Power Rankings

Power Rankings: FC Cincinnati eclipse LAFC, Columbus & Orlando surge

Power Rankings UPDATE 6.6.23

What a week in MLS. FC Cincinnati won by one goal at home, Atlanta and Chicago allowed late goals, and St. Louis won at home. It was truly a week unlike any other.

In case you forgot, the Power Rankings are voted on by something close to 15 different people each week. It is not just one person making the call here. And, to be fair to the multiple people making the call, there are like three whole teams that are actually good right now. You could pull teams 6-21 out of a hat and make a reasonable argument for the placement of each of them. Maybe we did exactly that? Isn’t this fun?

They thumped up NYCFC at Yankee Stadium midweek, then got back to normal with a 1-0 home win over Chicago on Saturday. They’re 9W-0L-0D at home with a goal differential of +11 thanks to eight one-goal home wins. It’s remarkable. And it’s the main reason for…

Cincy are top of the league and top of the Power Rankings. It’s a brave new world out there.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. CHI | Next: 6/10 at VAN

They didn’t bring their best against Club Léon in the CCL Final. Léon were outstanding. It is what it is. Now, they have to stare down a CCL hangover. It seems like they’re uniquely equipped to handle that kind of thing and they’ve avoided major injuries, but there’s something that feels inevitable about teams trending downward after making it to the final. It will be fascinating to see how LAFC handle their upcoming games and how they go about a Secondary Transfer Window that could potentially see some outgoings and maybe a new Designated Player.

Previous: Bye | Next: 6/7 vs. ATL

Some teams are good and don’t have Hany Mukhtar. Other teams are good and have Hany Mukhtar. I know which one I’d rather be.

Mukhtar made the difference against a good FC Dallas side last weekend. He seems well on his way to another MVP award. He has 10 goals and seven assists on the year now. That’s the most goal contributions (17) in the league.

Oh. And hey, by the way, just your weekly reminder Nashville have an open DP spot and maybe room for a little extra help. A new No. 9 is almost certainly on the way. Prepare as you need.

Previous: 2-1 win at DAL | Next: 6/10 at TOR

The Union keep doing Union things.

They haven’t lost since April 8 and that was a one-goal loss to FC Cincinnati in Cincinnati, which, yeah, join the club. Even with that loss and a stint in CCL, the Union are one of three teams with more than 30 points. Even better, they’re starting to pour it on teams the way they started to about this time last season. You should expect their goal differential to keep skyrocketing.

Previous: 3-0 win vs. MTL | Next: 6/10 at SJ

They’re on top of the West and on top of the league in goal differential. They clobbered Houston last weekend for yet another big win. Over the last three games, they’ve picked up three wins by an aggregate score of 10-1. Seven of their wins this year have come by two goals or more.

Previous: 3-0 win vs. HOU | Next: 6/7 at DAL

Gotta agree with Dr. Scoops, Esq. here.

Gorgeous. And a much-needed goal for Cucho Hernández, who hasn’t quite lived up to lofty goalscoring expectations this year. That’s been mostly fine though because Christian Ramírez picked up a brace against Charlotte as well and is the Crew’s second-leading scorer with five goals on the season. The veteran’s been a welcome surprise.

In related news, the Crew picked up a 3-2 win over the Rapids and a 4-2 win over Charlotte last week. Their underlying numbers are among the best in the league, they play pretty soccer and they’re easing their way up the standings. Year one under Wilfried Nancy is going according to plan.

Previous: 4-2 win vs. CLT | Next: 6/10 at CHI

The Revs played a barnburner on Wednesday in Atlanta and came out with a point. They followed that up with a sleepy 0-0 draw at NYCFC over the weekend. Odd week. Odd stretch. That’s five games without a win for New England and just one win in their last seven (1W-2L-4D).

Previous: 0-0 draw at NYC | Next: 6/10 vs. MIA

It was a one-point, double-game week for Seattle and things continue to be extremely weird around this team. The underlying numbers are some of the best in the league. The results right now are far from it. They’ve won twice in the last eight games (2W-4L-2D) and even with injuries, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why it’s been such a struggle.

The good news is Cristian Roldan came off the bench last weekend against Portland. It’s his first appearance since mid-April. Wait, maybe it is easy to pinpoint what’s gone wrong?

Previous: 0-0 draw vs. POR | Next: 6/10 at CLT

Atlanta played the definitive “First half of 2023 Atlanta United” game on Wednesday.

They immediately conceded a goal on “When playing out of the back goes wrong masterclass,” dominated the game yet failed to score before they gave up another preventable goal, dominated the game until they took a 3-2 lead, and then gave up one last totally preventable goal. All three of New England’s shots on target went in. They’re still a few steps away roster-wise from being a true contender. 

Previous: 3-3 draw vs. NE | Next: 6/7 at LAFC

First things first. A moment of appreciation for Iván Angulo, who rules.

Second, a note that Facundo Torres scored twice in this one. It’s a massive boost if Orlando can get him going.

Previous: 3-0 win at RBNY | Next: 6/10 vs. COL

Weird week for Dallas. We’re so accustomed to them going out and grabbing points without much issue, but they dropped six this week. On Wednesday, they went on the road to a streaky Sporting KC side. On Saturday they ran into a team with a similar “we showed up and picked up some points because that’s what we do” ethos in Nashville. However, Nashville have Hany Mukhtar and Dallas do not. Both are understandable losses. Both are a bit of a reminder Dallas are consistently good, but rarely great. They’ve earned three points in the last five games.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. NSH | Next: 6/7 vs. STL

A road win! For the Quakes! And they finally got it in Seattle of all places. Yeah, they followed up that result with a 0-0 draw at Colorado, but still! Feels like a step in the right direction.

There might be some concerns about the San Jose attack right now though. They’ve scored just four goals in the last five games. Related: Cade Cowell is now returning from helping the US reach the U-20 World Cup quarterfinals.

Previous: 0-0 draw at COL | Next: 6/10 vs. PHI

A four-point week for D.C. United. They aren’t turning into a juggernaut or anything, but they’ve only lost once in their last six games (2W-1L-3D). They’ve taken a huge step forward from last year’s Wooden Spoon team and seem like they’re well on their way to an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance. Their underlying numbers are on par with some of the best teams in the league.

Previous: 2-1 win at MIA | Next: 6/10 at ATL

They just pummeled Houston on Wednesday in a 6-2 win. Their 1-1 draw against SKC on Saturday didn’t quite have the same energy, but it still put them in sixth place in the West. It feels like this team has a home playoff spot in them. They need to put together a few more Houston-level performances to make that happen though.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. SKC | Next: 6/10 vs. CIN

Is it time to start buying Minnesota stock? Seems weird to say after earning one point out of six this week, but the Loons are trending toward being one of the best teams in the Western Conference. That may have been true even before Emanuel Reynoso made his official return to the field on Saturday. Although, we should note, they immediately started creating chances at a significant rate once Reynoso came in against Toronto and eventually found a late equalizer.

The Loons are fourth in MLS in American Soccer Analysis’ “expected points” metric and have been underperforming their underlying numbers by a significant margin. With Reynoso back, it’s entirely possible Minnesota start climbing the standings.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. TOR | Next: 6/10 at MTL

Charlotte had two huge road tests this week and understandably came up short against Philadelphia and Columbus. Not a big deal in a vacuum. What might be bigger down the road is the underlying numbers are rough right now. Per American Soccer Analysis, they’re 28th in expected goal differential. A regression to the mean could be a painful one and it might already be happening. They’ve lost three of their last four.

Previous: 4-2 loss at CLB | Next: 6/10 vs. SEA

New York followed up a road win against Inter Miami with a rough loss to Orlando City. The Lions have their number lately.

Overall, we’re still waiting on their outstanding underlying numbers to come good. And it’s looking like Lewis Morgan picked up another injury over the weekend. Just brutal for him.

Previous: 3-0 loss vs. ORL | Next: 6/21 vs. CLT

After a miserable home loss to the Galaxy, they followed it up with a road win in Austin. Make whatever you want of that, but it probably just means RSL are an extremely normal MLS team.

Previous: 2-1 win at ATX | Next: 6/10 vs. NYC

It couldn’t have gone worse last week. Two losses. Two routs. They got blown out in a 6-2 loss to Vancouver and followed it up with a 3-0 loss at St. Louis. Now they have a moment to regroup before…back-to-back games against LAFC. Uh oh.

Previous: 3-0 loss at STL | Next: 6/10 vs. LAFC

It’s getting better.

After a heckuva month, SKC still aren’t quite in a playoff spot. But they’re close. That’s a lot further along than it seemed like they’d be a few weeks ago. They might be able to keep it up too. Having all three DPs available seems to be a much better way of going about doing things than relying on one. It’s still not perfect, of course. It is a lot better though.

Previous: 1-1 draw at VAN | Next: 6/10 vs. ATX

They earned a solid road point against D.C., but then turned around and got whomped on by the Union. Montréal have just one win in their last five matches (1W-3L-1D) and the worst goal differential in the East (-12).

Previous: 3-0 loss at PHI | Next: 6/10 vs. MIN

A home win and a home loss this week for Austin. Pretty typical stuff from a relatively average team.

Side note: It’s great Jon Gallagher is having a fantastic year, but it’s not great your fullback is your leading goalscorer on the year and, with five goals, has scored more times than both your attacking DPs combined.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. RSL | Next: 6/10 at SKC

It wasn’t exactly a thriller, but Portland’s 0-0 draw with Seattle makes it five games without a loss to their biggest rival. They’ve at least got that going for them.

Previous: 0-0 draw at SEA | Next: 6/11 vs. DAL

They picked up two points this week. Things feel a bit more stable, and that's progress given the events of recent weeks. 

Previous: 1-1 draw at MIN | Next: 6/10 vs. NSH

Two whole points in their last 21 available. Two. We knew there were going to be growing pains with a refreshed roster, but we didn’t expect it to be like this.

Previous: 0-0 draw vs. NE | Next: 6/10 at RSL

We’re still waiting on that new-manager bounce to take hold. Chicago have one win in six league games (1W-1L-3D) since dismissing Ezra Hendrickson. Inconsistency and allowing late goals continue to be a trend. Potatoes gonna potato.

Previous: 1-0 loss at CIN | Next: 6/10 vs. CLB

The Galaxy pulled out a road win this week against RSL. They’re still in last place. But they’re not quite as in last place as they could have been.

Previous: 3-2 win at RSL | Next: 6/11 at STL

Still not great in Colorado. They’re 14th in the West and winless (0W-4L-4D) at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the league. It remains a tremendous bummer to see the direction this team trended after 2021.

Previous: 0-0 draw vs. SJ | Next: 6/10 at ORL

I’m not sure what folks in Miami expected with this roster and really not sure what folks in Miami expected once Gregore and Jean Mota went down. Whatever those expectations were, apparently Phil Neville didn’t live up to them. Miami and Neville parted ways last week and they’re preparing to bring in their third manager in their three and half seasons of existence.

It feels like it might be a move that only goes down if they feel they have something bigger lined up. If this ends up in a Tata Martino-Lionel Messi combo deal or something, then it will seem like a great choice in hindsight. If not…the roster isn’t going to be elite anytime soon.

For now, Inter Miami have lost five straight and lead the league in losses (11).

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. DC | Next: 6/10 at NE