MLS Power Rankings, Preseason: Where your team ranks to start 2017

BIGGEST MOVERS: None

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 1

The team everyone loves to hate kept winning in the offseason, and buoyed by the Cup, they’re not going to start the season gently. Also, Deuce is back to training. Long live Deuce. -ARIELLE CASTILLO

Latest result(s): None

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 2

There's no reason to think, at this point, that this isn't one of the two best teams in the league. They kept almost every significant piece from last year, added a veteran playmaker and a high-upside defender, and have the league's best forward combo when healthy. -MATT DOYLE

Latest result(s): None

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 3

They have already shown how great they could be this year by demolishing Arabe Unido in the first leg of their CCL quarterfinal matchup. Cristian Colman and Roland Lamah look like the real deal and the base of Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman should be more than enough to keep them as Cup contenders without Mauro Diaz. -BEN BAER

Latest result(s): None

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 4

Just when you think things are settled in Harrison … Ha. Dax, Koji and Co. are blowing around the Windy City, Ali and the binder are off to parts unknown, and yet the Red Bulls wield every weapon necessary to finish a third straight season atop the Eastern Conference. -BEN COUCH

Latest result(s): None

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 5

They’re back. They’re reloaded. And they’ve got a new face on the sidelines. It was a hectic offseason by Galaxy standards, but with a new DP in tow and depth all over the front six, they’ll be right back in the mix out West in 2017. -NICK ROSANO

Latest result(s): None

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 6

Though they’re still known for international flash and panache, NYC’s offseason moves show them getting strategic, with a third DP, Maximiliano Moralez, coming not from a European side but from Liga MX. Combine that with younger signees and a strategy that’s made Mix Diskerud take to Instagram poetry, and it’s clear that Patrick Vieira’s cooking up something specific. -ARIELLE CASTILLO

Latest result(s): None

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 7

A dark-horse pick to win the East. Bill Hamid is Bill Hamid, the backline is experienced and deep, the midfield balances youth (Ian Harkes) with savvy (Marcelo Sarvas) and the attack boasts three elite chance creators (Luciano Acosta, Lloyd Sam and Patrick Nyarko) feeding Patrick Mullins, who has a chance to prove he’s among MLS’s elite No. 9s. You’ll want to watch this team play, something that hasn’t always been said about D.C. in recent years. -ANDREW WIEBE

Latest result(s): None

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 8

With a majority of starters over the age of 30, don’t expect the Impact to win the 2017 Supporters’ Shield. But they’re skillful enough — especially with MVP candidate Ignacio Piatti and Golden Boot contender Matteo Mancosu — to earn a playoff berth and then prove a dangerous tournament team. In the meantime, can they blood some younger players to stay fresh? -SIMON BORG

Latest result(s): None

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 9 | LOW: 9

After a muddled 2016 for Sporting KC, an offseason of intriguing additions has Peter Vermes and his charges primed for a season as juicy and delicious as that molasses-based BBQ. Keep an eye on Ghana Premier League MVP Latif Blessing – if you can! He’s quick! -BEN COUCH

Latest result(s): None

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 10

The Rapids will be a fascinating study: Can they replicate the defensive formula that saw them come out of nowhere and nearly advance to MLS Cup with the fewest goals conceded in MLS? The core of that team is back, but they still need to find a way to squeeze more goals out of the second-worst attack in 2016, with target man Alan Gordon proving the lone offseason upgrade. -SIMON BORG

Latest result(s): None

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 11

The questions are in the backline, and the answers are up top. Portland look like they'll win a lot of 3-2 games this season thanks to a fearsome frontline and the eternal Best XI candidate, Diego Valeri, as well as a pair of overlapping fullbacks. But the center defense raises real concerns. -MATT DOYLE

Latest result(s): None

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 12

After a late-season swoon, Earnie Stewart went out and made some high-profile additions (Haris Medunjanin, Fafa Picault) and some questionable ones (Jay Simpson, Oguchi Onyewu). The impact of those moves will tell the story of the season for the Union. -BEN BAER

Latest result(s): None

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 13

Game 1 of the post-JaviMo era is this weekend. There are lots of variables, but we all know the biggest is this: Can Slovakian international DP Albert Rusnak be the man? -MATT DOYLE

Latest result(s): None

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 14

On paper, Atlanta’s done the expansion ramp-up totally right. With no regular-season games played as a squad, obviously, they can’t really rank higher — but with all the hyper and the pre-season performance so far, they’ve got to meet some pretty high expectations. -ARIELLE CASTILLO

Latest result(s): None

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 15 | LOW: 15

The Power Rankings Politburo missed the boat with this one, as Columbus are way too low. Expect goals a plenty and an improved defense, as well as a run at some type of silverware this season. -MATT DOYLE

Latest result(s): None

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 16 | LOW: 16

The Revs ended the 2016 season on a hot streak, winning five of their last seven. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't enough to reach the playoffs. With the tactical shift to a 4-4-2 diamond that led that charge now firmly in place, Juan Agudelo, Lee Nguyen and co. should be in position to get back in the mix. -BEN BAER

Latest result(s): None

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 17 | LOW: 17

Jason Kreis has been tinkering with this roster ever since taking over midway through last season, and expectations exist: these Lions need to show that there’s an upward trajectory in Year Three for the franchise, Year One for Orlando City Stadium. It’s time. -BEN COUCH

Latest result(s): None

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 18

The Fire finished dead last in 2016, but we’ve seen plenty of sparks from Chicago in their preparations for 2017. They may not be a playoff team quite yet, but expect this team to do some damage, especially when they get their first-choice XI on the field. -NICK ROSANO

Latest result(s): None

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 19 | LOW: 19

Take a deep breath, Dynamo fans. Nobody fancied the Rapids this time of year in 2016, either. Take another deep breath. Don’t go thinking you’ll be this year’s Colorado Rapids, either. Wilmer Cabrera’s squad will be an improvement on 2016, however, and that youthful attack is going to be a blast to watch in the open field. -ANDREW WIEBE

Latest result(s): None

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 20 | LOW: 20

The Whitecaps’ ability to contend for a playoff berth rests squarely on the shoulders of new forward signing Fredy Montero. If he can score 10-15 goals and Kekuta Manneh can get close to double digits from a central attacking position, the ‘Caps have a chance. But if the goals are not flowing, their already suspect defensive unit will not be enough to carry them to the red line. -SIMON BORG

Latest result(s): None

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 21 | LOW: 21

Questions abound as Bay Area soccer legend Dom Kinnear enters a pivotal third year at the helm. They’ve been active on the international market and brought in two draft picks — the question is, will it be enough for a team that has missed the playoffs four years running? -NICK ROSANO

Latest result(s): None

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 22 | LOW: 22

Glass-half full take for Loons fans: the only way to go is up! Don’t worry too much about opening position. MLS is all about how you finish, and right now this team is a bit of mystery. Enjoy the journey. -ANDREW WIEBE

Latest result(s): None

Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff and remarks were written by the editorial staff.

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