So real life kept me from writing last week (the joys of homeownership are super fun) but I am back and wow, we have some results to talk about.
The groupings we have had for a while, especially at the top, remain pretty consistent. Most of the movement is within the groups, although teams like Toronto, D.C., and Portland have shown signs of making the kinds of changes that we saw from Houston earlier in the season.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. Los Angeles FC (Previously 1)
Truly a machine. Two weeks ago they went to Nashville and got another tie, last week they were off, but consistently, they win at home and tie on the road – if they don’t win, that is. Also advanced to CCL Final.
2. FC Cincinnati (5)
Like the other team in this group, there is movement among them but they all show they can play at this level. Last weekend they went to New England and stole a point.
3. Seattle Sounders (4)
For a team that we had real questions about to start the season, they have really established their place in the top groupings. Their latest is a road tie at RSL.
4. New England Revolution (2)
This is a great example of how tight things are in this group. All it took for them to drop was a 1-1 home tie against Cincinnati.
5. St. Louis City SC (2)
Here is where there might be a bit of a game developing. A home loss to Portland last weekend is somewhat uncharacteristic of the teams around St. Louis.
6. Atlanta United (6)
Like St. Louis, there are a few results on Atlanta’s schedule that don’t fit with the rest of this group, but not so much that they fit better lower. At least Atlanta’s loss was on the road to Nashville.
7. Houston Dynamo (12)
They didn’t play last weekend, but the week before they beat Miami at home. But for a rough start to the season, they might be higher. On the other hand, they haven’t gotten big results against big teams so maybe they have a ceiling.
8. FC Dallas (10)
Two weeks ago they took a bloody nose against NYC, losing 3-1, but then they bounced back with a road tie against Minnesota on Sunday. They move up because other teams performed less well.
9. Nashville SC (14)
For a team we thought highly of earlier in the year, they have bounced back with some success. A tie against LAFC, even at home, is a solid result. Then they gave Atlanta what for at home last weekend.
10. Minnesota United (9)
The early take on the Loons included questions about how they would handle being on the outs with their prima donna star, but then they got wins and ties anyway. Maybe they overperformed and now they are coming back down? A 1-0 road loss to Seattle and a 0-0 tie to Dallas at home – good teams, no doubt – make us wonder.
11. New York City FC (13)
Two weeks ago they dismantled a good FCD side, but then they lost to Toronto. And yet, because of other teams, they move up.
12. Orlando City (8)
Another team that is sliding downward a bit, the Lions lost to D.C. at home before beating the very poor LA Galaxy 2-0 at home this past weekend.
13. Columbus Crew (7)
The Crew are Exhibit A of why we don’t make too much of big wins. 4-0, 5-0 tends to be a sign they were the better team, to be sure, but things got out of hand rather than indicating they are THAT much better than the other team. Columbus put some big wins together, but then lost at Charlotte on the road and then at home to Miami this last weekend.
14. San Jose Earthquakes (11)
While it was on the road, a home loss to the poor RSL shook our confidence some. They rebounded with a road tie at Austin but the concern remains.
15. Philadelphia Union (16)
Two weeks ago, they beat Toronto at home, 4-2, then had last week off. Maybe they should have moved up more, but we will just have to wait and see.
16. D.C. United (25)
Their play was so poor for the first part of the season that their rise is frankly meteoric. A 3-1 win at Orlando followed by a 3-0 win against Charlotte is a major change from the ugly from February and March.
17. Toronto FC (21)
The 2-4 loss at Philadelphia gave us pause, but then they beat NYC 1-0 at home last weekend.
18. Chicago Fire (15)
For a team that started poor, but then got things going, a home tie to the Red Bulls is a step back.
19. Vancouver Whitecaps (18)
They had a little run there where it looked like they found a scoring touch. Then a week off followed by a 0-0 home tie to the Colorado Rapids and maybe it was just a short run against specific opponents…
20. Colorado Rapids (20)
While they got off the bottom, two successive ties against St. Louis and at Vancouver tell us that their rise may have only been so far.
21. Portland Timbers (22)
Who are these guys? Beating Seattle 4-1, winning at St. Louis, but losing or tying in so many other places that just don’t make sense. Of all the teams on this list, the Timbers strike us as the team not playing up to their talent the most.
22. Inter Miami (24)
Not as much as the Timbers, but yeah, Inter is very inconsistent. Their win over Philadelphia seemed a sign of their talent, and most recently their win at Columbus says yes, they have the potential to be good. But their losses. So many losses.
23. Real Salt Lake (23)
Their 3-1 win over San Jose might be something. Tying Seattle at home is also something few teams do these days. Have they turned things around? They will need more than a few results to really show that they have.
23. New York Red Bulls (17)
Losing to Montreal is ugly. That is just how it is. Tying at Chicago isn’t bad, but it is not keeping up with the Joneses. Not in 2023’s Major League Soccer.
24. Austin FC (19)
We take no joy in being right about Austin, but it is pretty obvious now that Austin played above its talent last year – to wonderful effect, and good for them and their fans – but now they can’t recapture that edge. A loss to the Galaxy two weeks ago followed by a 2-2 tie against San Jose at home makes the point.
25. CF Montreal (29)
Two wins in a row get them off the bottom and might be a sign of life, but the Red Bulls (2-0 at home) are not great and SKC (2-0 on the road) is just awful, so let’s wait to see a few more results before moving them up too much. But maybe they are adjusting to their new players and staff.
26. Charlotte FC (26)
We had hope for them, especially with the 1-0 home win over what appeared to be an in-form Crew side, but then they lost 3-0 to D.C. United.
28. Los Angeles Galaxy (27)
What else do you call a team with 0.67 points per game? Yay, they beat Austin at home two weeks ago, but then they lost at Orlando last weekend. What is disheartening is we are not sure if they are underperforming or just not good.
29. Sporting Kansas City (28)
When the gaffer says he doesn’t know how to fix things, you know it’s bad. Really bad. Welcome to SKC in 2023 folks. They continue to not give up bags of goals, but they do keep losing, most recently a 2-0 home loss to not-good CF Montreal.