The conference semifinals in the MLS playoffs are over, so I figured it’d be a good time to come back with another round of postseason power rankings.
As always, there are no right answers with these things, and feel free to offer your thoughts and/or rankings in the comments section:
* * *
1. Portland Timbers (beat Seattle, 5-3 on aggregate)
The only team that didn’t need extra time to advance, and became the first since 2008 to win its first playoff series as an MLS franchise. Earned wins in both legs and got goals from five different players. Faces a big challenge with a quick turnaround and flight to Salt Lake.
2. Houston Dynamo (beat New York, 4-3 on aggregate)
Finding its postseason mojo yet again in eliminating the Supporters’ Shield winners. Omar Cummings didn’t have any goals in the regular season (11 games) but has two already in the playoffs. Has owned KC in the past, as well.
3. Real Salt Lake (beat LA Galaxy, 2-1 on aggregate)
Could’ve lost by more than one goal in the first leg, but also could’ve won by more than two goals in the second leg to knock out the two-time champs. Went 1-0-2 against Portland in the regular season, including two ties at Jeld-Wen Field.
4. Sporting Kansas City (beat New England, 4-3 on aggregate)
Got a late series equalizer and winner from unlikely sources in defender Seth Sinovic (a former Rev who hadn’t scored all year) and forward Claudio Bieler (an out-of-favor DP who’d scored once since late July). Controls its destiny for MLS Cup hosting rights.