The top spots of September Major League Soccer power rankings are filled with Eastern Conference sides. This is new. The New York Red Bulls and Sporting KC will face off on Wednesday night with first place in the conference on the line, but don't forget about Chicago Fire. It's not crazy to suggest that the Fire will be atop the conference standings one week from the posting of these power rankings. The best team in the league continues to be a Western Conference side, one that isn't showing signs of slowing down.
2012 Week 29 MLS power rankings
19. Toronto FC (5-17-7): Playing in a venue that isn't even half-full. Dropping points at home. November can't come soon enough for TFC.
18. Chivas USA (7-13-7): Chivas lost a home game and they didn't score a goal. The song remains the same for LA2.
17. Philadelphia Union (7-13-6): A completely "meh" team, Union earned a point up at Toronto on Saturday. At least Philly fans have the Flyers. Wait, what's that?
16. Portland Timbers (7-14-7): The Portland crowd, as expected, did well to represent team and league in a game that was shown on "Big Daddy NBC" on Saturday afternoon. That's the nicest thing I can say about the Timbers right now.
15. Colorado Rapids (9-18-2): I'm still not thoroughly convinced that the Rapids were actually out on the field during Friday's game at LA Galaxy. A phoned-in performance if I've ever seen one.
14. New England Revolution (7-15-7): In a movie that New England fans have seen several times in 2012, the Revs squandered a lead and dropped points on Saturday. Yuck.
13. Vancouver Whitecaps (10-12-7): Vancouver are inching towards my "Most Disappointing Team of 2012" award. Does anybody think they are making the playoffs at this point?
12. Montreal Impact (12-15-3): With games against SKC and Houston coming up, things aren't looking good for Montreal's playoff hopes.
11. FC Dallas (9-12-9): A bomb from Julian De Guzman has Dallas on the cusp of a postseason berth. Dallas and Vancouver are two sides going in very different directions right now.
10. Columbus Crew (12-10-6): The hottest team in all of MLS just a few weeks ago, Columbus have now lost two straight away games. They'll need to find a return to winning ways on Wednesday when they host Chivas.
9. DC United (13-10-5): Winning at home against lowly New England is nice and all, but I have serious doubts about DC's chances of making the postseason without Dwayne De Rosario being in the team.
8. Real Salt Lake (14-11-4): After a bit of a break, RSL resume CONCACAF play this week. They'll then host a Portland team that isn't lighting anybody's world on fire at the end of summer.
7. Houston Dynamo (12-7-10) : Earning a draw at KC is nothing to be ashamed of, but other teams have leapfrogged Houston in this week's power rankings.
6. Seattle Sounders (13-6-9): Avoiding a loss at Portland was a plus, but it was also a result that put Seattle's Supporters' Shield dreams to bed.
5. LA Galaxy (14-11-4): The defending champs are cruising at the start of fall. That's bad for all other teams in the league.
4. Sporting KC (15-7-6): They may still be first in the MLS East, but Kansas City again dropped points at home. Livestrong Sporting Park is hardly a fortress for them right now.
3. New York Red Bulls (14-7-7): New York remain undefeated at home, and they'll host KC on Wednesday night. Even Rafa Marquez appears to be in form. Is it all coming together for RBNY?
2. Chicago Fire (15-8-5): Chicago are currently playing as well as is any MLS East team. Upcoming road matches at KC and New York will show if the Fire are true title contenders.
1. San Jose Earthquakes (17-6-5): The kings of all MLS power rankings enjoyed a comfortable win at Chivas on Saturday. Looking ahead, I don't see anybody catching SJ in the standings by the end of September.
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