Power Rankings - 2020 - Week 17 - Toronto

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: LAFC, MIA, NE +2; DAL, LA -2


1


PREVIOUS: 2


HIGH: 1 | LOW: 6


Five straight wins, Supporters’ Shield leaders and now the first team into the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. It’s been quite the week for Toronto, who are back atop the Power Rankings leaderboard. But as head coach Greg Vanney said after last weekend’s win over FC Cincinnati, they’re chasing far more.


Previous: 1-0 win at NE, 1-0 win at CIN | Next: vs. RBNY on 10/14, vs. ATL on 10/18


2


PREVIOUS: 1


HIGH: 1 | LOW: 8


In round No. 4 of Seattle vs. LAFC this season, it was the latter who mustered a 3-1 win at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday. That ended a three-game win streak for the Sounders, who are without some key players to international duty. With all the talent Brian Schmetzer has to pick from, they’ll likely rebound in short order.


Previous: 2-1 win vs. RSL, 3-1 loss at LAFC | Next: at SJ on 10/18


3


PREVIOUS: 3


HIGH: 2 | LOW: 11


Philly earned two wins last week, and Ilsinho continues to defy Father Time. The Brazilian midfielder had one goal and two assists, reflecting how many different options the Union can call upon. They’re second in the Supporters’ Shield race, and the Oct. 24 meeting against Toronto could prove crucial on that front.


Previous: 3-0 win vs. CIN, 2-1 win vs. MTL | Next: at DC on 10/14, at NE on 10/19


4


PREVIOUS: 4


HIGH: 1 | LOW: 9


The Crew have lost their grip atop the Eastern Conference standings, and find themselves in a 0-2L-1D rut. It’s their worst run results-wise since July 2019. After seeing their weekend match against Orlando postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, Columbus will look to get back on track against "Hell is Real" rivals Cincinnati on Wednesday.


Previous: 2-1 loss vs. MTL | Next: at CIN on 10/14, vs. NYC on 10/18


5


PREVIOUS: 6


HIGH: 2 | LOW: 14


With five straight wins, Portland are knocking on Cascadia rival Seattle’s door for first place in the Western Conference. The Timbers scored nine goals across two matches last week, with Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Diego Valeri and Jeremy Ebobisse all netting braces. This offense, even without Sebastian Blanco (ACL tear), has a lot of ways to hurt teams.


Previous: 6-3 win at LA, 3-0 win vs. SJ | Next: at RSL on 10/14, vs. LAFC on 10/18


6


PREVIOUS: 5


HIGH: 4 | LOW: 23


The Lions saw their Sunday match against Columbus postponed amid COVID-19 concerns, so Oscar Pareja’s group was denied a high-profile test. In the meantime, they're trying to get key players fit for the stretch run as Orlando seek their first postseason appearance in club history.


Previous: 0-0 draw at ATL | Next: vs. NYC on 10/14, at RBNY on 10/18


7


PREVIOUS: 8


HIGH: 6 | LOW: 18


After the MLS is Back Tournament, there were stretches where Sporting couldn’t get much going. But they’ve now won three straight and are one win away from first place in the Western Conference. If you somehow haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and check out Erik Hurtado’s over-the-shoulder volley, too.


Previous: 1-0 win vs. CHI, 2-1 win vs. NSH | Next: at DAL on 10/14, at CHI on 10/17


8


PREVIOUS: 7


HIGH: 3 | LOW: 13


NYCFC returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time in 2020 last week, and it resulted in a confident win against D.C. before losing narrowly to New England. Alexandru Mitrita has also been loaned out to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli after two straight two-goal games. The DP attacker isn’t irreplaceable, but his absence will be felt.


Previous: 4-1 win vs. DC, 2-1 loss vs. NE | Next: at ORL on 10/14, at CLB on 10/18


9


PREVIOUS: 11


HIGH: 9 | LOW: 18


If only the Revs could play every game on the road. We’re not kidding, as New England have won just one of eight games at Gillette Stadium this year. Lee Nguyen’s also now part of the 50 goal/50 assist club in a Revs’ uniform; the midfielder keeps getting it done at 34 years old.


Previous: 1-0 loss vs. TOR, 2-1 win vs. NYC | Next: at MTL on 10/14, vs. PHI on 10/19


10


PREVIOUS: 12


HIGH: 1 | LOW: 15


Two straight wins have LAFC looking up, all while key players are out representing Uruguay and Ecuador in World Cup qualifiers. Those absences opened a door of opportunity for forward Danny Musovski, who scored two goals and added one assist against Seattle last weekend. The 24-year-old has played just 334 MLS minutes, but he’s making the case for more.


Previous: 3-1 win vs. SEA | Next: at VAN on 10/14, at POR on 10/18


11


PREVIOUS: 9


HIGH: 7 | LOW: 16


Dallas are winless in four matches, and they were shut out three times during that stretch. They’ll look to recover midweek against Sporting, days after their Week 17 match against Minnesota was postponed to help limit the spread of COVID-19.


Previous: 2-0 loss at HOU | Next: vs. SKC on 10/14, at NSH on 10/20


12


PREVIOUS: 10


HIGH: 4 | LOW: 12


The Loons saw their game with FC Dallas postponed last weekend after two confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among their player pool. Unbeaten in three, that leaves Minnesota playing a waiting game to get back healthy and prove that they’re one of the Western Conference’s top teams.


Previous: 0-0 draw at NSH | Next: vs. CHI on 10/14, vs. HOU on 10/18


13


PREVIOUS: 14


HIGH: 12 | LOW: 21


Take a bow, kid. Hours after signing with the New York Red Bulls, 17-year-old midfielder Caden Clark scored a game-winner at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It’s a great story for the youth movement across MLS, and it snapped a two-game losing streak for RBNY, who have also officially named Gerhard Struber as their next head coach.


Previous: 2-1 loss vs. MIA, 1-0 win at ATL | Next: at TOR on 10/14, vs. ORL on 10/18


14


PREVIOUS: 13


HIGH: 13 | LOW: 26


Nashville are winless in four games, but it sounds like DP forward Jhonder Cadiz could soon make his MLS debut. They’ll need the Venezuelan to lift an offense that’s turned to Derrick Jones as a key figure amid injuries. With a game in hand, they’ve also dropped out of an East playoff spot.


Previous: 0-0 draw vs. MIN, 2-1 loss at SKC | Next: at HOU on 10/14, vs. DAL on 10/20


15


PREVIOUS: 15


HIGH: 7 | LOW: 21


COVID-19 cases mean that Colorado's originally-scheduled games up through Oct. 21 have been postponed. They’ve played a league-low 13 games as the postponements pile up, yet still occupy a Western Conference playoff spot.


Previous: 5-0 win vs. SJ (Sept. 23) | Next: at SKC on 10/24


16


PREVIOUS: 17


HIGH: 16 | LOW: 25


Looking at the big picture, Chicago have won three of their last five games. Their latest involved two assists from Alvaro Medran, with the Spanish midfielder arguably an underrated offseason TAM signing. He’s played at La Liga powerhouses Valencia and Real Madrid, and continually finds ways to influence proceedings. 


Previous: 1-0 loss at SKC, 2-1 win vs. DC | Next: at MIN on 10/14, vs. SKC on 10/17


17


PREVIOUS: 16


HIGH: 11 | LOW: 18


Real Salt Lake have now lost six of 10 games since early September, including three straight. They’ll need to stop the bleeding, but remain only one point outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. That’s how tight the race is.


Previous: 2-1 loss at SEA, 2-1 loss at VAN | Next: vs. POR on 10/14


18


PREVIOUS: 18


HIGH: 8 | LOW: 25


Houston’s midweek win over Texas rivals FC Dallas was inspiring, then they were humbled over the weekend against Miami. That level of inconsistency has marred their 2020 season, aside from a three-win stretch in late August and early September.


Previous: 2-0 win vs. DAL, 1-0 loss at MIA | Next: vs. NSH on 10/14, at MIN on 10/18


19


PREVIOUS: 20


HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21


At their best, Montreal can push the East’s top teams to the brink. We saw that midweek in their 2-1 win at Columbus, when a late Bojan penalty kick gave them a crucial three points. That result snapped a five-game winless streak, but they then lost by the same narrow margin to Philadelphia on Sunday and have now allowed an Eastern Conference-high 32 goals this season.


Previous: 2-1 win at CLB, 2-1 loss at PHI | Next: vs. NE on 10/14, vs. MIA on 10/17


20


PREVIOUS: 19


HIGH: 1 | LOW: 23


Marcelino Moreno made his Atlanta debut over the weekend, going 61 minutes as the DP midfielder acclimates to his new club. Now if only they can get Ezequiel Barco back in the mix after a nagging injury has kept the Argentine attacker sidelined.


Previous: 0-0 draw vs. ORL, 1-0 loss vs. RBNY | Next: at MIA on 10/14, at TOR on 10/18


21


PREVIOUS: 23


HIGH: 19 | LOW: 26


Is a late-season surge underway for Miami? The expansion club have won two straight and all of a sudden look primed for a charge up the Eastern Conference standings. We haven’t harped on his contributions too much, but Lewis Morgan quietly has five goals and five assists on the year.


Previous: 2-1 win at RBNY, 1-0 win vs. HOU | Next: vs. ATL on 10/14, at MTL on 10/17


22


PREVIOUS: 21


HIGH: 10 | LOW: 26


San Jose’s three-game win streak is over, as they dropped another one-sided game against Portland. If we’re nitpicking, it was odd to see head coach Matias Almeyda only use one substitute in Sunday’s 3-0 setback. Aside from Shea Salinas entering in the 65th minute, no other reserves were called upon.


Previous: 3-0 win vs. VAN, 3-0 loss at POR | Next: at LA on 10/14, vs. SEA on 10/18


23


PREVIOUS: 24


HIGH: 19 | LOW: 26


Fun fact: Vancouver are the only team yet to earn a draw in 2020. That leaves them with six wins, including last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake, where club-record signing Lucas Cavallini scored his third goal of the year.


Previous: 3-0 loss at SJ, 2-1 win vs. RSL | Next: vs. LAFC on 10/14, at LA on 10/18


24


PREVIOUS: 22


HIGH: 6 | LOW: 24


LA’s weekend test against Colorado was postponed, so their six-game winless streak (five straight losses) will simmer a bit longer. They’re bottom of the Western Conference and aren’t playing up to the standard their talent requires. It’s gotta change quickly.


Previous: 6-3 loss vs. POR | Next: vs. SJ on 10/14, vs. VAN on 10/18


25


PREVIOUS: 25


HIGH: 18 | LOW: 26


Four straight losses and scoreless in 455 minutes, FC Cincinnati are weathering more of the same. They’re looking to address the woes, though, by bringing Croatian youth international forward Franko Kovacevic on loan from partner club TSG Hoffenheim. Perhaps he’ll team up with Argentine winger Alvaro Barreal, who was acquired in September from Velez Sarsfield.


Previous: 3-0 loss at PHI1-0 loss vs. TOR | Next: vs. CLB on 10/14, vs. DC on 10/18


26


PREVIOUS: 26


HIGH: 14 | LOW: 26


After a decade at the helm, Ben Olsen is out as head coach and Chad Ashton is in on an interim basis. There was no immediate turnaround in results, however, with a 2-1 loss to Chicago on Sunday taking D.C.'s winless streak to eight games, having now lost five straight. At this point, even a draw would be a step in the right direction.


Previous: 4-1 loss at NYC, 2-1 loss at CHI | Next: vs. PHI on 10/14, at CIN on 10/18

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