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MLS Power Rankings Week 23: Surging Seattle Sounders FC storm into top 10

While Atlanta United maintained their top spot, there was some movement, subtle and otherwise, in the Pro Soccer USA Power Rankings after Week 23. The New York Red Bulls moved up two spots after an impressive win over Los Angeles Football Club and Seattle Sounders FC break the top 10 following a dramatic win at Minnesota.

There’s also, of course, dropping stock with the New England Revolution falling four spots after squandering an early lead in a 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC and the Chicago Fire find themselves in the unenviable bottom spot when their losing streak stretched to six straight games.

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. (1) Atlanta United (14-4-6, 48 points): Josef Martinez can’t stop, won’t stop. He struck for a brace, upping his total to seven goals in the last three games, but the Five Stripes had to share the points against Toronto FC Saturday thanks to Tosaint Ricketts’ 90th-minute goal.
  2. (4) New York Red Bulls (14-6-2, 44 points): While the rest of the East dropped points, the Red Bulls shined in Week 23’s final game. Danny Royer scored a brace to lift the Red Bulls to a 2-1 win over LAFC.
  3. (3) Portland Timbers (10-3-7, 37 points): The unbeaten streak is now 15 games, matching a club record, with Diego Valeri and Dairon Asprilla scoring from the penalty spot and David Guzman added a goal in a 3-0 victory over the Union.
  4. (2) New York City FC (13-5-5, 44 points): Jesus Medina and newly-signed Valentin Castellanos scored on other side of halftime and NYCFC was three minutes from pulling within two points of Atlanta, but Erik Hurtado scored the late equalizer for the Whitecaps.
  5. (5) FC Dallas (12-4-6, 42 points): The most unlikely result of the weekend came to fruition Saturday night when the San Jose Earthquakes stunned FC Dallas, which suffered their first home loss of the year. Roland Lamah scored the lone goal for the West leaders.
  6. (6) Los Angeles Football Club (10-6-6, 36 points): Diego Rossi leveled early in the second half and it appeared that LAFC would leave Red Bull Arena with at least a point, but they conceded late — yet again. It’s a trend that has to end if the expansion side expects to make a deep playoff run.
  7. (8) Columbus Crew SC (10-7-6, 36 points): The Crew enjoyed a bye in Week 23 and Justin Meram could make his return to the lineup against Houston Saturday night at MAPFRE.
  8. (7) LA Galaxy (10-8-5, 35 points): Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was suspended by the league after skipping the All-Star Game, the Galaxy offense sputtered in a 2-1 loss at the Colorado Rapids. Romain Alessandrini scored the lone goal.
  9. (9) Sporting Kansas City (10-6-6, 36 points): After four losses in their last five winless games, Sporting earned a huge three points, edging the Houston Dynamo in a feisty affair at BBVA Compass Stadium. Diego Rubio scored the lone goal with 16-year-old Gianluca Busio picking up the assist.
  10. (14) Seattle Sounders FC (8-9-5, 29 points): OK, we’re calling it. This is officially a Sounders second-half rally. Once at the bottom of the West, Seattle has now won four straight games after rallying to beat Minnesota, 2-1, and are now five points behind the playoff line.
  11. (11) Houston Dynamo (7-9-6, 27 points): There were no goals, but plenty of cards in a 1-0 loss to SKC for the frustrated Dynamo, who played a man down for most of the match when Alejandro Fuenmayor was shown a straight red in the 14th minute. Houston ended the match with eight players and without head coach Wilmer Cabrera, who also received his marching orders at halftime.
  12. (12) Montreal Impact (9-13-2, 29 points): Matteo Mancosu scored in the 5th minute, but three points were not to be had at Stade Saputo with Yamil Asad scoring the equalizer in a 1-1 draw against D.C. United.
  13. (15) Toronto FC (6-11-5, 23 points): With points at Mercedes-Benz Stadium so difficult to come by, the Reds will no doubt take the one they earned thanks to a late Tosaint Ricketts’ leveler in a 2-2 draw with Atlanta United. But that just puts pressure on the games going forward, including a massive home fixture against NYCFC Sunday.
  14. (10) New England Revolution (7-7-8, 29 points): Juan Agudelo and Cristian Penilla staked the Revs to a two-goal lead after 18 minutes. And Teal Bunbury put New England ahead late again. However they settled for a 3-3 draw at Orlando, as unsatisfying a result as there is for a team in the playoff chase.
  15. (16) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8-9-6, 30 points): Carl Robinson didn’t roll out his strongest lineup, with the first leg of the Canadian Championship final on tap Wednesday, which makes a 2-2 draw at NYCFC even more satisfying.
  16. (13) Philadelphia Union (8-11-3, 27 points): Jim Curtin said the final score — a 3-0 loss at Portland — isn’t fair to the effort his squad put in. It’s also important to point out Curtin rolled out a heavily-rotated roster ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup semifinal showdown against the Chicago Fire.
  17. (18) Real Salt Lake (10-9-4, 34 points): Damir Kreilach struck for a brace, RSL improved to 9-1-2 at Rio Tinto Stadium this season and remained above the playoff line in the West following a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire Saturday night
  18. (20) Minnesota United FC (9-13-1, 28 points): Darwin Quintero scored his 10th goal of the season to give the Loons the lead and it appeared they were about to hear the Brit Pop anthem “Wonderwall” by Oasis before Nico Lodeiro and Will Bruin scored stoppage-time goals for the Sounders. As gutting a loss as there is for Minnesota.
  19. (17) D.C. United (4-9-6, 18 points): In the numbers game that is D.C. United’s playoff chances, three points were vital Saturday, but staring at a one-goal deficit with 20 minutes to play, Yamil Asad’s tying goal meant at least one point from Montreal.
  20. (22) Colorado Rapids (5-12-5, 20 points): Usually an early deficit is a death knell, but the Rapids responded in a big way with Kellyn Acosta scoring the equalizer and Sam Nicholson netted the dramatic 90th-minute winner to snap a five-match winless streak.
  21. (21) Orlando City SC (7-14-2, 23 points): Dom Dwyer and Amro Tarek scored to erase an early two-goal deficit and Scott Sutter leveled again seconds after Teal Bunbury gave the Revs the lead again. The rally is great, but at this point in the season three points are a must.
  22. (23) San Jose Earthquakes (3-12-7, 16 points): The long winless streak is finally over and it happened at Toyota Stadium, where FC Dallas hadn’t lost a game in 2018. Vako struck for a brace, Jahmir Hyka added a goal and the Quakes celebrated their first win since May 12.
  23. (19) Chicago Fire (6-13-5, 23 points): The Fire haven’t been very good at full strength, let alone when they roll out their B-squad. Their 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake was the sixth in a row and it is starting to appear their season is riding on the U.S. Open Cup where the Fire head to Talen Energy Stadium to meet the Union in the semifinals Wednesday.

Pro Soccer USA writers Dylan Butler and Emily Olsen contributed to this report.

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