Power Rankings

Power Rankings: LA Galaxy gain momentum, LAFC stumble before El Tráfico

Power Rankings - Matchday 7 - LA Galaxy - Riqu Puig

Charlotte FC took points off a team from Ohio, Lewis Morgan scored for the New York Red Bulls, Seattle Sounders FC and FC Dallas struggled, and Atlanta United won at home. It was truly a week in MLS unlike any other.

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. That being said, the 2024 MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings Committee took the week off and let one of those adorable animals that pick the NCAA tournament brackets rank the teams for us.

It’s been a strange couple of weeks for the Crew. After falling at Charlotte last week, Columbus needed a late goal from Marino Hinestroza to salvage a 2-2 draw at Nashville. Notably, that draw did not involve Cucho Hernández, who missed this match for “team policy” reasons.

Previous: 2-2 draw at NSH | Next: 4/6 vs. DC

Cincinnati didn’t have their A-game at Charlotte, but that never stops them from earning points.

They know how to get results. Plain and simple. The floor stays high with this team. Seeing them undefeated and at the top of the Eastern Conference shouldn't surprise anyone after six games. 

Previous: 1-1 draw at CLT | Next: 4/6 vs. RBNY

The Galaxy are undefeated with 12 points and have a Western Conference-best 13 goals. Their attacking quartet of Riqui Puig, Joseph Paintsil, Gabriel Pec and Dejan Joveljic looks elite.

They’re the genuine product and might be a legitimate Supporters' Shield contender. Not a bad way to enter this weekend's El Tráfico, huh?

Previous: 1-0 win vs. SEA | Next: 4/6 at LAFC

The Red Bulls couldn’t quite hold onto a lead at Orlando. It happens. What doesn’t happen all the time, though, is the kind of run Lewis Morgan is on.

Previous: 1-1 draw at ORL | Next: 4/6 at CIN

A whomping.

ATL xG vs. CHI - Matchday 7 - 2024 season

The Five Stripes were on cruise control against Chicago. We know how good the attack is, but they continue to get the job done defensively. This time, they did it despite missing DP center back Stian Gregersen. Noah Cobb, an 18-year-old homegrown, stepped up in Gregersen's place and Derrick Williams continued an outstanding debut season in Atlanta.

This team leads the league in goal differential (+5) despite playing just five games and has picked up three straight home wins to start the season.

Previous: 3-0 win vs. CHI | Next: 4/6 at NYC

A left LCL (knee) injury will keep Inter Miami midfielder Federico Redondo out for roughly the next two months. That led to a lineup last weekend where Sergio Busquets played center back… and that set-up earned them a disappointing 1-1 home draw against a lackluster New York City FC side.

Inter Miami have 11 points over their first seven games and their underlying numbers are largely below average. That’s not a Supporters’ Shield-level product so far. And it won't get much easier with CF Monterrey arriving for CCC action this Wednesday, although Lionel Messi might return from a hamstring injury. That'd sure help.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. NYC | Next: 4/6 vs. COL

The Loons came off a bye week and ran into a revitalized Philadelphia side on the road. Their undefeated season is over, but they’ll be just fine.

Previous: 2-0 loss at PHI | Next: 4/6 vs. RSL

Montréal got run over by D.C. United, a 1-0 loss that could have been a lot worse.

Road games are hard and Montréal have played five of them in a row. They have one more trip to Seattle before they can finally head home.

Previous: 1-0 loss at DC | Next: 4/6 at SEA

The Whitecaps blew a lead at home for the second straight weekend, but Ryan Raposo’s 87th-minute goal saved three points in a 3-2 win over Portland. Vancouver are averaging two points per game to start the year.

Previous: 3-2 win vs. POR | Next: 4/6 vs. TOR

That’s two straight wins for the Union. Now they’re past Concacaf Champions Cup, Philadelphia look set to resume beating up on teams and piling up points. Even if there are still genuine questions about their ability to win a trophy, no one should be surprised if they end up near the top of the Eastern Conference. The floor won’t fall out on this group. 

Previous: 2-0 win vs. MIN | Next: 4/6 at NSH

Chicho x3.

He just scores goals. His hat trick last weekend in RSL’s win over St. Louis gave him 41 goals and 13 assists in 58 career MLS starts. He has five goals and four assists on the season and is the key factor behind RSL’s 10 points in their first six games.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. STL | Next: 4/6 at MIN

D.C. piled on chances against Montréal, but didn’t break through until the 86th minute when Pedro Santos got really mad at the ball and did this to it.

So far, the eye test and underlying numbers suggest D.C. United can be a playoff-caliber team, even in the stacked Eastern Conference. Troy Lesesne’s tenure is off to an excellent start.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. MTL | Next: 4/6 at CLB

No matter what he goes on to do from here, 18-year-old rising star David Martínez had a game he’ll never forget. After subbing on in the 63rd minute, the Venezuelan international put LAFC up 2-1 on Colorado in the 76th minute, earned a yellow card two minutes later, and then picked up his second yellow seven minutes after that. Twenty-two remarkable minutes that will live in our minds for the rest of the year.

In the short term, Martínez's go-ahead goal didn’t keep LAFC ahead for long. And with the game tied at two, his second yellow didn’t help. LAFC blew a 2-1 road lead against Colorado and left with their third loss of the season – a sour note heading into this weekend's El Tráfico.

The Black & Gold have seven points through seven games and haven’t looked up to their lofty standards. Olivier Giroud’s reported arrival this summer can only fix so much.

Previous: 3-2 loss at COL | Next: 4/6 vs. LA

After a miserable start to the season, Houston have won three straight games. DP attacker Sebastián Ferreira made his first start since an early-season hamstring injury and found the net in a 2-1 win over San Jose. They’re suddenly one of five teams in the league averaging two points per game. Now imagine if they get Héctor Herrera back later this month.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. SJ | Next: 4/6 at CHI

If it works once, why not try it again?

Sporting KC rolled past Toronto despite missing a few starters, including star forwards Johnny Russell and Alan Pulido.

Previous: 3-1 win at TOR | Next: 4/7 vs. POR

Two stunners from distance shaped Toronto’s loss to Sporting KC. In worse news, Lorenzo Insigne will miss six weeks due to a hamstring injury. The Reds could be about to struggle after a solid start.

Previous: 3-1 loss vs. SKC | Next: 4/6 at VAN

Once again, Charlotte played well enough at home to beat one of the best teams in the league. They kept a lead until a beautiful stoppage-time goal from Cincinnati ruined dreams of back-to-back wins over Ohio sides. Still, this team keeps putting together impressive performances with a roster that isn’t fully formed. New DP winger Liel Abada (one of two Charlotte DPs) debuted in this one.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. CIN | Next: 4/6 at NE

If you get back in it, you might as well finish it off.

The Rapids (and Djordje Mihailovic) had a bit of good karma come their way after a gut-punch loss two weekends ago. Their late comeback win against LAFC gave them eight points in six games on the year, and it appears Colorado will be nowhere near the cellar in the West. That’s a major improvement from last year. But why stop there? This group could easily be a playoff team.

Previous: 3-2 win vs. LAFC | Next: 4/6 at MIA

The Timbers fought back valiantly to equalize from a 2-0 deficit at Vancouver, but couldn’t hold on to get the result in a 3-2 loss. That’s three straight losses for Portland after a hot start.

Previous: 3-2 loss at VAN | Next: 4/7 at SKC

St. Louis got Chicho Arango'd in Salt Lake. They’ll probably feel a little more comfortable at home on Saturday against FC Dallas.

Previous: 3-1 loss at RSL | Next: 4/6 vs. DAL

The Lions pulled back a point against the Red Bulls after going down 1-0 at home. It’s always difficult to score against RBNY, but there’s something to be said for the relative disjointedness we’ve seen when Orlando opt to go to a 4-4-2 with Luis Muriel and Duncan McGuire. Keeping talent on the bench is hard, but you have to wonder if they’ll return to Oscar Pareja’s standard 4-2-3-1 soon.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. RBNY | Next: Bye

FOLKS… Aníbal Godoy.

Nashville couldn’t hold onto the lead Godoy gave them, but that’s an AT&T Goal of the Year contender. That counts for something, right?

Great goal aside, after a 2-2 draw against Columbus, Nashville have now allowed 11 goals in six games. Only Chicago and San Jose have allowed more. That’s not great when your usual identity is predicated on being stout at the back.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. CLB | Next: 4/6 vs. PHI

They weren’t perfect, but they did enough to earn a road point in Miami. That’s not a season-changing outcome, but it’s not a bad outcome. Still, NYCFC only have four goals in six games. No one is scoring fewer times per game. 

Previous: 1-1 draw at MIA | Next: 4/6 vs. ATL

Chicago went down to Atlanta and got steamrolled. They’ll host Houston on Saturday.

Previous: 3-0 loss at ATL | Next: 4/6 vs. HOU

Austin went behind against FC Dallas for a moment, but only for a moment. Goals from Julio Cascante and Diego Rubio handed them a Copa Tejas win and kept them in the middle of the pack in the West.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. DAL | Next: 4/6 vs. SJ

Not good. Their 1-0 loss at LA Galaxy kept them last in the West with just four goals scored after five games. That’s tied for the worst start in their MLS history. 

Previous: 1-0 loss at LA | Next: 4/6 vs. MTL

Midfielder Paxton Pomykal (knee) is out for the season, Dallas have three points from five games, and they just blew a 1-0 lead to Austin. It’s not immediately clear how it gets better.

Previous: 2-1 loss at ATX | Next: 4/6 at STL

Two red cards and two goals allowed meant zero points from San Jose's trip to Houston. "Self-inflicted errors" is maybe the best way to put it. 

Previous: 2-1 loss at HOU | Next: 4/6 at ATX

Nothing got worse for New England during the bye week.

Previous: Bye | Next: 4/6 vs. CLT