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MLS Power Poll: Week 27 and another change in top 5

It’s time for my weekly MLS Power Poll, the only MLS Power Poll that recognizes that arbitrarily ranking teams means nothing in the grand scheme of things and is done just to spark debate and not attach importance to the reporter’s ego.

1. Atlanta United (16-5-6)

Last week: 1.

Result: 3-1 loss at D.C. United.

A chance to clinch a berth in the playoffs and a chance to leap over New York Red Bulls in the Supporters’ Shield standings were both put on hold after a disjointed effort in D.C..

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How they got here: LWWWWDWWWLWLDWDWDWLWDWWDWWL.

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2. New York Red Bulls (17-7-4)

Last week: 2.

Result: 1-0 win vs. Houston and 3-0 loss at Montreal.

Well, the Bulls choked in a game that they absolutely needed to win. The same issue that has been a problem all season was the culprit: defending set pieces.

How they got here: WLWLWLWWWWDLDWWWLWWWLWWDDWWL.

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3. Columbus (12-8-7)

Last week: 6.

Result: 2-1 win vs. NYCFC.

Justin Meram scored his first goal for the Crew, which is a great sign for this team in the playoffs.

How they got here: WWDWLLLDWDWWWDDDLLWLLWWWLDW.

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4. L.A.F.C. (13-7-7)

Last week: 7.

Result: 4-2 win at Toronto.

LAFC seems a lock to make the playoffs in the West.

How they got here: WWLLWWWDWDLDLWWWDWDLDLLWWDW.

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5. Sporting KC (13-7-6)

Last week: 5.

Result: 3-1 loss at Seattle.

Well, Sporting KC at one point looked like the class of the West….and then they played a good team.

How they got here: LWWDWWDWLWWDDWDWLLDLLWWWWL.

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6. Dallas (14-6-7)

Last week: 3.

Result: 4-3 loss at San Jose and 4-2 win vs. Houston.

Well, Dallas should probably win the West, but it’s not looking impressive.

How they got here: DWDDWWLDWDWWWWLWWLWDWLLWDLW.

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7. NYCFC (14-7-6)

Last week: 4.

Result: 2-1 loss at Columbus.

No wins in its past four and it will get pushed by Columbus for the third seed in the East.

How they got here: WWWDWWDLWLDWLWDWLWWWWLDWLDDL.

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8. Philadelphia (12-11-4)

Last week: 9.

Result: 2-0 win at D.C. United and 2-2 draw at Orlando.

Four points in a week isn’t a bad way to practically clinch a playoff spot.

How they got here: WDLDLLWLLWWDWLWLLLWLWLWWWWD.

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9. Seattle (12-9-5)

Last week: 10.

Result: 3-1 win vs. Sporting KC.

Unbeaten in 11 with 8 consecutive wins. Maybe they are the best team in the West.

How they got here: LLLDWLDWLLLWLDLWDDWWWWWWWW.

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10. Real Salt Lake (13-10-5)

Last week: 13.

Result: 6-2 win vs. L.A. Galaxy.

Twelve goals scored in its past two games. Twelve.

How they got here: DLWLWLWLLWLWWWLDLWWLDDWDLWWW.

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11. Montreal (11-14-3)

Last week: 8.

Result: 3-0 win vs New York Red Bulls.

It is going to be very hard to deny the Impact the sixth playoff spot following this win.

How they got here: LLWWLLLLWLLLLWLWWWWLWDLDDWLW.

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12. Portland (11-7-8)

Last week: 11.

Result: 2-0 win vs. Toronto and 1-1 draw vs. New England.

The Timbers aren’t yet done in the Western playoff race. 

How they got here: LLDDLWWWWWWDDDWWDDWWLLLLWD.

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13. Vancouver (11-9-7)

Last week: 14.

Result: 2-1 win vs San Jose.

The Whitecaps beat San Jose for the second consecutive game, which provides no info as to whether they are actually playoff-worthy.

How they got here: WWLDWLLLWLDDDDWWLLWLLWDWDW.

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14. D.C. United (8-11-6)

Last week: 16.

Result: 2-0 loss vs. Philadelphia Union and 3-1 win vs. Atlanta United.

D.C. United is right back in the playoff hunt following its win against Atlanta United.

How they got here: DLDLLWLLWDLDLDWLLWDWWWLLW.

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15. L.A. Galaxy (10-10-8)

Last week: 12.

Result: 6-2 loss at Real Salt Lake.

This team is historically bad on defense. 

How they got here: WLDWLWLLLLWWLDWDDWWWDWLDDLDL.

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16. Toronto (7-14-6)

Last week: 19.

Result: 2-0 loss at Portland and 4-2 loss at LAFC.

Two games in which Toronto needed at least four points. Here’s the simple fact: in those games, Michael Bradley had a role in four of the goals allowed because he either missed a tackle or didn’t attempt a tackle.

How they got here: LLWLLDWLLWLWDLLLDLLWWDLDWLL.

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17. Minnesota United (9-15-2)

Last week: 15.

Result: Did not play.

How they got here: LWWLLLLWWLLDWLLLWLWWWLLDLL.

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18. Houston (7-13-7)

Last week: 17.

Result: 1-0 loss at New York Red Bulls and 4-2 loss at Dallas.

The Dynamo are done in the West.

How they got here: WLDLDWLWDWWLLWLDWDLLLLLDL.

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19. New England (7-10-9)

Last week: 18.

Result: 1-1 draw vs. Portland.

Winless in its last nine.

How they got here: LWDWWLDWDWLDDWDDWDLLLDLLLD.

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20. Colorado (6-14-6)

Last week: 20.

Result: Did not play.

How they got here: LDWDWLLLLLLLLDWWLLDDLWWDLL.

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21. Chicago (6-15-6)

Last week: 21.

Result: 1-1 draw vs. Columbus.

It’s hard to explain what has happened to this team, but it’s easy to see that they are slow and methodical.

How they got here: LLDWLWDLWLLWLWDDDWLLLLLLLLD.

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22. Orlando City (7-16-3)

Last week: 22.

Result: 2-2 draw vs. Philadelphia.

What will be this team’s plan going forward?

How they got here: DLLWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLWLLLDLLD.

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23. San Jose (4-15-8)

Last week: 23.

Result: 4-3 win vs. Dallas and 2-1 loss at Vancouver.

It is impossible to explain this team.

How they got here: WLLDDDLLLWDLLLLDDDLLLDWLDLWL.

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