Changes – Time May Change Me, But I Can’t Trace Time
Some teams really came out with a different look this week. This is the dynamic time where teams see what they have been and either like what they see or don’t, and changes happen.
As of the time of the initial writing, two coaches have already been fired (Red Bulls and Fire) and it may not stop there.
1. Los Angeles FC (Previously 1)
San Jose is the team that pulls off the first win against this juggernaut, and we don’t expect Cherundolo’s side to miss a beat.
2. FC Cincinnati (2)
Consistency is a key component in staying high. Cincinnati has done that for much of the year, the most recent being a 2-1 win over D.C. United. They are on the verge of joining LAFC in the top tier.
3. New England Revolution (4)
Other than a 4-0 loss to LAFC early in the season, the Revs have been all that and a bag of chips. They may join FCC in moving up soon.
4. St. Louis City SC (5)
They had their game in Dallas rained out, but move up because of other teams’ results.
5. Seattle Sounders (3)
You can’t lose – at home – to one of the worst teams in the league and not drop. Seattle has a few too many results like this for our taste – may be a sign of a gap between them and the teams above them.
6. Nashville SC (9)
A strong 3-0 win against Chicago is more like the kind of thing we expected from the Tennessee club for most of the season.
7. Atlanta United (6)
While it was on the road, a 2-1 loss to Miami is another dodgy result for Atlanta, leading them to fall back. The talent is there, but the results aren’t what would keep them in the next tier up.
8. FC Dallas (8)
Their game against St. Louis was abandoned around the 50th-minute mark, tied 0-0. Tough to really judge a team on half a game.
9. Houston Dynamo (7)
A home tie to RSL is not something to write home about.
10. San Jose Earthquakes (14)
What a win for Luchi Gonzalez and his Earthquakes! No team in the league had been able to beat LAFC, but San Jose pulled it off.
Good But Not Great
11. Philadelphia Union (15)
The Union started this season with high expectations, but the results didn’t follow. Maybe this is an overreaction to a win over a poor Red Bull side, but other results around them aren’t better so here we have Philly.
12. Columbus Crew (15)
Like the Union, poor play has other teams dropping below them as the Crew didn’t play this weekend.
13. New York City FC (11)
Losing on the road in MLS isn’t a bad thing unless it’s to a poor team like Charlotte. The quality is there, but the stability of results is not.
14. Orlando City (12)
A run of middling and poor results has Orlando dropping some more. Montreal is definitely not a team to lose to, on the road or not.
15. Vancouver Whitecaps (19)
Their continued development is interesting – how high can they go? While a 3-2 win over Minnesota doesn’t scream championship, the Loons are a good enough team that this is a significant result.
16. Minnesota United (10)
Somewhat of an adjustment move, the loss to Vancouver is a sign Minnesota might not be as good as their results over the first part of the season.
17. D.C. United (16)
Rooney has United on the rise from where they started, but this loss to FCC is a reminder that work remains.
18. Inter Miami (22)
It was at home, but a 2-1 win over a very good, albeit not great, Atlanta side builds some confidence that Miami really is better than in past seasons. Still not as good as their talent, but better.
19. Colorado Rapids (20)
Under other circumstances, a 3-1 road win would move a team in the bottom half of the league up a lot, but it was the Galaxy, so not so much. That being said, Colorado has definitely improved over the past 6-8 weeks.
20. Chicago Fire (18)
A 3-0 loss at Nashville has cost Ezra Hendrickson his job, but is it his fault? This franchise has been in the wilderness for way too long.
21. Toronto FC (17)
Every time we think TFC has things figured out, they show us work remains. There isn’t a lot of shame in losing to New England in 2023, but this team remains old and frail in ways that will keep them from doing much.
22. CF Montreal (26)
For a team that was on the bottom of the league a few weeks back, a 2-0 win over Orlando is a sign of significant improvement. They have a lot of work to really make significant headway, but you have to start somewhere.
23. Charlotte FC (27)
A lot of variability here at the bottom, as any win moves you up a bit. In Charlotte’s case, a 3-2 win over a good NYC side might be a sign of change.
24. Portland Timbers (21)
They remain talented, but the TImbers can’t seem to string a run of results together. Last weekend they tied Austin, 2-2, at home. How did this team beat Seattle 4-1? Oh, right. Rivalries matter.
25. Real Salt Lake (23)
Grinding out a 0-0 tie at Houston is not a bad result for RSL, but it doesn’t move you up either.
26. Austin FC (25)
Like RSL, a road tie isn’t awful, but it is also not going to get Wolff and his squad into the playoffs.
27. New York Red Bulls (24)
We said at the start of the season, spending big money on attacking players isn’t always a ticket to winning, and now a 1-0 home loss to the Union has sent the Red Bulls looking for a new coach.
28. Sporting Kansas City (29)
We have talked about the Dead Cat Bounce before, but beating a team as good as Seattle doesn’t usually fit that bill, especially on the road. It IS possible that this is just a one-off where the poor team’s pride caused them to fight extra hard against a team taking them for granted, but we don’t think Seattle would do that. But as we have said before, we try not to overreact to any one result.
29. Los Angeles Galaxy (28)
The Galaxy are well and truly awful. A 3-1 home loss to a once-poor, now-improving Rapids team is a sign that Greg Vanney has a LOT of work to do. Will he be given time to do it?