Two months of the Major League Soccer season are in the books and the clear leader heading into month No. 3 is Los Angeles Football Club.
In the first of back-to-back battles of the top two teams in the Pro Soccer USA power rankings, Bob Bradley’s squad put a 4-1 hurting on the Seattle Sounders.
The biggest movers in Week 8 come in the middle of the pack with Real Salt Lake, Orlando City SC, the Chicago Fire and New York City FC coming up with big victories on the weekend, while Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union moved further up the top 10. The team’s whose stock is dropping dramatically is the New York Red Bulls, who fell six spots after a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
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) Los Angeles Football Club (7-1-1, 22 points): Carlos Vela remains white-hot, scoring two goals, Eduard Atuesta and Christian Ramirez added a goal apiece and Mark-Anthony Kaye had a hat trick of assists in a 4-1 win over the Sounders.
- (2) Seattle Sounders FC (5-1-1, 16 points): Harry Shipp scored the lone Seattle goal, cutting the deficit to 2-1, in the 51st minute, but the Sounders conceded two more goals in a six-minute span at Banc of California Stadium.
- (4) LA Galaxy (6-1-0, 18 points): Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored again from the penalty spot and Diego Polenta knocked in the winner two minutes from full time in a 2-1 victory over the Dynamo, the Galaxy’s fifth in a row.
- (6) FC Dallas (5-2-1, 16 points): It’s four wins in five games for FC Dallas, who defeated Atlanta United, 2-1, at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Jesus Ferreira scored for a second straight game, Bryan Acosta came off the bench to net what proved to be the late winner, Michael Barrios had a pair of assists and Jesse Gonzalez was stellar with seven saves.
- (3) Houston Dynamo (4-1-1, 13 points): The Dynamo are undefeated no more following a tight loss to the LA Galaxy. Alberth Elis scored from the penalty spot for Houston.
- (5) D.C. United (4-2-2, 14 points): It’s three games without a win at Audi Field for the Black-and-Red following a 2-0 loss to New York City FC. Maybe its good the next two are on the road.
- (10) Toronto FC (4-1-1, 13 points): Toronto bounced back well from a first loss of the season to beat Minnesota United, 4-3, in a wild Friday night affair at BMO Field. Alejandro Pozuelo struck for a first-half brace and Jordan Hamilton added a pair two minutes apart.
- (11) Philadelphia Union (4-3-1, 13 points): It’s four wins in the last five games for the Union, who defeated the Montreal Impact, 3-0, at Talen Energy Stadium on goals by Cory Burke, Jamiro Monteiro and Alejandro Bedoya. But there’s concern for star goalie Andre Blake, who left with a groin injury.
- (7) Sporting Kansas City (2-2-3, 9 points): In what was clearly the shock result of Week 8, Sporting Kansas City’s five-match unbeaten streak was snapped in a 4-1 loss at San Jose. Felipe Gutierrez provided the lone bright spot, scoring from the penalty spot, but it came after conceding four straight.
- (8) Columbus Crew SC (4-3-1, 13 points): The Crew dropped a second consecutive game, losing to the Portland Timbers 3-1, at MAPFRE Stadium. Pedro Santos scored the lone goal in the 69th minute for Columbus, who welcome D.C. United to town Wednesday.
- (9) Minnesota United FC (3-3-1, 10 points): Darwin Quintero scored a brace and Angelo Rodriguez added a goal in a 4-3 loss to Toronto FC. It’s a quick turnaround for the Loons, who host the red-hot Galaxy Wednesday.
- (16) Real Salt Lake (3-4-1, 10 points): It’s back-to-back wins for Real Salt Lake, which defeated FC Cincinnati, 3-0, on a pair of goals by Albert Rusnak and Sam Johnson’s second in as many games.
- (17) Orlando City SC (3-3-2, 11 points): Nani provided the late heroics with the lone goal two minutes from full time in a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Lions head back north to meet New York City FC Saturday afternoon.
- (18) Chicago Fire (2-2-3, 9 points): The Fire extended an unbeaten streak to four games with a 4-1 thrashing of the Colorado Rapids. Nicolas Gaitan was influential with a pair of assists and Nemanja Nikolic, C.J. Sapong, Djordje Mihailovic and Alexandar Katai scored for Chicago.
- (19) New York City FC (1-1-5, 8 points): What a first starter for Heber with the Brazilian forward scoring his first MLS goal and assisting on Alexandru Mitritra’s opening tally in a 2-0 victory over D.C. United, the Cityzens first of the 2019 season.
- (12) Montreal Impact (3-3-2, 11 points): After three consecutive clean sheets, the Impact’s defensive struggles crept back in a 3-0 loss at Philadelphia. Montreal continue a stretch of 10 straight matches vs. conference foes at New England Wednesday.
- (13) FC Cincinnati (2-4-2, 9 points): The expansion side has come back to earth a bit after three games without a loss last month. Now winless in four, FC Cincy takes on the struggling Red Bulls on the road Saturday night.
- (14) Atlanta United (1-3-2, 5 points): The defending MLS Cup champions are now three games without a win at the Benz after falling to FC Dallas, 3-1. The lone bright spot was a stoppage-time penalty kick goal by Josef Martinez. Maybe its what gets him going after a three-match goalless streak.
- (10) New England Revolution (2-5-1, 7 points): The Revs snapped a two-game losing streak in a big way, beating the rival Red Bulls, 1-0, at Gillette Stadium on a rainy Saturday night. Cristian Penilla scored the lone goal for New England.
- (15) New York Red Bulls (1-4-2, 5 points): is it time to sound the alarm bells yet? The Red Bulls are winless in five straight following a 1-0 loss to the Revs. The team shot down rumors of Thierry Henry returning as coach, but can they shoot down FC Cincinnati on Saturday?
- (22) San Jose Earthquakes (2-5-0, 4 points): Danny Hoesen struck for a brace, Magnus Eriksson scored a goal and set up Shea Salinas in a stunning 4-1 win over Sporting Kansas City at Avaya Stadium.
- (21) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1-5-2, 5 points): It was a mixed back for the Whitecaps, who won their first game of the season, a 1-0 victory over previously undefeated LAFC, but fell on the road against Orlando on the weekend.
- (24) Portland Timbers (1-5-1, 4 points): Larrys Mabila, Jeremy Ebobisse and Jorge Moreira scored for the Timbers, who finally picked up their first win of the season, beating former coach Caleb Porter and the Crew on the road.
- (23) Colorado Rapids (0-6-2, 2 points): Kei Kamara scored a 40th-minute equalizer, but the Rapids defensive woes continued, conceding three times after halftime in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Fire.
Pro Soccer USA writer Dylan Butler contributed to this report.