Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff; words by Jonathan Sigal.
BIGGEST MOVERS: RBNY +9; LA -10
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 8
Jordan Morris is at 7g/6a on the year, putting the US men's national team winger on pace to surpass his 2019 totals in fewer matches. That’s just one highlight for the Sounders, who have wins in three of their last four and a league-high +17 goal differential. There’s a reason they’re the defending MLS Cup champions and approaching dynasty status.
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 11
The Union are 4-0-1 in their last five matches and (more impressively) have just one loss since regular-season play resumed in August. And while he’s not the star or focal point, Homegrown midfielder Anthony Fontana now has four goals in their last four games. Their kids just keep on producing.
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 6
When Toronto want to kick things into another gear, they can be scary good. We all saw that in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Columbus, when Richie Laryea and Alejandro Pozuelo both activated beast mode. They’re on a 3-0-1 run, too.
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 9
The Crew are still atop the Supporters’ Shield standings, but a fall from the Power Rankings Peak™ comes after a 3-1 setback against Toronto. Keep an eye on the big picture, though, because that snapped a six-game unbeaten streak and they’ve done this with midfielders Lucas Zelarayan and Darlington Nagbe both missing time.
HIGH: 4 | LOW: 23
The Phase 2 schedule sent Orlando to two Western Conference teams last week, and they left trips to FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City with a solid 1-0-1 record. They’re now on an eight-game unbeaten streak and getting the job done regardless of who Oscar Pareja trots out.
HIGH: 2 | LOW: 14
Winners of three straight, the Timbers are coping decently well as Sebastian Blanco recovers from a torn ACL. Toss it up to squad depth, especially in the final third, where one game it’s Yimmi Chara stepping up and the next it’s Felipe Mora (like last week’s 1-0 wins).
HIGH: 3 | LOW: 13
Heber is out for the season with a torn ACL and Maxi Moralez is recovering from a knee injury of his own. That spells offensive doom, right? Not quite last weekend, as NYCFC dropped four on FC Cincinnati, including Alexandru Mitrita’s first two of the season.
HIGH: 7 | LOW: 16
Dallas were held scoreless last week, but the shuffling around them sees Luchi Gonzalez’s group vault up a spot. They certainly could’ve left last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Orlando with a win, though, after Sebastian Mendez received a second-half red card.
HIGH: 6 | LOW: 18
Sporting had the weekend off after COVID-19 cases in Colorado’s camp caused their match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park to be postponed. Perhaps the rest will serve them well, as they’ve lost their hold atop the Western Conference standings and dropped two straight.
HIGH: 10 | LOW: 18
Gustavo Bou seems to be heating up with two goals in his last two games. Is it a coincidence that New England’s also coming off two wins? Our hunch says no. Especially with Carles Gil out injured, there’s even greater pressure on the Argentine DP to produce.
HIGH: 4 | LOW: 11
The Loons, at their best, provide any MLS team with a formidable test. The issue is they’re winless in four and 2-5-2 since play returned in mid-August. At some point the on-paper expectations need to reacquaint themselves with three points on a consistent basis.
HIGH: 12 | LOW: 21
Have the Red Bulls sufficiently sailed out of choppy waters? That’s to be determined, but they’ve certainly buoyed themselves with three wins in four. Bad aquatic metaphor aside, credit to interim head coach Bradley Carnell for breathing life back into RBNY after a rough summer.
HIGH: 13 | LOW: 26
Nashville truly should’ve had a win against Houston last weekend, though they allowed an 89th-minute equalizer to settle for a 1-1 draw. But the fact that Nashville can have those gripes after muted early-season expectations speaks volumes, even if they’re not playing teams off the field. The expansion side’s 3-1-3 in their last seven games.
HIGH: 7 | LOW: 21
First things first: The Rapids are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in their game last weekend being postponed. Details around their upcoming game at Portland will be confirmed later this week, so well wishes to everyone around the club. When Robin Fraser’s group can compete again, they’ll be looking to build off two straight wins.
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 15
Could LAFC have dropped further down? It’s certainly possible after last weekend’s 2-1 collapse against a down-in-the-dumps San Jose side. It’s still remarkable to realize that the defending Supporters’ Shield winners haven’t strung together two straight wins in 2020, even if reigning MVP Carlos Vela (grade 2 MCL sprain) remains out injured.
HIGH: 11 | LOW: 18
After a mini slump, RSL responded last week by beating LA at home and then drawing Minnesota on the road. They’ll need some consistency, though, because Freddy Juarez’s group has proven to be anything but that throughout September.
HIGH: 8 | LOW: 25
Take a step back from the understandable plaudits Houston received earlier this season, and they have just three wins on the year. Tab Ramos’ team is also winless in five, and they recently transferred Alberth Elis to Portuguese club Boavista FC. Houston can be much better, but they also have to prove it.
HIGH: 6 | LOW: 24
The Galaxy have lost three straight and are slipping, there’s no two ways about it. The reintroduction of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has made their offense regress, at least when measuring that via goals, a concerning development given the electric form Sebastian Lletget and Cristian Pavon enjoyed during this summer’s six-game unbeaten streak.
HIGH: 19 | LOW: 25
The Fire are above the Eastern Conference’s playoff line and playing some decent soccer under head coach Raphael Wicky. They’ve won two straight for the first time all season, and DP forward Robert Beric has goals in four straight games. Is it all starting to come together in the Windy City?
HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21
Rather than offering our own thoughts, we’ll let Maxi Urruti’s postgame remarks do the heavy lifting: “The situation is very bad, but we need to stay focused and on the same page." That came after a 4-1 setback at the Red Bulls, Montreal’s fourth straight defeat. They’ve been shown a red card in three of those four losses, too.
HIGH: 19 | LOW: 26
Gonzalo Higuain made his debut last weekend, though his penalty kick miss (followed by a scuffle with several Union players) was certainly a lowlight. Inter Miami have lost three of their last four games and are one of two teams on a league-worst 11 points. With the expansion club’s talent, the results truly should be better.
HIGH: 19 | LOW: 26
The Whitecaps came crashing back to Earth last week with two straight losses. One was a 6-0 defeat at LAFC when they allowed five goals by the 33rd minute. Not exactly how head coach Marc Dos Santos and his staff drew it up.
HIGH: 1 | LOW: 23
The Five Stripes are 1-5-2 since late August. Even with all their injuries and off-field storylines, the 2018 MLS Cup champions have dropped off considerably. New DP midfielder Marcelino Moreno will certainly help when he arrives, though it’s probably unfair to have savior-like expectations.
HIGH: 18 | LOW: 26
Cincy have scored two goals in nine games since returning from the MLS is Back Tournament. Their offense is proving feeble, and DP forward Jurgen Locadia continues to miss some clear-cut chances. Stretch it back to their MLS introduction in 2019, and Cincy have nine wins in 48 matches. Oof.
HIGH: 10 | LOW: 26
The Earthquakes are nothing if not entertaining. They snapped their eight-game winless stretch last weekend in dramatic fashion, with Jackson Yueill’s stoppage-time winner leading to euphoric celebrations. Under Matias Almeyda, San Jose certainly aren’t boring – and that’s a compliment.
HIGH: 14 | LOW: 26
D.C. United are bottom of the Supporters’ Shield standings with a league-low two wins. We often try to find a silver lining, so at least their teenager Homegrowns (Moses Nyeman et al) are developing nicely. As for the rest? Not many positive takeaways to be found.