Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff; words by Ben Baer and Dave Zeitlin.
BIGGEST MOVERS: SEA +3; NYC -5
LAST WEEK: 1
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7
The Five Stripes maintain their grip on the top spot for the 10th straight week — but it’s a tenuous one. Atlanta’s gotta rebound from a surprising loss to D.C. United to keep pace with the hard-charging Red Bulls in what’s shaping up to be a great Supporters’ Shield race.
LAST WEEK: 2
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7
The Red Bulls became the first team to clinch a spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, despite a lopsided 3-0 loss to Montreal over the weekend. Make of that result what you will, however; the team rested some players after beating Houston earlier in the week and finishing off a grueling five-games-in-15-days stretch.
LAST WEEK: 6
HIGH: 3 | LOW: 21
Nobody is hotter than the Sounders, who broke an MLS single-season record with their eighth straight win. Will a bye week and a looming Cascadia road match vs. Vancouver on Sept. 15 slow them down or will they keep charging up the table and challenge for one of the top spots in the West? Also: #ThankYouDeuce.
LAST WEEK: 3
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 15
The loss at Seattle puts them under a little more pressure as they chase a top two seed in the West. Avoiding the Knockout Round should be at the top of Peter Vermes' goals.
LAST WEEK: 4
HIGH: 4 | LOW: 18
LAST WEEK: 7
HIGH: 3 | LOW: 17
LAST WEEK: 8
HIGH: 7 | LOW: 22
The Union were moments away from a nine-point week and the club’s first-ever five-game league winning streak. A late Scott Sutter goal spoiled that but, after a road draw in Orlando, the Union are still sitting pretty in the East playoff picture, with a chance to win the U.S. Open Cup later this month to boot.
LAST WEEK: 9
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 12
It was a picture perfect night for Crew SC, who rallied from behind to beat New York City FC on Justin Meram’s first goal back in Columbus. Still, Gregg Berhalter's team have to be careful as they’re closer to to falling out of the top four spots in the East (and losing a home playoff game) than they are catching third-place NYCFC.
LAST WEEK: 11
HIGH: 6 | LOW: 21
Bravo to Mike Petke's team for an incredible couple of weeks in terms of offense. After a mostly inconsistent season, RSL seemed to have found their form.
LAST WEEK: 5
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 10
While many teams are off for the international break, NYCFC have a busy week with home games against New England and D.C. United. If they can maintain their perfect mark at Yankee Stadium and pick up six points, they’re right back in the Supporters’ Shield race.
LAST WEEK: 10
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 18
A little surprising to see the Timbers fall after a four-point week. A win on Saturday would see them jump Seattle ahead of their two rivals facing off in Vancouver next week.
LAST WEEK: 12
HIGH: 11 | LOW: 23
A midweek home loss to Philly did some damage to D.C.’s postseason hopes but the Fighting Wayne Rooneys got their mojo back with a statement win over Atlanta. It's looking like it'll be a fight to the finish with Montreal for that final playoff spot in the East.
LAST WEEK: 15
HIGH: 10 | LOW: 23
With Toronto and New England faltering, a door appears to have opened for the Impact. A tough schedule awaits, but with the way Ignacio Piatti and Saphir Taider are playing, there's no denying Montreal's prospects.
LAST WEEK: 16
HIGH: 8 | LOW: 20
They did what they needed to do against the Quakes over the past two weeks. They now have two weeks to prepare for a gigantic Cascadia Cup match.
LAST WEEK: 13
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 21
It’s looking more and more like the 2017 MLS Cup champs won’t be getting a chance to defend their crown. Losses to Portland and LAFC this past week left the Reds nine points out of the final playoff spot and had captain Michael Bradley questioning the team’s mentality.
LAST WEEK: 14
HIGH: 6 | LOW: 16
The subpar defense continues to rear its ugly head and Saturday may have been rock bottom. Sigi Schmid and Co. have some time to figure this out ahead of a vital stretch run.
LAST WEEK: 18
HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23
Previous: Idle | Next: at DC on 9/12; at RSL on 9/15
LAST WEEK: 17
HIGH: 7 | LOW: 18
After two losses in four days (to the Red Bulls and rival FC Dallas), the Dynamo are just about cooked in the playoff race. The silver lining: they can perhaps rest some starters and put everything toward capturing their first U.C. Open Cup title later this month.
LAST WEEK: 19
HIGH: 9 | LOW: 22
Mired in a nine-game winless streak, time is running out for the Revs. But they have a chance to make a statement in the league’s only midweek game if they can find a way to hand NYCFC their first loss at Yankee Stadium.
LAST WEEK: 20
HIGH: 17 | LOW: 23
Hopefully their trip to Memphis got their heads right after a disastrous Rocky Mountain Cup.
Previous: Idle | Next: at POR on 9/8
LAST WEEK: 21
HIGH: 6 | LOW: 23
The Lions saw their winless streak extend to seven games but at least gave their fans something to cheer about with a late, game-tying goal from Scott Sutter (albeit after giving up a late goal to Philly’s Fafa Picault). Their chances of snapping the skid this weekend don’t look too good as they travel to Sporting Kansas City to take on one of the West’s best.
LAST WEEK: 23
HIGH: 12 | LOW: 23
Vako has been a bright spot of late, but is it a blip or something that is sustainable?
LAST WEEK: 22
HIGH: 11 | LOW: 23
The Fire had plenty to ponder on their trip to Germany and with over three weeks between MLS matches, Veljko Paunovic will hope his refreshed squad can finally put a halt to a 9-game winless streak that has derailed their season.
Previous: Idle | Next: vs. ORL on 9/16