MLS Power Poll: Playoff results force a change at top

 

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: 3.

Result: 1-0 win at NYCFC in Eastern Conference semifinals.

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The team bounced back in a big, big way to take an advantage in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

» More: Atlanta United ready for second leg of MLS playoffs

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2. Columbus (14-11-9)

Last week: 8.

Result: 2-2 (3-2) win at D.C. United in Knockout Round, and 1-0 win vs. New York Red Bulls in first leg of Eastern Conference semifinal.

N offense, but not a team anyone wants to face in the playoffs.

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3. Portland (15-10-9)

Last week: 11.

Result: 2-1 win at Dallas in Knockout Round and 2-1 win vs. Seattle in first leg of Western Conference semifinal.

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4. Sporting KC (18-8-8)

Last week: 2.

Result: 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake in first leg of Western Conference semifinal.

The top team in the West gets an important away goal.

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5. Seattle (18-11-5)

Last week: 4.

Result: 2-1 loss at Portland in first leg of Western Conference semifinal.

The one-goal deficit won’t hurt as much as the potential losses of Chad Marshall and Cristian Roldan.

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6. Real Salt Lake (14-13-7)

Last week: 12.

Result: 3-2 win vs. LAFC in Knockout Round and 1-1 draw vs. Sporting KC in the Western Conference semifinal.

A lot of work to do to advance to the Western Conference finals.

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7. New York Red Bulls (22-7-5)

Last week: 1.

Result: 1-0 loss at Columbus in first leg of Eastern Conference semifinal.

The Red Bulls have a huge mountain to climb against a very disciplined Columbus team.

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8. NYCFC (16-10-8)

Last week: 9.

Result: 1-0 loss vs. Atlanta United in Eastern Conference semifinal.

NYCFC was held without a shot on goal. Wow.

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9. Dallas (16-9-9)

Last week: 5.

Result: 2-1 loss vs. Portland in Knockout Round.

Not a bad showing, but they can be much better.

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10. L.A.F.C. (16-9-9)

Last week: 6.

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.

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11. D.C. United (14-11-9)

Last week: 7.

Result: 2-2 (3-2) loss to Columbus in Knockout Round.

This team needs more pieces, particularly along the back line.

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12. Philadelphia (15-14-5)

Last week: 10.

Result: 3-1 loss at NYCFC in Knockout Round.

Team needs to spend offseason looking for inexpensive attackers.

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THE BEST OF THE REST

13. L.A. Galaxy (13-12-9)

Last week: 13.

Result: 3-2 loss vs. Houston.

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14. Montreal (14-16-4)

Last week: 14.

Result: 1-0 loss at New England.

How they got here: LLWWLLLLWLLLLWLWWWWLWDLDDWLWWDLWWL.

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15. Vancouver (13-13-8)

Last week: 15.

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16. New England (10-13-11)

Last week: 16.

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17. Minnesota United (11-20-3)

Last week: 17.

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18. Toronto (10-18-6)

Last week: 18.

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19. Houston (10-16-8)

Last week: 19.

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20. Chicago (8-18-8)

Last week: 20.

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21. Colorado (8-19-7)

Last week: 21.

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22. San Jose (4-21-9)

Last week: 22.

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23. Orlando City (8-22-4)

Last week: 23.

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