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MLS Week 14 Power Rankings

The MLS season has hit a lengthy International break in June. With only a few games being played before June 18th, we can take a look at where each team stands in this edition of the Power Rankings!

Sean Pollock/Waking The Red

MLS is Back! (No, not that forgettable tournament from 2020).

I hope you enjoyed watching a bunch of Nations League matches, as we’re going to see quite a bit of MLS action over the next few weeks.

28 – Sporting Kansas City – Yikes. SKC is at a -14 goal differential. If this team maintains their current pace, they’ll finish with -30 at the end of the season. While that’s not the worst differential in MLS history (you can than Cincinnati in 2019 for their futility with -44), it’s not going to win you many games. Is Peter Vermes the next coach to be sacked?

27 – Chicago Fire – Despite some promising signings in the offseason like Shaqiri and Pryzbylko, this team is earning their moniker “The Tire Fire”. They’re worst in the league with 11 points, and haven’t won a game since March 19th. The only reason they’re not on the bottom is because Chicago has played fewer games than SKC.

26 – D.C. United – “The Chad” Ashton has not made a difference after taking over from Hernan Losada. There’s certainly promise with goal scoring players like Ola Kamara and Taxi Fountas. However, scoring 1.3 goals while conceding 1.8 goals per game is not good. DCU needs to improve defending to realize success. But hey – they’re playing Bayern Munich in July!

25 – San Jose Earthquakes – The Quakes haven’t looked great after turfing Mathias Almeyda. They’re scoring loads of goals, with golden boot co-leader Jeremy Ebobisse. They’re letting in an average of 2.1 per game. Eeek – that’s a bit of a nightmare in the tough Western Conference. It doesn’t help they lost to rivals Sacramento Republic FC in the US Open Cup either. Wasn’t Sacramento supposed to be in MLS by now?

24 – Vancouver Whitecaps – The Caps won their last two MLS matches before getting thumped 4-0 by Seattle on June 14th. Don’t expect Vancouver to make a huge splash in the league, as they’re inconsistent with their results. Also, there’s a big question as to where the goals are going to be coming from, as Cavallini, White, and Gauld have been underwhelming so far.

23 – Portland Timbers – They’re not bad, but they’re not great either. Portland’s 7-2 win over SKC is merely a blip on an otherwise downward trajectory of a season. It looks like their roster is getting old and can’t hack it anymore. They lost 2-1 to Inter Miami.

22 – Toronto FC – The reinforcements are coming! Insigne’s arrival is imminent, along with rumoured help on defence. Their current form is encouraging, having gone four games unbeaten. That includes a Voyageurs Cup from 2020. Now, let’s never speak of that year again.

21 – Atlanta United – Having only beaten teams (except Charlotte) lower than them in the standings, Atlanta is not exactly tearing it up so far this season. A bunch of injuries has took its toll on this squad. The team is trying to sign more players on loan, as Josef Martinez is apparently returning to the lineup. If they don’t get a proven striker, their whole season is going south.

20 – Columbus Crew – There’s a rumour about a DP striker from England coming to Ohio to replace the departed Gyasi Zardes. In the meantime, Columbus is going to hover around the bottom of the Eastern Conference until they find a proven finisher up top.

19 – New England Revolution – The team’s leading goal scorer, Adam Buksa, is off to France to play for Lens. That leaves a huge hole in their offence – as Jozy is not the replacement they’re looking for right now. Also, Matt Turner is gone to England. That leaves a huge hole in their defence. Without reinforcements, the Revs are in trouble.

18 – Inter Miami – This team is unbeaten in their last four MLS matches. They’ve defeated Portland, the Red Bulls, and earned draws against Philadelphia and DCU. So, what’s happening? Quite simply, Leonard Campagna is starting and Gonzalo Higuain isn’t. While Miami isn’t quite ready to compete for the Supporters’ Shield, this team will be interesting to watch moving forward.

17 – FC Cincinnati – The partnership of Brandon Vasquez and Luciano Acotsta has been lucrative for this team. If only they could sort out their defence. Overall, Cincinnati looks somewhat dangerous.

16 – Charlotte FC – For an expansion team, Charlotte has exceeded expectations for the first part of the season. They’re wildly inconsistent, which could be expected. With the quick departure of Miguel Angel Ramirez, this team might be, as their former coach said, “screwed.”

15 – Seattle Sounders – As previously mentioned, the Sounders are like a sine wave. While they weren’t getting results in the league in March and April, they certainly are in May and June, having won four out of five of their last matches. It also helps if the Sounders are playing teams like Charlotte and Vancouver. The big test will be against LAFC this weekend.

14 – Colorado Rapids – Trying to figure out this team is like looking at the peaks and valleys of the Rockies. With wins against LAFC and Seattle, and losses to SKC and San Jose, there’s not a lot of predictability with this squad. One positive – there’s still a lot of time left for Colorado to regain that consistent form under Robin Fraser.

13 – Houston Dynamo – They earned an impressive 3-0 victory against the Galaxy in Los Angeles, then promptly lost 3-0 to RSL in Sandy, Utah. The Dynamo should compete for the last playoff spot in the West, but it’s quickly becoming apparent that they need to start winning games. Hector Herrera arrives in July, so that should help.

12 – Minnesota United – This might be a generous ranking for the Loons, as they’ve dropped in the standings after losing to NYCFC. It seems that defence is keeping them in the game, with only 1.1 goals allowed per match, which is 4th best in the league. However, there seems to be a trend with conceding expected goals – it means they’re giving up too many good chances. Dayne St. Clair is keeping them in games, averaging 4.1 saves per 90. I don’t know if that rate is sustainable.

11 – Orlando City – Orlando shouldn’t be fifth in the Eastern Conference. They’ve only scored 17 goals in 14 matches, but somehow have won six matches so far. Perhaps playing against weaker teams in the East certainly helps. There are rumours that Pato is on his way out of Orlando. Will it make a difference? Probably not.

10 – New York Red Bulls – The Gegenpress seems to be Wunderbar for the Red Bulls this season. While their possession is low, they are playing effective defence by conceding an average of 1.1 goals per game. While this team is not perfect (losing to Charlotte FC recently), they provide headaches for teams that struggle defensively, like Toronto FC this weekend. Sigh.

9 – Nashville SC – While they’re not losing games at home, the problem is they’re not winning games at home. With the fancy new GEODIS Park (which I’m not a huge fan of), you’d think they’d be accumulating more points than they are now. The problem? 23.3 expected goals vs. 18 actual goals. Thankfully, they have a solid defence.

8 – Club de Football Montreal – Begrudgingly, Montreal is putting together a half-decent season after the CONCACAF Champions League run and are currently in a playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Djordje Mihailovic is really good, so is their defence with Alastair Johnston and Kamal Miller. Something to consider – these quality players aren’t going to stick around forever. They probably should get the most out of them this season.

7 – Real Salt Lake – Sitting third in the Western Conference, RSL has demonstrated a consistent effort with seven wins and four draws from 15 matches. Yet, this team badly needs a striker. Look for them to improve up front after losing Damir Kreilach to back surgery. They have the lowest payroll in MLS, so there’s lots of room to improve.

6 – Austin FC – While this team is currently fourth in the Western Conference, there has been some issues with beating some of the better teams in the last few matches. Perhaps Austin has benefitted early this season from a favourable schedule. One encouraging thing to consider: they went to Los Angeles and beat LAFC. Perhaps it’s an anomaly. Time will tell.

5 – LA Galaxy – They’re getting results and have more points on the road than at home. But they only have 17 goals in 14 matches. That’s not outstanding for a team with two DP strikers in Chicharito and Kevin Cabral (Young DP). Greg Vanney has a tendency to play his more expensive players, not ones that are performing well. What does that mean for the Galaxy? Dejan Joveljic has three goals in 226 minutes this season, which translates into an impressive 1.19 goals per 90 minutes. For reference, Cabral has not scored in the MLS regular season. Even Mark(y) Delgado has scored.

4 – FC Dallas – They’re beating good teams and losing to mediocre ones, like Vancouver and SKC. In order to be considered an elite team in MLS, they need to get results consistently and not just in big games. It looks like they’ve found a legitimate goal scorer with Jesus Ferreira.

3 – Philadelphia Union – They’ve still only lost once in the league this season, and that was to Toronto FC. If Philly can figure out how to turn draws into wins, this team will be back on top of the Eastern Conference. Hungarian International Daniel Gazdag has tallied seven goals so far, but he needs help from his forwards. Also, Gazdag scored against England in the 4-0 thrashing of the Three Lions earlier this week.

2 – NYCFC – Well then. Man City Jr. hasn’t lost in the league since April 2nd to TFC. Since then, they’ve had seven clean sheets in league play. The only blip was the 5-4 goalfest against TFC. It looks like Toronto is their Kryptonite for this squad. Sadly, they don’t play against TFC for the rest of the regular season. There are a few questions looming though – will Taty Castellanos stick around after the summer? How will the team react to the departure of coach Ronny Delia?

1 – LAFC – With 2.07 points per game, they’re on pace to earn 70 points. They don’t lose very often, and have only lost once at home (2-1 to Austin on May 18th). It looks like it’s LAFC’s Supporters’ Shield to lose if they continue with this consistency. Giorgio Chiellini should help defensively, even though he’s not going to play every minute.