The Original MLS Power Rankings for the week of April 2, 2024

Another week, another set of early results where we learn some things about a variety of teams. Some good, some bad, still lots of mixed results. We do, though, know more about certain teams such as the Galaxy – who are definitely for real – and on the other end, teams like Dallas – who are flirting with awful.

Separately, we would like to say we are very happy to see the labor issue with the referees has been resolved.

Top Shelf

1. FC Cincinnati (Previously 1)

One of the best teams in the league went on the road and got a tie, 1-1 in Charlotte.

2. Columbus Crew (2)

The top of MLS is in Ohio. While FCC tied in Charlotte, the Crew tied 2-2 in Nashville.

3. Philadelphia Union (5)

Maybe this is premature, as the Union were inconsistent earlier this year, but lately they have been getting good results against good teams, including last week’s 2-0 win over Minnesota.

Union celebrate their big win over Minnesota United. (Courtesy Philadelphia Union)
Union celebrate their big win over Minnesota United. (Courtesy Philadelphia Union)

4. LA Galaxy (7)

The Galaxy got another result against what should be a good team, although the Sounders sure haven’t been getting good results so far, so like Philly, maybe this is premature, but we have enough games now that those speak louder.


5. St. Louis City SC (3)

We had held off on dropping St. Louis but a 3-1 loss at RSL makes it hard to justify them staying in the top tier.

6. Atlanta United (8)

Nice rebound from the loss to Toronto by beating Chicago, 3-0, at home.

7. Real Salt Lake (9)

Very solid win over a good team in St. Louis. The stain of the loss to the Rapids remains but they don’t play Colorado every week.

8. Minnesota United (6)

The Loons took one on the chin, losing 2-0 in Pennsylvania, but overall they have been getting great road results.

9. New York Red Bulls (10)

Another positive result for the Red Bulls as they go to Orlando and steal a point with a 1-1 draw.

Mostly Good

10. CF Montreal (4)

We held off dropping them despite the crazy loss to Chicago and then last week’s bye, but then they lose 1-0 at D.C. and they just can’t remain in that top tier. Their win over Dallas has lost a lot of luster as well.

11. Houston Dynamo (12)

While a 2-1 win over San Jose at home isn’t the most glamorous of results, it does the job.

Houston didn’t get upended by San Jose. (Courtesy Houston Dynamo)

12. Inter Miami (11)

They stopped the bleeding a little with 1-1 tie against New York City, but that is still a draw at home against a not so great team.

13. D.C. United (15)

Another solid result for D.C., making it clear that their good games this season have not been abberations but a sign they have figured some things out.

14. Los Angeles FC (13)

One of the few remaining Batman teams left, they gave Colorado fits until a red card gave the Rapids a chance to win the game at home, and to Colorado’s credit they did just that, taking all three points with a 3-2 result, but that is still not who LAFC have been in prior seasons. (Batman – “Who are you?”)

15. Vancouver Whitecaps (18)

A 3-2 win over a good Portland team helps fill in some of the blanks in the Whitecaps’ resume. No, a home tie to Charlotte doesn’t look good, but that started their MLS season. Other than that, only their loss last week to a very good RSL team is awkward.

16. Sporting Kansas City (22)

Lots of early ties against what have proven to be good teams might have colored our view of them too much. Losing to the Galaxy is not awful, but at home stings a bit, but they balanced that out by beating Toronto, 3-1, in Canada.

17. Toronto FC (16)

They weren’t who we thought they were going to be, but they aren’t the Masters of the Universe either. A 3-1 home loss to SKC brings them down to earth a bit.


18. Portland Timbers (14)

“Three straight losses is no way to go through life, son.” Give them some credit for coming back from a 2-0 deficit in Vancouver, but they couldn’t keep the Whitecaps from getting the winner.

19. Colorado Rapids (24)

While not exactly a Batman team, the Rapids have definitely been a little Nuke LaLoosh (“Kind of all over the place”) this season. On the other hand, finding a way to beat LAFC by finding a game winner after going up a man late is not something they did in prior seasons.

20. Orlando City (19)

Oscar Pareja has some work to do in South Florida. Last week they tied the Red Bulls, 1-1, at home, so not a terrible result, but they won’t get back to the top third of the league like that.

Orlando City takes on NY Red Bulls, March 30, 2024. (Courtesy Orlando City SC)

21. Nashville SC (21)

Very similarly to the Lions, Nashville is not playing to what they were in prior years, and a home draw to a good team is not the redirection they need. In the case of the Tennessee squad, it was a 2-2 tie with Columbus. At least it wasn’t a 5-0 loss…

22. New York City FC (23)

A 1-1 road tie with Inter is not an awful result, but we really don’t have a good idea who either team is lately.

23. Seattle Sounders (17)

We tried – real hard – to give the Sounders credit through their opponents and their past history as a club, but even though a 1-0 loss at a revitalized Galaxy is within that “good opponents” narrative, the patter just doesn’t hold. They are going to have to earn it going forward.

24. Chicago Fire (20)

Yeah, that win over Montreal? Really was a fluke. The other close results are commendable, but this isn’t horseshoes. A 3-0 loss to Atlanta really puts paid to who they really are.

25. Charlotte FC (26)

A 1-1 home tie to Cincinnati is a good result for a team that really isn’t great, so here they are.


26. San Jose Earthquakes (25)

Another example of why we don’t knee-jerk over a single result. Last week they beat Seattle at home, which in some years would be a great scoreline, but then they turn around and lose at Houston, 2-1. Maybe if they do something in Austin this week?

27. Austin FC (29)

They beat a battered and awful FC Dallas team at home, 2-1. Can they do more than that? We have our doubts.

28. New England Revolution (27)

Tough to drop when you don’t play? Not when your season has been as poor as the Rev’s has been.

29. FC Dallas (28)

Where is the lie? It gives us no joy to do this, but we can’t find a team playing as poorly as Dallas of late. The only reason why this bottom tier isn’t “Awful” or “Terrible” is because we don’t have enough results that are that bad – yet.

Eugene Ansah celebrates his goal with Petar Musa at Austin FC, March 30, 2024. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

1 Comment

  1. Tell me you haven’t watched a Charlotte FC game this year without telling me you haven’t watched a Charlotte FC game. Highest Xgd in the east and they’ve had a really tough opening run of teams.

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