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Power Rankings: LA Galaxy, Orlando City SC continue rise heading into Week 9

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, ORL +4; ATL, LAFC, SJ -3

1

 
 

PREVIOUS: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 6

Toronto can soon tie the MLS record for consecutive regular-season matches without a defeat (19), reflecting their remarkable run of consistency. The 2019 MLS Cup finalists are atop the Eastern Conference standings and breezing through their all-Canadian return to play, especially with Alejandro Pozuelo continuing his Best XI form.

2

 
 

PREVIOUS: 3

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 11

During a pregame press conference last week, Union head coach Jim Curtin said they might be ranked a bit too high. Philadelphia then went out and walloped a shorthanded D.C. United side 4-1. The results are doing the talking, and Kacper Przybylko just earned Player of the Week honors.

3

 
 

PREVIOUS: 6

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 8

The Sounders just dropped a combined six goals on LAFC and the Portland Timbers, getting a maximum six points in the process. Raul Ruidiaz and Jordan Morris are leading the attack, Joao Paulo and Nicolas Lodeiro are orchestrating the midfield and Stefan Frei’s making key saves. Ho hum.

4

 
 

PREVIOUS: 2

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 9

Columbus have been shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since June 29-July 3 of last season. But head coach Caleb Porter and his star players aren’t too worried, as they’ve allowed a league-low two goals and have just one loss in 2020.

5

 
 

PREVIOUS: 9

HIGH: 5 | LOW: 23

Let these Lions roar. Orlando are coming off consecutive 3-1 wins, with the latter at Atlanta United in a rivalry that previously titled entirely the Five Stripes’ way. That’s a major confidence boost, and the emergence of Daryl Dike as a legitimate No. 9 option reinforces the overall lift provided by head coach Oscar Pareja’s tenure.

Previous: 3-1 win at ATL | Next: at NSH on 9/2; vs. ATL on 9/5  

6

 
 

PREVIOUS: 5

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 14

Less than a month ago, Portland raised the MLS is Back Tournament trophy after navigating life in the bubble. Now, the Timbers have allowed a combined seven goals while going 0-1-1. Head coach Giovanni Savarese is none too pleased, and understandably so.

7

 
 

PREVIOUS: 4

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 7

LAFC remain without Carlos Vela and Eduard Atuesta, but you’d still expect better from the defending Supporters’ Shield champs. Head coach Bob Bradley sure does, and he voiced his displeasure after last weekend’s 3-1 loss at Seattle. Now they’re hoping to avoid three straight defeats for the first time in club history.

8

 
 

PREVIOUS: 7

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 18

Sporting lead the Western Conference standings, but they’ve logged a few Jekyll-and-Hyde results after the MLS is Back Tournament. They’re 1-1-1 during this regular season restart, a stretch that includes club-record signing Alan Pulido going scoreless. A coincidence? We think not.

9

 
 

PREVIOUS: 12

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 13

After treading water in the Eastern Conference basement, the Cityzens seem to have finally turned a corner. They’re coming off two straight wins, and midfield maestro Maxi Moralez is back from injury. It’s not been perfect under head coach Ronny Deila, but this is reassuring from an NYCFC perspective.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. CHI | Next: at NE on 9/2; at DC on 9/6 

10

 
 

PREVIOUS: 8

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 10

Minnesota have consecutive league losses for the first time since last June. It’s certainly not the sole reason, but they remain without center back Ike Opara. He was the 2019 MLS Defender of the Year after all, and that absence would impact any team.

11

 
 

PREVIOUS: 11

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 16

RSL, during a rocky week-plus off the field, have scored four goals in back-to-back games. Amid that offensive outburst, they took four of six points from consecutive road matches. It’s since been announced that current RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen will be seeking to sell the club after MLS opened an investigation into alleged racist conduct and language in an article on The Athletic.

12

 
 

PREVIOUS: 13

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 18

The Revs haven’t lost a league game since way back on Feb. 29, and find themselves on a seven-game unbeaten run. But DP forward Adam Buksa’s scoreless in four straight and they’ve tied all three games at Gillette Stadium in 2020. Maybe things will turn around as head coach Bruce Arena returns from his suspension.

13

 
 

PREVIOUS: 10

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 23

The good news is Homegrown winger Cade Cowell and rookie center back Tanner Beason shined last weekend. The bad news is San Jose folded late to lose their first California Clasico match since May 2018. And thus emerges a window into the up-and-down nature of San Jose’s form

14

 
 

PREVIOUS: 16

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 16

Homegrown right back Reggie Cannon seems bound for an overseas move, at least judging from reports by MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert and comments from head coach Luchi Gonzalez. Beyond that looming move, FC Dallas are back in the win column for the first time since Week 1.

Previous: 3-1 win vs. MIN | Next: at SKC on 9/2

15

 
 

PREVIOUS: 19

HIGH: 6 | LOW: 24

When the Galaxy emerged from the MLS is Back Tournament, they were winless and bottom of the Western Conference standings. Now they’ve won two straight, getting it done with DP midfielder Jonathan dos Santos not quite 90 minutes fit and DP forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez still out injured.

16

 
 

PREVIOUS: 15

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 19

Does this version of the Red Bulls match up to their 2018 Supporters’ Shield-winning side? Probably not, but they’re a solid, young team that can grind out results in the absence of big-name stars. Consider it the RBNY way, a tactical identity everyone’s bought into.

17

 
 

PREVIOUS: 14

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 17

We’ll avoid broad-sweeping conclusions about Atlanta’s fortunes in this most-unusual 2020 MLS season. But suffering their first loss against rivals Orlando City sure stings and they’re 1-4 in their last five matches. It also doesn’t help they’ve been hit hard by the injury bug.

18

 
 

PREVIOUS: 17

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 21

There are moments when you see the Thierry Henry-led project really coming together in Montreal. Then you’re reminded that they haven’t made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs since 2016, leaving the French legend with ample work to sort through. 

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. TOR | Next: at TOR on 9/1  

19

 
 

PREVIOUS: 18

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 26

FC Cincy aren’t exactly writing the how-to guide on joga bonito under head coach Jaap Stam. But they’re a solid 2-1-2 across their last five matches, and are coming off a Hell is Real draw against the Crew. Given the low depths they reached in 2019, this defensive structure portends progress.

20

 
 

PREVIOUS: 22

HIGH: 20 | LOW: 26

Nashville are 2-2-1 during this Phase 1 restart, which is objectively pretty good for the expansion side. Then there’s the sobering reminder they’ve scored a league-low four goals, showing the flaws in their roster. But if Gary Smith’s group can keep getting results, the holes get patched over.

21

 
 

PREVIOUS: 20

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 21

The Rapids don’t exactly have a scoring problem during this 0-4-1 stretch. They have a defense problem, however, allowing 12 goals during that span. For a team with a two-time MLS Defender of the Year as head coach (Robin Fraser), that can’t sit well.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. SKC | Next: at SJ on 9/5 

22

 
 

PREVIOUS: 25

HIGH: 20 | LOW: 25

Darwin Quintero was, at times, electric in Minnesota. If he can maintain that form in Houston – he had two goals and one assist in last week’s 5-2 steamrolling of Sporting KC – then the Dynamo will prove highly dangerous. They're only points out of a playoff spot, too.

23

 
 

PREVIOUS: 21

HIGH: 19 | LOW: 26

Miami, for all their spending, have now been held scoreless in three of seven matches this year. They’re also 1-6, have the fewest points (3) in all of MLS and are awaiting the debut of Blaise Matuidi. Thus are the growing pains of an expansion team, a supremely talented one at that. 

24

 
 

PREVIOUS: 23

HIGH: 20 | LOW: 24

It feels like one step forward two steps back at times for Chicago. Last week they returned to Soldier Field with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Cincinnati, then suffered a 3-1 defeat against NYCFC. There’s potential around the Fire, but they’re certainly not a finished product. 

25

 
 

PREVIOUS: 24

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 25

D.C. United’s offensive struggles are well-documented, though perhaps new Venezuelan forward Gelmin Rivas can ease those pains. He signed with the club Monday, and most recently played for MKE Ankaragücü in the Turkish Süper Liga.

26

 
 

PREVIOUS: 26

HIGH: 19 | LOW: 26

Three games post-MLS is Back Tournament, three losses. Vancouver could turn things around soon, but they’re proving to be bottom of the Canadian pecking order in MLS. 

Previous: 2-0 loss at MTL | Next: vs. TOR on 9/5

Series: 

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