It’s time for my weekly MLS Power Poll, the only MLS Power Poll that recognizes that arbitrarily ranking teams means nothing in the grand scheme of things and is done just to spark debate and not attach importance to the reporter’s ego.
1. Atlanta United (21-7-6)
Last week: 1.
Result: Will take a 3-0 advantage into second leg of Eastern Conference finals against Red Bulls.
The Five Stripes are peaking at exactly the right time, with the right tactics and a deep bench.
2. Sporting KC (18-8-8)
Last week: 3.
Result: Will take a 0-0 draw into second leg of Western Conference finals against Portland.
Sporting KC should be the team out of the West that moves onto play for the MLS Cup.
3. Portland (15-10-9)
Last week: 4.
Result: Will take a 0-0 draw into second leg of Western Conference finals against Sporting KC.
Missed its chance to grab an advantage in the first leg of the finals. It now faces a very tall task.
4/ New York Red Bulls (22-7-5)
Last week: 2.
Result: Will take a 3-0 deficit into second leg of Eastern Conference finals against Atlanta United.
I don’t blame Chris Armas for changing tactics before the first leg at Atlanta United. His team had the league’s best defense and among the best offenses. Assuming a 0-0 draw, or even a 1-0 deficit, wasn’t improbable.
5. Columbus (14-11-9)
Last week: 5.
Result: Eliminated by New York Red Bulls in Eastern Conference semifinals.
A long season marked by uncertainty will continue in the offseason.
6. Seattle (18-11-5)
Last week: 6.
Result: Eliminated by Portland in Western Conference semifinals.
Seattle wasn’t a team that I believed to be as good as its record. Sometimes, it’s just a feeling. Still, credit to them for fighting back in the home game.
7. Real Salt Lake (14-13-7)
Last week: 7.
Result: Eliminated by Sporting KC in Western Conference semifinals.
This will be an interesting offseason.
8. NYCFC (16-10-8)
Last week: 8.
Result: Eliminated Atlanta United in Eastern Conference semifinals.
NYCFC likely needs a new manager.
9. Dallas (16-9-9)
Last week: 9.
Who will be its next coach?.
10. L.A.F.C. (16-9-9)
Last week: 10.
Result: 3-2 loss vs. Real Salt Lake in Knockout Round.
Building a defense to support the high-powered attack must be an offseason priority.
11. D.C. United (14-11-9)
Last week: 11.
Result: 2-2 (3-2) loss to Columbus in Knockout Round.
This team needs more pieces, particularly along the back line.
12. Philadelphia (15-14-5)
Last week: 12.
Result: 3-1 loss at NYCFC in Knockout Round.
The owner has promised a new style of play.
13. L.A. Galaxy (13-12-9)
Last week: 13.
Result: 3-2 loss vs. Houston.
The roster must be overhauled around a few key pieces.
14. Montreal (14-16-4)
Last week: 14.
Result: 1-0 loss at New England.
Will Piatti return?
15. Vancouver (13-13-8)
Last week: 15.
16. New England (10-13-11)
Last week: 16.
17. Minnesota United (11-20-3)
Last week: 17.
18. Toronto (10-18-6)
Last week: 18.
19. Houston (10-16-8)
Last week: 19.
20. Chicago (8-18-8)
Last week: 20.
21. Colorado (8-19-7)
Last week: 21.
22. San Jose (4-21-9)
Last week: 22.
Last week: 23.
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