After watching their respective Week 26 matches, it is hard not to talk about the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes in every article written about Major League Soccer.
The Red Bulls earned the majority of the weekly headlines for their trampling of D.C. United at home on Sunday, while San Jose earned rave reviews for their control of the midfield battle against the LA Galaxy on Friday.
Because both teams are flying at the moment, they have a combined seven players in the latest edition of the MLS Player Rankings. Three of the seven are new to the list, thanks to impressive outings in midfield.
Outside of the players from MLS' two hottest squads, one United States international made a big leap on the list of the top 20 players in the league due to his recent attacking form.
Our player rankings take into account form over the last four matches, with the player's most recent performance holding more stock than the other three.
Continue reading to see which stars landed where in the MLS Player Rankings after Week 26.Begin Slideshow
MLS' "Rivalry Week" lived up to its billing with three particular matches dominating the headlines.
The Seattle Sounders defeated the Portland Timbers, the New York Red Bulls triumphed over D.C. United and the San Jose Earthquakes beat the LA Galaxy.
Not only did these results drastically alter the MLS standings, they also shifted the top five spots in this week's power rankings.
As always, the power rankings are determined by the following criteria:
• Quality of opponent and performance• Recent form• Key absences• Remaining games in hand (if applicable)
Here's where all 20 teams stand after Week 26 in MLS.Begin Slideshow
Rivalry Week handed plenty of sides in Major League Soccer motivation to earn three points, but no club had more to prove than the New York Red Bulls.
Against their most-hated rival D.C. United, the Red Bulls produced one of the most dominant performances in MLS this season on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena.
Due to the large amount of success earned by Jesse Marsch's side in Week 26, three Red Bulls headline the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Week.
Elsewhere across the league, a few teams earned surprising results against difficult opposition. The Colorado Rapids specifically caught our attention with a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City. Because of the impressive nature of their win, the Rapids are the only other team with two or more players in the best 11 from Week 26.
Since there were a number of strong showings at the central midfield position, we aligned our team in a 3-5-2 formation.
Continue reading to see who was named to our latest MLS Team of the Week. Begin Slideshow
The Vancouver Whitecaps are riding high in 2015. They are one of the most entertaining teams in MLS, are fighting for the Supporters' Shield and just won their first-ever Voyageurs Cup after 13 years of trying.
Vancouver supporters have head coach Carl Robinson to thank for this success. However, it was just 18 months ago that Robinson was fighting for the job against a few marquee names.
When ex-coach Martin Rennie was fired after a disappointing 2013 campaign, the Whitecaps immediately went to work to find his replacement.
Frank Yallop was mentioned as a potential hire by Michael McColl of Away From the Numbers. Yallop was eventually hired by the Chicago Fire as both head coach and director of soccer just a few days later.
A wealth of candidates was brought in for interviews afterward. Robinson, one of Rennie's assistants at the time, was a frontrunner, but Bob Bradley became the top target, per Marc Weber of the Province.
There were three others who were interviewed as well. Current New York Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch, U.S. under-17 boss Richie Williams and the outspoken Preki were all considered by Vancouver, according to Weber.
The bid to land Bradley fell short. Yallop was in Chicago. That opened the ...
Didier Drogba's rocky start to his MLS career is set to continue, as the Montreal Impact star will miss the club's rivalry match against Toronto FC with a toe injury.
Continue for updates.
Toe Injury Keeps Drogba Sidelined Against Toronto
Friday, August 28
As reported by Goal's Mike Slane, the 37-year-old striker will miss Saturday's clash with Toronto due to a toe injury, having already sat out Wednesday's Amway Canadian Championship match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
MLSSoccer.com's Olivier Tremblay confirmed the news.
The former Chelsea star joined the MLS side in July but has so far been limited to one cameo appearance, making his debut on Monday against the Philadelphia Union. His showing there was immediately overshadowed by a minor controversy, as he refused to talk to the media, via Goal Canada's Nick Sabetti:
Drogba is one of many star players who moved to the MLS during the past season, but while the likes of Andrea Pirlo have already made a significant impact for their new clubs, the Ivorian is yet to do the same.
The toe injury shouldn't keep him sidelined for too long, however, with Tremblay reporting the damage is “minor.”
Montreal are locked in a tight play-off battle with Toronto and the New England Revolution and would ...
Steven Gerrard is quickly taking to his new Hollywood lifestyle. The Liverpool legend, who in the past has revealed that he's a big fan of Phil Collins and bands like Coldplay and Kings of Leon, showed his affinity for Taylor Swift on the most public of forums: Instagram. He posted a short video of Swift performing in Los Angeles, while he escorted his three daughters to the concert. He wrote that the show was "incredible," with cameos from Selena Gomez and Justin Timberlake. Welcome to Los Angeles, Stevie. Next up on your Taylor Swift checklist: get invited on stage to be celebrated alongside the pop megastar. Then you know you've really made it in America. [Instagram: Steven Gerrard, h/t Mirror Row Zed]Read more MLS news on BleacherReport.com
Rivalry Week always brings out the best and worst in some of Major League Soccer's top franchises, and as the play-off race heats up, every one of the matches in Week 26 means something different to each club.
For the Seattle Sounders, a win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday would not only help their cause in the battle for the Cascadia Cup, it would give the fans in the Emerald City something positive to talk about.
The Sounders have experienced plenty of ups and downs throughout the 2015 campaign with injuries being one of the top reasons why they sit just over the red line in the Western Conference standings in sixth place.
No one expected the Sounders to struggle as much as they have with Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins out for an extended period of time. Things looked to be returning to normal on August 16, when a Martins-led attack destroyed Orlando City 4-0 at CenturyLink Field. But given Orlando's recent form, the final result was more of a statement about how awful the Lions back line has been recently instead of a celebration of the Seattle attack returning to what it should be.
Sigi Schmid's side was handed a wake-up ...
The Seattle Sounders' 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake was the team's ninth defeat in its last 11 games in Major League Soccer. Despite this poor form, Seattle should still be considered as a favorite for the MLS Cup.
According to recent odds provided by ESPN's Paul Carr, the Sounders are listed as 12-1 favorites. Only five teams have lower figures and two are in the Western Conference:
However, Seattle only has a 34 percent chance of qualifying for the playoffs, per Carr. Only three teams are below the Sounders:
Those numbers appear to contradict one another, but upon closer scrutiny, they make sense. The Sounders are tied for the sixth and final playoff spot in the West with the San Jose Earthquakes. Seattle has also played 26 games compared to San Jose's 25.
Seattle has a tough ending to the season. It faces the Portland Timbers, Toronto FC, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake at home. The Sounders will play the Earthquakes, Vancouver Whitecaps, Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo on the road.
The main issue with the Sounders during the summer has been injuries and international call-ups. General manager Garth Lagerwey noticed this and bolstered the squad with several solid additions.
Panamanian defender Roman ...
Miami FC are reportedly hoping to add Brazilian star Robinho to their squad, aiming to bring the journeyman to the USA at some point in the future.Continue for updates.Miami FC Looking at RobinhoThursday, August 27According to David Amoyal, a translator for Gianluca Di Marzio, Miami FC owners Paolo Maldini and Riccardo Silva are eyeing the 31-year-old, who could join the club from Guangzhou Evergrande.Should he move to the USA, Robinho will have played professional football on four different continents, having started his career in his native Brazil before moving to Europe. He currently plays in the Chinese league.The Brazil international was once regarded as one of the biggest talents in all of football, sealing a move to Real Madrid in 2005 after several successful seasons with Santos. At the time, fans and pundits were in awe of his dribbling skills, and he showed incredible promise making his debut for Los Blancos, via Photos of Football:After a solid first season, injury and inconsistency saw Robinho's status fall at the Bernabeu, and he was forced to come off the bench more often than not. While he was productive when he did see the pitch most of the time, it was clear his ...
The New York Red Bulls took the Chicago Fire by surprise Wednesday night to score a cheeky short corner, though the goal shouldn't have counted.The Red Bulls were down 2-1 in the 49th minute, when Lloyd Sam jogged over to take the corner. After touching the ball with his boot a couple of times, he ran off to allow Sacha Kljestan to take over and run the ball directly toward the box before setting up Ronald Zubar to score.Though the linesman recognised Sam's touch, his extra touches should have resulted in the corner being disallowed.It didn't matter much in the end, as Chicago ran out 3-2 winners.[101 Great Goals]Read more MLS news on BleacherReport.com