Not my fault, voted on by like 15 MLS personalities, editors and writers, etc., etc. Y’all know how the Power Rankings work by now. Probably. We all vote and then we blame Tom Bogert…what’s that? Tom is at The Athletic now? That changes things up a bit. What’s the point if he’s not here to wear the anger of legions of Colorado fans who are mad about being ranked 17th instead of 16th? The…the light has gone out of my life.
Dénis Bouanga is good at soccer.
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The Sounders got past Minnesota thanks to Albert Rusnák. It’s a good result, but maybe a bummer of a week since Seattle learned Raúl Ruidíaz will once again miss extended time with a hamstring injury. This is becoming a recurring theme and you have to wonder if the injuries are becoming too much to overlook when it comes to Ruidíaz's future with the team long-term.
Road games are hard. It looked like St. Louis were about to pull out another win despite a less-than-stellar defensive performance and a João Klauss injury, but the Rapids eventually broke through late for an equalizer. CITY SC still ended the weekend on top of the Western Conference, though, mainly because Roman Bürki is a brick wall.
A nice “everyone calm down” win for Cincy last weekend. They took care of business and created plenty against a mostly overmatched Portland side. And all without Brenner, who seems halfway out the door to his new club, Udinese of Italy's Serie A.
Anyway, the Garys are tied with the Revs atop the early Supporters’ Shield standings.
Everyone entered Saturday thinking a last-minute transfer might be what the Pigeons needed to solve things at striker. Then Santiago Rodríguez showed up playing a false nine and NYCFC put together their best performance of the season.
Rodríguez grabbed a brace, NYCFC put all of their most talented pieces on the field and it seems like a lot of problems got solved at once. At least for one night.
Either way, NYCFC are still near the top of the East and are slowly starting to connect the pieces of a roster that’s undergone a ton of changes.
It doesn’t matter when it happens. It all counts all the same.
Atlanta United have played far better games this year, but they still found a way to pull out a win. You can either take it as a sign of regression (they were largely at full strength and played one of their worst games of the season) or progress (they played terribly and were still able to eke out a win). Your call.
Road games are hard. They lost to Charlotte, 1-0. The Crew will be fine. But it’s probably fair to point out there are still some questions about this roster competing with the best in the league, even with Wilfried Nancy working his magic. They’ve navigated a stretch of winnable games well so far, and their schedule won’t get all that much tougher until Hell is Real about a month from now. Just keep piling on points while you can.
(And, in the meantime, sort out whatever is happening here.)
The big question now is whether or not it will pay off on Wednesday. It kind of seems like the Union got their groove back at the right time though. I bet they’ll trade slightly tired legs for that.
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They nearly pulled out a classic 1-0 Nashville win, but let off for one moment to let Dénis Bouanga run free down the middle and that went about how you’d expect. The Coyotes are through nine games with a totally average and not very engaging 1.33 points per game with three wins, three draws and three losses and a +3 goal differential. This is the most “they are what they are” team in the league. For better or worse.
Road games are hard. Dallas just ran into an NYCFC version that had more juice and more healthy starters. They’ll be fine and probably finish like third or fourth in the West. That’s just how these things usually go.
So this seems good.
Houston just keep getting the job done. There’s still room to improve, but the Ben Olsen era is off to as good a start as anyone could have possibly imagined.
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Road games are hard, especially when the other team is putting every other shot into the back of the net from distance. The Earthquakes got varianced to hell by RSL and a four-game unbeaten streak ended.
Road games are hard, especially if you’re Minnesota and you’re playing Seattle. That historically doesn’t go well.
The Whitecaps took the week off. But if they had played a road game, it probably would have been hard to win.
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Orlando took the unwelcome title of “Only Home Team To Lose” last weekend in MLS. You really really don’t want to be the “Only Home Team To Lose.”
It’s fair to wonder how much of a grace period their busy offseason will allow them before serious questions start to be asked. It feels like the Lions are scraping by right now.
The Rapids created 2.8 xG worth of chances against St. Louis. They weren’t able to get a win out of it, and actually needed a late goal from Michael Barrios to salvage a point. But doubling up one of the West’s best teams on xG isn’t a bad thing. Neither is being undefeated in their last five. It’s not going “well” for the Rapids. But it’s certainly not going poorly!
Road games are… kind of easy if you think about it?
D.C. cruised in Orlando for their second straight win. I’m not saying great things are happening in D.C., but I think good things might be happening. Like maybe Audi MLS Cup Playoffs-potential things?
That’s two straight home wins for RSL. But are goals like this sustainable?
Everything seemed a little simpler for Charlotte on Saturday. Karol Swiderski tucked into the central role we all expected him to play at the beginning of the year, they didn’t mess around with pulling a fullback central in the buildup and the right players were in the right places. All that resulted in a big 1-0 win over a red-hot Columbus team via a goal from Swiderski. Soccer is hard, but sometimes it’s not that hard.
Road games are hard. Portland made it closer than they probably should have against FC Cincinnati in a 2-1 loss last weekend, but still didn’t follow up on their big win over Seattle. At the very least, maybe they’ve found the best way to utilize Evander? He played as a second forward to positive reviews.
That went pretty well! The Galaxy controlled the game, created a ton of chances and pulled out their first win of the season.
Road games are hard, but Austin are just straight-up not having a good time right now.
Yeah, the underlying numbers are still good. But…[gestures broadly]...the results aren’t good.
A win! That goal differential (-12) is still lopsided, but they aren’t stuck all by their lonesome at the bottom of the East anymore. Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider them the favorite in the race to the bottom at this point. Progress!
Road games are hard, but that hasn’t stopped difficult questions after a 1-0 loss at Houston. The Herons have lost six straight since Gregore’s injury.
Road games are hard. These are also hard facts for SKC to face.