As the league enters the international break (where we get to see Canada qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years!), there is some significant movement in the Power Rankings. There are 30 games left in the schedule, which means there is lots of time to accumulate points in the pursuit of playoffs. Besides, what kind of extrapolation can I make from a small dataset? Well, here are your week 4 Power Rankings!
28(↓ 3) – CF Montreal – How do you give up a 3-1 lead to a 10-man Atlanta United side? Also 4-1 to a mediocre NYCFC team? Man, this team is bad.
27(↓ 8) – Atlanta United – They’re slightly better than CF Montreal. Also, it’s good to see that Dom Dwyer is back being Dom Dwyer. Getting a red card after just 3 minutes of being on the pitch? Brilliant.
26 ( — ) – Inter Miami – The only redeeming point about Miami is that they’ve had to play some decent teams so far, thus slightly diminishing their woeful record and goal differential. I guess it’s hard to play with fewer than 4 DPs . . .
25 (↑ 2) – FC Cincinnati – They beat Orlando, a decent team, in Week 3. Cincinnati also beat Inter Miami, but that is not as impressive. Brandon Vasquez has 4 goals already this year. Perhaps Cincinnati is moving on up? I’m reserving judgement before rating this team too high.
24 (↑ 2) – Charlotte FC – They won! Gone are the days when it takes until May for an expansion team to win their first match (or score their first goal). Charlotte’s DP striker, Karol Świderski, had a brace in this match. We can’t blame the Revs’ slow defenders, can we? Take a look at Charlotte’s 3rd goal below:
23 (↑ 4) – Vancouver Whitecaps – The Caps had a tough start to the season and have faced some stiff competition. They need to start scoring and keep the ball out of their own net. I don’t think Thomas Assal is solely to blame for their defensive woes, as he’s faced 24 shots (second most in the league behind DCU).
22 (↓ 2) – San Jose Earthquakes – The comeback against Columbus was impressive. Also, the Quakes have faced tough opposition in the first 4 weeks of the season. Expected Goals is at a median of 0.72 so far - they need to create more chances to score!
21 (↓ 15) – New England Revolution – Conceding 3 goals in 20 minutes a snowstorm to RSL, than a 3-1 loss to Charlotte, an expansion team? Yikes. I’m not even mentioning the CCL match. Hey Gregg – you might want to think twice about Sebastian Lletget taking penalties.
20 (↑ 3) – Houston Dynamo – the Dynamo have improved, earning a win and a draw in the past two weeks. Darwin Quintero scored a brace against Vancouver, and Canadian Tyler Pasher earned a draw with a late winner against Colorado. If this team keeps scoring, the results will follow.
19 (↓ 13) – LA Galaxy – While the Galaxy have won 2 games so far, they’ve also lost two. Their two wins were against NYCFC and Charlotte, and not in convincing fashion. The Galaxy players aren’t finishing their chances. There were many squandered chances against Orlando on Saturday:
18 (↓ 6) – NYCFC – The MLS Cup Champs are treading water right now. They narrowly escaped Guatemala with an aggregate win thanks to Talles Magno away goal. Perhaps we can factor in the CONCACAF Champions League for a poor domestic league showing. However, 3 games out of 4 without a goal is a troubling trend. The only game in which they scored was against Les Incompétents de Montreal.
17 (↓ 4) – DC United – While DCU was flying high to start the year, two consecutive losses has brought them back to earth. Without Bill Hamid, they would be in much worse shape. Hamid has faced 25 shots, the most in the league so far. They’ve only conceded 4 goals, and that’s a testament to Hamid’s shot stopping. Things can go sideways quickly.
16 (↑ 6) – Toronto FC – Bob Bradley’s “Play the Kids” strategy seems to be paying off. While TFC lost 2-1 away to Columbus, there were lots of good things to take away from the game. The addition of young players like Lucas McNaughton and Kadin Chung from the Canadian Premier League is paying off. Also, Luca Petrasso made the MLS Team of the Week. While it’s still early days yet, 3 points goes a long way!
15 (↑ 4) – Sporting KC – One win from 4 matches is not good, but SKC has played the Rapids and Chicago in the past 2 weeks. While their performance is not spectacular, this team is creating some chances. They’re certainly missing Alan Pulido to finish those chances.
14 (↓ 6) – Columbus Crew - Columbus is currently second in the Eastern Conference thanks to a +5 goal differential. It helps if the Crew would play Vancouver more often. Despite being undefeated, Columbus has benefitted from playing the Whitecaps, San Jose, and Toronto FC in their first 3 games. In week 4, they drew against the Red Bulls. Expect the Crew’s numbers to normalize as this team faces tougher competition over the next few weeks.
13 (↓ 12) – Nashville SC – Well, I rated this team a lot higher in the preseason and Week 2 rankings. Two recent losses to FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake has sent them down in the rankings. 3 goals in 4 matches ain’t gonna be good enough. Somebody needs to score goals, like Ake Loba or CJ Sapong.
12 (↓ 9) – New York Red Bulls – They score goals because of the Gegenpress. The problem with the Gegenpress is that it leaves defenses often exposed to a counterattack. This scenario played out on Sunday when Columbus countered and scored in injury time. While this team offers many goal scoring threats, teams that figure out how to counter the press will cause trouble for the Red Bulls. The next few weeks against strong opponents will reveal a lot about this team.
11 (↑ 4) – Austin FC – Despite my estimation of mediocrity of this team, Austin continues to be competitive. With a favourable schedule over the next weeks, with the likes of San Jose and Vancouver, Austin could accumulate some wins and points.
10(↑ 7) – Seattle Sounders – Sine Wave. This team is a Sine Wave. The best definition of a Sine wave that is applicable to the Sounders is a smooth, swaying motion between min (-1) and max (1). To paraphrase Gennaro Gattuso, “Sometimes maybe good, sometimes maybe not.” I’m interested to see how the Brian Schmetzer Orchestra conducts all the strikers on the roster throughout the season.
9 (↑ 1) – FC Dallas – A hat trick from Jesus Ferreira? In the first half? Against Portland? Most impressive. Also, this team has beaten Nashville and Portland in consecutive weeks. I think they’re going to be sneakily good.
8(↑ 1) – Real Salt Lake – I did not see this one coming – RSL is a threat in the West and is only behind LAFC at this point in the season. They’re undefeated and beating good teams like Seattle and Nashville. This team is resilient, and often scores in the second half when tied or behind. Real Salt Lake is flying high right now.
7 (↑ 1) – Portland Timbers – Portland is hanging around the top of the rankings due to one reason: bicycle kicks from Yimmi Chara. In Week 4, the Timbers gave up a first half hat trick to Jesus Ferreira and lost in Dallas. While they’ve only lost one match so far, they need to get Sebastian Blanco on the field before they put up too many Blank-Os on the scoreboard.
6 (↓ 2) – Orlando City SC – 3 clean sheets so far is due to Orlando’s keeper, Pedro Gallese. A hiccup against FC Cincinnati seems to be the only issue so far, but it was a big hiccup. With a decent supporting cast, and if their new DP signing Facundo Torres keeps scoring, this team should be good.
5 (↑ 9) – Chicago Fire – Now that Casper Pryzbylko has figured out how to score, this team is dangerous. With Wunderkind Gaga Slolina in net (and 3 clean sheets), the Fire has become a respectable team through the first 4 weeks of the season.
4 (↑ 4) – Colorado Rapids – Despite the absence of big-name players, the Rapids continue to get results. If it wasn’t for an injury time equalizer from Houston’s Tyler Pasher, Colorado would be 3-1. Mark-Anthony Kaye is the player Robin Fraser expected to have – he’s got two goals already. Colorado will continue
3 (↑ 7) – Minnesota United – Dayne St. Clair. Two consecutive clean sheets. That is all. Can TFC trade someone to Minnesota to get him in Toronto? Sigh. At least TFC has good ol’ Al O’Cation.
Also, I just learned a new move – “The Minnesotan”!
2 ( — ) – LAFC – Carlos Vela is on a tear to start the year with 4 goals in 4 games. If he keeps up this pace, he’ll break his own single-season scoring record. Also, Defender Ryan Hollingshead had a brace against Vancouver in Week 4! If the results keep coming, LAFC will continue to ascend in the Power Rankings.
1 (↑ 4) – Philadelphia Union – The Union went to the Bronx and beat up on NYCFC this week. Gazdag and Bedoya are scoring. Jamaican National Team Keeper Andre Blake has two clean sheets and only 2 goals conceded so far this year. This team sits atop the Eastern Conference standings and will be a contender all year.
Let us know what you think in the comments!