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Week 18 SBNhanced MLS Power Rankings

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Team Total vote count First Tier votes Last week's Tier
Tier 1 - Teams Contending For Cups
Real Salt Lake 21 7 1
Columbus Crew 21 7 1
LA Galaxy 20 6 1
Tier 2 - Teams Likely in the Playoffs
FC Dallas 16 2 2
NY Red Bulls 13 0 2
Seattle Sounders 13 0 3
SJ Earthquakes 11 0 2
Chicago Fire 11 0 3
Tier 3 - Teams On the Outside Looking In
Colorado Rapids 10 0 3
Toronto FC 10 0 2
KC Wizards 4 0 4
Chivas USA 4 0 4
Tier 4 - Teams Competing for #3 Draft Pick
Houston Dynamo 3 0 3
NE Revolution 3 0 4
Philadelphia Union 0 0 4
DC United 0 0 4

If there was ever a week where five tiers would be more appropriate than four, this would be it. There is a significant gap in quality right in the middle of the third tier. The Kansas City Wizards and Chivas USA had unexpected wins this week to give them a boost. Time will only tell if they'll be able to keep it up and solidify their stay in the third tier.

Other bits of movement this week: Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire moved up to the second tier and the Houston Dynamo dropped down to the bottom. All are rightfully deserved in my opinion.

But wait... What's that going on at the top?! For the first time since week two, we have a different team at the head of the rankings. That team is Real Salt Lake, and they could only earn their way there by defeating D.C. United! That must be worth something for us, right?

No but the real story here is the fall of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Losses to Puerto Rico and Chicago are starting to give some folks hesitation about L.A. In addition to only receiving six out of the seven possible first tier votes, the Galaxy also were second or third on most voters' lists. As for who was the individual to shake things up and knock the Galaxy down a peg, I'll leave it up to him whether he wants to make the big reveal when he summarizes all of this on sbnation.com/soccer tomorrow (ahem).