With the international window taking focus, there were just five matches during a truncated Week 27 of the Major League Soccer season.
That means minimal movement in the Pro Soccer USA Power Rankings. (Expect big changes this week, though, with a grand total of 16 matches on the slate)
The big movers were the Portland Timbers, who advanced three spots to No. 8 following a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City, which fell two spots to No. 18. New York City FC also made positive movement, albeit slight, rising one spot to No. 2 after a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution, who are down one to No. 11.
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) Los Angeles Football Club (19-4-6, 63 points): Shorthanded due to the international break, the Supporters’ Shield leaders will take a 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC, especially since Diego Rossi struck for the late equalizer.
- (3) New York City FC (15-5-8, 53 points): No Heber, no problem for NYCFC, which erased an early deficit and defeated the New England Revolution, 2-1, thanks to a second-half brace from substitute Jesus Medina. Five straight wins have catapulted the Cityzens atop the East.
- (2) Philadelphia Union (15-8-6, 51 points): The Union return after being idle in Week 27 with a second consecutive massive home fixture. They beat Atlanta United in the first, but now LAFC come to Talen Energy Stadium.
- (4) Atlanta United (15-10-3, 48 points): The Five Stripes will look to rebound from a 3-1 defeat at the Philadelphia Union when they host a desperate Columbus Crew SC side Saturday evening.
- (5) Minnesota United (13-9-6, 45 points): The Loons return for a pair of Week 28 tilts, playing at the Houston Dynamo Wednesday before hosting Real Salt Lake in a spicy Sunday match with major playoff implications.
- (7) San Jose Earthquakes (13-10-5, 44 points): Like Minnesota United, it’s a double-match week, but both matches are on the road and at two of the toughest venues to get points — Rio Tinto Stadium and Yankee Stadium.
- (6) Seattle Sounders FC (13-9-7, 46 points): Brian Schmetzer had to rotate almost have his starting XI and fielded just 16 players on his gameday 18-man roster, and that includes a pair of call-ups from the Tacoma Defiance. The result was a 2-0 loss at the Colorado Rapids.
- (11) Portland Timbers (13-11-4, 43 points): The Timbers were seven minutes from a devastating defeat before Jeremy Ebobisse leveled and Brian Fernandez came off the bench to score the dramatic 90th-minute winner in a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City.
- (8) Real Salt Lake (13-11-4, 43 points): In fifth place in the West, RSL can rapidly rise, or fall, in the race as crowded as a New York City subway car, in a two-match week that sees them host the Earthquakes and head to Minnesota United.
- (9) FC Dallas (12-10-7, 43 points): Will the international break cool off an FC Dallas attack that has scored 11 goals in three consecutive matches without defeat? It likely won’t be easy with the host Fire desperate for a win.
- (10) New England Revolution (10-10-9, 39 points): Juan Fernando Caicedo gave the Revs a perfect start. But a pair of video reviews resulted in a 9th-minute red card to Antonio Delamea and a second-half stoppage time penalty kick decision in a 2-1 defeat at NYCFC.
- (14) New York Red Bulls (12-12-5, 41 points): Consecutive defeats have some in the Red Bulls’ fan base calling for Chris Armas’ head. Things don’t get any easier with road matches against the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers coming up next.
- (13) D.C. United (11-10-9, 42 points): D.C. United is in fourth place in the East, but their hold of the position is precarious with three points separating the Black-and-Red from a home playoff game and the playoff line.
- (15) Toronto FC (11-10-8, 41 points): The Reds weren’t messing around. Patrick Mullins, Nick DeLeon and Marky Delgado gave the visitors a 3-0 lead inside 28 minutes and Michael Bradley and Nicolas Benzet added second-half goals in a 5-1 rout of FC Cincinnati.
- (12) LA Galaxy (13-12-3, 42 points): The high-flying Galaxy enter Week 28 below the playoff line, albeit by a single point. Still, they face a challenging double-match week starting with a road contest against the resurgent Rapids.
- (18) Colorado Rapids (9-14-6, 33 points): Consecutive 2-0 wins have highlighted the start of the Robin Fraser-era in Colorado. The hero this time was rookie Andre Shinyashiki, who scored a goal in each half a week after Jonathan Lewis did the same in a 2-0 victory at the New York Red Bulls.
- (17) Montreal Impact (11-15-4, 37 points): The Impact are just two points below the playoff line in the East, but they have only four games remaining. That includes a must-win game at Stade Saputo against last-place FC Cincinnati Saturday.
- (16) Sporting Kansas City (10-12-7, 37 points): Sporting Kansas City’s late-season playoff push took a major hit Saturday night when they conceded twice in the final seven minutes to lose 2-1 to the Timbers. Benny Feilhaber scored the lone goal in the 65th minute.
- (19) Orlando City SC (9-13-8, 35 points): Nani erased the early deficit and Benji Michel gave the Lions a 2-1 lead. But the three points the Lions desperately needed were reduced to one with Rossi’s late goal.
- (20) Chicago Fire (8-12-10, 34 points): The Fire are still alive for the MLS Cup Playoffs, albeit barely. Anything but three points at home against FC Dallas could be Chicago’s death knell.
- (21) Columbus Crew SC (8-15-7, 31 points): Columbus stunned Atlanta for a 2-0 win at a rain-soaked MAPFRE Stadium early in the season. The Crew will need a similar outcome (sans the rain inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium of course) to remain in the playoff hunt in the East.
- (22) Houston Dynamo (9-15-4, 31 points): Davy Arnaud’s search for his first win as Dynamo interim manager continues with Houston hosting the Loons Wednesday before playing at Vancouver Saturday.
- (23) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6-15-9, 27 points): It’s the battle to avoid the basement in the Western Conference with the Whitecaps hosting the Dynamo Saturday night.
- (24) FC Cincinnati (5-21-3, 18 points): Another cosmetic Emmanuel Ledesma goal closed out another rout as FC Cincinnati fell to Toronto FC for their fourth straight loss and eighth in nine consecutive games without a win.
Pro Soccer USA writers Dylan Butler, Julian Cardlillo, Marco Cummings, Chris Fuhrmeister, Robert Jonas and Emily Olsen contributed to this report.