Power Rankings

Power Rankings: FC Cincinnati get Hell is Real bragging rights

Power Rankings - MD13

What a week in MLS. Hell is Real went off the rails, Raúl Ruidíaz sunk the Portland Timbers, and Inter Miami completed another comeback.

The Power Rankings are voted on by like 20 MLS writers, editors and personalities and are not solely the fault of the column’s author. The 2024 Power Rankings Committee regrets the errors and the fact these will all be irrelevant in roughly 36 hours.

Hey, y’all. Guess what? Inter Miami went down 2-0 early, created fewer chances than their opponent, had less possession and still came out of it with a 3-2 win on 1.0 xG worth of chances because their newest signing is out here doing this.

This is the world you live in and you cannot escape it.

Previous: 3-2 win at MTL | Next: 5/15 at ORL

FC Cincinnati went into a revenge game against Columbus and got everything they could have hoped for.

It doesn’t make up entirely for the 2023 Eastern Conference Final, but they’ve taken Ohio back for a while. And whoever controls Ohio controls the world.

Anyway, their Hell is Real win kept them just three points behind Inter Miami in the standings with a game in hand. They’re outstanding defensively, they’ve won four straight by one goal and new U22 striker Kevin Kelsy scored in his Hell is Real debut. Things are going as well as they possibly could have with all the roster turnover they’ve faced.

Previous: 2-1 win at CLB | Next: 5/15 vs. ATL

Everything is irrelevant as long as Columbus have a chance to win Concacaf Champions Cup. And, as of now, they still do. We double-checked.

(That being said, they might want to win an MLS game or two soon. It hasn’t happened since March 16.)

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. CIN | Next: 5/15 at MTL

RSL couldn’t quite hold onto a 2-0 lead against the Galaxy, but a road point is a road point. They’re still on top of the Western Conference heading into midweek action. And Chicho Arango is still putting up all-time great numbers.

That’s not an exaggeration. He has 11 goals and seven assists in 12 starts. He’s on pace for roughly 50 goal contributions on the season. He’s directly contributed to 18 of RSL’s 20 goals. We really need to figure out how to get him an award at the end of the year. It’s not his fault Lionel Messi exists.

Previous: 2-2 draw at LA | Next: 5/15 vs. SEA

The Loons got the weekend off. We bet they got to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet while absolutely nothing weird hap…

Oh. Ok then. We’ll see how this goes. For now, Minnesota should be focused on hosting the Galaxy on Wednesday in a matchup that could cement their place atop the West.

Previous: Bye | Next: 5/15 vs. LA

Well, it’s tough to keep saying they can’t use the ball when they want to.

LAFC put together an outstanding performance (with 57% of possession!) as they mollywhopped Vancouver 3-0 on Saturday. Despite their inconsistency, no one’s questioning their talent level. Now we just have to wait and see if they can start stringing together wins or if this was just another false start.

Also! Would you look at that? It's Olivier Giroud.

Previous: 3-0 win vs. VAN | Next: 5/15 at STL

Miguel Berry saved the day for LA with a 94th-minute equalizer against RSL. They weren’t at their best, but at least they averaged a point and kept RSL from pulling away at the top of the West. It’s at least encouraging that DP winger Gabriel Pec got on the scoresheet again. He’s scored twice in his last four matches.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. RSL | Next: 5/15 at MIN

The Red Bulls had no real issues dismissing the Revs in a 4-2 win. It gets a lot more difficult for them this week with a matchup against Troy Lesesne’s D.C. United on Wednesday and a Hudson River Derby in Queens on Saturday.

Previous: 4-2 win vs. NE | Next: 5/15 at DC

The ‘Caps should just try and quickly move on from this weekend. They didn’t have enough to compete with LAFC in a 3-0 thumping. It’s another reminder they’re still a piece or two away from being a true contender.

Previous: 3-0 loss at LAFC | Next: 5/15 at COL

Ignoring… whatever it is exactly that’s going on with them and Toronto off the field right now, New York City FC may have truly turned the corner in attack. Their 3-2 win at Toronto made it four games in their last five with multiple goals and, according to American Soccer Analysis, they’re sitting ninth in MLS in expected goals created per game. They’re showing signs of finally putting it together and they’re fifth in the East because of it.

Previous: 3-2 win at TOR | Next: 5/15 at PHI

The good news for Toronto is Lorenzo Insigne made a short appearance in their 3-2 loss to New York City last weekend. The bad news is Federico Bernardeschi picked up a red card and it will be an extra game before we see the two DPs back on the pitch for an extended period. Bernardeschi should be back for CF Montréal on the weekend, though.

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. NYC | Next: 5/15 at NSH

Kicking the ball up in the air toward Christian Benteke continues to be a very good strategy.

He headed the ball home three times in D.C. United’s 3-2 win at Atlanta and continues to be a singular presence in the air. You’ve probably all seen the hilarious aerial-duels stats Atlanta fans started sending around last week in preparation for exactly what happened, but it’s worth looking at again.

Per FBref, Benteke has won 135 aerial duels this season. The next closest player, Toronto FC defender Kevin Long, has won 54. Benteke is one of one in MLS history. And Troy Lesesne has Benteke’s skills in the air fully weaponized. It’s a major reason why D.C.’s underlying numbers continue to be among the best in the league and why a D.C. team that can hold onto a lead should terrify the rest of the league. This win has them heading in the right direction.

Previous: 3-2 win at ATL | Next: 5/15 vs. RBNY

The Rapids blew up defensively against the Earthquakes last weekend. They appeared to have a 2-0 lead locked down before halftime thanks to Omir Fernandez’s 42nd-minute goal. But San Jose equalized before they even got to the locker room.

In the second half, the Quakes took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Rough day for the Rapids. And it comes right as a rough stretch begins. They’ll face Vancouver and RSL this week before hosting Minnesota, traveling to Houston, then heading to Vancouver. It’s a potentially season-defining stretch that’s begun with about the worst possible lead-in.

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. SJ | Next: 5/15 vs. VAN

Saturday's loss to Orlando City made it three consecutive home defeats for the Union. We’re in strange territory here.

What makes it even tougher to reckon with is Philadelphia got hilariously unlucky in this one. It’s not often you create 4.3 xG to your opponent’s 1.4 and come out of it with a loss. That won’t make anyone in Philly feel too much better, though. Something is off with this team right now.

Maybe someone new and exciting could give them a burst of energy?

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. ORL | Next: 5/15 vs. NYC

Charlotte are set for a huge summer.

With Patrick Agyemang looking like he could be the kind of effective striker DP Enzo Copetti hasn’t been (plus reports a deal for Copetti to head elsewhere is in the works), Charlotte may be able to use a DP spot or two on a position besides striker.

We already know this team can win at home. We know they can be steady defensively. All that’s missing is more high-end talent. If they can find it in the summer transfer window, they could be genuinely dangerous by the end of the year. And not in the “Sir Minty is clearly a harbinger of dooms we cannot begin to fathom” kind of dangerous, like the “good at soccer in multiple phases” dangerous.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. NSH | Next: 5/15 at CHI

Atlanta had to throw two backup center backs at Christian Benteke last weekend. It went about how you’d expect.

The Five Stripes’ 3-2 loss handed them a third consecutive home loss for the first time in club history and arguably ignited the hot seat for head coach Gonzalo Pineda. You can only point to the underlying numbers so long before the results have to accompany them. Atlanta aren't getting results and the pressure is at an all-time high.

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. DC | Next: 5/15 at CIN

St. Louis took care of business against Chicago in a 3-1 win. It’s a nice lead into one of their toughest stretches of the season. They’ll host LAFC Wednesday before taking on Cincinnati, Seattle and Inter Miami.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. CHI | Next: 5/15 vs. LAFC

Seattle took down Portland for the first time since 2021. They weren’t perfect on the day, but a rivarly win has sent plenty of teams on the right path before. With Pedro de la Vega inching closer to a return – it sounds like Brian Schmetzer is planning to have him back on Saturday – good things could finally be on the way for the 2024 Sounders. Then again, they face RSL and Vancouver this week. Maintaining momentum won’t come easy.

Previous: 2-1 win at POR | Next: 5/15 at RSL

Houston scored a goal!

Héctor Herrera’s stunner gave the Dynamo their first MLS goal in over 300 minutes and sent them to a 2-1 win over Sporting KC. It’s some much-needed momentum as they enter Rivalry Week matchups with Austin and Dallas.

Previous: 2-1 win at SKC | Next: 5/15 at ATX

Austin came up short against Dallas over the weekend. We’ll see if they can reset in time to welcome another rival when they face Houston.

Previous: 2-1 loss at DAL | Next: 5/15 vs. HOU

Montréal came so close to a season sweep of Inter Miami. But, here we are. Even when you outplay them, you don’t actually outplay them. Still, Montréal were unlucky to miss out on a win after going up 2-0.

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. MIA | Next: 5/15 vs. CLB

They can’t take away road wins just because you lost the xG battle.

Orlando weren’t at their best Saturday at Philly, but the first and second goals of Luis Muriel’s MLS career powered them to their third win of the season. They’ve finally taken a step in the right direction again. Just in time for Inter Miami to arrive…

Previous: 3-2 win at PHI | Next: 5/15 vs. MIA

Nashville took six shots in a 1-0 loss to Charlotte. They’re averaging one point per game. It’s not great right now.

Previous: 1-0 loss at CLT | Next: 5/15 vs. TOR

Once again, it’s worth emphasizing San Jose’s biggest concerns aren’t in attack. They put three past Colorado after going down 2-0 to earn their second straight win. Newcomers Amahl Pellegrino and Hernán López found the back of the net to lead the way. The Quakes are scoring their way out of the bottom of the West.

Previous: 3-2 win at COL | Next: 5/15 at POR

Well, as long as Dallas are taking on another team from Texas, they’re pretty ok. They’ve won two of their last three thanks to wins over Houston a couple of weeks ago and Austin this weekend.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. ATX | Next: 5/18 at HOU

It feels like we’re far off from SKC’s second-half hot streak in 2023. They came up short at home against Houston to drop to 12th in the West. It’s hard to see a way up right now.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. HOU | Next: 5/18 at ATX

The Timbers are sitting at the bottom of the West after losing to Seattle for the first time since 2021. So. Yeah. It could be going better.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. SEA | Next: 5/15 vs. SJ

The Fire are winless in their last five.

Previous: 3-1 loss at STL | Next: 5/15 vs. CLT

Only one team in MLS still has a single-digit point total. Spoiler: It's New England.

Previous: 4-2 loss at RBNY | Next: 5/18 vs. PHI