San Jose Earthquakes - celebrate a goal - Cali Clasico
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Which teams are most improved since 2018? Year-over-year points explain

With Week 26 of the MLS regular season in the books, a clearer sense of a team’s year-over-year progress is starting to emerge. Clubs have between four and seven games remaining to write their entire script, though much of the picture is already complete.

So, what can we glean when looking at some of the trends up to this point? Let's take a look at the amount of points each team had this point in their seasons last year compared to this one.

For starters, the San Jose Earthquakes have enjoyed the largest turnaround in MLS this year, already making up a 24-point gap. With new head coach Matias Almedya, they have already doubled last year’s 21-point and league-worst return.

Keeping in the Western Conference, there are also a 15-point turnaround for Supporters’ Shield leaders LAFC and recent U.S. Open Cup finalist Minnesota United

Keeping at the top of the table, though in the Eastern Conference, table-toppers Philadelphia Union have enjoyed an eight-point upswing. New York City FC, meanwhile, is up two points, speaking to their consistency as of late. Atlanta United, last year’s MLS Cup champions, are down nine points as compared to 2019, though have already won the Open Cup and Campeones Cup this year.

There have also been big turnarounds for Eastern Conference playoff contenders Toronto FC (+8) and New England Revolution (+5). Orlando City (+9) and the Chicago Fire (+6) are hoping their trajectories get a boost in the hunt for a spot in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.

It’s not all positive, though, with double-digit reversals for five clubs around MLS. Most notably, 2018 Supporters’ Shield winners New York Red Bulls are down 15 points as compared to last year. The biggest windfall comes via the Columbus Crew (-16), a playoff team last year. 

The Vancouver Whitecaps were eliminated from Western Conference playoff contention over the weekend and are down 13 points from 2018. FC Dallas holds a playoff spot out West, though are down 10 points. Sporting Kansas City, looking to squeeze in out West, are down 14 points.

One more: The Portland Timbers, 2018 MLS Cup finalists are down four points as compared to this point last year, though have a home-heavy second half of the year.

Full table

Team 2018 Points 2019 Points Difference
San Jose Earthquakes 20 44 24
Los Angeles Football Club 47 62 15
Minnesota United FC 30 45 15
Orlando City SC 25 34 9
Philadelphia Union 43 51 8
Toronto FC 30 38 8
Chicago Fire 28 34 6
Colorado Rapids 24 30 6
New England Revolution 34 39 5
LA Galaxy 38 42 4
New York City FC 48 50 2
Seattle Sounders 44 46 2
D.C. United 41 42 1
Houston Dynamo 31 31 0
Real Salt Lake 44 43 -1
Montreal Impact 40 37 -3
Portland Timbers 44 40 -4
Atlanta United 57 48 -9
FC Dallas 53 43 -10
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 40 27 -13
Sporting Kansas City 51 37 -14
New York Red Bulls 56 41 -15
Columbus Crew SC 47 31 -16

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