The conference semifinals in the MLS playoffs are halfway over, and since I’m no longer doing my weekly power rankings, I figured I’d start a postseason edition.
Power rankings are always a tricky task. There really are no rules — just rank the teams as you like. That’s what I’ve done after the first-leg performances, and feel free to offer what stood out to you, particularly from the other series, in the comments section:
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1. Portland Timbers (beat Seattle, 2-1, on road)
The first MLS playoff game in franchise history was a memorable win over a rival. Will be confident getting a result at home, too, having not lost there since March.
2. Los Angeles Galaxy (beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0, at home)
Might lament not putting one or two more quality chances past Nick Rimando. Lethal counterattack will likely be on display at Rio Tinto Stadium in second leg.
3. New York Red Bulls (tied Dynamo, 2-2, on road)
Blew a two-goal lead and will be without top defender Jamison Olave in series finale. Still has to feel pretty good coming home even on aggregate all things considered.
4. Houston Dynamo (tied New York, 2-2, at home)
Took advantage of 10-man Red Bulls and should’ve had a late PK, as well. Gets coach Dominic Kinnear back from suspension to try a revive playoff magic again.
5. New England Revolution (beat Sporting KC, 2-1, at home)
Protected home field with a win, aided by a goal from Federal Way’s Kelyn Rowe. Can they go into Sporting Park on Wednesday and get a result?
6. Real Salt Lake (lost to Galaxy, 1-0, on road)
Offense remains MIA in playoffs, having gone three straight postseason games without a goal dating to 2011. Lot of eyes on coach Jason Kreis’ future, as well.
7. Sporting Kansas City (lost to New England, 2-1, on road)
The bruising Aurelien Collin provided a huge boost with a goal to halve the deficit. Team will surely remember beating Revs, 3-0, at home on Aug. 10.
8. Sounders FC (lost to Portland, 2-1, at home)
Has traditionally bounced back strong in second legs after disappointing first legs. Series loss would be disastrous. Comeback win would be epic.