MLS Power Rankings, Week 17: NYCFC skyrocket after finally beating rivals

BIGGEST MOVERS: NYCFC +5 spots | NY Red Bulls -4 spots

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 20

Halfway through the season and they're on course to post the best defensive mark in league history. Canary in the coalmine, though: They've now coughed up points in two of their last three home games. Still unbeaten in Commerce City, but no longer unblemished.

Latest result: Drew vs. Portland, 0-0

Last five results: W-D-W-D-D

Next MLS match: Saturday at Vancouver (TSN)

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7

They're now 5-1-2 in their last eight, with a +9 goal differential – and, presumably, more goal-scoring help on the way now that the transfer window is open. They've already bolstered the defensive corps a bit as well. Dallas have the feel of a boulder starting to roll downhill...

Latest result: Won vs. Orlando City, 4-0

Last five results: D-D-L-W-W

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 15

They've been far from perfect, and coughing up points at Rio Tinto for the second time in three games is an issue. With a home-heavy schedule from here on out, they'll have to figure out how to make front-foot soccer work.

Latest result: Drew vs. D.C. United, 1-1

Last five results: W-D-W-L-D

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Montreal

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 9

Getting Robbie Keane back solves some things, doesn't it? For as up-and-down as this season has seemed, the Galaxy are fourth in the league in points per game, and have veteran difference-makers on both sides of the ball.

Latest result: Won vs. Vancouver, 2-0

Last five results: D-L-D-D-W

Next MLS match: Saturday at Seattle (ESPN)

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 19

Injuries to C.J. Sapong and Fabian Herbers left the Union without a forward this week, and that absence was telling. They'll likely be active during the transfer window in trying to add depth up top and at central midfield. 

Latest result: Lost at Houston, 1-0

Last five results: W-L-W-L-L

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. D.C. United

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 20

A three-game winning streak – including two straight at Yankee Stadium – seems to have banished the early-season frustrations of Pigeons fans. It helps that Jack Harrison has been even better than advertised, slotting comfortably into the starting lineup and playing at a Best XI level.

Latest result: Won vs. NY Red Bulls, 2-0

Last five results: D-L-W-W-W

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 12

They're now unbeaten in six and have posted two shutouts in their last four games, after posting none in their first 14. The Timbers aren't quite humming like they were down the stretch last year, but they've shaken off their MLS Cup hangover.

Latest result: Drew at Colorado, 0-0

Last five results: D-W-D-W-D

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 17

Four straight on the road (including a US Open Cup game at Philly) left the Red Bulls winless, frustrated, and fourth in the East. Here's the real issue: As good as their depth looks on paper, they haven't produced on the field, and that's cost them.

Latest result: Lost at NYCFC, 2-0

Last five results: W-W-L-D-L

Next MLS match: Sunday vs. Portland (ESPN2)

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 9

They're keeping their heads above water while Sebastian Giovinco suffers through his first slump as an MLS player. Homegrown forward Jordan Hamilton has picked up some of the scoring burden, but more is needed from the midfield.

Latest result: Drew vs. Seattle, 1-1

Last five results: D-L-W-L-D

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Chicago (TSN4)

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 10

Found just enough in attack to cancel out yet another worrisome defensive performance. We're not sure why they're linked to another veteran forward when it's the midfield and defense that's such an issue.

Latest result: Won vs. New England, 3-2

Last five results: L-W-D-D-W

Next MLS match: Saturday at Real Salt Lake

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 18

Desperately needed that win to stay in the Western Conference hunt. To put it into perspective, the top four teams in the West are 29-0-12 at home, while Sporting are just 5-4-1. They've got to hold serve from here on out.

Latest result: Won vs. Columbus, 3-2

Last five results: L-D-W-D-W

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 13

There are only so many injuries one backline can take, and the Quakes hit critical mass this past weekend against the Fire, as the backups for the backups are now hurt. It feels like the rest of the summer will be an exercise in holding on for dear life.

Latest result: Lost at Chicago, 1-0

Last five results: D-L-D-D-L

Next MLS match: Friday vs. Dallas (UniMás)

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 14

Just one win in their last five, a span during which they've conceded 11 goals and lost a heartbreaker in the Canadian Championship. The good news? Expect a DP-caliber forward to be on the way.

Latest result: Lost at LA Galaxy, 2-0

Last five results: L-D-L-W-L

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Colorado (TSN)

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 20

In the five games since Bill Hamid returned, D.C. are 2-1-2 with three shutouts and three goals conceded. He's been immense, and while United aren't exactly an attacking juggernaut, they've figured out some parts of their identity on that side of the ball as well.

Last five results: W-L-D-W-D

Next MLS match: Saturday at Philadelphia

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 17

It looks like the Lions will be adding yet another center back during this transfer window, presumably in search of a talent upgrade. The Power Rankings Politburo contends, however, that the issue is not lack of talent. Rather it's lack of stability, repetition and chemistry – three things all young teams need.

Latest result: Lost at Dallas, 4-0

Last five results: D-D-D-W-L

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 17

The good news: Kei Kamara finally got untracked, and the Revs advanced in the Open Cup. The bad news: They're still making far too many errors defending in their own 18, and they keep getting punished for it.

Latest result: Lost at Montreal, 3-2

Last five results: L-W-W-L-L

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 20

Expect Houston to be active in the trade market this month, not so much to reshape the roster but as to provide salary cap flexibility for possible moves this winter. 

Latest result: Won vs. Philadelphia, 1-0

Last five results: D-D-D-L-W

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 19

They're now on just one win in their last nine, and are paper thin in central defense. Gregg Berhalter knows it – he said the team will be aggressive during this transfer window, and that's probably a very good thing for Crew SC fans.

Latest result: Lost at Sporting KC, 3-2

Last five results: W-L-D-D-L

Next MLS match: Saturday at New England

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 19

Jordan Morris has been asked to singlehandedly carry this team's offense over the last two months, and to his credit, he's improved a ton since then while scoring the occasional, spectacular goal. Getting Clint Dempsey back should help, but the Sounders front office is well aware they need more than just Deuce. 

Latest result: Drew at Toronto, 1-1

Last five results: L-W-L-L-D

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 20

Bounced back from a string of poor defensive showings with a pretty convincing 1-0 win over the shorthanded Quakes. They won't compete for a playoff spot this season, but it feels like a solid, sensible core has been built.

Latest result: Won vs. San Jose, 1-0

Last five results: W-D-L-L-W

Next MLS match: Saturday at Toronto (TSN4)

Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff and remarks were written by Senior Editor Matt Doyle (@MLSAnalyst).

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