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October 1, 2013 at 11:19 PM

My MLS power rankings — Week 31

Team (prev. rank) Comment
1. N.Y. Red Bulls (2) Came to Seattle without two of its best players, in the pouring rain, and got a big result
2. Sounders FC (1) On amazing 38-0-10 run when scoring first, but settled for ties in last two such games
3. Real Salt Lake (3) Upset in the USOC final; maybe it was good no one could watch since it was on Gol TV
4. Sporting K.C. (4) Interestingly, has taken the most shots in the league (460) and allowed the fewest (259)
5. Portland (6) Earned a believer in Sounders legend Alan Hinton, who thinks Timbers should be at No. 3
6. L.A. Galaxy (5) What did Keane and Co. think upon realizing vehement protests were about correct call?
7. Colorado (8) There is no better time than Saturday to end a sorry winless streak against Seattle: 0-7-1
8. Montreal (7) Forty-four goals allowed are most of those in playoff position; nine came in last four games
9. New England (9) Has one of the hardest stretches to get into postseason with three of its final four on road
10. Houston (10) Will Bruin has goals in back-to-back games after scoring just twice in his previous 15
11. San Jose (11) Chris Wondolowski’s nine goals can’t compare to last year’s 27, but six are game-winners
12. Columbus (14) Wins in three straight, four of five, could earn interim coach Brian Bliss the job for good
13. Philadelphia (16) Club-record scoreless streak went over a month before mercifully ending at 346 min.
14. Chicago (15) Mike Magee has been brilliant (18 goals), but will his missed PK cost them the playoffs?
15. FC Dallas (12) Fading in stretch run with three losses in a row; fans already calling for coaching change
16. Vancouver (13) Will be kicking itself for a while after losing at home to a second-string RSL lineup
17. Chivas USA (17) A halftime lead is usually a good sign, but Goats have turned just two of its eight into wins
18. Toronto FC (18) Beat D.C. to snap a 0-5-3 streak; half its four wins since March 16 were vs. lowly United
19. D.C. United (19) Stunningly won the Open Cup while on pace for perhaps the worst season in MLS history

*     *     *

Here are some other MLS power rankings from around the league: ESPN.com, SI.com, Soccer America, ProSoccerTalk, MLSsoccer.com.

And, in a new feature, posted below are some thoughts from Sounders legend Alan Hinton, who you might know from his broadcast work for the team … or coaching the NASL team here from 1980-82 … or from “The Damned United” … or from his must-follow Twitter account. We’ve teamed up to offer a couple opinions (Hinton loves soccer talk, and thinks rankings are a good starting point for some fun debate).

Hinton argues the Sounders should stay No. 1 due to a maximum-point potential of 66, which dwarfs the rest of the league — a fact that can’t be argued. Seattle could win just two or three of its final five, he says, and still earn the No. 1 seed in the West.

Here are Hinton’s top teams: 1) Sounders FC, 2) New York, 3) Portland, with Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake and Montreal after that.

In a side note, even before the Clint Dempsey news came out Tuesday night, Hinton warned that the star forward’s returns to health might result in a USMNT call-up. It’s both the upside and downside of getting him back healthy.

And adding Hinton’s voice to these rankings? All upside…

| More in Power rankings

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