July 21, 2018 - Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) gets past D.C. United goalkeeper David Ousted (1) to shoot for his 6th career MLS hat trick during the second half in a MLS soccer game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Three more goals from Josef Martinez set a new MLS record lifted Atlanta United to a 3-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

A new leader atop this week’s MLS Power Poll

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 (14-4-5)

Last week: 3.

Result: 2-1 win at Montreal.

Josef Martinez has more goals than a few MLS teams, and Atlanta United has more points on the road than a few teams have home or away.

How they got here: LWWWWDWWWLWLDWDWDWLWDWW.

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2. Dallas (12-3-6)

Last week: 5.

Result: 3-2 win at Sporting KC.

I really, really like how this team is playing.

How they got here: DWDDWWLDWDWWWWLWWLWDW.

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3. NYCFC (13-5-4)

Last week: 1.

Result: 2-0 win at Orlando City and 3-1 loss at Seattle.

NYCFC go on the road in what is supposed to be a tough place and easily earn three points and then into another and drop three points

How they got here: WWWDWWDLWLDWLWDWLWWWWL.

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4. New York Red Bulls (13-6-2)

Last week: 2.

Result: 1-0 win at D.C. United and 3-2 loss vs. Columbus.

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 100th career goal to sink D.C. United and then the team was pulled apart for three first-half goals against Columbus.

How they got here: WLWLWLWWWWDLDWWWLWWWL.

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5. Portland (9-3-7)

Last week: 4.

Result: 2-1 win vs. Houston.

Now unbeaten in 14 consecutive league games, but are they a true threat in the playoffs?

How they got here: LLDDLWWWWWWDDDWWDDW.

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6. L.A.F.C. (10-5-6)

Last week: 6.

Result: 1-1 draw vs. L.A. Galaxy.

Are things starting to come undone, or is LAFC figuring out how to re-incorporate its stars? My money is on the latter.

How they got here: WWLLWWWDWDLDLWWWDWDLD.

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7. Columbus (10-7-6)

Last week: 9.

Result: 3-2 win at New York Red Bulls.

The Crew have won two consecutive are just about a lock as the fourth team from the East to make the playoffs.

How they got here: WWDWLLLDWDWWWDDDLLWLLWW.

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8. L.A. Galaxy (10-7-5)

Last week: 10.

Result: 1-1 draw at LAFC and 4-3 win vs. Orlando City.

OK, I need to change my mind and say L.A. Galaxy is a contender. 

How they got here: WLDWLWLLLLWWLDWDDWWWDW.

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9. Montreal (9-13-1)

Last week: 7.

Result: 2-1 loss vs. Atlanta United.

One point from back-to-back tough games.

How they got here: LLWWLLLLWLLLLWLWWWWLWDL.

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10. Sporting KC (9-6-6)

Last week: 8.

Result: 3-2 loss vs. FC Dallas.

They haven’t won in their past four games.

How they got here: LWWDWWDWLWWDDWDWLLDL.

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11. Philadelphia (8-10-3)

Last week: 14.

Result: 3-1 win at Houston.

Rallying to win at Houston is a good sign. Not signing a striker isn’t.

How they got here: WDLDLLWLLWWDWLWLLLWLW.

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12. Seattle (7-9-5)

Last week: 15.

Result: 1-0 win at San Jose and 3-1 win vs. NYCFC.

Unbeaten in six, but still so much left to do.

How they got here: LLLDWLDWLLLWLDLWDDWWW.

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13. Real Salt Lake (9-9-4)

Last week: 11.

Result: 0-0 draw at San Jose.

A team that just can’t seem to let itself enjoy success.

How they got here: DLWLWLWLLWLWWWLDLWWLDD.

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14. Minnesota United (9-12-1)

Last week: 12.

Result: 4-2 loss at Vancouver.

Just when you think the Loons are figuring out some things, they go and do that at Vancouver.

How they got here: LWWLLLLWWLLDWLLLWLWWWL.

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15. Vancouver (8-9-5)

Last week: 17.

Result: 4-2 win vs. Minnesota United.

Alphonso Davies’ latest goal was wonderful, but what the heck happened to the Minnesota United player? What caused him to lose the ball?

How they got here: WWLDWLLLWLDDDDWWLLWLLW.

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16. Houston (7-8-6)

Last week: 13.

Result: 3-1 loss vs. Philadelphia and 2-1 loss at Portland.

This team isn’t one of the best in MLS. It’s just not.

How they got here: WLDLDWLWDWWLLWLDWDLL.

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17. New England (7-7-7)

Last week: 16.

Result: Did not play.

How they got here: LWDWWLDWDWLDDWDDWDLLL.

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18. Toronto (6-11-4)

Last week: 20.

Result: 3-0 win vs. Chicago.

No, I’m still not buying that they are back.

How they got here: LLWLLDWLLWLWDLLLDLLWW.

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19. Chicago (6-12-5)

Last week: 18.

Result: 3-0 loss at Toronto.

Five consecutive losses. What has happened to this team?

How they got here: LLDWLWDLWLLWLWDDDWLLLLL.

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20 .Orlando City (7-14-1)

Last week: 19.

Result: 2-0 loss vs. NYCFC and 4-3 loss at L.A. Galaxy.

It seems that Orlando City is exactly what everyone thought they are.

How they got here: DLLWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLWLLL.

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21. D.C. United (4-9-5)

Last week: 21.

Result: 1-0 loss vs. New York Red Bulls and 2-1 win vs. Colorado.

Wayne Rooney scores a goal that makes Tim Howard look as if he’s stealing money.

How they got here: DLDLLWLLWDLDLDWLLW.

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22. Colorado (4-12-5)

Last week: 22.

Result: 2-1 loss at D.C. United.

Kelyn Acosta misses a penalty and Tim Howard is missing whatever once made him really good. 

How they got here: LDWDWLLLLLLLLDWWLLDDL.

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23. San Jose (2-12-7)

Last week: 23.

Result: 1-0 loss vs. Seattle and 0-0 draw vs. Real Salt Lake.

This team wouldn’t win in the USL.

How they got here: WLLDDDLLLWDLLLLDDDLLLD.

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