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. New York Red Bulls (20-7-5)
Last week: 1.
Result: 3-1 win at San Jose.
How they got here: WLWLWLWWWWDLDWWWLWWWLWWDDWWLDWWW.
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They are playing the best soccer in MLS, but it may not be enough to clinch the Supporters’ Shield.
2. Atlanta United (20-6-6)
Last week: 2.
Result: 2-1 win vs. New England.
How they got here: LWWWWDWWWLWLDWDWDWLWDWWDWWLWWWLW.
Team needs just some combination of six points to take the Supporters’ Shield. It’s going to be a thrilling finish.
3. Dallas (16-6-9)
Last week: 4.
Result: 2-0 win vs. Orlando City.
How they got here: DWDDWWLDWDWWWWLWWLWDWLLWDLWDWDW.
4. Sporting KC (15-8-8)
Last week: 3.
Result: 1-1 draw vs. L.A. Galaxy.
How they got here: LWWDWWDWLWWDDWDWLLDLLWWWWLWWLDD.
SKC manager Peter Vermes was livid with the officiating on Saturday. MLS must work to do better.
5. L.A.F.C. (15-8-8)
Last week: 6.
Result: 3-0 win at Colorado.
How they got here: WWLLWWWDWDLDLWWWDWDLDLLWWDWDWLW.
The expansion club clinched a playoff berth with the win.
6. Philadelphia (15-12-5)
Last week: 7.
Result: 5-1 win vs. Minnesota United.
How they got here: WDLDLLWLLWWDWLWLLLWLWLWWWWDLWWDW.
The hype is building for Philadelphia.
7. Seattle (15-11-5)
Last week: 8.
Result: 4-1 win vs. Houston.
How they got here: LLLDWLDWLLLWLDLWDDWWWWWWWWWLLWW.
8. Columbus (13-10-9)
Last week: 5.
Result: 3-0 loss at Montreal.
How they got here: WWDWLLLDWDWWWDDDLLWLLWWWLDWDLWDL.
9. NYCFC (15-9-8)
Last week: 9.
Result: Did not play.
How they got here: WWWDWWDLWLDWLWDWLWWWWLDWLDLLDDWL.
10. Portland (14-9-9)
Last week: 11.
Result: 4-1 win at Real Salt Lake.
How they got here: LLDDLWWWWWWDDDWWDDWWLLLLWDWLWLDW.
11. D.C. United (11-11-8)
Last week: 12.
Result: 2-1 win vs. Chicago.
How they got here: DLDLLWLLWDLDLDWLLWDWWWLLWDWDWW.
Pressure is back on Montreal.
12. L.A. Galaxy (12-11-9)
Last week: 13.
Result: 1-1 draw at Sporting KC.
How they got here: WLDWLWLLLLWWLDWDDWWWDWLDDLDLLWWD.
Still fighting for a playoff spot with a defense that is more USL quality than MLS.
13. Montreal (13-15-4)
Last week: 14.
Result: 3-0 win vs. Columbus.
How they got here: LLWWLLLLWLLLLWLWWWWLWDLDDWLWWDLW.
Three massively important points in its push for the final playoff spot in the East.
14. Real Salt Lake (13-12-7)
Last week: 10.
Result: 4-1 loss vs. Portland.
How they got here: DLWLWLWLLWLWWWLDLWWLDDWDLWWWDLDL.
This team looked good for a while. Now, it looks like it has no clue what it’s doing.
15. Vancouver (12-12-7)
Last week: 16.
Result: 2-1 win at Toronto.
How they got here: WWLDWLLLWLDDDDWWLLWLLWDWDWLLLW.
16. Minnesota United (11-17-3)
Last week: 15.
Result: 5-1 loss at Philadelphia.
How they got here: LWWLLLLWWLLDWLLLWLWWWLLDLLLDWWL.
It’s hard to imagine Adrian Heath getting another year with the up-and-down nature of this team.
17. New England (8-12-11)
Last week: 17.
Result: 2-1 loss at Atlanta United.
How they got here: LWDWWLDWDWLDDWDDWDLLLDLLLDWDDLL.
18. Toronto (9-16-6)
Last week: 18.
Result: 2-1 loss vs. Vancouver.
How they got here: LLWLLDWLLWLWDLLLDLLWWDLDWLLWLWL.
Team is in a tough spot with its three DPs. I would try to keep Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco.
19. San Jose (4-20-8)
Last week: 23.
Result: 3-1 loss vs. New York Red Bulls.
How they got here: WLLDDDLLLWDLLLLDDDLLLDWLDLWLLLLLL.
The Earthquakes win the race to 20, but make a fantastic hire with Matias Almeyda. I’m moving them up the poll because they appear to have a plan for what’s next, unlike the teams below them.
20. Houston (9-14-8)
Last week: 19.
Result: 4-1 loss at Seattle.
How they got here: WLDLDWLWDWWLLWLDWDLLLLLDLWDWL.
Hard to see Wilmer Cabrera returning as manager.
21. Chicago (8-17-7)
Last week: 20.
Result: 2-1 loss at D.C. United.
How they got here: LLDWLWDLWLLWLWDDDWLLLLLLLLDWDLWL.
Hard to see Veljko Paunovic returning as manager.
22. Colorado (6-19-6)
Last week: 21.
Result: 3-0 loss vs. LAFC.
How they got here: LDWDWLLLLLLLLDWWLLDDLWWDLLLLLLL.
Seven consecutive losses. Seven. Hard to see Anthony Hudson returning as manager.
23. Orlando City (7-19-4)
Last week: 22.
Result: 2-0 loss at Dallas.
How they got here: DLLWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLWLLLDLLDLLDL.
Orlando City’s supporters, among the most passionate in the league, deserve better than what they are paying to watch. It’s hard to see James O’Connor returning as manager.