Goal.com MLS Power Rankings: Week 20

MLS Preview: D.C. United - Columbus Crew

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MLS Preview: D.C. United - Columbus Crew
1. San Jose – Perhaps the Earthquakes will catch Seattle at the perfect time after Sounders FC dances with history in Wednesday's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. (1)

2. Houston – One would expect the Dynamo's five-game winning streak will come under severe scrutiny at Red Bull Arena on Friday night. (3)

3. Real Salt Lake – All of a sudden, it looks like the Claret-and-Cobalt have squandered the cushion between the top two sides and the rest of the Western Conference. Time to locate that ability to churn out results, then. (2)

4. Sporting Kansas City – Wednesday night sure looks like a potential turning point in the campaign. It is a big moment for a side that hasn't quite broken through yet. Can Sporting lift the trophy on home soil and push onwards in league play? (6)

5. D.C. United – Nick DeLeon continues to stake a claim for that Rookie of the Year gong, doesn't he? (7)

6. Seattle – Is it time for Eddie Johnson to return to the U.S. national team? The upcoming friendly against Mexico may come too soon, but Johnson has entered the discussion with his recent run of form in front of goal. (9)

7. New York – Lloyd Sam represents a decent gamble for the Red Bulls if he impresses on trial. The former Charlton and Leeds winger would provide some pace in the wide areas. (5)

8. Chicago – Consistency is the name of the game for the Fire right now. A regular stream of points will take them to the postseason. (8)

9. Los Angeles – All of the justified postgame bleating about the referee in Seattle did an awfully nice job of covering up the Galaxy's defensive implosion during the second half. (4)

10. Vancouver – Smart move by Martin Rennie to pick up some cover in the shape of ex-Botofogo midfielder Tiago Ulisses. (10)

11. Montréal – Now comes the big test for those surprising playoff ambitions: can the Impact go on the road and win a game? Sunday's trip to New England offers the perfect opportunity to secure a second road win of the campaign. (13)

12. Columbus – Where does the Crew go from here? How does a club even begin to grapple with the death of one of its players? It is a horrific scenario no team should ever have to encounter. (12)

13. Philadelphia – Consider that defeat at Stade Saputo as yet another learning experience in a season filled with them. (11)

14. Chivas USA – Shalrie Joseph isn't the match-dictating menace he was for much of the last decade, but he can certainly make an impact in the Red-and-White's playoff push if he is surrounded by the right figures in central midfield. (15)

15. Toronto FC – Can a team succeed in MLS while disavowing any intent to retain possession? TFC appears determined to find out. (14)

16. FC Dallas – Best under-the-radar news tidbit of the week: FCD has a five-person 'competition committee' to deal with critical matters (see: Shea, Brek) within the club, according to a report by 3rddegree.net. (16)

17. Colorado – That cathartic victory over Real Salt Lake may have arrived a couple of weeks too late to salvage any viable postseason hopes. (18)

18. New England – How much did Shalrie Joseph's sudden departure impact the Revs on Saturday night? It had to play some part in a performance that lacked energy at times and quality throughout the 90 minutes, but Sporting's robust approach on the night may have influenced matters more directly. (17)

19. Portland – Not sure snatching a late draw at home against FC Dallas represents much in the way of progress. But a point is a point, right? (19)

Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for Goal.com. He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and MLSsoccer.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at kyle.mccarthy@goal.com and follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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