What a week in MLS. Seattle blew out a team on national TV, Cincinnati lost, Jose Martinez picked up multiple cards, Caden Clark scored a stunning goal and teams struggled through the weekend after playing CCL games midweek. Yes, this was truly a week unlike any other. Let’s rank some teams to celebrate.
As you read through the rankings, don't forget to check out Andrew Wiebe's Twitter feed and listen in on Spaces as he and Matt Doyle as well as some special guests discuss all 27 teams.
Disclaimer: As always, none of this is my fault. And the stakes have never been lower. To the rankings we go.
Congrats to Grant Stephens, a Timbers fan from Gresham, Oregon. Grant found a monkey’s paw this offseason and, in hopes Seattle would take a break from normal procedure, wished for the Sounders to not become the best team in MLS after the summer transfer window. Way to go, Grant. Way to go.
A bit of a drop here for LAFC, who went into Houston with injuries to key players and played down to their competition as they scraped out a draw. It’s the kind of surprising result we haven’t seen from LAFC since the entirety of last season.
Ah, the first casualty of CCHell week. The Crew dropped a couple of spots after going out on Wednesday nearly pulling out a win over Monterrey. They should have pulled out a win over Monterrey. And maybe if they remember how to play soccer for the entirety of stoppage time they’re in the top spot this week. Instead, they gave up a crucial late away goal.
Even still it’s a draw against Monterrey, that’s not the kind of thing that drops you. The kind of thing that drops you is not putting up a shot on target against Montréal a few days later. CCL hangover or not, you can’t actively inflict pain on the innocent viewing public and expect to keep your spot.
After opening the year with a loss to D.C. United, NYCFC blasted Cincinnati and beat a Philadelphia team playing on short rest and with 10 men for the majority of the match. Does that make them the sixth-best team in MLS?
[nervously glances over at the MLSsoccer.com writers still mad about the joke from the Revolution section]
In the same week the Union picked up a top-five win in club history by importance and style, they laid an egg against NYCFC. They have one point in MLS through three games and they’re also on the verge of a CCL semifinal and potentially becoming the team that breaks MLS’ CCL curse. My head either hurts because I’ve spent too long trying to figure out how good this team actually is or I’ve recently been in close proximity to Jose Martinez.
Sure your greatest rival appears to be a buzzsaw in the year everyone expected them to step back. And sure you just got boat raced by an FC Dallas team that hadn’t won a game all year. But you’ve got a legitimate chance to knock off Club America on Wednesday night to set up an all-MLS CCL semifinal. Stay focused here. This is for the greater good. Really think about the bigger picture here — what’s that? You want Gio to rotate the team on Wednesday to get ready for Seattle on Sunday?
Rough estimate here, but we’ve probably got like 200,000 more words coming here at MLSsoccer dot com on how good at soccer and how exciting Austin FC are before their first home game. So I’ll only add my 68 here and make up for it without about five features later. Expansion content is about pacing. Also, Austin are really good at soccer and it’s really, really exciting.
Things Cade Cowell, who has a goal and an assist in each of the last two games, was not born in time for: Y2K, Woodstock ‘99, any culturally relevant Nickelodeon animated shows, Tobey Maguire in the first Spider-Man, America showing its first signs of a growing cultural divide as it wrestled between choosing Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson as the first and only American Idol, and MLS Cup champions: The San Jose Earthquakes.
Ok fine, he was born like a month before the Quakes won their last title. The point stands though. You’re old.
The shelf life on the “Oh, lol, they must have been really mad about being ranked last in the Power Rankings” bit ended up being about a week. Now we’re kind of stuck with a team that may actually just be pretty good. It’s not as fun, but full credit to them. They blasted a Sporting KC team this weekend that had Alan Pulido and Johnny Russell back in the starting lineup.
I mean, it was definitely not the worst loss on national television to Seattle this season.
After putting in their best half in over a year, the Five Stripes got thwacked by the Union in the second half and were outplayed for the entire game by the Revolution. Things are definitely getting better. They won’t get good until Atlanta find the personnel that can consistently create goals in Gabriel Heinze’s system. Frankly, it may not be on the team right now.
Well, well, well. Dallas played the kids and look what happened. Dallas played six (!!!) homegrowns in this one. They provided a much-needed jump start to a team that sorely needed it after a rough start to the year. In the end, it’s a win over a rotating Portland team with an eye toward bigger things. But it might be what they needed to get things going.
Oh. Sorry. All that was totally unnecessary and barely made any sense. What I meant to say was Luchi Gang Luchi Gang Luchi Gang Luchi Gang.
Sporting dropped seven spots this week after everyone kept waiting to see what they looked like with Alan Pulido plugged into the lineup.
They have four points from two Eastern playoff teams so far. That’s very good. And they were missing a DP against Nashville. That makes it even more impressive considering they already had one in USL.
Music City tributes at Nashville SC games: Vinyl pressing after a goal, pregame guitar rift, having the opening act of the show be worse than headliner to make them seem better.
Yes, I know that idea would have worked better (better is a relative word) if Nashville had another comeback this week after playing poorly in the first half. Instead, they just played poorly in both halves and nothing happened. I had to write something.
Remember, the only thing worse to an MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings voter than losing is to skip a weekend playing soccer. Toronto technically did both last week. They dropped four spots. I’m thinking Yeferson Soteldo will eventually have plenty to say about this ranking, but until then Toronto may be stuck in the teens for a few weeks.
Previous: Bye | Next: at RBNY on 5/8
They kept Columbus from getting a shot off until the 70th minute and took 20 shots of their own. That’s a win in my book. My book is a copy of The Fountainhead where I write down soccer things that didn’t actually happen and notes on how to be a terrible person.
My favorite part of watching the Red Bulls pick up their first win of the season came from listening as the New York announcers became increasingly worried that the Red Bulls were in possession of the ball a little too much. The phrase “what do you do when you have the ball?” came out at least once.
Not to discredit a pretty good point considering the Red Bulls, but no one really “had” the ball in this one. Possession was more like a loose abstract of what that theoretically might look like. However, the clear answer to his question is “get the ball to Caden Clark in a volleyable position.”
They’ve played three playoff teams — and three top-10 teams in this week’s Power Rankings — and have four points that could have easily been five or six. We’re on week four of me being pretty confused why they’re this low.
Honestly, I think at this point everyone is just mad at Minnesota for making us talk so much during the offseason about them being good.
Anyway, this about sums it all up so far.
I kept joking about “Hernan Losada’s CrossFit Box/Soccer Club” and now like half the team is injured and he’s dropping real quotes like “I told you before the first game, this group was not fit enough. They came back from four months’ offseason, totally unfit. Many were overweight. Nobody had control over what the players were doing in those four months and some of them are paying the price."
We’re like two weeks away from Losada signing the 11 people in the D.C. area with the highest Peloton outputs to four-day contracts just to prove a point.
They’re still giving up easy goals, but now Robert Beric isn’t even scoring his normal one goal a game anymore. I think they might come around eventually, but it may not be in time to vie for a playoff spot for the first time in years. It feels like a team regressing rapidly and we’re only three weeks in. That’s not ideal. But it is kind of a bummer.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for another Cincinnati loss and it is like constantly ringing someone please turn off the bell.
Previous: 3-0 loss at ORL | Next: Bye