Power Rankings - Kenny Saief
USA Today Sports

MLS Power Rankings: FC Cincinnati keep climbing in Week 4

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 +3; RBNY, CLB, ATL, COL, POR -2

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 5

Seattle were one of 14 teams with the weekend off but their body of work in the opening weeks is strong enough to keep them atop the Power Rankings. Next up is a Cascadia Cup match against the Whitecaps. On paper, looks like a favorable matchup for the Sounders, but we're talking about a rivalry here.

Previous: Idle | Next: at VAN on 3/30

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 4

LAFC win but they have to sweat it out against a feisty RSL side. It seems like no coincidence that the team has looked a little off in midfield the last two games with Lee Nguyen out, but they are picking up points and have flipped the script on their late-game collapses from last season.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. RSL | Next: at SJ on 3/30

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 6

Idle United capitalizes on their Atlantic Cup rivals' slip to move up in the Power Rankings this week. They have a favorable matchup coming against Orlando City, except Orlando just beat the Red Bulls in New York so one expects Ben Olsen's group will be hitting the game tape in preparation.

Previous: Idle | Next: at ORL on 3/31

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 5

Sporting also move up without playing, and their next game at home against the Impact should be a good one. Daniel Salloi's injury would seem to be a blow, but one of the side effects of scoring by committee is if a scorer misses time, it won't disrupt the team as much, and that seems to be the approach here.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. MTL on 3/30

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 5

After getting punched in the mouth a week ago by San Jose and battling back to win, the Red Bulls machine grinds to a halt against Orlando City in a loss. It could be a bad night, or it could demonstrate the importance of a playmaker to add that dose of creativity to New York's lineup.

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. ORL | Next: at CHI on 3/30

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 11

Given the youth on display, it seems likely FC Dallas will have some battles with consistency this season, but they seem to have figured out how to perform at home. If they can smooth things out on the road, they could be well ahead of the learning curve.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. COL | Next: at RSL on 3/30

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 13

Houston got a needed week off and are in good shape at the moment. They'll hit the road to take on a game Rapids side, and if they can maintain their strong form from home starting in Colorado that will help solidify their status as a contender.

Previous: Idle | Next: at COL on 3/30

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 9

Crew SC tripped up against the Union in a game that in part showed the importance of Wil Trapp, Gyasi Zardes and Zack Steffen through their absences. The latter, of course, is but a short-term rental at this point, so there's some time to make adjustments before he's gone for good.

Previous: 3-0 loss at PHI | Next: vs. ATL on 3/30

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 12

Zlatan is expected to be back in the lineup on Sunday and if the Timbers haven't made adjustments in defense he could be aiming for a hat trick to make sure no one forgot about him. Would you bet against him?

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. POR on 3/31

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 14

Zakaria Diallo's ill-considered red card could loom large for the Impact against Sporting in Kansas City, but there haven't been too many complaints otherwise about Montreal in the opening weeks.

Previous: Idle | Next: at SKC on 3/30

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 15

Allianz Field looks incredible, but we'll have to wait a little bit longer for MLS action there, as the Loons head to Gillette Stadium after a week off. Can they replicate the exploits of their fellow midwesterners Columbus and Cincinnati to get a road win in New England? If they can, they'll be in great shape for the grand opening.

Previous: Idle | Next: at NE on 3/30

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 19

Alejandro Pozuelo is in the building and he could feature as soon as Friday against NYCFC. Of course, the next question is if he can adjust quickly to MLS or if there will be an adjustment process to his new team and league.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. NYC on 3/29

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 24

FC Cincy are flying up the Power Rankings with a second consecutive win. So far, this team is proving the doubters wrong in MLS and the voting panel respects the savvy adjustments made since the opening week.

Previous: 2-0 win at NE | Next: vs. PHI on 3/30

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 14

A week off evidently did not soften perceptions of Atlanta's spot in the pecking order at present, and a tricky game against a full-strength (if Steffen is healthy) Columbus side, on the road is on tap. Atlanta still have plenty of talent but they need to post some wins.

Previous: Idle | Next: at CLB on 3/30

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 15

NYCFC are slowly slipping and perhaps Heber will be the one who helps turn this team into a more freely-scoring side. One of the big issues early this season is that Maxi Moralez has been largely anonymous.

Previous: Idle | Next: at TOR on 3/29

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 20

And, breathe. The Union looked like a team that was on the ascent with their comfortable win over the Crew, and they did it while missing a slew of key players. Coming up next is a tricky game against Cincinnati. Could this be a playoff six-pointer?

Previous: 3-0 win vs. CLB | Next: at CIN on 3/30

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 15 | LOW: 17

Tough break for RSL, who went comfortably toe-to-toe against LAFC despite playing multiple players for the first time ever in MLS. If nothing else, this game should give some players experience and ramp up the competition for a few lineup spots.

Previous: 2-1 loss at LAFC | Next: vs. DAL on 3/30

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 16 | LOW: 18

It's becoming quite the pattern at this point: Rapids hang tough but they falter just once or twice and lose. This team is much improved on the 2018 Rapids, but they still have to pick up points and that's not happening.

Previous: 2-1 loss at DAL | Next: vs. HOU on 3/30

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 21

After Orlando lost at home to Montreal the downward spiral looked like it was on but they got out of the spin and put in a battling performance to beat the Red Bulls. It wasn't a pretty game, but Orlando don't need style points -- plain old points will do just fine for now.

Previous: 1-0 win at RBNY | Next: vs. DC on 3/31

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 20

The Timbers were one of the teams that most needed a week off, and they got it. In a similar position last year, Gio Savarese made some significant tweaks that effectively turned it all around. Can they replicate that feat again, starting with the Galaxy match?

Previous: Idle | Next: at LA on 3/31

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 21

The Fire had the week off, and while they hit paydirt with CJ Sapong, they have shown diminishing returns each game so far. Can they arrest the slide and get their first win against the Red Bulls?

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. RBNY on 3/30

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 23

HIGH: 21 | LOW: 23

The Whitecaps also got a week off, and they probably need it, especially with the Sounders coming to town. Fredy Montero has scored for the 'Caps against the Sounders before, and he'll probably need to again this time if Vancouver are to get a result.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. SEA on 3/30

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 21 | LOW: 23

New England have lost three straight, including two games at home. In the past, even when the Revolution were struggling, they used to enjoy something of a home-field advantage at Gillette Stadium. That is gone right now.

Previous: 2-0 loss vs. CIN | Next: vs. MIN on 3/30

24

 
 

LAST WEEK: 24

HIGH: 22 | LOW: 24

The Quakes were off in league play but hosted Monterrey in a friendly. Not the easiest opponent, but giving the youth a run out and playing some minutes is probably what the team needs at this point. And the team they meet next, LAFC, the Quakes beat handily in the preseason.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. LAFC on 3/30

Series: 

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