Atlanta United players take in the World Cup final on the halo board as they arrive in Mercedes-Benz Stadium to play the Seattle Sounders in a MLS soccer game on Sunday, July 15, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

MLS Power Poll: Week 20 and a new leader at the 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. NYCFC (12-4-4)

Last week: 3

Result: 3-0 win vs. Montreal and 2-0 vs. Columbus

Three consecutive wins and NYCFC is nipping at Atlanta United’s heels.

How they got here: WWWDWWDLWLDWLWDWLWWW

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2. New York Red Bulls (11-5-2)

Last week: 4

Result: 3-2 win vs. Sporting KC

The Red Bulls bounce back from last week’s disappointment to keep pressure on in the East.

How they got here: WLWLWLWWWWDLDWWWLW

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3. Atlanta United (12-4-5)

Last week: 1

Result: 1-1 draw vs. Seattle

Seattle’s bunkering formula wasn’t new, but it is something Atlanta United will likely see in most of its remaining games. It needs a plan.

How they got here: LWWWWDWWWLWLDWDWDWLWD

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4. Portland (8-3-6)

Last week: 2

Result: 0-0 draw at LAFC

Unbeaten in 12 consecutive, but are they a true threat in the playoffs?

How they got here: LLDDLWWWWWWDDDWWD

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5. L.A.F.C. (10-4-5)

Last week: 5

Result: 0-0 draw vs. Portland

They have a mostly full complement of players with talent coming.

How they got here: WWLLWWWDWDLDLWWWDWD

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6. Dallas (11-3-5)

Last week: 6

Result: 3-1 win vs. Chicago

This was the kind of performance that contenders need to have.

How they got here: DWDDWWLDWDWWWWLWWLW

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7. Montreal (9-12-0)

Last week: 9

Result: 3-0 loss at NYCFC and 2-0 vs. San Jose

Now, can it beat the good teams? No. But it’s still beating the bad teams.

How they got here: LLWWLLLLWLLLLWLWWWWLW

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8. Sporting KC (9-5-6)

Last week: 7

Result: 3-2 loss at New York Red Bulls

Well, Sporting KC is starting to get healthy, but it’s still dropping way too many points.

How they got here: LWWDWWDWLWWDDWDWLLDL

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9. Columbus (8-7-6)

Last week: 8

Result: 2-0 loss at NYCFC

Gyasi Zardes again held scoreless and the Crew again lose.

How they got here: WWDWLLLDWDWWWDDDLLWLL

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10. L.A. Galaxy (8-7-4)

Last week: 14

Result: 3-2 win at New England

The team is unbeaten in six. I wasn’t too high on them, but am starting to come around. 

How they got here: WLDWLWLLLLWWLDWDDWW

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11. Real Salt Lake (9-9-2)

Last week: 10

Result: 3-2 loss at Minnesota United

God bless Mike Petke, who unleashed an annual epic rant about refereeing after the loss.

How they got here: DLWLWLWLLWLWWWLDLWWL

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12. Houston (7-6-4)

Last week: 11

Result: Did not play

How they got here: WLDLDWLWDWWLLWLDW

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13. Philadelphia (7-9-3)

Last week: 16

Result: 4-3 win at Chicago

Following last week’s devastating loss to Atlanta United, the Union bounce back with a solid win.

How they got here: WDLDLLWLLWWDWLWLLLW

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14. New England (7-5-7)

Last week: 12

Result: 3-2 loss vs. L.A. Galaxy

Two wins in the past nine. It’s time for Brad Freidel to come up with a Plan B to get results.

How they got here: LWDWWLDWDWLDDWDDWDL

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15. Vancouver (7-8-5)

Last week: 13

Result: 2-0 loss at D.C. United

Losing to D.C. United on the road is something that Atlanta United can empathize with.

How they got here: WWLDWLLLWLDDDDWWLLWL

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16. Chicago (6-10-5)

Last week: 15

Result: 4-3 loss vs. Philadelphia and 3-1 loss at Dallas

Six points lost. The team needs something to shake it up.

How they got here: LLDWLWDLWLLWLWDDDWLLL

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17. Seattle (4-9-5)

Last week: 17

Result: 1-1 draw at Atlanta United

One point really doesn’t do them any good.

How they got here: LLLDWLDWLLLWLDLWDD

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18. Minnesota United (7-11-1)

Last week: 18

Result: 3-2 win vs. Real Salt Lake

The team’s roller-coaster of a season continues, but includes more magic from Darwin Quintero.

How they got here: LWWLLLLWWLLDWLLLWLW

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19. Orlando City (7-11-1)

Last week: 19

Result: 2-1 win vs. Toronto

The team breaks its nine-game losing streak, but the quality of the opponent they beat shouldn’t result in much of a confidence boost. 

How they got here: DLLWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLW

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20. D.C. United (3-7-5)

Last week: 23

Result: 3-1 win vs. Vancouver

Yamil Asad scores the first goal in a new stadium for a team. Sound familiar?

How they got here: DLDLLWLLWDLDLDW

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21. Colorado (4-11-4)

Last week: 20

Result: 0-0 draw vs. Houston

That actually seems like the perfect result considering the two teams. 

How they got here: LDWDWLLLLLLLLDWWLLD

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22. Toronto (4-11-4)

Last week: 21

Result: 2-1 loss at Orlando City

After two more goals were scored with play coming right down the middle of the pitch, Michael Bradley was finally subbed off after a yellow card. It’s something that should have been done earlier in the season. A friend of mine at the game texted saying, “All he does is jog/walk around the field.”

How they got here: LLWLLDWLLWLWDLLLDLL

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23. San Jose (2-11-6)

Last week: 22

Result: 2-0 loss at Montreal

At a loss for how bad this team has become.

How they got here: WLLDDDLLLWDLLLLDDDLL

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