was so much right with Saturday’s match, including the play of Luis Caicedo, who had a goal and an assist. But oh those dreaded defensive mistakes in stoppage time.
  11. (11) Montreal Impact (9-12-0, 27 points): They were lifeless in the Bronx, but back at Stade Saputo the Impact returned to their winning ways, beating San Jose, 2-0. It was their fifth straight victory at home. 
  12. (12) Real Salt Lake (9-9-2, 29 points): Things got pretty ugly in Minneapolis with Mike Petke ejected early in the second half and then going off on the officials in an epic postmatch rant. Joao Plata nearly made sure RSL stole a point with a pair of late goals in the 3-2 defeat.
  13. (13) Columbus Crew SC (8-7-6, 30 points): The Crew’s road struggles continued on Saturday with a 2-0 loss to NYCFC. It was the fifth straight game away from MAPFRE Stadium Columbus failed to score a goal.
  14. (14) Seattle Sounders FC (4-9-5, 17 points): It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective as the Sounders parked the bus and then boarded it with a point in a 1-1 draw against Atlanta. Raul Ruidiaz is here and that should spark an anemic attack.
  15. (19) D.C. United (3-7-5, 14 points): Audi Field opened with a bang for D.C. United, which defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-1, Saturday night. And oh yeah, Wayne Rooney made his debut. Things are looking up in the U.S. capital.
  16. (15) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7-8-5, 26 points): The ‘Caps have now lost three of their last four games and are in the midst of a brutal stretch that will see them head to Montreal for a Canadian Championship semifinal before playing at Seattle Saturday.
  17. (16) Chicago Fire (6-10-5, 23 points): After five games without defeat, the Fire suffered their third consecutive loss, dropping a 3-1 decision at Dallas. Rahmeem Edwards arrives in a trade from Montreal to help the attack.
  18. (17) Philadelphia Union (7-9-3, 24 points): The Union had a bye in Week 20 and have a tough stretch ahead, hosting Orlando City SC in the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night before the LA Galaxy come to Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday.
  19. (21) Minnesota United FC (7-11-1, 22 points): There was so much right in the first 75 minutes, with Darwin Quintero scoring a goal and setting up two others. But it was the final 15 minutes of a 3-2 win over RSL that nearly resulted in a coronary for Adrian Heath.
  20. (23) Orlando City SC (7-11-1, 22 points): The streak is over! After nine long games without a win, the Lions roared Saturday night against Toronto FC with Chris Schuler and Dom Dwyer scoring. Does this mean a different streak is on the horizon?
  21. (18) Toronto FC (4-11-4, 16 points): As for the aforementioned Reds, Saturday’s loss at Orlando was the low point of what has been a brutal regular season. A ray of light though is the Canadian Championship, which is their route back into the Concacaf Champions League.
  22. (23) Colorado Rapids (4-11-4, 16 points): Well, the good news is the Rapids didn’t lose — as was the case in their last two league games — but they also didn’t score in a 0-0 draw against Houston.
  23. (20) San Jose Earthquakes (2-11-6, 12 points): It is 11 games without a win now for the Quakes, who lost at Montreal. More troubling, though, is the heated exchange between embattled coach Mikael Stahre and Fatai Alashe when the midfielder was subbed out after four minutes of action.

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