Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Dallas, Montréal surge after Rivalry Week wins

Power Rankings 5.16.23

What a week in MLS. Inter Miami won, CF Montréal won 2-0, Atlanta United lost and NYCFC lost. It was truly a week like 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. We’ve been over this once or twice!

I mean…c’mon:

This is somehow like the fifth-best goal Dénis Bouanga has scored this year. LAFC are good at soccer.

Previous: 3-0 win at RSL | Next: 5/17 vs. SKC

Everyone meet Paul Rothrock.

After scoring in two straight US Open Cup games, Rothrock, on short-term loan from Tacoma Defiance (MLS NEXT Pro), found a game-winner in his Sounders MLS debut to cap off a stretch of three straight games with a goal. It’s a heckuva story and it’s a nice way for Seattle to bounce back after whatever happened against SKC last week.

Previous: 1-0 win at HOU | Next: 5/17 vs. ATX

A bye week for Cincinnati where everyone else near the top of the East dropped points is a solid bye week.

Previous: Bye | Next: 5/17 vs. MTL

New England put in one of their least inspiring performances of the season so far and fell to a suddenly red-hot Inter Miami team at home. I guess we can just chalk it up to “MLS” for now. The underlying numbers and the standings still love the Revs though.

Previous: 2-1 loss at MIA | Next: 5/20 at PHI

Armpit goal? Armpit goal.

That’s all there really is to report from a 1-1 draw on the road against D.C. United. That point pushed Nashville into third place in the East and four points away from the legions of teams on 15 points behind them.

Previous: 1-1 draw at DC | Next: 5/17 vs. MIA

Here come the Union.

Concacaf Champions League is over and they’re in a comfortable position in the East after picking up their third straight MLS win last weekend in Colorado. They’re seven points behind first-place New England, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see them back challenging for the top in the near future. It’s back to the same old, same old in Philly. And that should mean plenty of points are on the way. Especially if the 3-5-2 formation they trotted out at the Rapids allows them to be a little more varied and a little more successful on the road.

Previous: 2-1 win at COL | Next: 5/17 vs. DC

Simple stuff at this point. Some folks show up and run around, and there’s a pretty good chance at the end of 90 minutes FC Dallas have done enough to grab some points. Jesús Ferreira delivered a late winner at Austin last weekend and FC Dallas are, as always, comfortably in fourth place and will probably be right there at the end of the year too. Although there is some concern Paul Arriola might be out for a moment.

Previous: 1-0 win at ATX | Next: 5/17 vs. VAN

It’s not going great. St. Louis are winless in their last three after blasting Cincinnati 5-1. They’ve lost to Portland and Chicago in consecutive weeks now and created absolutely nothing against the Fire. All that said, they’re still near the top of the West. They’re just getting an inaugural season reminder that the gravity in MLS is strong in the middle of the standings.

Previous: 1-0 loss at CHI | Next: 5/20 vs. SKC

The Quakes are your “soccer is hard, road games in MLS are harder” team of the week. They’re still one of the West’s best, but they absolutely cannot put it together on the road right now. In six road games, they’ve lost four and drawn two. It kind of feels like the growing pains of a team that’s still learning how to win. They should figure it out eventually. Not like really figure it or anything, but a few wins here and there would go a long way.

Previous: 2-1 loss at LA | Next: 5/20 at LAFC

That’s three straight losses for Columbus. Well, it’s not actually, but it sure feels like it after they blew a 2-0 second-half lead against Orlando. Following up losses to Charlotte and Inter Miami with the kind of result that got Caleb Porter dismissed last year is far from an ideal stretch.

But the underlying numbers are still good and the team is relatively healthy. Odds are they’ll be just fine in the end. Even if they aren’t quite a true contender for trophies yet.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. ORL | Next: 5/17 vs. LA

That’s a six-game winning streak, eight across all competitions, and two victories in one week against Toronto. All four MLS wins have come by 2-0 scorelines. Now, if we’re being honest, they haven’t exactly run a gauntlet here. That’s four straight against the Red Bulls, SKC, Orlando and Toronto. But uhhh holy smokes, where did this come from??? They’ve got a big test on Wednesday against FC Cincinnati and it’s going to take a heck of an effort to pass it, but, as of now, things are trending in a great direction with a roster that’s probably (at least a little) better than most were ready to give them credit for.

Previous: 2-0 win vs. TOR | Next: 5/17 at CIN

Seems like Josef Martínez is starting to figure some things out with his second MLS team. He scored his third goal in two games as the Herons continue to appear as if they’ve figured things out in general. They took down first-place New England this weekend for their third win in a row. That’s Columbus, Atlanta and New England all taken down in succession. That’s…a kind of totally incredible way to respond to a six-game losing streak that included another critical injury in midfield and I’m not really sure how we got here or if it’s sustainable. But it is really impressive.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. NE | Next: 5/17 at NSH

We’re learning more and more how Atlanta’s best XI is a decent MLS team and an Atlanta XI without Giorgos Giakoumakis or Thiago Almada is somewhere around the same kind of mediocre the Five Stripes have been since 2020. Without both in the starting lineup, they need to at least be at high intensity to pull out results. They have not been at that intensity for the last four games and have lost three straight because of it. The worst of which came this weekend at home against Charlotte FC.

“I don't think we were waiting for the first goal or the red card to lose our confidence. We play without confidence the last games because of the results. We have a tough period,” Giakoumakis said postgame. “But these periods, I think they create champions and if you can come up stronger from this situation, it means you are strong. And we need to show now to ourselves, first of all, and to our fans that we're really strong. We can get over it and come back to the glory days and victories.”

Previous: 3-1 loss vs. CLT | Next: 5/17 vs. COL

That’s three straight losses for NYCFC as well (hello Atlanta and Columbus!). This one, to their biggest rival who also happened to be in last place and in the first game of a new manager, probably hurt the most of the bunch. They’ve got to figure out how to be a decent road team.

Previous: 1-0 loss at RBNY | Next: 5/17 at ORL

Evander is starting to put it together. Portland’s club-record signing has three goals and two assists in his last three games and the Timbers have won three of their last five. They haven’t been derailed by injuries yet and that’s all you can really ask. The fact they’re suddenly getting points feels like a bonus. It’s been a tough year, but Evander living up to his price tag would ease a lot of ills.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. VAN | Next: 5/17 at RSL

They were missing Christian Benteke, Taxi Fountas got hurt and they still pulled out a draw against a good Nashville team thanks to a late goal from Ted Ku-Dipietro. I think you take it, move on and appreciate the fact you’re one of seven teams in the East sitting on 15 points.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. NSH | Next: 5/17 at PHI

They got burned early (really early), got burned again (still early) and that was just about that for the Whitecaps in Portland. They remain a clearly good, but clearly flawed team.

Previous: 3-1 loss at POR | Next: 5/17 at DAL

Red cards for Amine Bassi and Héctor Herrera led to a late winner from Seattle and the first goal they’ve allowed at home all season. Not the best night out for the Dynamo.

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. SEA | Next: 5/17 at MIN

Duncan! McGuire!

McGuire’s latest has him at four goals and an assist across just 284 minutes. That’s two goals more than any other Orlando player this year. Ercan Kara also scored in the comeback, but is there a chance McGuire should be The Guy? Either way, that’s a well-earned road point for Orlando.

Previous: 2-2 draw at CLB | Next: 5/17 vs. NYC

Charlotte rolled up to Atlanta without Enzo Copetti and didn’t flinch. They steamrolled the Five Stripes and got some revenge for their loss earlier in the year thanks to a brace from newly-acquired winger, Justin Meram. That’s three wins in their last four for The Crown and those three wins have come against Columbus, NYCFC and Atlanta United. The defense still has plenty of issues, but the team is suddenly playing its best ball of the season.

Previous: 3-1 win at ATL | Next: 5/17 vs. CHI

Well, the third installment of the Frank Klopas dynasty is off to a good start. Chicago avoided critical mistakes and took down St. Louis this weekend. For now, the new-manager bounce lives. For now…

Previous: 1-0 win vs. STL | Next: 5/17 at CLT

The Rapids fell for the first time in seven games this weekend. Running into a Philadelphia team on the upswing is a tough draw right now. It happens. Plus, ya know…weird week. They should probably be pretty disappointed to be sitting on just 12 points and in 10th place after that run though. 

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. PHI | Next: 5/17 at ATL

After a decent start, it could be going a lot better for Minnesota. They’re still looking for their first win since April 1 after getting thumped by Sporting KC this weekend. Emanuel Reynoso is back at least!

Previous: 3-0 loss at SKC | Next: 5/17 vs. HOU

Omir Fernandez! New-coach bounce!

There’s still a ton to worry about in attack with this team, but they allow very few chances. That generally means you eventually work your way back into an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot whether you’re actually playing all that well or not. 

Previous: 1-0 win vs. NYC | Next: 5/17 at TOR

A masterclass:

Dejan Joveljić forever and ever, amen. His immediate goal off the bench sealed a critical 2-1 win for the Galaxy in the latest Cali Clasico. And even if things were…uh…what I’d gently call “quiet” at Dignity Health Sports Park for most of the game, the Galaxy put in the kind of performance that’s a step in the right direction toward getting fans back in the seats.

They created a ton of chances against a good San Jose team and nothing disastrous happened defensively. I’d call that a big win. And I’d also just remind folks LA’s underlying numbers actually look really good as of late. Between them and the Red Bulls, it’s hard to say who’s been unluckier. Don’t be surprised if they surge back into a playoff spot.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. SJ | Next: 5/17 at CLB

Losing back-to-back games in one week to your biggest rival (accompanied by some less-than-positive moments from your fans) is rough. And the injury list keeps growing. We’re officially in “asking tough questions of the folks in charge” territory.

Previous: 2-0 loss at MTL | Next: 5/17 vs. RBNY

LAFC are real good. This stuff happens. 

Previous: 3-0 loss vs. LAFC | Next: 5/17 vs. POR

Two straight wins for SKC and suddenly things don’t feel quite so dire. They put three past Minnesota United and suddenly they’re a win away from being right on the playoff line. That’s all it takes in this league. Sporting are getting healthy and they just might have enough juice to get back into this season. Maybe. 

Previous: 3-0 win vs. MIN | Next: 5/17 at LAFC

Winless in eight, I don’t really know what there is to add at this point after a last-minute loss to FC Dallas. 

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. DAL | Next: 5/17 at SEA