We do have some general stability at this point, with most teams being who they have been recently, but a few teams are falling apart, especially the Crew. Oh my, Columbus, what happened to you?
We also have some changes between groupings, including a new group of four at the top with Seattle and Colorado showing some real quality since our last rankings.
1. Sporting Kansas City (Previously 1).
Vermes has this team back on the right track. They got a little lucky with Dallas, but overall it was quality showing itself as they made sure to take the Texans seriously and it showed. A home tie to Portland isn’t great but it’s not awful, and then they got the road tie at Minnesota.
2. Seattle Sounders (3).
“Well, hello there,” Obi-Wan said after landing softly. A 6-2 win over Portland is no small victory anywhere, let alone in Oregon. Then a win at Dallas and a win at Columbus. Granted, the Crew are falling apart in a big way. But still, that is three straight road wins. Two of which are against one really good and one solid team.
3. New England Revolution (2).
How many teams can lose someone as quality as Gil and still get three straight MLS wins, no matter who it is against? Yes, it was at Toronto, v. D.C. and v. Cincinnati, but it is still impressive. The only thing we wonder is can they do it against the SKCs and Seattles of the league. They have done it well enough against the rest that they have earned this spot.
4. Colorado Rapids (4).
“We don’t get the sense they are about to jump to the next tier, but they sure are at the top of this one.” Two road wins, including one at the Galaxy, and a home win over RSL answers that question.
5. New York City FC (5).
A win over Miami is good but a loss at Philadelphia keeps them from moving up.
6. Orlando City (8).
Nothing jumps out as outstanding for the Lions, but tying at Nashville and beating Chicago is solid.
7. Nashville SC (6).
A good thrashing of D.C. United followed by being tied at home by Orlando is a bit of a mixed bag.
8. LA Galaxy (9).
“Have they turned the corner?” Maybe they had. A road win over the Loons is good and something they hadn’t done before, but then they lose at home to the Rapids and San Jose? Yikes. This team is not consistent enough to challenge for the top tier.
9. Minnesota United (7).
The challenge with teams that start slow or otherwise have something to overcome is that they can’t afford some of the back and forth that comes from any schedule, and the Loons really couldn’t afford to lose to the Galaxy at home or be tied by Sporting, also at home.
10. Philadelphia Union (13).
Beating NYC moves them up, especially with how other teams fared, despite their home tie to Montreal.
11. Portland Timbers (10).
If RSL were a better team, the Timbers would be behind them. Losing 6-2 to your rivals at home? Then losing to Austin, albeit on the road? No bueno. This team has the talent to make the playoffs, but not the consistency to do anything once they get there – at least at this point.
12. Real Salt Lake (14).
“Salt Lake is definitely solid, but does not seem to have the ability to consistently win against better teams.” This week, it was wins over Austin and Houston, followed by a road loss to the Rapids.
Middle of the Road
13. D.C. United (12).
Are they trying to spite us? We wrote on August 10, “Definitely take a closer look at D.C. as they seem to be eliminating their “WTH” games and the big win over Columbus may be a sign of things to come.” Then they lose 5-2 at Nashville, 3-2 at New England, and 2-1 against Atlanta.
14. San Jose Earthquakes (16).
A home tie to Vancouver is not good, and a home tie to the Loons isn’t much better, but then they go on the road and beat the Galaxy. At least the first two were ties.
15. FC Dallas (15).
Prior to these games, Dallas had shown it could take it to some good teams. Those teams took notice and replied with vigor. Injuries to key players didn’t help. Either way, Dallas is what they are this year. Talented enough that when healthy can challenge most teams; but with enough fragility and issues that they can’t do it consistently.
16. Vancouver Whitecaps (20).
A road tie against San Jose, a road win against Austin, and a home win over LAFC is clear steps forward.
17. CF Montreal (23).
A win over the Red Bulls and road ties against Cincinnati and Philadelphia are solid but don’t show signs of major progress.
18. New York Red Bulls (18).
We hesitate to move them up based on the win over the Crew, but it’s what the results tell us.
19. Atlanta United (22).
“Do we have our turn-around?” I think we do have a turnaround. It’s against teams like Toronto and D.C., but a turn-around nonetheless.
Lots of Questions and/or Concerns
20. Columbus Crew (11).
Holy mackerel, Caleb, what’s up with your side? This is an awful slide. Historic? We don’t know off the top of my head, but six straight losses seems rare in MLS history.
21. Los Angeles FC (17).
“This seems like a team in trouble, at least relative to who they have been most of their history.” A loss to Vancouver doesn’t change anything about what we think of Bradley’s side.
22. Austin FC (19).
Losses to RSL and Vancouver don’t outweigh the win over Portland.
23. Houston Dynamo (21).
A home loss to the Rapids, road loss to RSL, and a home tie to Dallas is no way to go through life, son.
24. Inter Miami (26).
Hello, folks. Set aside the loss to NYC on the road. This team is getting wins against multiple MLS sides.
25. Chicago Fire (25).
A win over Columbus doesn’t seem like much these days, and then they lose to Miami and Orlando. Even though the last two were on the road, it’s still tough to ignore.
26. FC Cincinnati (24).
“Their big run seems to be over and they are settling into being mediocre, which is better than most of their history.” Unfortunately, now they seem more like the rest of their history.
27. Toronto FC (27).
Three straight losses is apparently what this team is these days. Yowza.
i’m bemused by your persistent faith in Portland. You’ve kept them in the upper half of your power rankings all year despite the fact they haven’t done anything to earn that place. They have the second most losses in the conference (10) and the worst goal difference in the conference (-12) and their underlying metrics show that they are one of the worst teams in the league (about -10 xGD). They really should be in the bottom group.