The Original MLS Power Rankings – End of Phase One 2020.

Last time we moved some teams around and I still needed to do some more of that. This whole multiple-games-in-a-week thing is definitely keeping us on our toes!

One team that we probably should have moved on last time was LAFC. Granted, they bounced back against Portland, but they had previously lost a whole slew of games.

Another team to watch for more movement from is FC Dallas. The addition of Ricaurte may really be the finishing touch on a transformation of a team that was emerging last year to a more veteran look. Take their last two games and you see power and explosiveness. They showed flashes before at times, but this feels different.

If we have one complaint, and this is more grumbling than ranting and raving, is the Canadian incest. Watching those three teams play each other over and over again makes it hard to really gauge them.

Toronto FC clinches spot in 2020 Canadian Championship Final. (Courtesy MLS)

Top Shelf

1. Toronto FC (Previously 3)

“A crack in the armor?” Nope. Just a 1-0 loss to the visiting Impact. Toronto returned the favor with a little more mustard in Quebec.

2. Seattle Sounders FC (4).

“The quality is still there, but this is not a team on the rise.” We doubt the 7-1 pasting of San Jose was because of that line, but it’s a strong message nonetheless.

3. LA Galaxy (1).

This may be a touch unfair as all they did was tie San Jose, but that’s the same Earthquakes that got smoked, 7-1, to Seattle while the Galaxy rested. Pretty sure some professional resolve showed up for San Jose after such an embarrassing loss, but still.

4. Portland Timbers (2).

LAFC is not the team that gave most of the league fits over the last few seasons, so a loss to them is not ideal.


5. Sporting Kansas City (7).

KC bounced back from some poor play to beat a good Minnesota side.

Johnny Russell celebrates against Minnesota United. (Courtesy Sporting Kansas City)

6. Columbus Crew SC (6).

Getting down to Chicago on the road is not ideal, but the Crew clawed their way back into the game and salvaged a road tie. That is some good work.

7. New York City FC (8).

A 2-1 home win over Cincinnati is not a fantastic showing, but a home win is a home win.

8. Philadelphia Union (9).

A 2-1 home win over New England is holding serve for the Union at this point.

9. Minnesota United FC (10).

A 3-2 home win over Dallas righted the ship a bit, but then they lost at SKC. Make no mistake, The Loons are still good. They just may not be the high octane team they were last year.

10. FC Dallas (13).

The last two games for Dallas, which have Ricuarte taking full control of this team, have seen Luchi Gonzalez’s squad showing some veteran moxy.

FCD v Houston 9-12-20 192-2
Andres Ricaurte celebrates his goal against Houston Dynamo in the 2-1 FC Dallas win, September 12, 2020. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

11. Orlando City SC (11).

Another win is great, but it was against the less than stellar Inter Miami.

12.  Los Angeles Football Club (5).

Four losses in a row – including to RSL – says a lot more about where this team is than their 4-2 win over Portland.


13. Montreal Impact (12).

A win sandwiched between two losses is not encouraging.

Just a little Canadian rivalry between Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps. (Courtesy Vancouver Whitecaps)

14. Houston Dynamo (14).

“[W]e will be watching the Dynamo closer.” A road tie at Colorado followed by a loss at Dallas is not going to move them up, but this is still a team that has figured some things out.

15. New England Revolution (16).

Il Bruce still has work to do.

16. Real Salt Lake (15).

They embarrassed LAFC but then got torn up at home their rivals. This team has pieces and some ability, but they seem to be falling behind the pace of the rest of the league.

17. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (18).

Especially considering the teams around them, a 3-2 home win over Toronto sticks out.


18. San Jose Earthquakes (17).

“Real questions arise when you lose 5-1 to any team, especially the struggling LAFC.” And then they lose 7-1 to Seattle?

19. Colorado Rapids (20).

A 5-0 win over RSL is good. A 4-1 loss to Dallas is not.

20. Nashville SC (25).

They may not have been winning much lately, but they haven’t been losing, either, and that is something. Then they give Atlanta a 4-2 loss? Maybe there is something brewing in Tennessee.

Nashville SC celebrate their win over Atlanta United. (Courtesy Nashville SC)

21. Inter Miami CF (23).

A win over Atlanta is an improvement. Hard to hold a road loss to Orlando too much against them.

22. New York Red Bulls (26).

It was only against D.C., but a 2-0 road win is a good result. It remains to be seen if this is just a fired coach response, but it was still solid.

23. FC Cincinnati (21).

It’s not like they are reverting to their 2019 form, but it is pretty clear they are struggling.

24. Chicago Fire FC (24).

“One step forward, one step back.” This week it is up by two over Columbus, only to have the Crew come back to tie it. This once-proud franchise is, well, not.

25. Atlanta United FC (19).

“They still have things to fix in Georgia.” And now a 2-1 loss to Miami followed by a 4-2 loss to Nashville? Oh boy.

26. D.C. United (22).

Just when we thought D.C. might be turning things around, the Red Bulls beat them at home.

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