Just one week after the Sounders took over the top spot in the SBI MLS Power Rankings, Salt Lake slotted back into the No. 1 position on the strength of a 1-0 win in Seattle on Saturday. At 8-3-2, coach Jason Kreis' side is setting the pace in the race for the Supporters' Shield.
Elsewhere, the New York Red Bulls continued to thrive despite a rash of injury concerns, rising to No. 4 after notching wins over Eastern Conference foes Houston and Philadelphia, while the Chicago Fire, New England Revolution and Columbus Crew all made significant climbs up the ladder as well.
Here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings (as voted on by SBI staff):
SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 10)
1. (Last week — 3) REAL SALT LAKE (8-3-2, 26 points)
Last week: Tied Chicago 0-0 on Wednesday; beat Seattle 1-0 on Saturday
This week: Idle
Outlook: Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers and Co. shut out a Seattle attack that had been having its way with opponents of late, and Salt Lake road Fabian Espindola's opportunistic strike to victory in the Emerald City. It's now time for a well-deserved week off.
2. (1) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (7-2-1, 22 points)
Last week: Beat Dallas 2-0 on Wednesday; lost to Salt Lake 1-0 on Saturday
This week: At Vancouver, 5 p.m., Saturday, TSN
Outlook: After Fredy Montero continued his torrid run of form with a midweek brace in Dallas, the Seattle attack stalled against Salt Lake's formidable back line. On the plus side, Alvaro Fernandez did log 32 minutes as he works his way back to full fitness.
3. (2) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (7-2-2, 23 points)
Last week: Tied Chivas USA 1-1 on Sunday
This week: Vs. Columbus, 10:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: It was an off-game, for sure, from the Earthquakes, who still managed to grab a point against Chivas thanks to the late heroics of substitute Alan Gordon. It has to be encouraging for coach Frank Yallop to see someone step up when Chris Wondolowski is held off the score sheet.
4. (7) NEW YORK RED BULLS (7-3-1, 22 points)
Last week: Beat Houston 1-0 on Wednesday; beat Philadelphia 3-2 on Sunday
This week: At Montreal, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: After grinding out a 1-0 win over Houston, the Red Bulls traveled down Interstate 95 and dropped Philadelphia in a 3-2 shootout. Two games, two distinctly different wins. The common denominator? Kenny Cooper, who just keeps scoring goals — even without Thierry Henry in the lineup.
5. (4) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (7-3-0, 21 points)
Last week: Lost to Chicago 2-1 on Saturday
This week: At Colorado, 9 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: At this point, it might be fair to call Kansas City a streaky side. After starting the season with seven straight wins, Kansas City has dropped three in a row. With Roger Espinoza suspended next weekend, Paulo Nagamura is in line to make his second start of the season. It's time to finally test that depth.
6. (5) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (5-3-2, 17 points)
Last week: Lost to New England 4-1 on Saturday
This week: Vs. Seattle, 5 p.m., Saturday, TSN
Outlook: Well that was ugly. After allowing seven goals in their first nine matches, the Whitecaps conceded four against a struggling New England attack. The Whitecaps will look to rebound at BC Place on Saturday in a Cascadia Cup clash with Seattle.
7. (6) D.C. UNITED (5-4-3, 18 points)
Last week: Lost to Houston 1-0 on Saturday
This week: Vs. Colorado, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: Already burdened with being the visiting team as Houston opened BBVA Compass Stadium, United saw circumstances go from bad to worse when defensive midfielder Perry Kitchen went down with a knee injury. The U.S. youth international is one player D.C. cannot afford to lose.
8. (10) CHICAGO FIRE (4-2-3, 15 points)
Last week: Tied Salt Lake 0-0 on Wednesday; beat Kansas City 2-1 on Saturday
This week: At Portland, 7 p.m., Sunday, Galavision
Outlook: Facing two of the league's top teams in the season's early stages, Chicago asserted itself well, securing a solid scoreless draw with Salt Lake before coming from behind to down Kansas City 2-1. Chicago is looking sharp, and Chris Rolfe still has not even gotten on the field since being reacquired.
9. (8) HOUSTON DYNAMO (3-3-2, 11 points)
Last week: Lost to New York 1-0 on Wednesday; beat D.C. United 1-0 on Saturday
This week: Vs. Portland, 8:30 p.m., Tuesday; at New England, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: Dynamo original Brad Davis gave the tale of BBVA Compass Stadium's opening a storybook ending with his long-distance winner against D.C. With nine of its next 13 games at home, Houston will now be hoping for more of the same in front of its orange-clad supporters.
10. (9) COLORADO RAPIDS (5-5-0, 15 points)
Last week: Idle
This week: At D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Kansas City, 9 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: After getting a week off, the Rapids return to action with two games in four days against a pair of the top teams in the Eastern Conference: D.C. United and Sporting Kansas City. As Conor Casey gets closer to 100 percent, Colorado becomes all the more dangerous.
11. (14) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-6-0, 12 points)
Last week: Beat Vancouver 4-1 on Saturday
This week: Vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: Where did that offensive outburst come from? The scorers of 8 goals in nine games, the Revolution exploded for four against Vancouver's typically stingy defense. It was a particularly satisfying outcome for Lee Nguyen, who bagged two goals and an assist against the team that cut him in the preseason.
12. (T-11) MONTREAL IMPACT (3-5-3, 12 points)
Last week: Tied Los Angeles 1-1 on Saturday
This week: Vs. New York, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: The 60,860 in attendance in Montreal on Saturday got their money's worth, witnessing a spirited performance from the home side and a spectacular free kick strike from Galaxy star David Beckham. After starting slow with a road-heavy schedule, the Impact seem to have the pieces to compete in the East.
13. (13) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (3-5-2, 11 points)
Last week: Tied Montreal 1-1 on Saturday
This week: At Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m., Saturday, ESPN2, TSN 2
Outlook: It's an unconventional week for the Galaxy, who went from Montreal to Washington, D.C., so they could meet with the president before traveling back home for a SuperClasico clash with Chivas USA. Winless in four, the Galaxy could sure use a win in that one.
14. (18) COLUMBUS CREW (3-4-2, 11 points)
Last week: Beat Dallas 2-1 on Saturday
This week: At San Jose, 10:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: Columbus' anemic attack did just enough to secure the team's third win of the season Saturday, as unexpected goal-scorers Justin Meram and Sebastian Miranda stepped up to the plate. Replicating the result at San Jose, though, will be a tough challenge indeed.
15. (T-11) FC DALLAS (3-6-3, 12 points)
Last week: Lost to Seattle 2-0 on Wednesday; lost to Columbus 2-1 on Saturday
This week: Vs. Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: At 0-4-2 in its last six, Dallas is looking pretty grim at this point. With a league-leading 18 goals allowed, Schellas Hyndman's squad is just playing without discipline. And losing Zach Loyd this weekend to a red-card suspension isn't going to help matters.
16. (15) PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-6-1, 7 points)
Last week: Lost to New York 3-2 on Sunday
This week: At Dallas, 8:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: There were several positives to take away from Sunday's 3-2 loss to New York, including Lionard Pajoy's slump-breaking brace and the magical first half from Freddy Adu before he was controversially sent off. But when all was said and done for the Union, it was just another disappointing loss at home.
17. (16) CHIVAS USA (3-6-1, 10 points)
Last week: Tied San Jose 1-1 on Sunday
This week: Vs. Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., Saturday, ESPN2, TSN 2
Outlook: Chivas were minutes away from registering their fourth road win of the season before Alan Gordon found the late equalizer for San Jose. Now it's back to the unfriendly confines of the Home Depot Center, where Chivas are 0-5-0 this season, for a SuperClasico match against Los Angeles.
18. (17) PORTLAND TIMBERS (2-5-2, 8 points)
Last week: Idle
This week: At Houston, 8:30 p.m., Tuesday; vs. Chicago, 7 p.m., Sunday, Galavision
Outlook: The week off gave influential winger Kalif Alhassan more time to recover from the knee sprain that has kept him out of the lineup in recent weeks and thus deprived Portland of perhaps its most exciting attacking force. His return could be crucial.
19. (19) TORONTO FC (0-8-0, 0 points)
Last week: Idle
This week: At D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Outlook: Toronto was busy during its week off, shaking up its leadership by moving Jim Brennan to an assistant coaching role and giving Bob de Klerk a seat in the front office as technical manager. And why not? At this point, Toronto literally can't do any worse.