Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Vancouver Whitecaps, Austin FC win rivalry showdowns

Power Rankings - Matchday 10 - Gauld

What a week in MLS. Orlando City SC scored in stoppage time, Atlanta United lost a lead after a bad giveaway and a Columbus Crew center back scored a stunning goal from distance. It was truly a week unlike any other.

The Power Rankings are voted on by like 20 MLS writers, editors and personalities and are not solely the fault of the column’s author. The 2024 Power Rankings Committee regrets the errors and humbly asks for forgiveness, especially from the Red Bulls.

Would you really blame the Crew for being a little distracted during their 2-2 draw against Portland? CF Monterrey come to Columbus on Wednesday for the start of a Concacaf Champions Cup semifinal series.

Whether they were looking ahead or not, the Crew definitely weren’t perfect. However, Steven Moreira still found the time to deliver as perfect a strike as you’ll see.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. POR | Next: 4/27 vs. MTL

The Herons went down 1-0 to Nashville early, nearly went down 2-0 immediately after, gave up a decent amount of chances after that… and it didn’t matter one bit as they rolled to a 3-1 win thanks to a brace and an assist from Lionel Messi.

Per American Soccer Analysis, Inter Miami are 19th in MLS in expected points per game, 20th in goals added differential per game, 21st in expected goal differential per game and 22nd in expected goals allowed per game. And it will probably never matter as long as Messi is on the field and contributing multiple moments of magic per game.

The Herons have earned 1.8 points per game through 10 games, the second-best mark in the East. With CCC out of the way, it looks like they’re going to keep racking up points while reminding us the game isn’t played on a spreadsheet.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. NSH | Next: 4/27 at NE

The Red Bulls traveled cross-country to play LAFC, held a 2-1 lead deep into stoppage time and ended up losing that lead and a spot in the Power Rankings thanks to Denis Bouanga’s late equalizer. It’s tough out here.

Still, that’s an excellent road point and New York have put together a stellar start to the year by any metric.

Previous: 2-2 draw at LAFC | Next: 4/27 vs. VAN

The Galaxy, for better or worse, have officially earned the title of the league’s most entertaining team after their 4-3 win over San Jose. LA are second in the league in expected goals created and second to last in the league in expected goals allowed. They want to be in a track meet and, considering the quality of their front four, they’re going to outrun you once the game gets there. Despite giving up the fourth-most goals (15) in the West, LA have the best points-per-game rate (2.0) in the league.

Previous: 4-3 win vs. SJ | Next: 4/27 at ATX

The Whitecaps went down to Seattle and outplayed the Sounders on their way to a 2-0 win. Typically, we would consider that the kind of premier win the ‘Caps have been looking for. Instead, it’s a solid road win against a team that doesn’t have their life together right now (and ended with nine men).

That’s not Vancouver’s fault though. And two points per game is two points per game. It’s a good team. Even if they’re still looking for a win against a top-tier team.

Previous: 2-0 win at SEA | Next: 4/27 at RBNY

The Union had a bye and remained the league’s only undefeated team.

Previous: Bye | Next: 4/27 vs. RSL

Cincy took advantage of a game-breaking mistake from Atlanta United and found a way to pull out a comeback 2-1 win on the road. Lucho Acosta continued his vendetta against Atlanta with a goal and an assist in the win. DeAndre Yedlin grabbed an assist and keeps looking like an outstanding piece in Cincy’s system. Convincing Inter Miami to send Yedlin along on the cheap is looking like one of the steals of the season. Maybe one of the steals of the decade in MLS. Seriously, how did Cincy pull that off?

Anyway, it’s a nice bounce-back win for Cincinnati after a tough stretch that saw them earn one point in three games. And there’s more good news coming this week. Reports indicate Cincy are signing 19-year-old striker Kevin Kelsy from Shakhtar Donetsk on a U22 Initiative deal. It’s a needed move amid genuine issues at striker.

Previous: 2-1 win at ATL | Next: 4/27 vs. COL

Are you paying attention?

Chicho Arango is the most productive player in the league and RSL are creeping up the rankings after another big win. Arango reached 8g/6a on the season in a 4-0 beatdown at Chicago. RSL are third in the West after nine games and their underlying numbers are closer to the league's top than middle.

A big test is coming this weekend when they head to Philadelphia. Even if they don’t pass it with flying colors, it’s fair to start considering RSL a genuine contender in the West.

Previous: 4-0 win at CHI | Next: 4/27 at PHI


Oluwaseyi had played 11 whole minutes in MLS before this season. The 2022 SuperDraft pick is thriving in 2024, though. He has three goals and two assists in 219 minutes and scored in his first career start during Minnesota's 3-0 rout at Charlotte. He’s one of the league’s best stories.

And this weekend is a reminder of how Minnesota have it in them to be one of the league’s best teams. Yes, even without Emanuel Reynoso. If they can start putting together these kinds of performances at home, they will be.

Maybe they need to invite the llama to the next home match?

Previous: 3-0 win at CLT | Next: 4/27 vs. SKC

Underlying numbers good. Denis Bouanga good. Results… meh.

This is all that I’m willing to offer on LAFC right now. After Bouanga's late equalizer at home against RBNY, they have 12 points through nine games – the same rate as Austin and St. Louis – and everything feels a bit too “2021” right now.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. RBNY | Next: 4/27 vs. POR

THE RAPIDS… are a pretty good soccer team. They’ve picked up 10 points in their last four matches. Four of those points came against LAFC and Inter Miami. The other six came against San Jose and FC Dallas. The first four are a lot more impressive. But Colorado would have killed to take care of business against bad teams last season. Full credit for getting the job done in back-to-back weeks. The difficulty level ramps back up this weekend with a trip to Cincinnati.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. DAL | Next: 4/27 at CIN

Stop. Kicking. The. Ball. To. The. Wrong. Team.

It’s the third week in a row an errant pass has changed Atlanta’s fortunes. New York City’s lone goal came via a misplaced pass that led to a penalty. Philadelphia got back in the game thanks to a backpass to no one. And Cincy equalized out of nowhere thanks to a terrible short corner kick.

Based on the injuries they’ve been dealing with and their excellent underlying numbers – they’re first in ASA’s goals added metric – Atlanta are a few horrendous mistakes away from clearly being one of the league’s best teams. Instead, they’re down here in 12th because they can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot.

There’s no one to blame but themselves. Fortunately, they’re getting healthier. Their attack should be back to full strength this week and they hopefully won’t have to resort to using their ??? choice center back again this season.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. CIN | Next: 4/27 at CHI

Héctor Herrera came off the bench for his first appearance of the season! Ben Olsen signed a contract extension! Houston… lost 1-0 to Austin… at home?

Weird week. But Herrera’s return is still huge. The Dynamo have struggled to create chances without him. He won’t turn Houston into the Galaxy all of a sudden, but he might be the difference between going scoreless in games like this weekend’s and getting a result.

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. ATX | Next: 4/27 at DAL

So far, so good on New York City FC’s critical five-game homestand. They just took down D.C. United in a 2-0 win to make it seven points over the first three games of that stretch. More importantly, they created chances at an extremely high level. NYCFC outcreated D.C. United 3.3 xG to 0.6 on the night and took 22 shots.

They’ve created more than 2.0 xG in each of the last three games. They may have finally, mercifully turned a corner in attack. If this trend is real and this team has learned how to capitalize on their significant home-field advantage again, the Pigeons are a playoff team.

Previous: 2-0 win vs. DC | Next: 4/27 vs. CLT

So, things were a bit weird this week when we found out striker Sam Adeniran had been relegated to training on his own. But St. Louis’ attack fared just fine without him in Kansas City. Probably because they’ve been hitting the weight room.

The defense didn’t perform quite as well. St. Louis gave up three goals in this one, but still left Kansas (the stadium is actually in Kansas; look it up and don’t @ me) feeling happy.

Previous: 3-3 draw at SKC | Next: Bye

Montréal were fighting an uphill battle from the jump with strikers Matías Cóccaro and Josef Martínez both out injured. But they still found a way to score a couple of times. The problem is they were facing Orlando. And we all know what happens when you leave the door cracked even a little late in games against the Lions.

Despite going up 2-1 in the 88th minute, Montréal only earned a point.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. ORL | Next: 4/27 at CLB

Toronto got the job done at home against New England. Prince Owusu made sure of that.

It’s Toronto’s first win since Lorenzo Insigne’s hamstring injury.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. NE | Next: 4/27 at ORL

Cardiac Cats.

Coming back from 2-1 on the road is probably no way to live. But you take road points however you can get them, right? The Lions have picked up four in the last two games against decent competition.

Previous: 2-2 draw at MTL | Next: 4/27 vs. TOR

Defense is hard.

Sporting KC have scored 13 times in the last five games. They’ve earned just five points in that span because they’ve allowed as many goals as they’ve scored. The points they dropped to their rivals from St. Louis this weekend probably hurt the most of the 14 points they’ve dropped from winning positions this year. But only probably.

Previous: 3-3 draw vs. STL | Next: 4/27 at MIN

Defense is hard.

The Timbers have scored 10 times in the last five games. They’ve earned just three points in that span because they’ve allowed 13 goals.

To be fair, giving up two goals to Columbus on the road is a formality for most teams. They earned a solid road point this weekend. That should make them feel a little better about things. But only a little.

Previous: 2-2 draw at CLB | Next: 4/27 at LAFC

D.C. United got boat-raced by NYCFC. The 2-0 scoreline felt flattering. But, hey, it’s the first time in a while they haven’t blown a lead?

Previous: 2-0 loss at NYC | Next: 4/27 vs. SEA

Charlotte spent Sunday sleepwalking through an out-of-character 3-0 home loss to Minnesota United. It’s their first home loss of the Dean Smith era.

Previous: 3-0 loss vs. MIN | Next: 4/27 at NYC

They’re doing that thing again.

No team is outperforming their underlying metrics like Austin FC. They’ve picked up 12 points over their first nine games after earning a 1-0 victory at Houston. I would normally say they’ll start regressing to the mean eventually, but I’ve seen this movie before.

Previous: 1-0 win at HOU | Next: 4/27 vs. LA

Seattle’s 2-0 home loss to Vancouver featuring two red cards was bad enough. On top of that, we found out this week that new DP Pedro de la Vega will stay sidelined after picking up another injury. It’s not good right now… even if the underlying numbers still believe they’ll be fine in the end.

Previous: 2-0 loss vs. VAN | Next: 4/27 at DC

Nashville had their opportunities against Inter Miami. They didn’t take them. You can imagine how that worked out. There’s a lot to fix right now. And it’s not just because Walker Zimmerman is hurt.

Previous: 3-1 loss at MIA | Next: 4/27 vs. SJ

Losing 4-0 at home is bad. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Previous: 4-0 loss vs. RSL | Next: 4/27 vs. ATL

Sure, Petar Musa scored his second goal. But FC Dallas lost again.

Previous: 2-1 loss at COL | Next: 4/27 vs. HOU

New England have scored five goals in eight games. That’s one more than the points (4) they have in eight games.

Previous: 1-0 loss at TOR | Next: 4/27 vs. MIA

It’s not good, but there is a way forward for the Quakes. They’re underperforming their underlying numbers by the largest amount in the league right now. They may still have enough to avoid a Wooden Spoon, even though they have eight losses in nine games.

Previous: 4-3 loss at LA | Next: 4/27 at NSH