Power Rankings - Daniel Royer - hug

Power Rankings: New York Red Bulls make big jump in homestretch

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: RBNY +7; POR -7

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 4

LAFC's consensus hold atop the Power Rankings is loosening with the team on a five-game winless run. It's a rough time for a slump, although they've still gotten draws in four of those games. With the Supporters' Shield a mere win away, can they snap back into form in a double-game week?

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 18

NYCFC weather an often tricky fixture against FC Dallas in Texas, and have a huge midweek showdown coming up against a presumably Josef Martinez-less Atlanta. Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoff tuneups are here!

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 19

Speaking of Atlanta, it sounds like Martinez's injury isn't necessarily worst-case scenario, but he looks likely to miss some time. This team seems to alternate games where they need him to win games for them, like against FC Cincinnati, with games where the team pitches in together, like the win over (admittedly 10-man) San Jose.

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 20

A flubbed rebound seemed to be the turning point in Philly's loss to the Red Bulls, a potential lesson about the fine margins with the playoffs looming. Provided they don't experience any more injuries, this double-game week will certainly test the Union – will they be up for the challenge?

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 15

Minnesota climb to their highest spot of the season with one of those games against the Timbers, with the defense once more delivering a result. It's time to declare Vito Mannone isn't just in the race for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, he may just be the frontrunner at this point.

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 11

Tough week for the Sounders, who got a draw midweek but didn't exactly inspire in that one, and followed up with a loss on the cross-country trip to the capital. Can the Sounders be ready for the playoffs? Hard to say given the ups and downs of late, honestly.

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 14

Cristian Pavon isn't necessarily filling up the scoresheet every game but there's no doubt, he's materially helping facilitate a truly team-based attack for the first time for the Galaxy in years. 2020 will likely be the big year for Pavon to show what he can do, but he's making a real impact right away.

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 21

TFC booked their return to the playoffs and have a pretty favorable final two league games coming up. Before the showdown against a desperate Fire, Toronto will be looking to overturn a Canadian Championship final deficit at home midweek.

Previous: 1-1 draw at LAFC | Next: at CHI on 9/29

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 20

D.C. are back from their sleepwalking phase and finding form. If they can leverage this brand of solid soccer into playoff success, then the midseason struggles will be forgotten. And believe it or not, they're currently playing the kind of soccer that tends to be successful in the postseason.

Previous: 2-0 win vs. SEA | Next: vs. RBNY on 9/29

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 20

An away draw at Gillette Stadium, especially for Western Conference teams, is always a decent result and RSL's risk to rotate ahead of a pivotal double-game week paid off. Now, time to make it count with vital games against the Galaxy and Dynamo.

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 21

The Red Bulls had the best week in terms of league play, winning twice and reviving what had been a flagging campaign that seemed to be culminating in a losing streak. Their playoff ticket is punched but they could move up to a home playoff game if they keep rolling and get a little help.

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24

The Quakes' house money appears to be running out and they are on the edge of the playoff line, with two key players and their manager suspended for the midweek game against the Union. On the other hand, this gives Almeyda the flexibility to forcibly "rotate" players without having to worry about burnout.

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 24

The Rapids revival continues with a wild comeback win over 10-man Sporting. While the club's choice to go all-in on players recruited from the British isles didn't work out, it's nice to see Tommy Smith and Jack Price did settle into dependable contributors for a team that keeps improving.

Previous: 3-2 win at SKC | Next: vs. DAL on 9/29

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 23

Bruce Arena said the game against RSL was a "must-win" on local sports talk radio, and...didn't happen, not for lack of trying. But with just one playoff slot up for grabs in the Eastern Conference, the playoffs have effectively started for New England, and they've got a doozy of a double-game week slate.

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24

The Timbers, once seemingly destined to be in the postseason through games in hand, remain below the playoff line in the West. There's still time and a few games to make the critical jump up, but time is running out and the Timbers are at real risk of starting their offseason Oct. 7.

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 24

A two-point week keeps FC Dallas above the playoff line, just, and in hindsight we'll know if that turns out to be good enough. With one game this week, against a Rapids team that has historically given them a game quite a bit over the years, they are also essentially playing playoff games right now.

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 24

The Crew aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but are essentially out, for real this time. It will be interesting to see which players remain on the roster in 2020 and which will depart for pastures new. Of the rebuilding teams, they probably have the most pieces already in place.

Previous: 1-1 draw at VAN  | Next: vs. PHI on 9/29

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 24

FC Cincinnati have improved in recent weeks but the Fire laid an egg against them with their season on the line. Chicago still have hope (no pun intended), but they need New England to lose their game in hand, and then lose another, while the Fire have to win out, with a revived Toronto squad (albeit one likely to rotate) up next.

Previous: 0-0 draw at CIN | Next: vs. TOR on 9/29

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 23

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 24

The Dynamo are showing glimpses of what made them so dangerous earlier in the year, but the inconsistency is pretty disappointing compared to what was possible. Enjoy these final matches with DaMarcus Beasley on the field and looking as spry as ever while you can.

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21

Speaking of teams that laid an egg, Orlando capitulated to the Dynamo and have to gear up for yet another long offseason unless something miraculous happens. Most stunning, the Lions' high-water mark for points in their MLS era was 44 points, back in their first season in the top flight in 2015. Orlando looks to be the new Toronto FC 1.0.

Previous: 2-1 loss at HOU | Next: at CIN on 9/29

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 21

An early red card sank Sporting, even if it was a legit call, and that kind of encapsulates their season. With Yohan Croizet departing on Monday, outside the transfer window and after the MLS roster freeze, it seems the retooling or rebuilding for 2020 is already underway.

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 23

A couple very late goals by Fredy Montero is brightening spirits a bit for the Whitecaps, but there's a feeling the fanbase wants more. It's difficult to do a full turnaround in a season, but there's also an expectation that there will be tangible results next year.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. CLB | Next: at LA on 9/29

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 23

The Impact played fairly well against the Galaxy with a heavily rotated lineup, and with the playoffs possible but unlikely, their season is coming down to maintaining their edge in the Canadian Championship to win the final's 2nd leg Wed

Previous: 2-1 loss at LA | Next: vs. ATL on 9/29

24

 
 

LAST WEEK: 24

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 24

It is true FC Cincy have played considerably better in recent weeks since Ron Jans took over. Now, the next step of building on the initial promise to string results together on a regular basis, a quest that can't be evaluated until next year.

Series: 

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