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 +1; ORL -2
LAST WEEK: 1
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7
This week, let's take a slightly different tack in checking in on the 23 teams, with everyone in the middle of the World Cup break in league play. First up, Atlanta United: They aren't running away in the standings right now, but seem like the best bet to get silverware this season at this point (assuming no key players are sold).
LAST WEEK: 2
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 15
SKC are once again in the reckoning, and are also still on track in the Open Cup. Perhaps most promising for a team that often seems to run out of gas in the final months, the incorporation of youngsters now could really pay off come season's end.
Previous: Idle | Next: vs. HOU on 6/23
LAST WEEK: 4
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7
The Red Bulls are one of the teams best positioned to really push Atlanta, again, assuming there are no major departures in the summer window. By the way, Bradley Wright-Phillips is on the cusp of scoring 100 goals in MLS regular season play.
LAST WEEK: 3
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 11
Considering the possible or actual changes taking place in Atlanta, NYCFC and at the Red Bulls, Gregg Berhalter's group may be best placed to stay steady throughout the season. As it stands, they look like a contender, with all four position groups in excellent form.
LAST WEEK: 6
HIGH: 4 | LOW: 18
There remains some trepidation around FC Dallas after their collapse last year, but they lead the league in points per game right now, have lost only one in league play, and have the second-longest unbeaten streak at present. Ignore them at your peril.
Previous: Idle | Next: at RBNY on 6/23
LAST WEEK: 5
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 6
NYCFC are off to a good start, but remain a partial mystery the rest of the way with Domenec Torrent now the lead man. Given the system Patrick Vieira put in place, don't expect major changes, but it will still be an adjustment under Torrent and a wild card for MLS.
Previous: Idle | Next: vs. TOR on 6/24
LAST WEEK: 7
HIGH: 5 | LOW: 18
The Timbers, like Dallas, are on red-hot form but still remain an enigma in some ways. They seem assured of a playoff spot, but will they make a deep run? If their home form remains this stellar, they'll have a good shot of going far.
Previous: Idle | Next: at ATL on 6/24
LAST WEEK: 8
HIGH: 3 | LOW: 17
14 games into their history, LAFC have to be pleased with their start to life in MLS. They have the most road wins in the Western Conference and are unbeaten at home so far. Will the steady start continue, or will they hit a wall in the second half of the season?
Previous: Idle | Next: vs. CLB on 6/23
LAST WEEK: 9
HIGH: 9 | LOW: 22
What a difference a season makes. With largely the same roster, Brad Friedel has found true consistency in New England, and while they will probably have a few rough moments in a competitive Eastern Conference, they are always in games, and getting plenty of results.
LAST WEEK: 10
HIGH: 7 | LOW: 15
Houston have been one of the better performing teams in the league this season, but they dropped a ton of points early on and that may prove costly in the long run. They still look on track to reach the playoffs, but the road may be a bit tougher than they bargained for.
Previous: Idle | Next: at SKC on 6/23
LAST WEEK: 11
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 12
TFC have been one of the most disappointing team in league play so far, but the two factors that contributed -- the run to the CCL final and considerable injuries -- are understandable. What's an unknown is whether Toronto can dig out and become true contenders in the final months this year.
LAST WEEK: 12
HIGH: 8 | LOW: 15
The Whitecaps are unbeaten in six games and are on an upward trajectory at present. Will they sustain that for the full season? Can they translate regular season success to the playoffs? And how good can Alphonso Davies get this year?
Previous: Idle | Next: at PHI on 6/23
LAST WEEK: 13
HIGH: 6 | LOW: 14
The Galaxy made a major overhaul this offseason, and the jury is still out on the retooling, although results have been better since a four-game losing streak. Obviously the question here is whether Sigi Schmid will be able to fully bring the pieces together by the fall.
Previous: Idle | Next: at SJ on 6/30
LAST WEEK: 15
HIGH: 12 | LOW: 22
The Union have a good record at home and a lot to work on on the road. There have been rough moments so far but Jim Curtin has his team playing better lately, even if the attack continues to sputter. If the strike force can get going, they could be a surprise outfit this summer.
Previous: Idle | Next: vs. VAN on 6/23
LAST WEEK: 14
HIGH: 6 | LOW: 21
RSL have only lost once at home in league play and have only won once on the road thus far. Mike Petke's crew seems to be going through a "two steps forward, one step back" phase, and it's unclear if they will snap into form the rest of the way.
Previous: Idle | Next: vs. SJ on 6/23
LAST WEEK: 16
HIGH: 11 | LOW: 23
Following the resurgence of the Fire last season, the start to this campaign has to be disappointing, but hope is not lost. Will Chicago opt to bring in a big signing in the summer, and will that potential player make a Schweinsteiger-like difference to the group?
LAST WEEK: 17
HIGH: 4 | LOW: 21
The most disappointing performance to date has to be the Sounders, as back-to-back MLS Cup finalists now well off the pace in the Western Conference. This group has guile, experience and yes, talent, but they've got an uphill climb the rest of the way.
LAST WEEK: 18
HIGH: 15 | LOW: 23
The Loons signed their first Designated Player, and Darwin Quintero has made an instant impact. But they still need more reinforcements to push up the standings, or else they'll remain a hit-or-miss team this year.
Previous: Idle | Next: at COL on 6/23
LAST WEEK: 20
HIGH: 18 | LOW: 23
Out of context, D.C. United's placement at the bottom of the Eastern Conference looks really bad. In context, a punishing schedule in which the Black-and-Red played just two home games at local venues before the opening of Audi Field in mid-July means the awful record may not be indicative of the whole season.
LAST WEEK: 21
HIGH: 12 | LOW: 23
The Impact can tally a good win, but their leaky defense has been catastrophic at times. With several months spent getting used to Remi Garde and vice versa, the next several months will tell if this set-up will prove fruitful in the long run.
LAST WEEK: 19
HIGH: 6 | LOW: 21
He may not have been the first MLS coach to depart this season, but Jason Kreis couldn't survive a six-game losing streak after a six-game winning streak. Clearly something wasn't going right, but with the talent on hand, can a new head coach finally push this team to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time?
LAST WEEK: 22
HIGH: 12 | LOW: 22
The Quakes are just a point off the Western Conference basement and have only beaten one team this season (albeit two times). There's been signs of promise in recent weeks, but San Jose have to be disappointed with the results after a major offseason overhaul.
LAST WEEK: 23
HIGH: 17 | LOW: 23
The team keeping the Quakes off the bottom of the standings is the Rapids, who began the season in the CCL and just snapped an eight-game losing streak with a draw. Colorado appeared to try a moneyball strategy that just has not paid off so far this season.