Power Rankings - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi - Anton Tinnerholm
USA Today Sports

Power Rankings: Taking stock of MLS at the Gold Cup break

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: MTL +3; MIN -3

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 4

With the entire league at the MLS break for the Concacaf Gold Cup (yes, U.S. Open Cup is here for the American teams), time to take stock from a wider perspective. No surprise, LAFC come out on top through the first half. From here, if they don't win the Supporters' Shield at this point, it will be some kind of upset.

Previous: Idle | Next: at COL on 6/29

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 20

The other conference leader, Philadelphia's rally at home to beat the Red Bulls wasn't just a terrific game but showed more of that ability to dig deep and turn a game around. Jim Curtin's group is likely to face fierce opposition in the second half, but if they can continue to play this well, they could have a first-round bye in October.

Previous: 3-2 win vs. RBNY | Next: at NE on 6/26

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 18

NYCFC not only continue their uncanny run of losing just once (the only team alongside LAFC to boast that) but they also seem to be rounding into form of late. Dome Torrent's team definitely needs more wins, but their best players are increasingly playing well together, and they'll be in the mix in the second half.

Previous: 5-2 win vs. CIN | Next: vs. PHI on 6/29

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 21

The Red Bulls' five-game unbeaten run is snapped after being torched by Ilsinho. As ever, this is a club banking on system over talent (although there is talent on the squad, to be sure). Will it be enough? Will Bradley Wright-Phillips get on track in the second half? Will they bring in summer reinforcements? Big questions right now.

Previous: 3-2 loss at PHI | Next: vs. CHI on 6/28

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 19

At the time, Atlanta seemed to be in a Toronto-esque slump they may never pull out of, starting the league slate 1-2-2. Since then, they've lost just two, and keep climbing up the table. They seem set up to contend for the Eastern Conference in the second half, and from there, perhaps they can round out to defend their title.

Previous: Idle | Next: at TOR on 6/26

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 13

The Dynamo's last five games showed their form is sputtering, something to keep an eye on. But if their best players can get back into form, their talent, gameplan and cohesion is such that they can't be counted out. They also have several games in hand on most of the rest of the league, so those will play a role in their standing.

Previous: Idle | Next: at POR on 6/22

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7

The Sounders have lost three in a row, and have won just two of their last 10. Some readers will wonder why they remain so high. The short answer is the voting panel expect players will recover from injury and Brian Schmetzer's side will bounce back to get back to their best. It is their trademark at this point, after all.

Previous: 2-1 loss at MTL | Next: vs. VAN on 6/29

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 24

Another team high in the rankings, the Timbers are in fact at the bottom of the West but as noted above, they have several games in hand on most of the competition and they have 16 more home games. With the talent they have, and what looks like a bonafide star in Brian Fernandez, they look likely to climb high in the table.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. HOU on 6/22

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 9

There were big expectations for D.C. coming into the season, and they're comfortably in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs places. But they are winless in five and since being blown away at home by LAFC, they've looked like a shell of themselves. They may need a group retreat and a way to clear their heads before they're back at it.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. ORL on 6/26

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 24

In contrast, the Quakes got smashed at home by LAFC and...the rally began right after that? It did, and they've looked like a totally different team since the first month of the season. They'll probably have to fight for a playoff spot but seeing them qualify wouldn't be a surprise at all, and they are more fun to watch than they've been in years.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. DAL | Next: vs. HOU on 6/26

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 13

The Galaxy are in a different spot: They're in second place in the West but they seldom look good. Part of this may be Guillermo Barros Schelotto going for wins first and foremost -- it worked in Argentina, after all -- but there's a feeling that this team should be doing much more, in spite of their favorable place in the standings.

Previous: Idle | Next: at CIN on 6/22

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 15

All things considered, Dallas are probably right where they should be. The Luchi Gonzalez era is off to a good start and his willingness to play youngsters even more than his predecessor is impressive, with said youngsters performing. Could they get hot and make a run? Maybe, maybe not.

Previous: 2-2 draw at SJ | Next: vs. TOR on 6/22

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 15

The Loons got off to a good start on the road, with three wins in five, and it's been rather downhill since. They've lost three in a row, but the slump seems to have been on for a solid two months. The real concern is if they'll actually make the playoffs. Based on how they're playing, it's not assured.

Previous: 1-0 loss at COL | Next: vs. CIN on 6/29

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23

Vancouver have also been belatedly roused from a slumber, and they currently sit just a point below the playoff line. There's a feeling they could use another two or three players to really contend, so the summer transfer window will be very interesting on that front, but Marc Dos Santos has put them on solid footing.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. COL on 6/22

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21

The Lions are a team with definite positives (Nani's play, fullbacks) and negatives (injuries, central defense). They feel like a team on the precipice, capable of pushing on and solidifying their playoff case or falling away and relegating this season to another disappointment. Time will tell which version will emerge.

Previous: Idle | Next: at DC on 6/26

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 20

Like the other teams in this strata, RSL are capable of good and bad, usually one or the other in a particular game. So far, they've been a streaky team, and that seems to be their M.O. One aside: Nick Rimando will likely make his 500th MLS appearance in the second half, the first player in league history to hit that milestone.

Previous: Idle | Next: at CHI on 6/22

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 20

The Impact are in second place, but their performances week to week don't feel like it. For the handicappers out there, Montreal are the hardest team to predict, and while they've weathered Ignacio Piatti's absence relatively well, they are in need of summer reinforcements. Will they come?

Previous: 2-1 win vs. SEA | Next: vs. POR on 6/26

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 19

TFC have climbed above the playoff line at the break, but injuries and age really seem to have taken a toll. Ali Curtis has been working to bolster the roster, and Alejandro Pozuelo has been strong (can he last for the full season?), Liam Fraser is emerging in a major way, and Omar Gonzalez is coming in. Will it be enough?

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. SKC | Next: at DAL on 6/22

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 16 | LOW: 24

The Rapids have seemingly crammed four seasons in half a campaign, and it's been a rollercoaster ride. From 11 games winless to start the season, the departure of Anthony Hudson, a feeling of a team being totally adrift in May, to ripping off a 4-0-1 record in their last five games. Can they continue the good times to balance out the year?

Previous: 1-0 win vs. MIN | Next: at VAN on 6/22

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 23

New England's transformation hasn't been as stark as Colorado's, but they've done it too. Unbeaten in their last four games, they're betting big money on Bruce Arena. Considering both sides have big stakes in his appointment, it looks like a mutually beneficial move, and we'll see if it leads to a return to the playoffs this year.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. PHI on 6/26

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 21

Unlike Seattle, who battled a barrage of injuries but came through in decent shape, Sporting saw the bottom fall out due to their many, many absences. The good news? They've still got half the season to go. This may not end up being the finely-tuned machine they were projected to be, but they're likely to bounce back.

Previous: 2-2 draw at TOR | Next: at CLB on 6/23

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 22

Chicago are right around the playoff line, but they've won four of their first 16, and that's not typically a pace to reach the postseason. They've got talent, experience and some promise, but it's not been clicking. Veljko Paunovic's side have a great chance to make a run, but they've got to make that first step.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. RSL on 6/22

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: 23

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 23

Don't count them out yet, as Columbus are well in the mix to fight for a playoff spot. But the sputtering form under Caleb Porter, with a new GM and ownership group in place, and with Federico Higuain going down for the season, means this may turn out to be a rebuilding year in earnest for the promise of a better tomorrow.

Previous: Idle  | Next: vs. SKC on 6/23

24

 
 

LAST WEEK: 24

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 24

Truthfully, FC Cincinnati aren't adrift of the rest of the pack, sitting eight points below the playoff line and within reach of the teams above them. But this seems to be a "live and learn" year. On the bright side, they aren't the first MLS expansion team (and likely won't be the last) to hit the reset button during the first season.

Previous: 5-2 loss at NYC | Next: vs. LA on 6/22

Series: 

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