Week 2 in MLS is gone and exactly one team has won two games, which means the Power Rankings are perhaps even more arbitrary than ever before. Do you feel that? You're experiencing the majesty of a tradition unlike any other at the height of its powers.
Anyway, like usual, a collection of MLS writers and voices completed the next-to-impossible task of ranking all 27 MLS teams with at-best loose criteria to guide them. Instead, their hearts led the way. And that's why every single ranking is correct.
And if you want more debate, check out Andrew Wiebe and Matt Doyle pouring over the rankings with some special guests on Twitter Spaces below and every Tuesday at 11 am ET.
Disclaimer: As always, none of this is my fault. And the stakes have never been lower. To the rankings we go.
Good soccer team is good.
Most importantly, they didn't commit the cardinal sin of the Power Rankings. Unlike Columbus.
Well, this is what you get. DO YOU SEE? DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU...uh...sit at home and do nothing wrong?
For the first time all year, Columbus dropped out of the top spot. They didn't play last weekend. Seems harsh. They can easily jump back into the top spot if they ball out against CF Monterrey in Concacaf Champions League on Wednesday, though.
Previous: Bye | Next: at MTL on 5/1
Seattle and their Nicolas Lodeiro-less 3-5-2 has thumped Minnesota and picked up a road point against LAFC. Homegrown Josh Atencio has filled in nicely in the midfield and the Sounders have largely looked like the Sounders. Even without a key piece like Lodeiro.
They definitely won, but they took one shot from inside the box and it was blocked. The xG finished at 0.3 to 0.3. They didn’t exactly dominate. But hey, at least they didn’t do something unforgivable in Power Rankings Land like have a bye week. That’s enough to move them up a spot.
They got outplayed by Vancouver in Week 1, but recovered nicely against Houston. The game-winner from Cristhian Paredes is one of the best team goals from last weekend. Like Columbus, Portland can make a jump in the rankings next week with a solid showing in their CCL Leg 1 against Club America on Wednesday night.
Y’all good, Philly? Not quite sure what exactly happened in the last 20 minutes for y’all this weekend, but giving up goals to two Higuains isn’t how you go about defending your Supporters’ Shield. That will knock you down a couple of spots in the Power Rankings this early in the year. It’s a tough time out here to be having one of your few fluke losses.
Atlanta United played in front of a good crowd. Atlanta United pulled away late in a game where they scored a worldie and a hilarious own goal. Ezequiel Barco will likely win AT&T Goal of the Week. Nature ain’t healing, nature is healed.
Sporting largely got outplayed by Orlando on Friday night. Fortunately, Gianluca Busio is the truth and they get the benefit of the doubt for still not having the team fully functional yet. They’ll be assessed with a harsher eye when Johnny Russell and Alan Pulido return to the starting XI.
Orlando City largely outplayed Sporting on Friday night. Nani is the truth and gave them a deserved draw. They aren’t firing on all cylinders yet, but they’re still scary going forward. They should get Mauricio Pereyra back this week and we’ll get a better idea of just how good this team can be, even if there are Daryl Dike and Alexandre Pato-sized questions at striker.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of people too small to defend this set piece.” - NYCFC/Isaac Newton (kind of)
NYCFC’s actual xG from Week 2 only checked in at 1.8. But who needs expected goals when you can just get a free kick and expect to score no matter what? The Cityzens scored five times from set pieces against FC Cincinnati. Seems like a record. I have no idea if that means they’re actually worthy of the No. 11 spot, but it does probably mean Cincinnati earned every bit of their spot.
I think some people will be surprised to see Nashville this high. But if you only started counting games after the other team has scored twice, they’d be one of the best teams in MLS. They’ve created a ton of chances and are unlucky to not come away with a win. They just need to skip the whole two-goal deficit thing and they’ll be a serious threat for a playoff spot in the East.
The Brothers Higuain saved the day in Philadelphia. The goals came late, but any time you can jumpstart your international star AND get three points from one of the toughest home teams in the league, it’s a possible turning point.
Toronto got a draw and dropped three spots. Rough.
Let’s unpack this a bit, though. Toronto’s burden of proof is going to be higher than most teams. The expectations are going to be higher than for most teams and their “coming up short” could be another team’s “Wow! That’s pretty good for them! And two brothers scored? How cool! Time to bump them up the Power Rankings.”
To go further, a draw and beatdown loss to two Canadian teams that aren’t Toronto would knock any team down a few pegs. Most of those teams wouldn’t have defeated Club Leon over two legs in CCL weeks before, but I think Toronto might be destined as a team nobody can decipher as bad-good, good-bad, regular good, or just plain bad this year. It seems like they’ll continue to shapeshift throughout the year, at least until they get everyone healthy. Which… you know, don’t be too dependent on that.
Previous: 2-2 draw vs. VAN | Next: Bye
Whoooo boy, did y’all see MLS’ newest team crush it in Colorado? The Oaks or the Verde or the The Fighting Moondogs or whatever we’re calling them scored their first-ever goal and decided that felt pretty nice and added two more over the next 11 minutes in a 3-1 win. They look cohesive, they look talented and they’re getting numbers forward at an impressive rate. To quote Matthew Doyle…
Through two games Austin are averaging 188 off-ball, attacking runs per game, as per Second Spectrum’s tracking data. Last year NYCFC led the league with 175 per game. The truth of what Wolff wants his team to be is in the numbers, in the clips and, on Saturday, it was on the scoreboard as well.
The Quakes, in the span of three Power Rankings, have gone from 16th to 26th back to 16th. That about sums it up. And by “it” I mean every single thing about Matias Almeyda’s team over the last few years. Anyway, let’s watch that Cade Cowell pass again.
To their credit, Montréal came out and punched a team in the mouth early again. To their credit, they held on. To their credit, they came out of the shadows of a last-place preseason Power Ranking to make a lot of us feel bad about that. To whatever the opposite of "their credit" is, they have the worst expected goal differential in MLS through two games. I’m not sure four points every two games is sustainable. Cherish these moments, Montréal fans.
Four points against Portland and Toronto at any point during the year should feel really good. Vancouver fans may be disappointed they didn’t take all six, though. They were eight minutes (plus stoppage time) away from doing just that until a late goal from Toronto ruined their plans.
Well, well, well. If it isn’t the consequences of our own decisions.
Real Salt Lake dropped into last place in last week’s Power Rankings after staying home in Week 1. Like the team in last place before them (Montréal), they then secured three points. Congrats to Freddy Juarez's team on getting to dunk on MLS Digital for a week and congrats to whoever is in last place this week on their big win.
You ever lose game one so bad you go out and lose game two and then try to fight a 20-year-old goalkeeper named David Ochoa? Minnesota have spent the first two weeks being your least enjoyable friend to go to a bar with in undergrad.
Jeez, Dallas. My hopes were high for a step forward this year, but so far you've played to a scoreless draw with Colorado and then got blasted by San Jose 3-1. Yikes.
Jeez, Colorado. My hopes were high for a step forward this year, but so far you've played to a scoreless draw with Dallas and then got blasted by Austin 3-1. Yikes.
I'm a massive Gerhard Struber fan. This is going to take some time, though. I have no idea if Frankie Amaya and Patryk Klimala are the answer to all or any of their problems, but I'm definitely interested to find out.
Houston were outplayed by Portland, but not wildly. It wouldn't have been shocking to have seen them equalize late on Saturday. I maintain they're better than the league's bottom tier, but my powers as Rankings Czar in overruling my colleagues only extend so far. And by that I mean they go nowhere, nowhere at all.
Through nine minutes against New England, they apparently had a pass accuracy of 0%. That improved. But that stat is enough to make me love Hernan Losada Ball unconditionally forever.
All that considered, they only gave up one shot to New England inside the box and would have gotten away with a point against a top-five team if it weren't for a Brendan Hines-Ike own goal.
Ruthless stuff from the Rankings Politburo here. Chicago nearly beat New England, then lost to Atlanta after a golazo and an own goal. Somehow that earns you second from bottom in the Power Rankings.
Jaap Stam’s team is on pace to give up 119 goals. 102 of those will come from set pieces.