With the MLS regular season rapidly winding down, some teams are starting to separate themselves at the top of the table heading into the home stretch.
That is also reflected in the Pro Soccer USA’s Power Rankings following Week 28, with Los Angeles Football Club, New York City FC and the Philadelphia Union all unchanged in the top three spots.
But then it gets fun. The next 12 spots, and 19 of the final 21 overall, have shuffled. Some teams, like Toronto FC, coming off a dramatic 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids, and the LA Galaxy, following a 7-2 trouncing of Sporting Kansas City, have made giant leaps forward. Others (see: FC Dallas) have fallen quite a bit.
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 (19-4-7, 64 points): It’s now four straight matches without a win — the longest stretch of a remarkable season. After consecutive road draws at Orlando City SC and the Philadelphia Union, is it time to worry LAFC has lost its magic?
- (2) New York City FC (16-5-9, 57 points): Three games, a shorthanded roster and seven points. It was quite a week for NYCFC, which are now five points clear atop the East with four games to play.
- (3) Philadelphia Union (15-8-7, 52 points): For a second straight game, the Union made some noise with a positive home result, following an emphatic win over Atlanta United with a draw against LAFC.
- (5) Minnesota United FC (14-10-6, 48 points): Darwin Quintero struck for a brace and Ethan Finlay added a late insurance goal in a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake that moved the Loons into third place in the West.
- (7) Seattle Sounders FC (14-9-7, 49 points): It was a fast start and a strong finish for the Sounders, who beat the New York Red Bulls 4-2 at CenturyLink Field to move into second place int he West.
- (4) Atlanta United (15-11-3, 48 points): The Five Stripes took the lead through Josef Martinez, but they looked listless in conceding three unanswered goals in a 3-1 loss to Columbus.
- (14) Toronto FC (12-10-9, 45 points): The biggest movers of the week had a big double-game week, earning a 1-1 draw at East-leading NYCFC and defeating Colorado 3-2 at BMO Field to move to fourth in the East.
- (13) D.C. United (12-10-9, 45 points): It was ugly, but Ben Olsen’s team doesn’t really care about aesthetics at this point of the season. They’ll gladly take the three points in rainy Portland, courtesy of an own goal.
- (15) LA Galaxy (14-13-3, 45 points): Zlatan Ibrahimovic proclaimed himself to be the best player in MLS history and it’s hard to argue with a guy who just scored a hat trick in a match that catapulted his team above the playoff line in the West.
- (6) San Jose Earthquakes (13-12-5, 44 points): Chris Wondolowski gave the Quakes the early lead, but they conceded twice in quick succession in a 2-1 loss to NYCFC. It was Matias Almeyda’s club’s fifth loss in their last seven games.
- (9) Real Salt Lake (14-12-4, 46 points): A big win over the Earthquakes was followed by a loss at Minnesota United. RSL are fourth in the West, three points behind second-place Seattle, but just three points above the playoff line.
- (8) Portland Timbers (13-12-4, 43 points): Luck was not in the Timbers’ favor Sunday. Gio Savarese’s club, without injured key attackers Brian Fernandez and Sebastian Blanco, twice hit the woodwork and Bill Tuiloma scored an own goal in a 1-0 loss to D.C. United.
- (11) New England Revolution (10-10-10, 40 points): The Revs are three points above the playoff line in the East, but will rue blowing a two-goal halftime lead and dropping a pair of valuable points in a 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC.
- (12) New York Red Bulls (12-13-5, 41 points): The Red Bulls battled back from an early two-goal deficit, but conceded twice late in a 4-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders, their third in a row that dropped them to sixth in the East.
- (10) FC Dallas (12-11-7, 43 points): FC Dallas conceded four goals before halftime in a loss at Chicago that, coupled with other results, has them below the playoff line on a tiebreaker with four games remaining.
- (16) Colorado Rapids (10-15-6, 36 points): The three-match winning streak came to an end Sunday, though not without a fight. The Rapids erased an early two-goal deficit and probably should have led 3-2 if not for Kei Kamara’s saved penalty kick.
- (19) Orlando City SC (9-13-9, 36 points): Nani put his team on his shoulders, scoring a brace and, along with a Dom Dwyer strike, rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a 3-3 draw against New England. A great rally, but truth be told the Lions needed all three points.
- (20) Chicago Fire (9-12-10, 37 points): The Fire’s playoff hopes are not doused yet as, led by CJ Sapong’s brace, they blasted FC Dallas at home Saturday. But there is no margin for error going forward.
- (21) Columbus Crew SC (9-15-7, 34 points): Gyasi Zardes and Luis Diaz responded to an early Josef Martinez goal and an own goal by Miles Robinson put the finishing touches on a stunning 3-1 win over Atlanta that keeps Crew SC’s flickering playoff hopes still alive.
- (18) Sporting Kansas City (10-13-7, 37 points): A three-match winning streak has turned into consecutive defeats and it feels like the 7-2 loss at the LA Galaxy just might have been the death knell for Sporting.
- (17) Montreal Impact (11-16-4, 37 points): Perhaps worse than a five-goal loss at playoff-hopeful LA Galaxy is a 1-0 defeat at home to an FC Cincinnati team long eliminated from playoff contention.
- (23) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7-15-7, 30 points): The Whitecaps have also been eliminated from playoff contention, but that didn’t stop them from battling until the end and claiming all three points in a 2-1 win over the Dynamo courtesy of a Fredy Montero 90th-minute goal.
- (22) Houston Dynamo (10-16-4, 34 points): Mathematically still alive, albeit barely, the Dynamo rallied to level thanks to Mauro Manotas, but left BC Place with nothing but frustration after conceding Montero’s winner.
- (24) FC Cincinnati (6-21-3, 21 points): Ron Jans has waited a long time, but his first win as FC Cincinnati coach came in Montreal Saturday thanks to Allan Cruz’s first-minute goal.
Pro Soccer USA writers Dylan Butler, Chris Fuhrmeister, Robert Jonas and Joe Tansey contributed to this report.