Power Rankings - NYCFC - shaking hands
USA Today Sports

Power Rankings: NYCFC make case as Eastern Conference's best

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; DC -5

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 4

Only a four-point week for LAFC, below their current season average points per game of 2.3, to give you an idea of how stratospheric their run has been. Obviously the immediate concern is Carlos Vela's health, if he will miss time, and regardless, if he can be at his best and fully healthy in time for the playoffs.

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 18

Best week of the lot goes to NYCFC, the only side to win both of their Week 25 games. They still have games in hand on Atlanta and Philly, so they could easily leap into first place in the East if they win those games. Up next: A tricky cross-continental match in Vancouver. Can they keep pace with another win?

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 19

Atlanta fell essentially because NYCFC's two-win week made them the more impressive side, and Atlanta had to work hard to beat Orlando City. But beat them they did, and the top of the Eastern Conference clash against the Union (after the Open Cup final, of course) will be a big six-pointer for playoff seeding, perhaps more.

Previous: 1-0 win at ORL | Next: at PHI on 8/31

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 20

The Union complete the season sweep against D.C. United, and at the very least are in the second tier of teams in their conference. They could, however, be in the top tier, and they're in a position where their destiny is in their hands. Their final six games are a murderer's row, which could be great to hone for the postseason.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. DC | Next: vs. ATL on 8/31

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 20

RSL take a huge leap up the Power Rankings after playing a fairly insipid opening 87 minutes against the Rapids, before all the dominoes fell in their favor in a furious finish. More to the point, RSL are 5-1-2 in their last eight games and have vaulted up to 2nd in the West. They're not perfect, but they're unquestionably in good form now.

Previous: 2-0 win vs. COL | Next: at POR on 8/31

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 23

Huge six-pointer won by the Revolution on the weekend, and with their Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoff spot not yet secured, they've got work to do. Their next game, against TFC, is another six-pointer, and New England could use a big win or two to improve their -6 goal difference in case that becomes a relevant tie-breaker for the playoffs.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. CHI | Next: vs. TOR on 8/31

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 11

Speaking of huge wins, the Sounders needed one more than just about anyone, and doing it in Portland against the Timbers was especially sweet. Seattle have been totally inconsistent of late, but have an opportunity to stay near the top of the West if they can get back to winning ways at home against the Galaxy.

Previous: 2-1 win at POR | Next: vs. LA on 9/1

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 14

The Galaxy maintain their supremacy against LAFC, but only just. What's concerning is that while they unleashed their ferocity again in the first half, they absolutely let their rivals back into the game in the second half and were lucky to walk away with a point in the end. Their consistent inconsistency is truly perplexing.

Previous: 3-3 draw at LAFC | Next: vs. SEA on 9/1

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24

LAFC have the Quakes' number this year, but they were back to their best at the weekend in their literal barrage of the Whitecaps. Their playoff spot isn't assured, but they still seem like a good bet to clinch and possibly wreak havoc in October.

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 21

A mixed week for the Red Bulls, who like the Galaxy started their weekend rivalry game well before melting away in the second half, this time to lose to NYCFC. They firmly seem to be in the second tier of teams in the Eastern Conference at present, but can still be dangerous.

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24

Well, the Timbers are struggling. Two home losses in a row are not really permitted considering their whole season is built upon racking up home wins, and they're below the playoff line again. It's way too soon to write them off, considering they have games in hand, but the assumption they're playoff-bound is not yet true.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. SEA | Next: vs. RSL on 8/31

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 15

Tough loss for Minnesota in Sporting, as they fall late. For them, the big game of the week isn't the LAFC road swing, but the Open Cup final in Atlanta. Adrian Heath's men are unlikely to be favored, but to many neutrals they're the team to root for to clinch a first piece of silverware in the Loons' MLS era.

Previous: 1-0 loss at SKC | Next: at LAFC on 9/1

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 15

Another team with a big win, Dallas' Texas Derby rout wasn't big just because it was the rivalry but also because they needed a blowout win to get some mojo back. A home match against FC Cincy could be a great opportunity to launch a winning run and possibly solidify their playoff credentials for the season.

Previous: 5-1 win vs. HOU | Next: vs. CIN on 8/31

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 21

TFC also racked up a rivalry win that had major reverberations for their playoff prospects, as they jumped above the playoff line of their opponent, Montreal. It still doesn't feel quite right to trust TFC in the playoffs, but they may benefit from the competition below them unable to put them to the sword.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. MTL | Next: at NE on 8/31

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21

The Lions are three points below the playoff line, they still have hope. They may find a way to break through, or they may need another year. If it's the latter scenario, will the patience be there to continue to build on the major leaps made this year? But first, let's see this regular season out for Orlando.

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. ATL | Next: at SJ on 8/31

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 24

The Rapids late capitulation to RSL was a total gut punch, but the timing of announcing Robin Fraser as their new head coach should hopefully turn the page on a tough loss. Next up, a road trip to Red Bull Arena! It will be a tricky game, but Fraser can use this stretch primarily to evaluate his squad ahead of 2020.

Previous: 2-0 loss at RSL | Next: at RBNY on 8/31

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 21

Sporting are six points below the playoff line, and are making a run of it, so credit to them. Their homestretch is tricky but not impossible...so you're saying there's a chance?! Yes, that's the deal right now in Kansas City.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. MIN  | Next: vs. HOU on 8/31

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 24

Oh, look at the Crew, only seven points out of the playoffs themselves! As it stands, they're already put together a big turnaround on a season that was dead in the water not too long ago. But they only have five games and they need wins to make up ground. It may be too much to ask, but they're making a go of it, and that's great to see.

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 24

Paradoxically, the Fire are just four points below the playoff line, but seem further than that. They also have just five games remaining, and need to get wins or else their season will be a big, big, big disappointment.

Previous: 2-1 loss at NE | Next: at CLB on 8/31

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 20

D.C. are above the playoff line, but it certainly doesn't feel like, especially after losing both games in Week 25. Their long slide has been going on for months and they are very close to falling out of the postseason altogether. What is the hope for this side at the moment?

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 21

Montreal generated some hope with a change in manager, and have a huge double-game week coming up. Mistakes on both TFC goals cost the Impact the Canadian Classique, and if they want to make the playoffs, they need to clean up those gaffes.

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23

We've previously mentioned Jesse Gonzalez as an MLS Goalkeeper of the Year contender, and Maxime Crepeau needs to be a dark horse name, at the very least, after putting together one of the great individual performances (to say nothing of having a good season overall). Something to build on for the Whitecaps! 

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: 23

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24

Six games winless now, a blowout loss to their biggest rival...how's the search going for the next permanent head coach?

Previous: 5-1 loss at DAL  | Next: vs. SKC on 8/31

24

 
 

LAST WEEK: 24

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 24

FC Cincy's Hell is Real tifo was fire, but that was about it in terms of highlights for the home side.

Previous: 3-1 loss vs. CLB | Next: at DAL on 8/31

Series: 

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