MLS Power Rankings, Week 26: Tragic news

FC Dallas and all of Major League Soccer is reeling Tuesday following the news that former Hoops midfielder Bobby Rhine, the club's play-by-play announcer, died suddenly Monday while vacationing with his family in Florida.

Rhine, 35, suffered an apparent heart attack.

He was a blue-collar player with an uncommon work ethic and a lot of talent, and his imprint on FC Dallas was massive -- on the field, where he played up front, in midfield and on the backline and scored 23 goals in 212 appearances over 10 seasons; in the broadcast booth, where he was among the league's best color men before switching this season to play-by-play men; and in the front office, where he served as manager of community development.

This week's rankings:

1. GALAXY (14-3-10, 52 points), Last week: 1

Week 25: Sean Franklin scores twice, but L.A. lets lead slip away twice in 2-2 draw at Sporting Kansas City

Remark: Robbie Keane says offseason loan to Europe hasn't been discussed. Will it be? “At this stage, I would say not

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Chris Birchall

Next: Friday vs. Colorado at Home Depot Center, 8 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes); Tuesday, Sept. 13, in CONCACAF Champions League Group A game at Morelia (Mexico), 5 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)

2. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (13-5-9, 48 points), Last week: 2

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Sounders “won't turn anyone away” for Oct. 4 U.S. Open Cup final vs. Chicago; last year's final drew 31,311

Mr. Blue Collar: Defender Zach Scott

Next: Saturday vs. Real Salt Lake, 1 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Wednesday, Sept. 14, in CONCACAF Champions League Group D game at Herediano (Costa Rica), 7 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)

3. FC DALLAS (13-7-7, 46 points), Last week: 3

Week 25: Ruben Luna and Jackson Goncalves goals beat Mexico's UANL Tigres, 2-1, for a 3-3 aggregate total in home-and-home Rio Grande Cup, and Hoops prevail on penalties, 6-5

Remark: Tributes rolling in for Rhine

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder/forward Marvin Chavez

Next: Saturday at New England, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Wednesday, Sept. 14, in CONCACAF Champions League Group C game vs. Tauro (Panama), 5 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)

4. REAL SALT LAKE (12-7-6, 42 points), Last week: 7

Week 25: Kyle Beckerman scores, assists Chris Schuler in 2-1 win over Philadelphia

Remark: Lions starting to awaken from slumber, and Javier Morales' return is nearing. Watch out, MLS

Mr. Blue Collar: Beckerman

Next: Saturday at Seattle, 1 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

5. COLORADO RAPIDS (10-7-11, 41 points), Last week: 4

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Drew Moor's consecutive-90s streak hits 69 games, best among field players in MLS history

Mr. Blue Collar: Moor

Next: Friday vs. Galaxy at Home Depot Center, 8 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes); Tuesday, Sept. 13, in CONCACAF Champions League Group B game vs. Santos Laguna (Mexico), 7 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)

6. COLUMBUS CREW (11-8-7, 40 points), Last week: 6

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Coach of the Year candidate Robert Warzycha signs two-year extension (with two years' worth of options)

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Danny O'Rourke

Next: Saturday vs. Toronto FC, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Wednesday, Sept. 14 vs. Houston, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

7. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (9-8-10, 37 points), Last week: 8

Week 25: Rallied twice, with Omar Bravo netting the decider on a stoppage-time penalty kick, for 2-2 draw vs. the Galaxy

Remark: K.C. finally -- after two months' trial and negotiation -- signs ex-Braga midfielder Peterson Joseph, the “Haitian Xavi”

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Davy Arnaud

Next: Saturday vs. Houston, 1 p.m. (TeleFutura-KFTR/Channel 46)

8. HOUSTON DYNAMO (8-8-11, 35 points), Last week: 9

Week 25: Brad Davis converts a penalty kick, sets up another goal in 3-0 win in ugly (four red cards) “friendly” vs. Mexico's Monterrey

Remark: Will Bruin and Danny Cruz, just back from injury, see time vs. Monterrey. A big plus

Mr. Blue Collar: Davis

Next: Saturday at Sporting Kansas City, 1 p.m. (TeleFutura-KFTR/Channel 46); Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Columbus, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

9. PHILADELPHIA UNION (8-7-10, 34 points), Last week: 5

Week 25: Sebastien Le Toux scores his first goal not from a penalty kick in 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake

Remark: Union, with just two wins in their last 14 games, looking likeliest to fall out of the playoffs -- especially if goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon's injury is serious

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Brian Carroll

Next: Wednesday vs. New England, 5 p.m. (Galavision); Saturday vs. Portland, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

10. D.C. UNITED (7-7-10, 31 points), Last week: 10

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Andy Najar makes his debut for Honduras

Mr. Blue Collar: Forward Josh Wolff

Next: Saturday vs. Chivas USA at Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m. (KWHY/Channel 22 and KDOC/Channel 56)

11. CHIVAS USA (7-10-10, 31 points), Last week: 11

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Is David Junior Lopes ready to anchor Goats' backline? He better be

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Nick LaBrocca

Next: Saturday vs. D.C. United at Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m. (KWHY/Channel 22 and KDOC/Channel 56)

12. NEW YORK RED BULLS (6-6-14, 32 points), Last week: 12

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Austrian lords haven't pressured GM Erik Soler, head coach Hans Backe, and they're still hopeful. “Maybe we can pull something together in the end, and avoid the terrible season,” Soler says

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Dax McCarty

Next: Saturday vs. Vancouver, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

13. PORTLAND TIMBERS (9-12-5, 32 points), Last week: 13

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Perfect start for Rodney Wallace: Maryland-raised defender beats U.S. in debut for Costa Rica

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Jack Jewsbury

Next: Saturday at Philadelphia, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

14. CHICAGO FIRE (4-7-15, 27 points), Last week: 14

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Woodland Hills' Orr Barouch debuts for Israel's U-21s

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Logan Pause

Next: Saturday at San Jose, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

15 NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-11-11, 23 points), Last week: 15

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Golfer Sergio Garcia impresses in training session. “He's better than [Chad] Ochocinco by far,” Shalrie Joseph says. "A lot better than Ochocinco.”

Mr. Blue Collar: Joseph

Next: Wednesday at Philadelphia, 5 p.m. (Galavision); Saturday vs. FC Dallas, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

16. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (4-13-9, 21 points), Last week: 16

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Goalkeeper Jay Nolly, a Big Ten bass fishing champ at Indiana, tells a pretty good fish story

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Peter Vagenas

Next: Saturday at New York, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

17. TORONTO FC (4-12-12, 24 points), Last week: 17

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Stefan Frei nearly ready to return from a bruised knee, but backup Milos Kocic's play makes the decision tough for Aron Winter

Mr. Blue Collar: Midfielder Nathan Sturgis

Next: Saturday at Columbus, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Wednesday, Sept. 14, in CONCACAF Champions League Group C game at Pumas UNAM (Mexico), 5 p.m. (TeleFutura-KFTR/Channel 46)

18. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-10-11, 26 points), Last week: 18

Week 25: Idle

Remark: Quakes president says GM John Doyle, head coach Frank Yallop are “an integral part of our success now and in the future”

Mr. Blue Collar: Defender Chris Leitch

Next: Saturday vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

All times Pacific