Power Rankings - Philadelphia Union - celebrating Cory Burke goal
USA Today Sports

MLS Power Rankings: Philadelphia Union reach a new high

Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff; words by Alicia Rodriguez.

BIGGEST MOVERS: PHI, RSL, TOR +2; MTL -3

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7

The goalfather strikes again, as Josef Martinez makes history by breaking the single-season scoring mark. Honestly, we may not be making enough of this. 27 goals was the MLS equivalent of Roger Maris' 61 home runs. Congrats to the Venezuelan for writing his name in the record books.

Previous: Won 2-1 at ORL | Next: at DC on 9/2

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7

It was a decent week for the Red Bulls, but failing to beat 9-man NYCFC could be the game that decides the Supporters' Shield in Atlanta's favor. On the plus side, there's still games to be played, and the Red Bulls have two more pivotal clashes this week.

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 15

At the start of the year, we wondered how Sporting would score, then we wondered what happened to their signature shutdown defense, and now they're putting it all together. They're on track to avoid the Knockout Round, and might finally peak at the right time in their season.

Previous: Won 2-0 vs. MIN | Next: at SEA on 9/1

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 18

Dallas remain atop the Western Conference, however, although their derby draw was a bit disappointing, if a typical Texas Derby match. Could new signing Abel Aguilar settle in quickly and help them keep hold of first place in the West?

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 6

NYCFC have been a balloon very slowly losing air in recent weeks, but their determination to earn a draw with just nine men, in the NY Derby, was very impressive indeed. They may be falling out of Supporters' Shield contention, but don't count this team out for the season just yet.

Previous: Drew 1-1 vs. RBNY | Next: at CLB on 9/1

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 21

Lucky number seven for the Sounders, who may be playing it risky in turning up in the second half of seasons for three years running, but it's working. A showdown against Sporting KC is going to be a tasty match this week, and may be one of the pivotal games of the season. 

Previous: Won 1-0 at POR  | Next: vs. SKC on 9/1

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 17

LAFC will be disappointed to not have posted a win against a suddenly stout defensive Galaxy side, but the bigger question is with Laurent Ciman looking like he's on his way out, is there any chance they'll sign a center back replacement before the roster freeze next month?

Previous: Drew 1-1 at LA | Next: at TOR on 9/1

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 22

The Union have a cushion in the Eastern Conference playoff race and seem a good bet to even be a tricky matchup in the postseason, but the sense from fans is they need to keep playing well and getting results. A big double-game week is a great opportunity to do just that.

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 12

Columbus' draw against Chicago was very scrappy, and possibly should have been a Crew SC win if a late penalty had been called. They're a playoff team but their ability to topple one of the East's big three remains up in the air.

Previous: Drew 1-1 at CHI | Next: vs. NYC on 9/1

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 18

The Timbers can feel a bit unlucky to have lost to the Sounders the way they did, but four losses in a row don't seem like fluke. Portland have a pretty tough two-game slate this week, and it could be the defining week in their season.

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 21

Any time you can run up the score on your rival, you do it, but the 6-0 demolition of a 9-man Rapids side comes with a gigantic asterisk with that two-man advantage. Still, RSL have only lost one of their last seven games, and might be able to get one over on another West rival, when the Galaxy come to town on Saturday.

Previous: Won 6-0 at COL | Next: vs. LA on 9/1

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 23

D.C. still have games in hand on the rest of the East, so there's still hope. But this week, hosting Philly and Atlanta, is virtually make-or-break for their playoff hopes. Can they recover from the latest Atlantic Cup loss and put points on the board?

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 21

TFC are level on points with D.C., and as it's looking now they appear to be battling with two other teams for one playoff spot. They also have an enormous double-game week, including a midweek road trip in Portland -- desperation time on both sides in that game.

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 14

The Galaxy defended very well against LAFC, and only a penalty conceded marred their El Trafico. But despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic's best efforts, morale really hasn't improved and the Galaxy are being targeted as the team to fall out of the playoff spots. It's up to them to prevent that from happening.

Previous: Drew 1-1 vs. LAFC | Next: at RSL on 9/1

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 23

Toronto FC raced out to a 3-0 lead, but Montreal very nearly tied up the game instead of settling for a two-goal loss. The Impact remain in the driver's seat for sixth place right now, but they have won just one of their last six and have work to do to fend off the competition.

Previous: Lost 3-1 at TOR | Next: vs. RBNY on 9/1

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 20

The Whitecaps' comeback win was in part due to the Quakes folding like a house of cards, but for all of Vancouver's inconsistency, they've shown an ability to dig deep and mount efforts like this under Carl Robinson. Credit to them for that, and let's see if they can keep their five-game unbeaten streak going.

Previous: Won 3-1 at SJ | Next: vs. SJ on 9/1

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 17

Ronaldo Peña came up with a massive goal to snap Houston's losing streak and give them a point in the Texas Derby, but Houston remain well out of the playoff race. They would have to win both games this week (both on the road) to have any shot of chasing for the No. 6 seed this year.

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23

Minnesota were probably a bit unlucky not to score against Sporting, but the change in approach still didn't prevent Kansas City from beating them up the middle, twice. The countdown to 2019 and the new stadium seems to be on at this point.

Previous: Lost 2-0 at SKC | Next: at DC on 9/12

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 9 | LOW: 22

New England continued their slide, even if they gave it their all against a game Union side. The problem is, with the slump the Revolution are in, their best may not be good enough this year.

Previous: Lost 1-0 at PHI | Next: vs. POR on 9/1

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 17 | LOW: 23

The Rapids got a rough hand in having to play two men down in the Rocky Mountain Cup, but the embarrassment of a 6-0 loss is likely to resonate. Which players are playing for their jobs in Colorado? Who will be the building blocks for next season?

Previous: Lost 6-0 vs. RSL | Next: at POR on 9/8

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 23

Orlando lost, again, to Atlanta and giving up the record-breaking goal by Josef Martinez was the capper on another difficult night. All that said, while a lot has gone wrong for the Lions this year, it seems Orlando have a fighting chance in games Jonathan Spector plays, but he's only played nine games due to injury.

Previous: Lost 2-1 vs. ATL | Next: vs. PHI on 9/1

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 23

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 23

The Fire snap their losing streak, and get a long, long break in league play. They don't have the playoffs to play for this season, realistically, but with their trip to Munich, maybe they can refocus and play spoiler in the homestretch of the season.

Previous: Drew 1-1 vs. CLB | Next: vs. ORL on 9/16

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 23

San Jose end up back in the basement after a 9-minute capitulation to Vancouver overturned a 2-0 lead. It's just not working out for the Quakes in 2018.

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