Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Inter Miami, LA Galaxy climb after big road wins

Power Rankings - Matchday 9 - 2024 season

What a week in MLS. D.C. United blew a lead, the Philadelphia Union made a bunch of Atlanta United fans angry, and Minnesota United FC failed to win at home. It was truly a week unlike any other.

The Power Rankings are voted on by nearly 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 in the following rankings and humbly asks for forgiveness, especially from CF Montréal.

The rules are simple. You go down to El Volcán and beat Tigres in Concacaf Champions Cup, you get the top spot in the Power Rankings.

It’s the first time an MLS team has gone down to Mexico without a lead after the first leg of a series and advanced. It’s especially impressive considering Cucho Hernández missed Leg 1 and Columbus immediately went down 1-0 in Leg 2.

The Crew have a belief in their system that makes them impossible to get rid of. And it keeps pushing them through in the biggest moments.

Previous: 0-0 draw at RSL | Next: 4/20 vs. POR

The Red Bulls hit a speed bump this week after Andres Reyes’ 42nd-minute red card sent them down to 10 men against Chicago. But they’re still at the top of the Eastern Conference standings after a 0-0 draw and their underlying numbers continue to be among the league’s best.

Previous: 0-0 draw vs. CHI | Next: 4/20 at LAFC

No matter how you get there, undefeated is undefeated.

The Union were a bit lucky to escape Atlanta with a point after going down 2-0 in the second half, but they keep finding a way to get the job done. They’ve earned 11 points from five games since they crashed out of Concacaf Champions Cup.

It’s not the best version of the Union we’ve seen, but their floor remains incredibly high.

Previous: 2-2 draw at ATL | Next: Bye

In a battle for the top spot in the Western Conference, the Galaxy turned the jets on late in Vancouver en route to a 3-1 road win. Riqui Puig had a lot to say about that.

The Galaxy lead the West in points (15) and goals scored (17) after eight games. There are still questions about the defense – especially on set pieces – that aren’t going away. Yet the big question might be if the other questions even matter when Puig, Joseph Paintsil, Gabriel Pec and Dejan Joveljic are this good in attack.

Previous: 3-1 win at VAN | Next: 4/21 vs. SJ

There’s no way around it: Inter Miami crashing out of Concacaf Champions Cup is a major letdown relative to the standards they’ve set for themselves. You can’t blame any MLS team too much for coming up short against Monterrey, but the Herons are measured differently.

The silver lining is they can put their full focus on the league now. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them start to pile up points. Having Lionel Messi healthy will help with that.

Previous: 3-2 win at SKC | Next: 4/20 vs. NSH

Cincy came up short at CF Montréal and it seems time to start keeping a close watch on their attack. They’ve scored eight goals in eight games and their underlying numbers are in the same tier as Toronto and New York City.

They’re still outstanding defensively, but there are some issues to work out going forward.

Previous: 2-1 loss at MTL | Next: 4/20 at ATL

The Whitecaps are still just two points off the top spot in the West after falling to the Galaxy. But there’s probably something to say about how they’ve lost to the two best teams they’ve played – RSL and LA – at home.

The ‘Caps are a good team. They may not be a great team.

Previous: 3-1 loss vs. LA | Next: 4/20 at SEA

Atlanta went into their matchup with Philadelphia missing several starters. They nearly pulled out a win anyway.

An errant back pass that played Mikael Uhre in on goal and a stunner from Kai Wagner spoiled the Five Stripes’ 2-0 second-half lead. It’s one of those games where it doesn’t feel like you can take a lesson from it. Despite missing multiple key players, Atlanta were good on the day except for two moments. Sometimes, MLS happens.

Atlanta can take solace from how their midfield pairing of Bartosz Slisz and Tristan Muyumba is getting better and better by the week.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. PHI | Next: 4/20 vs. CIN

Houston keep pulling out results. This week’s win came thanks to a highlight-reel-worthy goal-line clearance from Ethan Bartlow and a filthy strike from Seba Kowalczyk.

That’s four wins in five games for the Dynamo, reaching one of the top spots in the West without Héctor Herrera. They’ve been stout defensively and it’s helped them navigate a patch of the season they didn’t seem likely to navigate a few weeks ago. A second-straight playoff appearance is in the cards.

Previous: 2-1 win at MIN | Next: 4/20 vs. ATX

RSL held Columbus scoreless, but probably don’t feel great about being held off the board themselves against a post-CCC Crew side.

LAFC are veering into the same territory they were in back in 2021. The underlying numbers say they’re one of the best teams in the league. The eye test and the results don’t quite line up.

To be fair, they earned a road point last weekend in Portland. All road points are good points. However, LAFC were up a man for most of the second half and couldn’t find a winner. This group still seems to be missing… something. It’s not entirely clear what it is. Yet odds are they’re going to be perfectly fine.

Previous: 2-2 draw at POR | Next: 4/20 vs. RBNY

The Rapids took care of business and boat-raced the Quakes. They have 12 points in eight games and look vastly different from last year’s team. That’s all you can really ask for in year one under Chris Armas, right?

Previous: 3-0 win at SJ | Next: 4/20 vs. DAL

Nothing matters besides the fact Minnesota can’t win at home. Since the start of the 2023 season, they’ve lost as many times at home as they’ve won.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. HOU | Next: 4/21 at CLT

Alright, it’s officially a trend for D.C. United.

The Black-and-Red have led in each of their last five games while playing some of the best teams in the league. They have five points in that stretch.

Their latest misstep came on Saturday when they blew a 2-1 second-half lead against Orlando at home. Their underlying numbers are among the best in MLS and they look great in spells, but they haven’t yet learned how to compile a complete game.

Hey, at least they’re frustrating instead of just bad!

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. ORL | Next: 4/20 at NYC

The Crown put together their best attacking performance of the season in a 3-2 win over Toronto. New DP winger Liel Abada got on the scoresheet for the first time and Patrick Agyemang’s excellent story continued with an 85th-minute winner.

Charlotte are undefeated at home this year. The aura of Sir Minty remains tough to overcome.

Previous: 3-2 win vs. TOR | Next: 4/21 vs. MIN

It doesn’t feel quite right to have Montréal this low after they earned the biggest win of the weekend.

After a six-game road trip to start the year, Montréal went home for the first time and took down FC Cincinnati. It’s a statement result for a team with a ton of home games left on the schedule. And, remarkably, Josef Martínez led the way.

Josef had a goal and an assist in this one after coming off the bench for the injured Matías Cóccaro.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. CIN | Next: 4/20 vs. ORL

St. Louis limited Austin to two (2) shots in a 1-0 win. More importantly, João Klauss scored his first goal from open play since September 2023.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. ATX | Next: 4/20 at SKC

The Sounders earned a point, but there’s nothing much to say about a 0-0 draw in Dallas. Just more of the same from Seattle in attack.

Previous: 0-0 draw at DAL | Next: 4/20 vs. VAN

Sporting KC drew 72,610 fans to Arrowhead Stadium, got two goals from Erik Thommy annndddd it still wasn’t enough because Lionel Messi and Diego Gómez had other ideas.

In a vacuum, giving up three goals to Miami is what it is. But SKC have now allowed 10 goals in their last four games.

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. MIA | Next: 4/20 vs. STL

Portland could have earned more than three points at home against LAFC, but Maxime Crépeau’s 48th-minute red card derailed things. They still held onto a 2-2 draw thanks to an assist and a heckuva goal from Evander.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. LAFC | Next: 4/20 at CLB

It seemed like the early-season anxiety around Orlando might only get worse in D.C. But the Lions fought back from a 2-1 second-half deficit to earn a 3-2 road win in stoppage time and pick up their first non-Austin win of the season.

Previous: 3-2 win at DC | Next: 4/20 at MTL

Make it three straight losses and 10 goals allowed in three games since losing Lorenzo Insigne to a hamstring injury. The Reds have fallen back to Earth at speed.

Previous: 3-2 loss at CLT | Next: 4/20 vs. NE

New York City are undefeated in their last three games and picked up a 2-0 win over a bad New England team this weekend. That’s four points from the first two home games of a critical five-game homestand. So far, so good.

Previous: 2-0 win vs. NE | Next: 4/20 vs. DC

You take a road draw against one of the hottest teams in the league (RBNY) every time, even if you were up a man for roughly 50 minutes. Chicago have earned eight points in their last five games.

Previous: 0-0 draw at RBNY | Next: 4/20 vs. RSL

Austin had the same number of shots on goal against St. Louis as you and I did this weekend.

Previous: 1-0 loss at STL | Next: 4/20 at HOU

Nashville got a week off to prepare for another trip down to Miami. Best of luck to them.

Previous: Bye | Next: 4/20 at MIA

Seven games. Six goals scored. Five points.

Previous: 0-0 draw vs. SEA | Next: 4/20 at COL

At least they’re officially out of Concacaf Champions Cup?

Previous: 2-0 loss at NYC | Next: 4/20 at TOR

San Jose have allowed 20 goals in their first eight games. This is bad.

Previous: 3-0 loss vs. COL | Next: 4/21 at LA