After more than eight months, the Major League Soccer regular season comes down to one day — Decision Day — with still so much to play for.
There is no hotter team in the league than D.C. United, which clinched a playoff berth with a 3-1 win over New York City FC, their fifth straight win. It is also a victory that moved the Black-and-Red up to a season-high third place in the Pro Soccer USA Power Rankings. The Portland Timbers are the biggest movers, jumping four spots after a playoff-clinching win over Real Salt Lake.
The Major League Soccer Power Rankings are created by averaging the rankings submitted by a committee of Pro Soccer USA’s editor and writers.
- (1) New York Red Bulls (21-6-6, 68 points): Kaku scored the game’s lone goal from the penalty spot as the Red Bulls beat the Philadelphia Union for their fourth consecutive win heading into a regular season finale at home against Orlando City SC.
- (2) Atlanta United (21-7-5, 69 points): The Five Stripes clinched a berth in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League and inched closer to the Supporters’ Shield, which they can clinch in Toronto, with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire.
- (6) D.C. United (14-11-8, 50 points): Wayne Rooney struck for a brace and Luciano Acosta added a goal and a ridiculous assist on Senor Wayne’s first goal in a 3-1 win over NYCFC. That’s nine games without a loss and five straight wins for D.C., which plays at Chicago Sunday with a chance to clinch a home playoff game.
- (3) Sporting Kansas City (17-8-8, 59 points): Daniel Salloi, Roger Espinoza and Johnny Russell scored and Tim Melia came up with a penalty-kick save in a 3-0 win over FC Dallas that moved Sporting into first place in the Western Conference heading into a big Decision Day showdown with second place LAFC.
- (4) Seattle Sounders FC (17-11-5, 56 points): Nico Lodeiro had a hat trick of assists, serving in perfect corner kicks headed home by Chad Marshall and Gustav Svensson, as well as Raul Ruidiaz’s eighth goal of the season in a 3-2 win at Houston.
- (5) Los Angeles Football Club (16-8-9, 57 points): Diego Rossi struck for an early brace, but LAFC conceded a pair of goals to settle for a 2-2 draw with the Whitecaps before a showdown with Sporting KC that will likely determine the top seed in the Western Conference.
- (11) Portland Timbers (15-9-9, 54 points): The Timbers booked a postseason berth with a 3-0 home win over Real Salt Lake on goals by Larrys Mabiala, Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco. Portland heads to Vancouver with a chance to lock up a home game in the Knockout Round.
- (6) FC Dallas (16-8-9, 57 points): If FC Dallas is forced to play a Knockout Round game, they’ll know exactly where their fate turned, losing at home to Sporting Kansas City, 3-0, on Sunday. That’s back-to-back defeats going into a regular-season finale at Colorado.
- (8) Philadelphia Union (15-13-5, 50 points): The Union played well and can hold their heads up following a 1-0 home defeat to the Red Bulls. A win over struggling New York City FC Sunday will lock up the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
- (9) LA Galaxy (13-11-9, 48 points): Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a goal and assisted on Romain Alessandrini’s tally, which came one minute after Ola Kamara scored to lead the Galaxy to a 3-1 win over Minnesota United. An LA win over Houston Sunday books their playoff ticket.
- (10) Montreal Impact (14-15-4, 46 points): Ignacio Piatti struck for a brace to lead the Impact to a 2-0 win over rival Toronto FC and keep him team’s playoff hopes alive. Montreal will need to beat the Revolution and hope the Crew falter against the Loons.
- (13) Real Salt Lake (14-13-7, 49 points): A win over the Revs gave RSL hope, hope that was all but crushed with a regular-season ending 3-0 loss at Portland on Sunday. Now they need the Dynamo to draw or beat the Galaxy to get into the playoffs.
- (14) New York City FC (15-10-8, 53 points): Yangel Herrera looked good in his return and David Villa scored a goal. Outside of those two positives, NYCFC fell to D.C. United, 3-1, and will need a win or draw against the Philadelphia Union Sunday to clinch a home Knockout Round game.
- (12) Columbus Crew SC (13-11-9, 48 points): It’s now consecutive losses and three games without a win for the Crew after a stunning 2-1 defeat at Orlando. The Crew will need a win over the Loons to insure a playoff spot. If not, they will need to hope the Revs beat the Impact.
- (15) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (12-13-8, 44 points): The rally was inspiring, as Yordy Reyna and Jordon Mutch equalized, but a 2-2 draw against LAFC eliminated the ‘Caps from playoff contention.
- (16) Toronto FC (9-18-6, 33 points): Toronto FC can still impact the Supporters’ Shield race. A win over Atlanta United would not only snap a three-game losing streak, it might also mean avoiding seeing the Five Stripes celebrate winning the Shield on their field.
- (21) Minnesota United FC (11-19-3, 36 points): More than 50,000 fans packed TCF Bank Stadium. That and Angelo Rodriguez’s 54th-minute goal were about the only positive to draw from a 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy in their home finale.
- (17) Houston Dynamo (9-16-8, 35 points): The Dynamo conceded twice off set pieces — their bugaboo all season — in a 3-2 loss at home to the Sounders, their third consecutive defeat. Kevin Garcia and Mauro Manotas scored second-half goals for Houston.
- (18) New England Revolution (9-13-11, 38 points): Kelyn Rowe scored in the 69th minute, but it came after the Revs conceded four times in the opening 50 minutes in a 4-1 loss to Real Salt Lake.
- (19) Chicago Fire (8-18-7, 31 points): Michael de Leeuw made 70,000 Atlanta United fans squirm in their seats with a 24th-minute equalizer, but an own goal by Johan Kappelhof put Atlanta in front for good in a 2-1 win.
- (22) Orlando City SC (8-21-4, 28 points): After three consecutive losses and 13 games without a win, the Lions roared in their home finale, beating Columbus, 2-1, with Yoshi Yotun and Sacha Kljestan scoring from the penalty spot.
- (20) Colorado Rapids (7-19-7, 28 points): The Rapids drew the Earthquakes, 0-0, Sunday and close out what has been a miserable season at home against FC Dallas.
- (23) San Jose Earthquakes (4-20-9, 21 points): The Quakes have but one thing to play for Sunday in Seattle — get Chris Wondolowski to break the league’s all-time record for goals. Oh, and winning for the first time since late August.
Pro Soccer USA’s writers Dylan Butler and Emily Olsen contributed to this report.