MLS Power Rankings: The final poll

Bruce Arena and David Beckham

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Major League Soccer just spent nine months trying to figure out what some fans already knew: It's awfully tough to keep the Galaxy down. They came in as the top team at First Kick and, despite a stumble that saw them plummet all the way to No. 17 in the Power Rankings in the spring, rise again. Here are the final rankings of the season.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Rank Trending Last Club Comment

1

6

Best defender in the league, best striker in the league, best playmaker in the league, arguably the best d-mid in the league. And definitely the best coach in the league. See that picture up there? Bruce is laughing at you because he is Bruce and you are not.

  • Final Result: Won MLS Cup
  • First Kick: 1 High: 1 (First Kick) Low: 17 (Wk. 11)
2

9

Had the Galaxy on the ropes for 60 minutes, and you could very easily argue that the Calen Carr injury is what turned the game. They clearly need another speed option up top, but other than that this team is very, very well put together for a serious Supporters' Shield run in 2013 and, if Dominic Kinnear wants, maybe even a CCL moment to remember.

  • Final Result: Lost MLS Cup
  • First Kick: 5 High: 2 (Wk. 22) Low: 9 (Wk. 16)

3

1

Clearly the best team in the regular season, and only lost 3-2 to the Galaxy on aggregate in the playoffs. If Wondo doesn't go cold, if Ike Opara doesn't miss that sitter late in the second leg, if, if, if. The Quakes have their Shield to keep them warm all offseason, but they'll need to keep their fingers crossed that their 30-ish crowd stays young, or 2013 won't be as kind.

  • Final Result: Lost in Conference Semifinals to LA
  • First Kick: 7 High: 1 (Wk. 16) Low: 11 (Wk. 2)

4

3

 

 

Getting past the Red Bulls and then putting up a solid fight vs. Houston despite all the injuries (and iffy calls) says a lot about a team that's led mostly by its young core. If they add a serious No. 9, they could be very, very good for a very, very long time.

  • Final Result: Lost in Conference Championship to Houston
  • First Kick: 16 High: 2 (Wk. 15) Low: 16 (First Kick)

5

2

Like the Quakes, Sporting can take some consolation in a major title (the US Open Cup) this offseason. Unlike the Quakes, they have some holes to fill on their roster. Losing Roger Espinoza and Júlio César will be tough, but it also opens up a ton of cap space for Peter Vermes to play around with over the next couple of months.

  • Final Result: Lost in Conference Semifinals to Houston
  • First Kick: 4 High: 1 (Wk. 3) Low: 7 (Wk. 15)

6

5

The first big rumor of the offseason out of Seattle is that Jeff Parke may be headed back east. If that's the case, then Sigi Schmid & Co. need to find a serious central defender to replace him, because Parke was the best thing going on that Sounders backline. We expect this won't be the only personnel rumor to come out of CenturyLink this month.

  • Final Result: Lost in Conference Championship to LA
  • First Kick: 2 High: 1 (Wk. 9) Low: 8 (Wk. 16)

7

8

 

RSL ended up getting a bit of a facelift after going scoreless over their last five games across all competitions. But the fact is that they'll likely have 10 guys in the starting lineup who've been around for at least two years, and a ton of money to go shopping for a second goalscorer to pair with Álvaro Saborío. Plus lots of talented young guys who should be ready.

  • Final Result: Lost in Conference Semifinals to Seattle
  • First Kick: 3 High: 1 (Wk. 1) Low: 8 (Wk. 28)

8

7

New York are already rolling the dice big time, betting that Jámison Olave will be healthy enough to lead the backline and that Fabián Espíndola will be able to locate his shooting boots. As always the times, they are a-changin' at Red Bull Arena, but it's a nice surprise to see them gambling on proven MLS talent rather than foreign "names."

  • Final Result: Lost in Conference Semifinal to D.C. United
  • First Kick: 9 High: 2 (Wk. 11) Low: 13 (Wk. 2)

9

8

We're a bit confused about exposing Gonzalo Segares in the Re-Entry Draft, since he provides much-needed attacking thrust on the overlap. But other than that, all the pieces are there for the Fire to contend next season, provided Arne Friedrich and Pável Pardo continue to fend off Father Time.

  • Final Result: Lost in Knockout Round to Houston
  • First Kick: 10 High: 3 (Wk. 29) Low: 12 (Wk. 4)

10

10

Columbus look real thin in defense, especially if they're not able to come to terms with some of their veterans. They also gave up on a pair of young and promising, but injury-prone defensive-minded midfielders in Rich Balchan and Tony Tchani. So it's another offseason of tinkering for Robert Warzycha, but at least he has Federico Higuaín to build around this time.

  • Final Result First Kick: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 15 High: 8 (Wk. 26) Low: 17 (Wk. 7)

11

11

 

 

Full credit to Vancouver for playing the Galaxy tough waaaay back in the Knockout Round, but it's disappointing to see a team that played such good soccer through early June reduced to pure rope-a-dope in November. Martin Rennie needs to find some creativity in the midfield and a way to get Darren Mattocks and Kenny Miller on the same page, or the beginning of 2013 will end up looking quite a bit like the end of 2012.

  • Final Result: Lost in Knockout Round to LA
  • First Kick: 6 High: 5 (Wk. 9) Low: 13 (Wk. 28)

12

12

The bloodletting began with the dismissal of Jesse Marsch and subsequent waiving of "his" guys. The Impact will almost certainly look more European next season, and whether that means they trade for a bunch of international slots or find some dual citizens, nobody's quite sure at this point.

  • Final Result: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 19 High: 9 (Wk. 25) Low: 19 (First Kick)

13

13

Daniel Hernandez retired, Julian de Guzman's in the Re-Entry Draft, and a bunch of Homegrown players got cut. It's not quite clear what direction FC Dallas are headed in right now, and with David Ferreira not getting any younger and Brek Shea not getting any better, that's got to be scary for the Frisco faithful.

  • Final Result: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 11 High: 5 (Wk. 1) Low: 19 (Wk. 16)

14

 

 

14

Colorado have opened up a ton of cap space with their offseason moves, and it seems clear that they want to get younger, faster and more technical. Martín Rivero and Tony Cascio are a good pair to build around, as are Jeff Larentowicz and Hendry Thomas. So there's that. But who's going to put the ball in the net?

  • Final Result: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 12 High: 9 (Wk. 4) Low: 18 (Wk. 21)

15

15

New England turned back the clock by signing Andy Dorman, and added veteran d-mid Kalifa Cissé. It looks like Benny Feilhaber's out, and whatever cap room they have now will have to be put toward getting a rock of a central defender to anchor the backline. Without that, it's likely to be another rough year in Foxborough.

  • Final Result: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 17 High: 10 (Wk. 18) Low: 18 (Wk. 2)

16

16

No major moves yet out of Philly, who've been one of the quieter teams this posteason. They'll have cap space and DP slots to play with, but it's a fair guess to say that they're more interested in building via their surfeit of young players. Jack McInerney, Michael Farfan and Amobi Okugo give them three pillars, and don't be surprised if they add another – probably a striker – via trade.

  • Final Result: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 13 High: 12 (Wk. 19) Low: 19n (Wk. 12)

17

 

17

Caleb Porter's already putting his stamp on this team, shipping out some "bruisers" in exchange for more technical players. The Timbers may struggle at first, and they'll look a hell of a lot different than during the John Spencer era, but Porter's got a vision and there's plenty of reasons to think it'll work. And there's also one glaring reason – Olympic qualifying – to think it won't.

  • Final Result: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 8 High: 8 (First Kick) Low: 19 (Wk. 9)

18

18

Feels like déjà vu all over again.

  • Final Result: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 18 High: 12 (Wk. 12) Low: 19 (Wk. 2)

19

 

19

This team needs central midfield help in the worst possible way, because you can't count on Torsten Frings to come back fit at his age. And without him they were a train wreck last season. Everything else happening at BMO Field pales in comparison to that.

  • Final Result: Missed postseason
  • First Kick: 14 High: 12 (Wk. 2) Low: 19 (Wk. 5)