Josef Martinez - Atlanta United - Power Rankings

MLS Power Rankings: Check out the initial order for 2019

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: N/A

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 1

The MLS Cup champs begin 2019 on top, but they have a few more questions than most defending champions. New coach in Frank de Boer, and Miguel Almiron is gone — but Pity Martinez may be the next South American star on MLS fans' lips.

Previous: - | Next: at DC on 3/3

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 2

The Red Bulls are right behind, and while they have some more continuity, the departure of Tyler Adams in the offseason means they've also got some questions. We know he was good, but will the system triumph again for New York?

Previous: - | Next: at CLB on 3/2

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 3

If they can see out their Concacaf Champions League series against Toluca this week and advance, Sporting could be entering the season blazing hot. If they somehow collapse after being ahead 3-0, however, their game against LAFC to open the regular season could be quite the challenge.

Previous: - | Next: at LAFC on 3/3

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 4

Arguably every game this week is a must-watch, with it being the opening weekend, but LAFC's clash against Sporting seems like an especially tasty match-up in Week 1, with two teams that mostly made tweaks in the offseason squaring off.

Previous: - | Next: vs. SKC on 3/3

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 5

Another team that mostly made small alterations is the Sounders, who will of course be welcoming back Jordan Morris after a year away from MLS opposition. Will the forward be able to thrive off Raul Ruidiaz being the focal point?

Previous: - | Next: vs. CIN on 3/2

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 6

We don't want to dampen the mood in the DMV, but D.C. United have been something of a yo-yo team season to season for the last several years. Considering they were one of the worst to begin 2018 and one of the best to finish the regular season, what would that bode for in 2019 if the run were to continue?

Previous: - | Next: vs. ATL on 3/3

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 7

The Timbers are still trying to figure out their striker options, but they have the distinction of being the team to start with a very long road trip this season. As our own Bobby Warshaw has pointed out, however, maybe the late start at home isn't a season killer for MLS teams these days. Time will tell for Portland.

Previous: - | Next: at COL on 3/2

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 8

The good vibes are back in Columbus, as the Crew are set to stay and Caleb Porter has taken over for Gregg Berhalter. Tacticsheads are eagerly awaiting the first glimpses of how Porter will evolve the base set by his predecessor.

Previous: - | Next: vs. RBNY on 3/2

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 9 | LOW: 9

It's a new era for Dallas, who saw both head coach and No. 9/10 Maxi Urruti depart. Luchi Gonzalez is going all out with the kids, although new forward Zdenek Ondrasek's nickname of "Cobra" is something we truly hope catches on.

Previous: - | Next: vs. NE on 3/2

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 10

Do you believe? This is definitely Zlatan's team and Guillermo Barros Schelotto is looking to make a mark stateside on the coaching front. Will the rest of the roster be able to lift the Galaxy from the doldrums of the last two season?

Previous: - | Next: vs. CHI on 3/2

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 11

It seems safe to assume NYCFC will play a false No. 9 more than any other team in the league this season. Beyond that? Their retooled approach is going to be fascinating to follow as several youngsters look set to play real minutes.

Previous: - | Next: at ORL on 3/2

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 12

Philly had a solid season in 2018 without him, but it feels like they'll go as far as Marco Fabian can take them. If he's healthy and in form, they'll be in the mix of the top five teams in the East. If he's not able to perform the whole way, it could be a gamble that doesn't pay off.

Previous: - | Next: vs. TOR on 3/2

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 13

Houston drew almost no national press for their offseason moves, but they may take the league by surprise in the early weeks of the season. Whether they can keep that momentum going for the full campaign is the big question, and CCL play could prove to be a big challenge in balancing everything for the Dynamo.

Previous: - | Next: vs. RSL on 3/2

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 14

It feels like this offseason Remi Garde has gotten a chance to really go out and get the players he wants. Whether those newcomers will elevate the team remains to be seen, but Ignacio Piatti's last hurrah in MLS this season sounds like a pretty good rallying cry.

Previous: - | Next: at SJ on 3/2

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 15 | LOW: 15

Minnesota made some significant upgrades this offseason, but...the voting panel wants to see some results first. Can the Loons reach the playoffs this year? Sure. Will they? Stay tuned.

Previous: - | Next: at VAN on 3/2

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 16 | LOW: 16

If Mike Petke reads this column, he'd probably get pretty fired up by how far down the rankings RSL sit. It feels like they have a lot of youngsters, a couple very experienced heads, and not a lot of players in the middle of those age groups. Will that be enough to compete in 2019?

Previous: - | Next: at HOU on 3/2

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 17 | LOW: 17

The Rapids are another team that made major changes, but heading into the season stay pretty far down the rankings. Goals are likely to not be an issue for this team this season, but conceding them? That may become a concern.

Previous: - | Next: vs. POR on 3/2

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 18

The Fire mostly stand pat with their starting XI coming into the season, and the voting panel is skeptical they can perform another 2017-like revival. Perhaps the peaks and valleys will offer more peaks this year.

Previous: - | Next: at LA on 3/2

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 19 | LOW: 19

Alejandro Pozuelo or bust? Ok, we know TFC have the ability to beat teams in different ways, but after losing their first and second options, in Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez, the available plans seem to have narrowed very, very quickly for this team.

Previous: - | Next: at PHI on 3/2

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 20 | LOW: 20

Orlando City still have a long time before they reach Toronto FC-levels of struggling on the field to begin their history, but in year five they're going to make the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, right? The voters need to see a sustained run of wins before projecting that.

Previous: - | Next: vs. NYC on 3/2

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 21 | LOW: 21

No team that has played in MLS before made as many changes in the offseason as Vancouver. A reset seemed necessary, but the sheer scale of changes means this could be a multi-year project.

Previous: - | Next: vs. MIN on 3/2

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 22 | LOW: 22

The Quakes made some intriguing changes in the offseason, although much of the starting XI remains intact. Does that mean the club is primarily banking on coaching to elevate them from worst to much better? It's certainly an interesting gamble.

Previous: - | Next: vs. MTL on 3/2

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 23 | LOW: 23

The Revolution made a few major signings, but went under the radar in the offseason. Will Carles Gil be the playmaker to elevate the entire team? He could be the player who makes the pass to set up the assist, but his production to date doesn't necessarily scream high production.

Previous: - | Next: at DAL on 3/2

24

 
 

LAST WEEK: -

HIGH: 24 | LOW: 24

The tide seems to be turning on expansion teams being competitive in MLS in year one. The voting panel, however, is skeptical FC Cincinnati will rank in the LAFC-Atlanta-Sounders tier.

Previous: - | Next: at SEA on 3/2

Series: 

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