Power Rankings - Diego Rossi
USA Today Sports

Power Rankings: LAFC can't be knocked off perch at the top

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: RSL +5; MTL -5

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 4

Coming off a fantastic comeback road win on very short rest — seriously, one of the best of the season under the circumstances — LAFC are fully focused on a number of firsts: First trophy, first playoff win...and first win over the LA Galaxy? A win would immediately put anxiety surrounding El Trafico for the Black & Gold at bay.

Previous: 3-1 win at HOU | Next: at LA on 7/19

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24

The Quakes complete a worst-to-2nd rise up the Power Rankings after a California Clasico sweep, after absolutely battering LA's goal in Southern California. San Jose have won four of the last five but their form has been fantastic since their four-game losing run to open the season, and the voting panel believes they're legit.

Previous: 3-1 win at LA | Next: at VAN on 7/20

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24

The Timbers dip a bit in the rankings but their game against the Rapids was a weird one, part Demolition Derby and a smorgasbord of everything else. Now, another double-game week on tap, including a highly-anticipated clash against the Sounders in Seattle. The litmus tests are truly here for the Timbers.

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 21

The most delicate way of putting this is that the Red Bulls will do whatever it takes to win, and it's delivered a series of Supporters' Shields over the years. Winning teams need a killer instinct, and the Red Bulls have that in absolute abundance throughout the roster.

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 9

The Sounders remain one of just two teams to be unbeaten at home in league play (alongside LAFC) with a good marquee win over Atlanta United. One of the unsung heroes of the Sounders' season has been Harry Shipp, who won't be a superstar but definitely has a part to play as a regular MLS starter.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. ATL | Next: vs. POR on 7/21

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 18

All the talk surrounding NYCFC is the contentious Red Bulls winner, and understandably so, but with expectations raised after a slow burn buildup to the midpoint of the season, it's time for NYCFC to turn the page and get back on track. A road game against the Rapids will be a good test.

Previous: 2-1 loss at RBNY | Next: at COL on 7/20

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 20

It certainly wasn't the Union's day in Utah, who if they had scored to make it 2-1 (the goal chalked off was correct, however) may have prevented a blowout, or better. They've got a must-win of sorts against the Fire coming up, if only to demonstrate they have the mentality to bounce back quickly from a bad loss.

Previous: 4-0 loss at RSL | Next: at CHI on 7/20

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 15

The first 90 minutes of Minnesota's win over Dallas was turgid (the short rest for the Loons certainly contributed to it), but stoppage time was electric. Minnesota match their season high, and if they keep winning, rest assured Adrian Heath, the team will keep climbing in the Power Rankings.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. DAL | Next: at RSL on 7/20

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 19

Look, games for most opponents in Seattle are invariably tough, and that may have distorted the flat performance a bit. But the Five Stripes aren't in any kind of form and while a U.S. Open Cup title could smooth out the bumps, there are still questions for this vintage of this team.

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 15

Tough, tough loss for FCD in Minnesota, who could have tied the game two different ways but managed to do neither in the end. They've got plenty to like, but it feels like they could be the team under the playoff line this season if they don't start picking up more wins.

Previous: 1-0 loss at MIN | Next: at SKC on 7/20

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 12

Good fight back from a two-goal deficit for D.C. against the Revs, and now it's time to get some wins, starting with a promising-if-tricky double-game week. As a team that has won just once in their last nine league games, they really must start winning ASAP in order to keep their 2nd place perch in the East.

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 13

The Galaxy are on better form than D.C. but it's all feast or famine for them these days. There's time to find form before the playoffs, but LA can't afford to wait too long to get in gear, and after a Cali Clasico embarrassment they'll want to avoid another rivalry slip with El Trafico coming.

Previous: 3-1 loss vs. SJ | Next: vs. LAFC on 7/19

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 20

RSL make a big move with their blowout home win over the Union. Their next game is also at home, against a hot Minnesota United, but RSL's prospects overall will seem to come down to whether they can hold serve at home and pick up a couple wins on the road. Time will tell.

Previous: 4-0 win vs. PHI | Next: vs. MIN on 7/20

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23

Teal Bunbury has scored four goals in his last five games. Coming off a career year in 2018, he seems to have weathered the coaching switch just fine, and credit to him for persevering after several years in which he hardly scored, and remaining a player who can get an important goal for his team.

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 21

Let this be the beginning, they are imploring TFC in Ontario, after a rousing rivalry win in Montreal. Two home games are on tap, and while Greg Vanney will certainly rotate his lineup, Toronto are just above the playoff line and need points to solidify their standing for the playoff reckoning.

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 24

Another week, another weird game for the Rapids, where an own goal and a handball penalty conceded canceled out playing up a man for most of the second half. They probably need to rip off a big winning streak to get into the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs mix at this stage, but they will be definite spoilers this year.

Previous: 2-2 draw at POR | Next: vs. NYC on 7/20

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21

The Lions are below the playoff line, which is a concern, and they have a tough week ahead in Portland and at home against the Red Bulls. They could ultimately go the Dynamo 2018 route of putting all their eggs in the U.S. Open Cup, but they don't need to make a choice to pivot just yet.

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 20

Along with the Union, the Impact have played the most games to date in the league, which should make them even more nervous about their current standing in fifth place. Among teams in the playoff places, their three-game league losing streak is definitely the worst run going right now.

Previous: 2-0 loss vs. TOR | Next: at CLB on 7/20

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 21

Meanwhile, Sporting are taking advantage of vulnerable opponents to get back into the playoff race and currently sit just four points out of 7th place in the West. That they have competition from the Timbers complicates their rush up the table, but a game against Dallas this week is a big six-pointer.

Previous: 3-0 win at VAN | Next: vs. DAL on 7/20

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 20

The Dynamo fall below the playoff line and the hope is draining from them week by week. Houstonians frequently point to the Dynamo having by far the lowest payroll in MLS, so have they been overachieving the past couple of years, or should expectations be higher for them?

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23

Marc Dos Santos has reached the point where he's trying stuff out with his roster, and why not? We were talking up the prospect of improvement for this group as the season wore on, but they've hit a wall, and hard. Can they find some more improvement or will these players be playing for 2020?

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 23

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 24

FC Cincy creep up again this week with a second straight win. It's good to see the fight remain in this team, as we've seen terminal slumps for last-place teams begin early in a campaign and never end. But up next, a tough double-game week against two Eastern teams looking to pick up an easy three points from them.

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 23

The only team in MLS yet to win a road game this year is the Fire, a fact that illustrates the struggles of the season. Winning once in their last nine, this week is totally make or break for them, with a double-game week on tap.

24

 
 

LAST WEEK: 24

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 23

The Crew are on their second five-game losing streak of the season right now. Given the people involved, you have to expect a plan is in place, but this is definitely the toughest stretch of Caleb Porter's MLS career, although Tim Bezbatchenko has engineered a multi-year club turnaround before.

Series: 

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