We’re starting to see the emergence of good teams, and some really bad teams. See where these sides stack up in this bi-weekly iteration of the MLS power rankings!
28 (↓2) – Vancouver Whitecaps – Vanni Sartini has to be the next MLS coach to go. Four points from eight matches is Armas-level incompetence. (FYI – Armas’ TFC had five points from eight matches in 2021).
27 (↑2) – San Jose Earthquakes - This team beat Seattle, but still are incredibly bad after the departure of Mathias Almeyda. The Quakes are just above Vancouver in the Western Conference standings, and need to figure out how to get consistent results instead of the infrequent goalfest.
26 (↓2) – FC Cincinnati – Despite having Brandon Vasquez, who has five goals already this season, Cincinnati are once again occupying the basement of the Eastern Conference. With a –7 goal differential, they need to improve their defence. Nick Hagglund and Co. just won’t cut it – Sorry Nick!
25 ( - ) – New England Revolution – The injury excuse can only be used for a while until it’s not relevant anymore. What’s the matter with the Revs? Well, they’re getting picked apart in midfield, and the defence is not capable of making up the ground conceded. Without a major shift in personnel and/or formation, this team is in trouble. Is Brucie’s job safe?
24 (↓5) – D.C. United – Yeah, former coach Hernan Losada was sacked six games into the season. New coach Chad Ashton is in his second stint as caretaker manager. I’d be interested to see what happens, as they’re not scoring many goals – 10 in eight matches. Will Gareth Bale arrive to solve that problem? MLS is a wacky, wacky league.
23 (↓1) – Sporting KC – No Alan Pulido, no es bueno. A team with a paltry 0.7 goals/match so far this season just isn’t cutting it. They’re conceding too many as well. Peter Vermes has been in Kansas City since 2009. Yes, you read that right – 13 years. Perhaps this team needs to look elsewhere to salvage the season.
22 (↓5) – Charlotte FC – Charlotte is an expansion team, which means they’ll struggle. However, Charlotte is getting some respectable results against some good teams, like the recent draw against the Colorado Rapids. While this team won’t make the playoffs, they might play spoiler if DP striker Karol Swiderski keeps scoring.
21 (↓3) – Columbus Crew – Ugh. This team hasn’t won since March 12th at home against TFC. Also, they lost to Detroit City in the U.S. Open Cup. They’re steadily plummeting in the standings. Apart from Lucas Zelarayan, there are not a lot of standout players this season. With the departure of Gyasi Zardes, where are the goals going to come from now?
20 (↓10) – Seattle Sounders – The Sounders made the CCL finals. Great. Their form in the league right now is horrible. Maybe they’ll get better after the Champions League is over and they’ve lost. Losing to bad teams like San Jose and Inter Miami means dropped points. Will Seattle make up for it later?
19 (↑7) – Inter Miami – They beat the Sounders in Seattle and Atlanta at home. Keeping Gonzalo Higuain on the bench seems to be working for this team. Is Phil Neville a tactical genius? No. A bit more luck, combined with better team chemistry, means there is a possibility for improvement. Don’t hold your breath.
18 (↑2) – Atlanta United – Atlanta’s recent form – losses to Charlotte and Miami, and a draw with Cincinnati. Josef Martinez won’t be back for at least another month. Dom Dywer is not the answer, despite his brace against Chattanooga. It’s the equivalent of a team like Leicester City playing Accrington Stanley - Who are they?
17 (↓10) – Colorado Rapids – The Rapids’ recent form has been, well, brutal. Failing to get a result against Charlotte at home has meant they haven’t won since March 13th. Perhaps the addition of a true striker in Zardes will mean a change in this team’s fortunes.
16 (↑5) – Club de Foot Montreal – After their CCL exit, The Club de Fromage is undefeated in five matches. Djordje Mihailovic has been on fire with four goals in five matches. Kei Kamara is scoring as well. We know their defence is good. I begrudgingly admit this team will keep winning.
15 (↓6) – Portland Timbers – Portland has 5 draws already. The last two matches have been 0-0 draws. Their expected goals per game is 1.25 and they lead the league with 3 red cards. Maybe that explains their desire to park the bus. They need to start scoring more goals.
14 (↑9) – NYCFC – Umm, yeah. 11 goals in their past 2 matches. RSL was the victim of a 6-0 shellacking. NYC then scored 5 straight goals against Toronto. Valentin Castellanos has five goals, including a hat trick against Real Salt Lake. It’s too early to say they’re a legitimate threat, but this team is trending significantly upwards.
13 (↓1) – Nashville SC – Nashville lost to the Galaxy in Los Angeles. This team hasn’t played at home yet this season, and have a respectable 11 points. Seven out of the next 10 matches are at home. Expect this team to be just fine and steadily rise in the Western Conference standings.
12 (↑4) – Toronto FC – TFC beat the Union at home, and then almost pulled off an improbable comeback in New York on their secondary square pitch. Toronto is outperforming expectations, as their xG after 8 matches is 7.8, yet they’ve scored 15 goals so far, led by Jesus Jimenez with 6 goals. What does that mean? TFC is scoring without a lot of quality chances. While it’s probably not sustainable, it means that Toronto is doing better than expected as they inch closer to the summer transfer window.
11 (↑3) – Houston Dynamo – Despite losing to Dallas last week, Houston is playing some good football. Their schedule has been favourable, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less impressive that Houston has only two losses on the season.
10 (↓6) – Chicago Fire – Without Gabriel Slonina, this team would be in trouble. The Fire have only scored five goals in eight matches. Yikes. Without goals, Chicago could be in big trouble.
9 (↓1) – Real Salt Lake – Well, RSL is just okay right now. However, they did beat the Timbers on the weekend and are still in 6th place in a very competitive Western Conference. I don’t really expect them to hang around in the top 10 much longer, so enjoy the ride!
8 (↑7) – New York Red Bulls - The combination of Gerhard “Hans” Struber’s Gegenpress and a favourable schedule has the Red Bulls flying high in the Eastern Conference. With the addition of Ashley Fletcher to a talented squad with a +7 goal differential, the Red Bulls have the ability to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup. We’ll see how their record stands up against more difficult opponents in the upcoming weeks.
7 (↓2) – Orlando City - Despite losing to the aforementioned Red Bulls 3-0 in week 8, the Purple Football Team has tallied four wins and 14 points so far this season. One concerning aspect is the lack of scoring, where this team has only bagged 10 goals in nine matches. Players like Facundo Torres and Ecran Kara need to start putting the ball in the net to realize success. It would also be nice if Tesho Akindele saw some minutes . . .
6 (↑7) – Minnesota United – The Loons have been playing excellent defence. They signed Kemar Lawrence. Dayne St. Clair has three clean sheets already this season. Even defenders like Bakaye Dibassy are scoring – How is he not their Million Dollar Man?
5 (↑6) – Austin FC – This team, despite many preseason predictions, just keeps winning and scoring. Sebastian “Bruno” Drussi has the Golden Boot within reach. It would be a nice relic to have on his shelf.
4 (↑2) – LA Galaxy - Chicharito is scoring. Raheem “The Dream” Edwards is setting him up. The Galaxy are steadily climbing the Western Conference standings with five wins in eight matches. They’re facing RSL and Austin in the next couple of weeks, so expect another 6 points.
3 ( - ) – FC Dallas – A win in the Texas Derby means Dallas is hanging around the top of the league. With only four wins and only one loss, this team is firing on all cylinders right now. 21-year-old Jesus Ferreria has five goals. They’re fun to watch.
2 (↓1) – Philadelphia Union – Despite the hiccup against Toronto, Philadelphia still is an elite MLS team and challenging for the Supporters’ Shield. The next three matches against Nashville, LAFC and the Red Bulls should be a good measure of the team’s ability.
1 (↑1) – LAFC – With only four dropped points from eight matches and a +11 goal differential, LAFC is dominant. If I keep putting this team in the No. 1 position, can I get a free kit? If you haven’t seen it, take a look – it’s the best one in MLS this year.
What do you think of this week’s rankings? Let us know in the comments!