The Original MLS Power Rankings for the week of March 5, 2024

So after 2 weeks, Major League Soccer, as usual, is NOT predictable and you will see a lot of volatility in any Power Rankings. Ours is no different.

There were teams last week that gave us a peek into who they could be, but it was just too small of a window to move them a lot. Week Two gave us more to go on, and you will see teams like RSL, Portland, the Galaxy, and the Red Bulls move significantly.

On the other hand, there still is only so much to go on so even now, there are probably teams too high or too low from where they should be simply because it is hard to peg teams like Toronto.

But that is what makes things fun, right?

Sports Happens!

Top Tier

1. Inter Miami (Previously 4)

They have played three and hit The Pace on the nose against three teams you could argue are top third in the league, at worst. And that last game was a demolishing of a good Orlando side. They may have real questions about their long-term viability due to age and health, but right now they are hitting on all cylinders.

Perhaps not as done as thought.
Perhaps not as done as thought. (Courtesy Inter Miami)

2. FC Cincinnati (2)

So last week Chicago gave Philadelphia all they could handle in Pennsylvania, so playing at home you would think the Fire would be able to do well again. Cincinnati said, “What midweek game? What road game? We’re winning this outright.” Impressive.

3. Columbus Crew (1)

It is tough to move a team down for giving up a tying goal, on the road, at the death, but Cincinnati won on the road and Miami is on fire.


4. St. Louis City SC (5)

Maybe they are in the top tier and we just haven’t seen the results to justify it? Or maybe their tie against RSL last week was a sign they aren’t that strong? Either way, a 2-0 home win over NYC is a strong statement not to take them lightly, no matter where they are in these rankings.

5. Philadelphia Union (6)

Moving up in part because of how LAFC got destroyed in the snow, but also because a road tie against SKC is probably going to look good on the resume as the season progresses.

6. Atlanta United (8)

They didn’t play but teams around them did not hold up to the standard of this level.

7. Real Salt Lake (14)

One of the big movers, RSL put one over on a good LAFC team. Snow or no snow, both teams had to play in it and one team got stuck in and made it happen. Sports Happens and winners rise to the occasion when it does.

RSL was victorious in the snow. (Courtesy Real Salt Lake)
RSL was victorious in the snow. (Courtesy Real Salt Lake)

8. Los Angeles FC (3)

It may be a tough pill to swallow for just one result, but their loss in Utah was pretty thorough. No excuses Steve.

9. Portland Timbers (12)

Another team moving up, seeing them take a 2-0 lead over D.C. United solidified our view that the Colorado game wasn’t just the Rapids being poor. Then again, United coming back to tie the game may be a sign this is too much movement.

10. Los Angeles Galaxy (16)

San Jose is not good, but a 3-1 road win for LA is a sign that the Galaxy may have figured things out and unlocked the talent that couldn’t get untracked last season.

11. Seattle Sounders (7)

A home tie to Austin FC? Let’s give Wolff and company some credit for bouncing back from the home loss to the Loons to start the season, but that is two not-good results for the Sounders in two weeks.

12. Orlando City (9)

My goodness, that was a butt-kicking. 5-0 in a rivalry game? Ouch.

Probably Good

13. Nashville SC (10)

They went to Colorado and got a 1-1 tie, and frankly gave up the goal on a crazy own goal, so maybe this isn’t fair. We have concerns and Nashville hasn’t assuaged them just yet.

14. D.C. United (19)

Of all the teams on this list, United could be significantly underrated even here. This is a team to watch and see if their first two results – thrashing the Revs and then tying Portland on the road – mean their coaching staff has unlocked what Rooney couldn’t.

15. New York Red Bulls (24)

Like D.C., the Red Bulls could be better than this spot, but was their success last week due to a tired Houston team? Maybe. But over two games, they gave Nashville all they could handle and beat the Dynamo on the road.

16. Houston Dynamo (15)

These teams in CONCACAF Champions League are hard to gauge in MLS play, especially when – as here – the Dynamo played a team who didn’t play mid-week, but they lost to the Red Bulls at home.

17. CF Montreal (22)

Another team pushing their way up, Montreal took it to Dallas in Texas and controlled what they needed to control.

18. Minnesota United (21)

After winning on the road in Austin, the Loons took on the Crew at home, and while down for most of the game, they did what Atlanta could not do – found an equalizer.

19. FC Dallas (11)

Dallas looked good against San Jose, but against Montreal, they were second-best at home with their new high-end DP. How much of that was style, and how much of that was players, is hard to figure at this point. Bottom line, Dallas wasn’t what they were in Week One.

Petar Musa pulls away after scoring against CF Montreal, March 2, 2024. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)
Petar Musa pulls away after scoring against CF Montreal, March 2, 2024. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

20. Chicago Fire (18)

The game against the Union was impressive in a way, but it was against a tired CCL participant. Then they played Cincinnati – also a CCL team – and lost at home. Hmmm.

21. Sporting Kansas City (20)

Good teams should be able to make a road team who played midweek pay for it, but SKC couldn’t find the winner.

Serious Questions

22. New England Revolution (13)

The results are just not good. No excuses when you lose at home to Toronto.

23. Charlotte FC (23)

Opposition is what is holding Charlotte back from moving up. Getting a 1-0 home win over NYC and a 1-1 tie at Vancouver isn’t bad, but it isn’t inspiring either.

24. Toronto FC (27)

Frankly, this isn’t fair to TFC, but we just don’t have enough data to say, “Yes, they are MUCH better than they were last year.” Maybe NE is just not good, or very very tired. But we have many games to learn more.

25. Vancouver Whitecaps (17)

Getting tied at home by Charlotte is not the way to make a good first impression.

26. Austin FC (28)

While the first week was terrible for the guys from the Texas Hill County, getting a road point against the Sounders is a step in the right direction.

27. San Jose Earthquakes (25)

They lost at Dallas, who lost at home to Montreal, and then they got smoked at home. Maybe they don’t even deserve to be at 27?

28. New York City FC (26)

These are not the results ownership wants to see here. First a loss to Charlotte and then a loss at St. Louis? The only saving grace is both were road games so maybe they can rebound at home.

29. Colorado Rapids (29)

While technically not moving up, for the first time in what feels like forever, the Rapids are not in the “POOR” category as we don’t have one this week. The 1-1 tie to Nashville at home probably means they aren’t awful. Probably. Please don’t make us regret this, Colorado. Please.

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