Power Rankings - Alejandro Pozuelo - Toronto FC

Power Rankings: Toronto FC claim top spot from LAFC as regular season resumes

Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings​. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff; words by Jonathan Sigal.

BIGGEST MOVERS: LA, MIA, TOR +5; COL -5

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PREVIOUS: 6

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 6

Toronto FC are the only undefeated team left in the 2020 regular season, and they’re fresh off a two-game sweep of Vancouver by a combined 4-0 scoreline. The connection between DP attackers Pablo Piatti and Alejandro Pozuelo looks scintillating, and that’s all while DP forward Jozy Altidore is yet to get off the mark.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. VAN | Next: at MTL on 8/28

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PREVIOUS: 4

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 9

Had the Crew not suffered a 1-0 loss Monday night against NYCFC, would they have occupied first place? Entirely possible, since Caleb Porter’s team still holds first place in the Supporters’ Shield standings. Either way, that Aboubacar Keita turnover … oof. Hopefully the Homegrown center back can quickly recover.

Previous: 1-0 loss at NYC | Next: at CIN on 8/29

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HIGH: 3 | LOW: 11

The Union haven’t lost a league game since Week 1, reflecting their continued growth under head coach Jim Curtin. It still feels like they need a marque regular-season win, though, and their MLS is Back Tournament semifinal run showed they’re certainly capable of it.

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HIGH: 1 | LOW: 4

Sunday’s El Trafico truly was a no good, very bad day for LAFC. Carlos Vela left injured, they landed just three shots on target and a shorthanded Galaxy secured a 2-0  win. It’s not hyperbole to call it one of their worst showings since entering MLS in 2018, and it's no surprise it came without midfield lynchpin Eduard Atuesta.

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HIGH: 2 | LOW: 14

The MLS is Back Tournament champions were handed some humble pie against Cascadia rivals Seattle, being blown away 3-0 at home. Portland coach Giovanni Savarese called it a “hard wakeup call,” so now it’s up to the veteran-heavy roster to meet this moment. One would think the Diegos (Chara, Valeri) demand as much.

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HIGH: 1 | LOW: 8

It’s not this simple, but the Sounders got DP midfielder Joao Paulo back in the starting XI and suddenly things started clicking. It sure helped that Raul Ruidiaz bagged a brace, reminding everyone why Seattle are the defending MLS Cup champions.

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HIGH: 6 | LOW: 18

In one of Week 6’s most interesting twists, Homegrown midfielder Gianluca Busio was deployed as a deep-lying playmaker and looked pretty, pretty decent. That move, plus a solid 2-1 win over Minnesota, helped SKC extend their lead atop the Western Conference standings.

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HIGH: 4 | LOW: 8

The Loons might downplay it, but they’re without two of their top defensive players through injury. Center back Ike Opara remains on the sideline, and goalkeeper Tyler Miller is out for the year after undergoing hip surgery. We’ll gladly be proven wrong, though their absences could take a toll.

Previous: 2-1 loss at SKC | Next: at DAL on 8/29

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PREVIOUS: 7

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 23

Based on everything we know about Oscar Pareja, he won’t let a post-MLS is Back Tournament setback against Miami disrupt the mojo they’re building in Orlando. If anything, it’ll inspire the Lions to reset in short order. Odds are a veteran leader like Nani will accept nothing else, either.

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HIGH: 10 | LOW: 23

For better or for worse, the Earthquakes are now without Magnus Eriksson as he returns to Sweden to play for Djurgardens IF. That leaves a slot in the starting XI for head coach Matias Almeyda to fill, and it’s the ever-important No. 10 role. Does Vako get the nod?

Previous: 4-1 loss vs. MIN (MLS is Back) | Next: vs. POR on 8/26; at LA on 8/29

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PREVIOUS: 13

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 16

If you predicted Maikel Chang to be the supersub hero for RSL in last weekend’s Rocky Mountain Cup walloping of Colorado, please raise your hand (*hears crickets in the background*). But head coach Freddy Juarez has confidence in their depth, which will prove vital during this jam-packed portion of the 2020 season.

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HIGH: 3 | LOW: 13

NYCFC have too much talent to labor near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, right? It’s hard to shake that belief, even if they only have two wins from seven under head coach Ronny Deila. After all, this is largely the same roster that earned 64 points a year ago to trail just LAFC for the Supporters’ Shield.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. CLB | Next: vs. CHI on 8/29

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PREVIOUS: 11

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 18

New England’s been shut out in three straight games, and they’ve been without Carles Gil for said three games. Coincidence? Likely not. Commentary aside, one would think Gustavo Bou and Adam Buksa, the club’s remaining DPs, can shake their net-front cobwebs at some point.

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HIGH: 1 | LOW: 17

Now that’s the Pity Martinez we know and love. The Argentine DP had two goals as Atlanta bounced back from a horrid MLS is Back Tournament showing, one that resulted in the club mutually agreeing to part ways with ex-head coach Frank de Boer. They’re not out of the woods just yet, but three points are three points.

 

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HIGH: 12 | LOW: 19

Somewhat quietly, the Red Bulls are third in the Eastern Conference standings amid this strange, unusual and pandemic-altered season. Their lackluster showing at the MLS is Back Tournament still looms, though, so now Chris Armas’ group needs to string together some results.

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PREVIOUS: 14

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 16

FC Dallas had no problem scoring when this 25th anniversary season got underway, averaging two goals per game pre-shutdown. As for emerging on the other side? They’re scoreless in their last three matches – and that’s all with marquee signing Franco Jara now in the mix. Something’s gotta change, and it’s gotta change quickly.

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PREVIOUS: 16

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21

The Impact didn’t play last week, so we’ll make a prediction instead: Bojan Krkic gets off the mark for the first time in 2020. If this ends up being the writer’s curse, we apologize in advance to the Spanish forward. But Montreal need more production from the ex-Barcelona man, who has three goals in 12 games since coming to MLS.

 

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. ORL (MLS is Back) | Next: vs. VAN on 8/25vs. TOR on 8/28

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PREVIOUS: 18

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 26

Looking at Cincy’s last four results, they’ve posted three shutouts and drew Portland (eventual champs) at the MLS is Back Tournament before penalty kicks sent them home. They’re certainly more defensively sound under head coach Jaap Stam, which comes in stark contrast to 2019’s league-worst 75 goals allowed mark. For a second-year club that used to leak goals left and right, that’s considerable progress. 

 

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PREVIOUS: 24

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 24

Making predictions about El Trafico is truly a fool’s errand, because last weekend’s matchup had the making of another LAFC win, perhaps even a lopsided one. But LA got the job done, recording their first victory of 2020 and showing this rivalry is full of twists and turns. It came without Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, and Jonathan dos Santos logged just 25 minutes.

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HIGH: 7 | LOW: 20

To find the last time Colorado recorded a Rocky Mountain Cup win, you have to stretch back to an Oct. 15, 2017, game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. RSL simply have their rivals' number, but maybe things would’ve gone differently if Younes Namli’s deflected shot in the 80th minute went a few inches to the right. Instead it found the woodwork, and three RSL goals followed in the 4-1 loss.

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PREVIOUS: 26

HIGH: 19 | LOW: 26

Aaannnd, breathe. The official opening of Inter Miami CF Stadium included the expansion club’s first MLS win, and it saw forward Julian Carranza bag a first-half brace. They’re deserved celebrations, but the schedule’s pace demands a short memory. We’re also anxiously awaiting the debut of Blaise Matuidi, though it’s not clear when the French World Cup winner will feature.

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PREVIOUS: 21

HIGH: 21 | LOW: 26

The fickle thing about Nashville is the underlying stats say they should be scoring much more (thanks, xG). But they own a league-low two goals scored through five matches, reinforcing the belief that the expansion side needs a dependable No. 9. The latest reports (read: possible solution) surround Venezuelan striker Jhonder Cadiz

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PREVIOUS: 20

HIGH: 20 | LOW: 23

We all knew the Fire weren’t going to be an overnight success, not with how much roster turnover they had for 2020. But they’re winless in three and have been outscored 7-0 across that stretch, so this might take longer than first thought. 

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PREVIOUS: 23

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 24

To strike an optimistic tone, maybe D.C. United will get back on track when hosting New England on Tuesday evening at Audi Field. There’s also a quick turnaround time between this story publishing and kickoff, so we’ll soon know if Ben Olsen’s group falters or thrives. 

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HIGH: 20 | LOW: 25

Back in preseason, odds are that if you told Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos that he’d have two losses through his first six games as an MLS head coach, he’d take that deal. But the issue is the other four results are draws, so they occupy last place in the Western Conference standings.

Previous: 0-0 draw vs. DAL | Next: at SKC on 8/25

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PREVIOUS: 22

HIGH: 19 | LOW: 26

After dropping two games against Toronto in their return to regular-season play, the Whitecaps drop to the Power Rankings cellar. They’re tied with Chicago for a league-worst minus-7 goal differential, a reflection of how they’ve also been shutout in four of their past five games. 

Previous: 1-0 loss at TOR | Next: at MTL on 8/25

Series: 

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