The Original MLS Power Rankings – Oct 1st, 2020.

So many games. Oh, so many games. And it is wreaking havoc on teams and results across the league.

As we have seen, and will continue to see, this is going to cause a lot of chaos – as if 2020 didn’t have enough already!

With this edition, we took a little bit more time to look at the overall pattern of each team since the tournament and project where we think things are and will be headed in the near future.

And yet, interestingly, you still have teams following into familiar patterns. Some get it, some try and some fail.

Top Shelf

1. Toronto FC (Previously 1)

Now that we are finally getting the Canadian teams playing against US squads, we can start to get a better feel for where they stand. In TFC’s case, its pretty good. While a road tie against D.C. isn’t a great result, a road win against NYCFC and a home win over Columbus confirms their place atop the rankings.

Toronto FC defeat New York City FC 1-0 at Red Bull Arena. (Katie Cahalin, MLS)

2. Portland Timbers (4)

Since our last rankings, the Timbers have won three in a row, two of them on the road.

3. Seattle Sounders FC (2)

It’s hard to tell if Portland just has their number of not this year, but wins over LAFC and the LA Galaxy are pretty convincing.

Quality

4. Columbus Crew SC (6)

It’s hard to move a team up too high that beats Nashville and Minnesota, who seem to have lost their edge, and then get beat by Toronto.

5. Philadelphia Union (8)

While their opponents have not been the best (FCC, Miami) they have been getting wins.

6. New York City FC (7)

It is hard to judge a team when they keep playing the same clubs over and over again, especially when one of those teams is a not so good FC Cincinnati.

7. Orlando City SC (11)

Another win is great, but it was again the less than stellar Inter Miami. Then a tie at Dallas.

8. FC Dallas (10)

Similarly to a lot of teams, its been a mixed bag for Dallas as FCD won in Kansas City over the wild gesticulations and complaints of Peter Vermes, then lost at Atlanta before tying Orlando at home. A tie between master and apprentice was probably to be expected.

FCD v Orlando 9-27-20 178
Fara Picault turns the corner against Benji Michel in the FC Dallas 0-0 draw with Orlando City, Sept. 27, 2020. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

9. Minnesota United FC (9)

A road tie against an improving Houston squad isn’t awful, but losing to Columbus and tying RSL at home is not ideal.

10. Sporting Kansas City (5)

It has not been a good run for SKC since our last posting, with the team losing twice at home and then having their last game postponed because of positive COVID tests, albeit from their opponents, not their own locker room.

11. LA Galaxy (3)

Surely it’s not this simple, is it? Without Chicharito in the lineup, the Galaxy was tearing the league apart. With him, they were at times average, but of late, they tied an awful San Jose team and lost three in a row after that.

12.  Los Angeles Football Club (12)

A 6-0 pasting of Vancouver doesn’t wash away that Bradley’s guys have lost four of the last six games they have played, including losing to a San Jose team that is falling apart.

Solid

13. New England Revolution (15)

“Il Bruce still has work to do” but wins over Montreal and D.C. are good signs that progress is being made.

15. Real Salt Lake (16)

At least they broke out of the pattern of winning big, losing big, winning big, but a loss to Vancouver at home is not good.

15. Colorado Rapids (19)

Since our last iteration, the Rapids beat the Galaxy on the road and demolished San Jose at home, which is great, but then they had a COVID outbreak…

16. Houston Dynamo (14)

“[T]his is still a team that has figured some things out.” Or maybe not. A home tie to Minnesota, a 4-0 road loss to Chicago of all teams, and then a 1-1 tie to Nashville? Work remains for Tab.

17. New York Red Bulls (22)

“It remains to be seen if this is just a fired coach response, but it was still solid.” The road win over D.C. was followed by a home loss to Cincinnati, which is not good, but then they put back to back 4-1 wins at Inter Miami and at home against Montreal, which is definitely not what they were under Chris Armas. The opponents were not impressive, so let’s not get too crazy moving them up too fast, but they definitely deserve to move out of the basement.

Struggling

18. Montreal Impact (13)

The team is really hitting all the obstacles at this point, suffering their fourth straight loss to the Red Bulls on Sunday.

19. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (17)

A road win over RSL is good. A 6-0 loss to LAFC is not. A 1-0 loss to Portland is at least somewhat respectable.

Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers at Providence Park. (Craig Mitchelldyer, Vancouver Whitecaps)

20. Chicago Fire (24)

A tough loss to Orlando probably wasn’t fun for the organization or the fans, but they followed that up with two convincing wins against a good Dynamo side and a struggling Atlanta group.

21. FC Cincinnati (23)

They stole a win on the road against the Red Bulls and tied Philadelphia before a tough loss to NYCFC. Its better than what they had been doing.

Poor

22. San Jose Earthquakes (18)

Previously on the Original MLS Power Rankings, “Real questions arise when you lose 5-1 to any team, especially the struggling LAFC. And then they lose 7-1 to Seattle?”  All that followed by 6-1 to Portland and 5-0 to Colorado? Seriously? How are we supposed to take a 2-1 win over LAFC seriously?

23. Nashville SC (20)

“Maybe there is something brewing in Tennessee.” Maybe? A 2-0 road loss to the Crew, a 1-0 win over D.C., and a 1-1 home tie to Houston isn’t 2019 Cincinnati, but it’s not shooting up the standings, either.

24. Inter Miami CF (21)

Another win over Atlanta, this time on the road, is definitely an improvement, but three-goal losses to the Red Bulls (at home, no less) and on the road to the Union seems like the two steps back to the previous one step forward.

Gonzalo Higuain Individual Training. (Courtesy Inter Miami CF)

25. Atlanta United FC (25)

They only have one win since their 2-0 win over Nashville on August 22, and that was against a shorthanded Dallas side. But hey, FDB has a new job!

26. D.C. United (26)

“Just when we thought D.C. might be turning things around, the Red Bulls beat them at home.” And they followed that with a home tie, a road loss to Nashville, and a home loss to the Revs.

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