Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff; words by Alicia Rodriguez.
BIGGEST MOVERS: 5 teams +2; SEA -3
LAST WEEK: 1
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 4
LAFC win, but there was some adversity along the way, as they picked up their first red card of the season before scoring twice at the RioT. Some will question LAFC needing to struggle a bit more lately to get wins, but come Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs time, that experience with suffering through to win could prove vital.
LAST WEEK: 3
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 19
It was a very good week for Atlanta, who won Campeones Cup midweek then beat the Timbers at Providence Park to wrap up the Week 24 slate. There is a chance that this team could find a fork in the road yet to either be legit contenders again this year or fall apart, but the latest evidence is that they're looking good.
LAST WEEK: 5
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 18
NYCFC are still flying under the radar, except in the minds of the voting panel. Will James Sands' latest injury really set NYCFC back? To be determined, but just because the youngster isn't counted on to score goals doesn't mean he isn't the proverbial rug tying the room together.
LAST WEEK: 2
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 20
A bump in the road for the Union, who probably wouldn't be as chagrined to lose in Chicago except the Fire have mostly coughed up points this season, even at home. But they have another chance to get a rousing win over D.C. this week as part of Heineken Rivalry Week. The question is will they take advantage to keep pace?
LAST WEEK: 4
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24
A bit of good and bad for the Timbers, with a mixed week at home, but we've argued before that Giovanni Savarese is playing the long game in order for his team to peak come playoff time. If they have another deep run this year, he'll burnish his reputation even more. If not, the mixed results in the regular season will be scrutinized.
LAST WEEK: 6
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 21
The Red Bulls seem to lack that 1%, that je ne sais quoi these days. Come on up, Josh Sims? If the current attacking corps can't bang in the goals reliably enough, the season will end rather early. Even so, they have a huge slate this week against their big rivals — could be a make-or-break double-game week for their prospects.
LAST WEEK: 9
HIGH: 7 | LOW: 23
The Revs have settled into a spot where they can grind out results, a legacy of the Jay Heaps era. Bruce Arena's fingerprints likely won't show up until next season, but New England will aim to get back in the win column to solidify their postseason case when it once looked like all was lost this year.
LAST WEEK: 10
HIGH: 8 | LOW: 15
A good week for Minnesota, who won midweek before scoring a hail mary-style goal to grab a point at the weekend. They only have one game this week, before the Open Cup final next week, but as a team reliant upon rhythm, they can't overlook a Sporting KC side this week capable of getting wins again.
LAST WEEK: 7
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24
Three games winless, the Quakes fall back to Earth but they are still above the playoff line and have a pretty interesting double-game week, against an LAFC side that remains a good yardstick for their progress, followed by a home match against the struggling Whitecaps. Will they make a jump in either direction, or hold firm?
LAST WEEK: 11
HIGH: 11 | LOW: 20
RSL's loss against LAFC was the kind of game that was in the eye of the beholder in terms of their ability to hang tough with the Shield leaders, but the win over the Sounders was the result they needed to keep pace. It's not exactly a "new manager bounce" but Freddy Juarez is maintaining consistency for RSL in impressive fashion.
LAST WEEK: 8
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 11
It's increasingly looking like the Sounders peaked too early, like maybe the opening six games. They still have the quality, but the defense is definitely unsettled and the inconsistency in the lineup is leading not to an expanded squad capable of stepping up, but players lacking rhythm together. Up next: A clash against the Timbers!
LAST WEEK: 14
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 14
Two games for the Galaxy last week, two coming up this week including Tuesday's Leagues Cup clash against Cruz Azul. LA already have a roster that's fairly deep in some spots and threadbare in others, so this two-week slate will be a trying time indeed for Guillermo Barros Schelotto & Co.
LAST WEEK: 12
HIGH: 5 | LOW: 15
Tough week for FC Dallas, but coming back from 3-0 down on the road to pick up a draw is the best way to finish it. The Texas Derby against a Dynamo side in transition is sure to be an intriguing clash for both teams beyond the rivalry aspects, and with Dallas below the playoff line the intensity will be ratcheted up even more.
LAST WEEK: 16
HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21
A good four-point week for Orlando, who are this close to going above the playoff line. Can they hold their nerve? With the big game this week coming against bogey team Atlanta, it's another chance for James O'Connor to keep his team's mentality on the level in the rivalry.
LAST WEEK: 13
HIGH: 3 | LOW: 16
Aside from anything else, teams from the East Coast going to Vancouver tend to struggle, and so D.C.'s narrow loss isn't a surprise in that light. But they're on the verge of a full-on meltdown — if they can have a good week against two teams ahead of them, they can arrest that slide and get back on track. But it's a big if.
LAST WEEK: 17
HIGH: 4 | LOW: 21
TFC's prospects to get back to the playoffs could come down to this weekend's Canadian Classique, believe it or not. There's definitely enough of a sample size to determine that changes will be coming to the roster next year, and playoffs or not it's a matter of seeing who will stick around beyond the remodeling project.
LAST WEEK: 15
HIGH: 13 | LOW: 24
The Rapids managed a point across two road games and while they've been playing better under Conor Casey, it's all about reps and figuring out what's next for this club. But they won't lack for motivation in the Rocky Mountain Cup clash at home, and the Spoiler Gang could be back.
LAST WEEK: 19
HIGH: 13 | LOW: 24
Three wins in four, the Fire are back in the playoff chase, just a point below the line. Incredible, considering they were coasting along most of the season. Can they continue the momentum against the Revolution or will this be a mirage during a confounding season?
LAST WEEK: 18
HIGH: 3 | LOW: 24
Six games unbeaten for the Crew, but three straight draws. Not bad considering the dismal slump that came before, but they're also a team mainly in evaluation phase at this point ... after the Hell is Real derby this coming week, of course.
LAST WEEK: 20
HIGH: 3 | LOW: 21
SKC are six points away from the playoff line...is there a chance? There's definitely a chance, of all the teams near the bottom of the standings they're most likely to surge in the final weeks. But even with hope alive the campaign has fallen far short of expectations unless they win MLS Cup
LAST WEEK: 21
HIGH: 8 | LOW: 21
Montreal are inconsistent, wash, rinse, repeat. At this point, if they haven't thought of unconventional solutions to the troubles, they may need to get into more obscure ways to break up the pattern they're in, because it's not a good one.
LAST WEEK: 22
HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23
Good win for the Whitecaps, and another team with questions swirling about who will be back next season. Also interesting is what direction they'll go in with the new front office position they're looking to fill.
LAST WEEK: 24
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24
A rousing late comeback for the Dynamo is a good start for Davy Arnaud's coaching career. The Dynamo may have left it too late, but they're six points back of the playoff line, and if Arnaud brings enough fresh air, you never know.
LAST WEEK: 23
HIGH: 12 | LOW: 24
FC Cincy were in their loss against NYCFC for much of the game before falling apart late. The Hell is Real derby clash is likely to be the last big game of the inaugural MLS campaign, unless they really catch fire late.