Maya 2012 provides a feature that allows a selection of polygon components to be retrieved in the order they were selected. This is in addition to the sorted selection that you may be more familiar with.
In order to perform a selection-order query on your polygon components, you will need to first enable the "Track selection order" setting in Settings/Preferences > Selection.
Then you can use the flag -orderedSelection in your query to list the components in the order they were selected:
Note that if the option "Track selection order" is disabled this command will return a sorted list, and the result will be the same as if you were using ls -selection;
Thanks to Tim Fowler for pointing this out, as I'd completely missed this feature when Maya 2012 was released.