With nearly two-thirds of the 2022 MLS season in the books, let’s explore which teams are proving to be comeback kings or left full of frustration when it comes to points gained and lost from winning or losing positions.

This exercise provides a window into which teams are never fully down and out, plus those who are on the ropes when the going gets tough – and those in between. 

Here are top fives from variations of the above framework.

Top 5: Points gained from losing position

Is your lead on Austin FC safe? Think again, as the Verde and Black have adopted a never-say-die mentality that has them challenging for the Supporters’ Shield (league-leading 16 points gained from a losing position).

A similar resurgent outlook applies to CF Montréal, one of the Eastern Conference’s top sides that’s progressed mightily in 2022 (14 points gained from a losing position).

Both clubs are led by second-year head coaches – Josh Wolff in Austin and Wilfried Nancy in Montréal – who are chasing Audi MLS Cup Playoff berths after missing out last year. They also boast Landon Donovan MLS MVP candidates in Sebastian Driussi (Austin) and Djordje Mihailovic (Montréal).

Team
Points gained
1. Austin FC
16
2. CF Montréal
14
T-3. Inter Miami CF
13
T-3. Toronto FC
13
T-5. LAFC
12
T-5. San Jose Earthquakes
12

Bottom 5: Points gained from losing position

If you build a lead on either Chicago Fire FC or Orlando City SC in 2022, odds are it’ll stick around through the final whistle. The Eastern Conference sides have each earned a league-worst singular point from a losing spot this year.

A lack of consistent goalscoring punch might be to blame there, as Chicago’s 21 goals scored are the second-fewest in the league. Meanwhile, Orlando have the second-worst goal differential (-4) and worst goals-scored total (26) of any team that’s currently in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs picture.

Team
Points gained
T-28. Chicago Fire FC
1
T-28. Orlando City SC
1
T-26. FC Cincinnati
3
T-26. Colorado Rapids
3
T-24. Portland Timbers
4
T-24. Nashville SC
4
T-24. Charlotte FC
4
T-24. LA Galaxy
4

Top 5: Points dropped from winning position

Good luck completing a comeback against LAFC, the Supporters’ Shield leaders who carry 2.1 points per game and just handed marquee summer signings Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini their MLS debuts. Remarkably, the Black & Gold haven’t dropped a single point when in the lead this year.

Inter Miami CF’s progress in 2022 also shows up in this space, as they’ve dropped just two points when taking the lead. The Herons are two points outside the East’s playoff picture, hoping that DP midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo can lift them higher after a summertime trade from Toronto FC.

Team
Points dropped
1. LAFC
0
2. Inter Miami CF
2
3. NYCFC
4
4. LA Galaxy
5
T-5. Real Salt Lake
6
T-5. Charlotte FC
6

Bottom 5: Points dropped from winning position

For the New England Revolution, few leads have been safe as they defend their Supporters’ Shield title. They’ve dropped one point less (24) than they’ve accumulated (25) this year, winning just four of 10 home matches at Gillette Stadium as well. Perhaps the arrival of DP striker Giacomo Vrioni can tip the scales in their favor.

Injury-hampered Vancouver Whitecaps FC slot in second here (16 points lost from a winning position). They’re hoping that new DP midfielder Andres Cubas and fullback Julian Gressel (trade arrival from D.C. United) can steady the ship and help book another postseason trip.

Team
Points dropped
28. New England Revolution
24
27. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
16
T-26. FC Cincinnati
15
T-26. FC Dallas
15
T-24. Minnesota United FC
13
T-24. Philadelphia Union
13

Full picture

The below chart shows the complete picture for all 28 MLS clubs as they head into Week 22.

Those in the top left (LAFC, Miami) are in the best overall spot, while New England are an outlier in the bottom right's less-auspicious territory. Clubs such as Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders FC are near the average.

Point swing no neg