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MLS Power Rankings Week 24: Atlanta United, NYCFC move into top three

Our voters have come to a unanimous agreement on two teams this week — LAFC and Atlanta United — the top two teams in this week’s power rankings.

Change is good, as is differing opinions. It’s true in life and in power rankings.

We have both in the Pro Soccer Week 24 MLS Power Rankings.

Our voters have come to a unanimous agreement on two teams this week — LAFC and Atlanta United — the top two teams in this week’s power rankings.

As for movement, it’s relatively minimal this week. The LA Galaxy make the biggest upward jump after a four-point week. The San Jose Earthquakes take the largest tumble, falling four spots following a 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City.

The Major League Soccer Power Rankings are created by averaging the rankings submitted by a committee of Pro Soccer USA’s editors and writers.

  1. (1) Los Angeles Football Club (18-3-4, 58 points): They won’t stop because they can’t stop. LAFC continue to roll along, defeating Real Salt Lake 2-0 to become the first team to clinch an MLS Cup Playoffs berth.
  2. (3) Atlanta United (14-9-3, 45 points): Two more goals by Josef Martinez, a third consecutive win and fifth in the last six games and a spot atop the Eastern Conference standings for Atlanta following a 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers.
  3. (5) New York City FC (11-5-8, 41 points): Heber and Taty Castellanos both struck for a brace and Sean Johnson made a PK save as NYCFC rallied from an early deficit to defeat FC Cincinnati 4-1 at Nippert Stadium.
  4. (2) Philadelphia Union (13-8-6, 45 points): The Union were punished for another slow start and were unable to dig out of a two-goal first-half hole in a 2-0 defeat to the Chicago Fire Saturday in Bridgeview.
  5. (7) Minnesota United FC (12-8-6, 42 points): They needed a late equalizer from Abu Danladi, but the Loons played Orlando City SC to a 1-1 draw and secured at least a point for the ninth time in the last 10 games.
  6. (8) New York Red Bulls (11-10-5, 38 points): A change in formation sparked the Red Bulls to a strong offensive outing, but only a stunning strike by Marc Rzatkowski would get past Matt Turner as the hosts settled for a 1-1 home draw Saturday night.
  7. (4) Seattle Sounders FC (11-8-7, 40 points): The Sounders failed to take advantage of a 6th-minute red card to Daniel Steres or a first-half lead, needing an own goal off the face of Jorgen Skjelvik in the 82nd minute to earn a 1-1 draw.
  8. (9) New England Revolution (9-9-8, 35 points): The Revs weathered a first-half storm before equalizing in the 65th minute on Gustavo Bou’s fourth goal in six MLS appearances as New England stretched a road unbeaten streak to seven games.
  9. (12) LA Galaxy (13-11-2, 41 points): Despite playing nearly the entire 90 minutes down a man, the Galaxy earned a point in a 22 draw against the Sounders and probably should have taken all three points thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace.
  10. (6) San Jose Earthquakes (11-9-5, 38 points): The Quakes lost just once over a 12-game span, but they’ve now dropped consecutive games for the first time since a season-opening four-game losing streak. They’re at LAFC next.
  11. (10) Portland Timbers (11-10-4, 37 points): After opening a 10-game stretch at Providence Park with consecutive wins, the Timbers were dropped by red-hot Atlanta United, 2-0. The Sounders come to town next with the Cascadia Cup up for grabs.
  12. (14) Real Salt Lake (12-10-4, 40 points): A six-match unbeaten streak was snapped at Rio Tinto Stadium with a 2-0 defeat to LAFC. RSL look to capture the Rocky Mountain Cup for a fourth consecutive year when they host the Colorado Rapids Saturday night.
  13. (11) FC Dallas (10-10-7, 37 points): FC Dallas staged a furious, and unlikely, comeback Saturday night, battling back from three goals down after 59 minutes to draw the Montreal Impact thank to a Ryan Hollingshead 90th-minute equalizer.
  14. (13) D.C. United (10-8-9, 39 points): An emotional win over the LA Galaxy at home didn’t carry over to BC Place Saturday where D.C. United suffered a 1-0 loss, their third loss in the last five games with Atlantic Cup rival the New York Red Bulls coming to Audi Field Wednesday night.
  15. (15) Toronto FC (9-10-7, 34 points): Jozy Altidore came to the rescue with the 90th minute equalizer in a 2-2 draw with Columbus Crew SC, but the Reds leave MAPFRE Stadium disappointed they didn’t take all three points.
  16. (16) Orlando City SC (9-11-7, 34 points): A penalty kick by Nani in the 70th minute gave the Lions a second-half lead that they held until stoppage time when Abu Danladi leveled for the Loons in a 1-1 draw at Allianz Field.
  17. (17) Chicago Fire (8-11-9, 33 points): Nemanja Nikolic is trying to single-handedly carry the Fire into the postseason, scoring a pair of first-half goals to lead Chicago to a 2-0 win over the Union despite playing the entire second half with 10 men after Nico Gaitan was sent off.
  18. (18) Montreal Impact (10-13-4, 34 points): Lassi Lappalainen scored a first-half brace and Orji Okwonkwo made it 3-0 in the 56th minute. But instead of celebrating a needed victory, the Impact conceded three times in the final 31 minutes to settle for a 3-3 draw with FC Dallas.
  19. (19) Sporting Kansas City (8-11-7, 31 points): Goals came from unlikely sources Saturday night as Benny Feilhaber leveled with his left foot and Graham Smith scored his first career MLS goal in the 76th minute as Sporting defeated San Jose 2-1.
  20. (21) Columbus Crew SC (7-14-6, 27 points): Pedro Santos canceled out Jonathan Osorio’s first-half goal and David Accam put the Crew in front in the 82nd minute. But an Altidore equalizer at the death meant two valuable points dropped at home.
  21. (20) Colorado Rapids (7-13-6, 27 points): It was a game of dueling braces as Diego Rubio struck for two first-half goals to give the Rapids a 2-0 halftime lead before Mauro Manotas equaled that task with two goals in the final 16 minutes to secure a 2-2 draw for the Dynamo.
  22. (22) Houston Dynamo (9-13-4, 31 points): Three points were vital in Davy Arnaud’s debut as interim coach. Instead Houston were lucky to take one point in a 2-2 draw with the Rapids.
  23. (24) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6-12-9, 27 points): Yordy Reyna scored early and that was all the offense the Whitecaps would need as they now have two wins in the last three games after going more than two months without a victory.
  24. (23) FC Cincinnati (5-18-3, 18 points): A winless streak is now six games following a 4-1 home loss to NYCFC Saturday night. Allan Cruz opened the scoring on the half-hour mark after Emmanuel Ledesma was denied from the penalty spot.

Pro Soccer USA writers Dylan Butler, Julian Cardillo, Chris Fuhrmeister, Robert Jonas and Emily Olsen contributed to this report.

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