Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Charlotte FC, Houston Dynamo climb after Matchday 15

Power Rankings 5.29.23 1

What a week in MLS. St. Louis won by multiple goals, FC Cincinnati won by one goal and Orlando couldn’t pull out a win against Atlanta. It was truly a week unlike any other.

In case you forgot, the Power Rankings are voted on by +/- 15 different people. It is not just one person making the call here. And, to be fair to the multiple people making the call, there’s like thousands of a Power Ranking point separating like 90% of the teams right now in this league. You can win a game, but not win it pretty enough and drop like six places. Isn’t this fun?

LAFC took the week off from MLS to get ready for the CCL final. The first leg against Club León is Wednesday at 10 pm ET in Mexico. The second leg is on Sunday at 9 pm ET in LA. Godspeed.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. SJ | Next: 6/7 vs. ATL

You’ll never believe it, but FC Cincinnati won a game by one goal. Oh wow, what no way?! That’s crazy.

Look, I’m still not sure if this team is elite or just good and a little lucky. I mean, I have my suspicions, but the only proper response to that right now is “SCOREBOARD.”

Previous: 1-0 win at COL | Next: 5/31 at NYC

Nashville are a nightmare to deal with right now. They’re playing their typical league-best defense, but they’ve taken off the restrictor plates in attack. Over the course of their seven-game unbeaten streak that began with a 1-1 draw against LAFC, they’ve scored 2.14 goals per game, the best mark in the league in that span. They’re averaging 2.06 xG per game, also the best mark in the league. Pair that with the whole “league-best defense” thing and their expected goal differential per game right now is a hilarious 1.15 xGD. The next closest team in that category, D.C. United, is averaging 0.51 xGD per game. Nightmare.

Just wait till they add a DP striker.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. CLB | Next: 6/3 at DAL

The Union don’t quite have the same level of underlying numbers as Nashville over the last few weeks, but they’re still steamrolling folks all the same. Since exiting CCL, they’ve taken 13 points out of 15. In back-to-back weeks they’ve put three goals up on New England and NYCFC and it feels like they’re easing back into the form they found last summer when they did unspeakable things to their opponents for the better part of a few months. Philly are just going to keep climbing up the standings until they’re challenging Cincy and Nashville for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Previous: 3-1 win at NYC | Next: 5/31 vs. CLT

Jordan Morris scored the only goal of the game in Seattle’s 1-0 win over New York. He also exited that same game with a groin injury and will likely miss a couple of weeks. That’s a pretty good summation of how things have gone this year for the Sounders. For every elite thing they do, another frustrating thing that’s out of their control pops up to slow them down.

They’re still not playing their best ball yet, but they are at the top of the Western Conference for one more week.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. RBNY | Next: 5/31 vs. SJ

The Revs have given up three goals in back-to-back weeks and have taken just one point in their last three games. It feels like the long-term injury to center back Henry Kessler is causing some issues at the back. The growing list of injuries elsewhere in the lineup can’t be helping much either. We’re in a moment where the Revs need to be patient and just survive as best they can until they can get something close to healthy. The good news at least is that they still have Noel Buck

Previous: 3-3 draw vs. CHI | Next: 5/31 at ATL

It feels worth repeating: When St. Louis put you on the ground, they’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure you stay down there. The new kids love a blowout. And that mentality has them sitting second in the West on points, and first in the West on goals scored and goal differential. They ran over a good Vancouver side last weekend and set a record in the process.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. VAN | Next: 6/3 vs. HOU

FC Dallas, a good soccer team, pulled out a point on the road this weekend. As always, they’re in fourth place and haven’t lost in a while.

Previous: 1-1 draw at SJ | Next: 5/31 at SKC

The Five Stripes have put in better performances than what they showed against Orlando, but a road point is a road point. Now they just need to survive the next month until the Secondary Transfer Window opens and they can get their midfield sorted out. Unfortunately for them, the next month includes a brutal stretch. Good luck.

The Earthquakes will be fine, but this needs to improve.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. DAL | Next: 5/31 at SEA

The Crew played an ultra-physical, highly-entertaining match in Nashville this weekend, but set pieces and Hany Mukhtar tilted things in favor of the Coyotes.

It reinforced the fact Columbus are in a weird spot right now. Everyone can see they’re playing good ball and the underlying numbers suggest they should be getting better results. They’re…just kind of not though. The Crew have taken five points from their last seven games. The foundation seems to be there, but the roster likely needs some upgrades (and to get healthy).

Previous: 3-1 loss at NSH | Next: 5/31 vs. COL

Things did not go well in Toronto.

Previous: 2-1 loss at TOR | Next: 5/31 vs. MTL

I want to believe in this team. And the underlying numbers keep telling me I should. But the results are frustrating week after week, including last weekend’s loss at St. Louis. Guess we’ll just keep holding out for everything to click.

Previous: 3-1 loss at STL | Next: 5/31 vs. HOU

They aren’t the hottest team in the league, but they’re darn close. The Crown went across the country and took down the Galaxy and have won five of their last seven games. They’re sixth in the East after picking up just six points through their first eight games.

You might have a few questions about what inspired the turnaround, like “Do the underlying numbers suggest this is sustainable?” The answer is no there, but you’re not asking the right question. The right question is…

CLT Power Rankings 5.30.23

Previous: 1-0 win at LA | Next: 5/31 at PHI

The Lions were on the verge of their fourth win over Atlanta United in 19 tries, but let in a late goal in a game that’s probably just best for everyone to forget. They didn’t play poorly. They didn’t play great either. Kind of typical stuff from Orlando to be honest. 

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. ATL | Next: 6/3 at RBNY

Minnesota aren’t blowing people’s doors off, scoring just 13 goals in 14 games. But they are continuously grabbing points with solid defensive performance after solid defensive performance. They only needed one goal to get a point against RSL this weekend and move into sixth place in the West.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. RSL | Next: 5/31 at ATX

We’ll keep waiting another week for the Red Bulls’ impressive underlying numbers to come good. The numbers are always smarter than me, so I’ll keep deferring to them.

If it makes anyone feel better about that happening, Luquinhas got on the field in this one and Lewis Morgan made the bench. And, of course, there are way worse results than losing by a goal to Seattle on the road. New York are going to get this right soon.

Previous: 1-0 loss at SEA | Next: 5/31 at MIA

That’s two wins in two games over Austin this year. It’s another step in the right direction for a team working its way back to being competitive. As long as Houston keep building on what’s happened so far this season, there will be a lot of folks confident about what the Dynamo are building towards in 2024 and beyond.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. ATX | Next: 5/31 at VAN

Yeah. So.

In a vacuum, a 3-1 loss to the Union is nothing to worry about. However, the Pigeons have taken one point from their last 15 available. They’re the coldest team in the league. Remember when we thought they had found an answer at striker after their 3-1 win over Dallas?

With Cincinnati and New England up next, it could get worse before it gets better. Which…it’s honestly bizarre to see a group with this much talent on paper struggle the way they are. Maybe solutions come during the Secondary Transfer Window?

Previous: 3-1 loss vs. PHI | Next: 5/31 vs. CIN

CF Montréal got the better of Inter Miami in a battle of teams with perfectly identical records. That’s five wins in their last seven if you’re keeping track. It could be (and felt like it was going to be) so, so much worse.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. MIA | Next: 5/31 at DC

The Timbers are tied for the most goals allowed in the West after getting beaten up by SKC of all teams. They’re winless in three. They’re also still technically in an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot. Honestly, pretty typical Portland year?

Previous: 4-1 loss at SKC | Next: 6/3 at SEA

Not sure anyone expected Chicago to pivot into the team that plays 3-3 Four Loko games each week, but here we are. If you’re going to miss the playoffs again, you might as well be interesting about it.

Previous: 3-3 draw at NE | Next: 5/31 at TOR

Sporting KC put four up on the Timbers. That’s a solid way to rebound after getting trucked by St. Louis last weekend. They’ve taken 10 points from 15 and, suddenly, are just three points below the playoff line. MLS is a heckuva league.

Previous: 4-1 win vs. POR | Next: 5/31 vs. DAL

There’s nothing really positive to say after a 2-1 loss to Houston and another injured center back (Leo Väisänen), so we’ll just say congrats to Gyasi Zardes on reaching 100 goals in MLS.

Previous: 2-1 loss at HOU | Next: 5/31 vs. MIN

A 1-1 draw against Minnesota this weekend. That’s it. That’s the whole blurb.

Previous: 1-1 draw at MIN | Next: 5/31 vs. LA

The Herons lost to CF Montréal this weekend and are all the way back down to the bottom of the very deep Eastern Conference. It’s not all that bad. But still, they’re tied with LA for the league-worst mark of nine losses on the season.

Previous: 1-0 loss at MTL | Next: 5/31 vs. RBNY

Whe…..where do you even start? 

We’ll just say Toronto won this weekend and it’s one of the most MLS things to ever happen and leave it at that. 

Previous: 2-1 win vs. DC | Next: 5/31 vs. CHI

Every team is destined to lose to Cincinnati by a goal this season, but that doesn’t change the situation in Colorado. They’re suffering. That’s five straight losses in all competitions and four straight in MLS. Suddenly, they’re behind Sporting KC in the standings.

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. CIN | Next: 5/31 at CLB

We’re officially at the “Go have somber discussions with the sad fans still remaining in the stands after yet another loss” portion of the season. So. That’s fun. 

But, hey, at least the underlying numbers still think you’re on pace to be the unluckiest team in American Soccer Analysis’ entire database? Yay? 

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. CLT | Next: 5/31 at RSL