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MLS Power Rankings Week 18: Atlanta remains on top, Portland moves up

It’s the Fourth of July which means a celebration of independence, fireworks, grilled meats and … power rankings!

That’s right, on this American holiday celebrate where your favorite Major League Soccer team is ranked after Week 18 of the regular season.

  1. Atlanta United (11-3-4, 37 points): The Five Stripes stretched their unbeaten streak to five games with a rout of Orlando City SC, 4-0, at the Benz. The usual suspects — Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez and Ezequiel Barco all scored.
  2. New York Red Bulls (10-4-2, 32 points): It wasn’t pretty, but the Red Bulls got an early goal from Kemar Lawrence and some sensational goalkeeping from Luis Robles to beat Toronto FC and move into second place in the East.
  3. Portland Timbers (7-3-5, 26 points): It’s now 10 games without defeat for the Timbers, who received a brace from defender Larrys Mabiala to beat the rival Sounders at CenturyLink Field for the first time in MLS regular season play.
  4. Sporting Kansas City (9-3-5, 32 points): A seven-match undefeated run came to a stunning end with Sporting falling to the Montreal Impact, 2-0, at Stade Saputo Saturday. We’re guessing it was a temporary slip-up than cause for concern.
  5. New York City FC (9-4-4, 31 points): There’s a new coach at the helm, but even Domenec Torrent can’t stop NYCFC’s road blues. The Cityzens are 0-4-2 in their last six away from Yankee Stadium, including a 3-2 loss at Chicago Saturday.
  6. Los Angeles Football Club (9-4-3, 30 points): Adama Diomande scored the club’s first hat trick and Latif Blessing had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, the expansion side’s third straight win.
  7. Columbus Crew SC (8-5-6, 30 points): After back-to-back losses and five games without a win, Crew SC defeated Real Salt Lake, 2-1, behind first-half goals from Gyasi Zardes (PK) and Eduardo Sosa in the opening 23 minutes.
  8. FC Dallas (9-2-5, 32 points): They might not win in New York, but FC Dallas did well to bounce back from their second Big Apple defeat of the season to beat Minnesota, 1-0, last Friday.
  9. New England Revolution (7-4-6, 27 points): Cristian Penilla struck for a brace, including what proved to be the winner from the penalty spot in the 78th minute, as the Revs extended their unbeaten streak to six games with a 3-2 victory over D.C. United.
  10. Chicago Fire (6-7-5, 23 points): Aleksandar Katai scored twice as the Fire moved above the playoff line in the East and are now unbeaten in five consecutive games after beating NYCFC, 3-2, at home Saturday.
  11. Houston Dynamo (6-6-3, 21 points): The Dynamo’s search for consistency continues. They’ve only won consecutive games once this season, which is why they’re below the playoff line in the West.
  12. LA Galaxy (6-7-3, 21 points): What a wild California Clasico it was at Stanford Stadium with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring twice and Romain Alessandrini adding one, but LA couldn’t hold onto a 3-1 lead and settled for a 3-3 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.
  13. Montreal Impact (7-11-0, 21 points): OK, consecutive wins over struggling Orlando City didn’t really pique our interest, but the 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas that followed? Très bien!
  14. Philadelphia Union (6-8-3, 21 points): The Union continue to struggle mightily away from Talen Energy Stadium. Their 4-1 thumping by LAFC was their third consecutive road loss by multiple goals.
  15. Toronto FC (4-9-3, 15 points): Is it time to push the panic button yet for the defending MLS Cup champions? With back-to-back defeats to New York foes, they are in 10th place in the East and eight points behind the playoff line. July is make or break for TFC.
  16. Seattle Sounders FC (3-9-3, 12 points): When is a loss more than just a loss? When it comes against your archrival and it comes at home, which was the case for the Sounders, who fell to the Portland Timbers, 3-2, Saturday at CenturyLink Field. Raúl Ruidíaz can’t come soon enough.
  17. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6-7-5, 23 points): The Whitecaps followed consecutive wins with really bad back-to-back losses, including a 1-0 home loss to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday.
  18. Real Salt Lake (7-8-2, 23 points): Mike Petke’s squad is going to have to figure out how to get points on the road if they want to make the playoffs. They’re 1-7-1 away from Rio Tinto, including a 2-1 loss at Columbus Saturday.
  19. D.C. United (2-7-4, 10 points): The Audi Field opener is just days away and Wayne Rooney is officially here! But will that be the necessary boost for a second-half turnaround for D.C.  United, which is last in the league with 10 points from 13 games.
  20. San Jose Earthquakes (2-9-6, 12 points): They’re still not winning games, but the Quakes earned their third consecutive draw, rallying from two goals down to tie the LA Galaxy, 3-3, at Stanford Stadium.
  21. Colorado Rapids (4-9-3, 15 points): They sure won’t get any style points, but at this juncture of the season, we’re sure Anthony Hudson doesn’t care. They’ll take the consecutive wins and three games without defeat.
  22. Minnesota United FC (5-10-1, 16 points): The Loons losing streak is now three straight games following a 1-0 home loss to FC Dallas. The lone goal came off a corner kick. It’s a disturbing trend for Adrian Heath’s side.
  23. Orlando City SC (6-10-1, 19 points): Is it rock bottom yet for the Lions? That’s the hope, at least, with Orlando City hoping the hiring of new coach James O’Connor can right the ship quickly.

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