Power Rankings - Portland Timbers - hug
USA Today Sports

Power Rankings: Portland Timbers make big jump after Week 16

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: DAL +5; HOU -4

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 4

The well-oiled machine that has been LAFC looked rather rusty in the first half of their U.S. Open Cup clash against San Jose. Aside from the threats of fatigue, LAFC probably didn't want a Gold Cup break to interrupt their momentum, but so be it. Can they start the second half strong against a surging Rapids side?

Previous: Idle | Next: at COL on 6/29

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 20

The Union did get a longer break since they didn't reach the Open Cup Round of 16 this year, and like the other teams that haven't resumed league play yet, they could find a lack of rhythm as they get back into the fray. The big question is if they'll be able to maintain their spot atop the East in the second half of the season.

Previous: Idle | Next: at NE on 6/26

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 18

The signing of Gary Mackay-Steven, coming off a sparkling season in the Scottish Premiership, is intriguing. Imports from that league have often failed to impress in MLS, it must be said, but Mackay-Steven has the risk/reward potential that could prove to be a savvy pickup for NYCFC.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. PHI on 6/29

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 21

New York jump back into the fray with a decent match-up against a Fire side low on confidence. Even with the ups and downs seen this season, this looks pretty comfortably a playoff team, and we'll just have to see if they stay about where they are in fifth place in the East, or keep rising in the coming months.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. CHI on 6/28

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 24

Many commenters were perplexed about the big jump Portland took last time in the Power Rankings, and they've made another leap this time around. Yes, they beat a shorthanded Dynamo side, but one could argue that the Timbers have pinpointed those games in their roster construction for years, and this week it paid off.

Previous: 4-0 win vs. HOU | Next: at MTL on 6/26

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 19

Atlanta have a return to Toronto, of the game that denied them the Supporters' Shield last year, on tap. On the bright side, even with the break TFC seem like they are at sea so if the Five Stripes put in a good showing, they should be able to take a result of some kind away from a tricky fixture.

Previous: Idle | Next: at TOR on 6/26

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 15

Speaking of TFC, Dallas picked up a resounding win over them. We talk about FCD and the #PlayYourKids narrative all the time, but to put a slightly different spin on it, Dallas is one of a few teams in MLS that really seem confident of playing 30 players on the roster, and it sure comes in handy times like these.

Previous: 3-0 win vs. TOR | Next: vs. VAN on 6/26

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 8

We've been saying that the Sounders really needed a break, and while they still have players away on international duty, we'll see if the time off did them good (aside from Will Bruin's torn ACL, get well soon), beginning with a tasty Cascadia Cup clash against the Whitecaps.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. VAN on 6/29

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 13

We can't draw any lasting conclusions about the Schelotto era in LA until the season is winding down, but it's safe to say at this point the feeling they're pretty good but could be better will persist for the duration. Of course, the current staff and front office could use a few transfer windows before sweeping statements are made.

Previous: 2-0 win at CIN | Next: at SJ on 6/29

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 13

It's easy to shake off a road loss in Portland with a team missing several key players, but as Bobby Warshaw noted on Monday, the schedule coming up is going to be tough, and in some ways, it could be a make-or-break stretch for Wilmer Cabrera's group.

Previous: 4-0 loss at POR | Next: vs. SJ on 6/26

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 24

Speaking of the Dynamo, their next opponent is San Jose, who are just below the playoff line and look up for a fight to get above in the second half of the season. Can they sustain the resurgence? It's possible opponents could study film to counteract them, but Matias Almeyda has won titles playing this way, after all.

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

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 12

Another team that needed the break is D.C. United, who still sit in third place in the Eastern Conference but haven't been comfortable for some time. A good performance against Orlando could help them kickstart the second half in style, and hopefully they can unlock USMNT Paul Arriola when he returns from the Gold Cup.

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

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 15

Minnesota knocked off Open Cup champ Houston during the break, and could the torch of sputtering league team make a run to the USOC title have been passed in the process? It's certainly possible, and picking up a first title in their MLS era could give the organization a big boost in the much-discussed year three.

Previous: Idle | Next: vs. CIN on 6/29

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21

Another team in the Open Cup reckoning, Orlando are in a very similar spot to Minnesota in a lot of ways -- they would cherish an Open Cup title, and they are also desperate to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs. Will they make any significant moves in the upcoming transfer window to bolster their ranks?

Previous: Idle | Next: at DC on 6/26

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23

Good work by the Whitecaps to battle back for a point, and Marc Dos Santos' group remains just a point below the playoff line. Will this be their peak, or will they push on and actually get in the mix to reach the postseason? The next five games will likely be huge to indicate a trend one way or the other.

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

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 16 | LOW: 24

The Rapids will likely rue dropping two points in Vancouver, since it makes a difference in their place in the standings. Still, they're in a good spot, and could be hosting LAFC at the best possible time for the league leaders. Or, they may face a dose of reality, stay tuned.

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 20

In MLS, road points are good, and RSL got one against the Fire. With the transfer of Joao Plata reportedly falling through, but speculation ramping up about Jefferson Savarino's future, this coming transfer window could be pretty, pretty interesting in Utah.

Previous: 1-1 draw at CHI | Next: vs. SKC on 6/29

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 20

If you pay attention to the Impact, you know they love to bang the "nobody believes in us" drum. And that comes through, with the voting panel keeping them pretty low in spite of their 2nd-place standing in the East. After coming up short last year, can the Impact make the doubters eat crow at the end of this season?

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

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 21

Sporting seem to have turned a corner after a gritty win over the Crew, even if they remain low in the rankings. It's possible more misfortune could befall them (as it could with any team), but expect them to be above the playoff line in no time, and unlikely to relinquish that standing again this season.

Previous: 1-0 win at CLB | Next: at RSL on 6/29

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 23

Will the new coach bounce continue for New England? The players seem happy and Bruce Arena is offering faint praise -- but praise nonetheless -- of his roster. You may be surprised to hear this, but the Revs' game against the Union could be one of the highlights of the coming week.

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

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 21

Toronto keep sinking and they have to wish they could take a few more weeks off at this point. But they'll have to continue on, and a game against Atlanta is potentially huge for both sides. Can Greg Vanney muster a lineup coherent enough to put Atlanta down again?

Previous: 3-0 loss at DAL | Next: vs. ATL on 6/26

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 22

If there's a team that seems to be stuck in neutral at this point, it's the Fire. The same talking points persist: They have talent and can put together good performances, but game to game it's hard to know what to expect. They seem to be entering "do or die" time in the season, already.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. RSL | Next: at RBNY on 6/28

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: 23

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 23

The Crew lose again at home, and they seem in need of big changes. For now, it looks like they'll have to make smaller moves, perhaps, in the upcoming transfer window and save the big moves in the winter to remake the squad and give it a true refresh.

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. SKC  | Next: vs. ORL on 6/29

24

 
 

LAST WEEK: 24

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 24

FC Cincinnati have reached the point where they are underdogs at home. Will they make changes in the transfer window? It's a heck of an onboarding process for the brand new GM, Gerard Nijkamp.

Previous: 2-0 loss vs. LA | Next: at MIN on 6/29

Series: 

WHO YA GOT? Make your playoff picks with the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. It free to play and you'll have a ton of fun competing against your friends, family, and colleagues. Plus you could win great prizes!