MLS Power Rankings: Can anyone catch the Revolution?


Not every team was in action this past week across Major League Soccer, but we still saw plenty of decisive results as the jostle for playoff spots and good seeding continues up and down the Eastern and Western Conferences. In the East, New England Revolution continues to put daylight between them and the rest of the pack — Bruce Arena’s side are 14 points clear of Orlando City SC and Nashville SC, though they’ve played two more games than both — while in the West, Seattle Sounders FC, Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City are going to fight to the wire for the top seed, with LA Galaxy not too far behind.

Find out where your team sits coming out of the All-Star break in our Week 18 Power Rankings.

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Previous ranking: 1

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 vs. NYCFC, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The Revs went to Philadelphia, where the Union had lost only once all season, played down a man for the final half-hour, and still came away with a 1-0 win. New England is now 10 points clear of its nearest rival in the Supporters’ Shield race, and looking primed for a run at the organization’s first-ever MLS Cup. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 2

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 vs. Minnesota, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN+

With the Sounders off this week, the team’s best moment was seeing brothers Cristian (United States) and Alex Roldan (El Salvador) face off against each other in World Cup qualifying. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 3

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 vs. LA Galaxy, 3:30 p.m. ET

Even without Kellyn Acosta and Mark-Anthony Kaye, who were away on international duty, the Rapids found a way to get three points at San Jose through a late goal from Dominique Badji. The Rapids have a conference-best 1.95 points per game, but sit a point back of Seattle with a game in hand. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 6

Next MLS match:Sept. 11 at Montreal, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Nashville cruised to a comfortable 3-1 victory over NYCFC on Friday on the back of a Hany Mukhtar double. The 26-year-old is delivering legit Designated Player production, averaging a direct goal involvement every 91 minutes and being directly involved in 49% of NSC’s goals in 2021. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 3

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 vs. Chicago, 8:30 p.m. ET

A month after winning 4-1 at LAFC, Sporting Kansas City returned only to lose 4-0 this time around. SKC was without Daniel Salloi, but it still fielded a much stronger lineup than LAFC, which was depleted by injury and international duty. The loss extends Kansas City’s winless streak to four matches. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 7

Next MLS match: Sept. 10 at Atlanta, 7 p.m. ET

Daryl Dike made his first start since returning from the Gold Cup, a 3-2 win over Columbus in which he scored one and assisted on another. In a 2021 campaign that’s been stop-start because of international duty and a midseason return from a successful loan spell at Barnsley, the 21-year-old United States striker has started just four games, but in those contests he’s accumulated three goals and two assists. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 4

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 at New England, 7 pm ET, ESPN+

Valentin Castellanos is in the middle of one of his hot streaks. The 22-year-old forward started the season by scoring four goals in NYCFC’s first four games, before suffering a nine-game goalless drought. In the nine games since, he’s netted eight times and added three assists — a period that’s seen the Bronx outfit pick up points in all but two contests. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 9

Next MLS match: Sept. 19 vs. Orlando, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN Deportes

The Union were shut out for just the third time this season in Friday’s 1-0 defeat to New England. The opponents in those three losses, New England, Nashville and NYCFC, are first, third and fourth, respectively, in the Eastern Conference. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 8

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 at Seattle, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Minnesota did not play last week as it prepares for a challenging three-match run at Seattle, at Kansas City and home against the Galaxy over the next two weeks. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 12

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. ET

The Galaxy were off last week and return to action Saturday with a key showdown at Colorado, which could have seeding implications in the Western Conference playoffs. — Bonagura

Previous ranking:10

Next MLS match:Sept. 10 vs. Orlando City, 7:00 p.m. ET

The Five Stripes were idle over the weekend ahead of a Friday feature with rival Orlando City, but they have momentum on their side, winning four of their past five contests. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 11

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The Earthquakes were minutes from extending their unbeaten streak to 11 matches, but a late goal from Colorado spoiled the party in a 1-0 defeat. Still, it was an incredible run, though the Quakes remain in just tenth place, needing to jump three teams to get into a playoff spot. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 13

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 at New York Red Bulls, 7:00 p.m., ESPN+

D.C. got a break over the weekend, with hopes that it can give Ola Kamara the opportunity to rest up, because the Black and Red are going to need him down the stretch of their playoff push: the 31-year-old forward has registered a goal or an assist in all but one of United’s past nine games, a stretch dating back more than two months. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 15

Next MLS match: Sept. 10 vs. Portland, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Second-half goals from Erik Godoy and Deiber Caicedo erased an early deficit in a 2-1 against Austin FC. The win runs the Whitecaps’ unbeaten streak to 10 matches and has them just below the playoff line.— Bonagura

Previous ranking: 14

Next MLS match:Sept. 4 vs. Columbus, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Brek Shea scored the first-ever goal at Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium in the venue’s inaugural game: a 3-2 Miami win in May. The 31-year-old scored the only goal there on Saturday, in the 90th minute no less, to ensure the Herons took two wins from their two visits to the Queen City this season. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 16

Next MLS match:Sept. 11 vs. Nashville, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Montreal was given a reprieve following its win over Toronto ahead of the international fixtures, its eighth three-point haul of the season. Of those victories, only two came against playoff teams: D.C. United and NYCFC. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 18

Next MLS match: Sept. 10 at Vancouver, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Yimmi Chara and Felipe Mora scored first-half goals as the Timbers went to Houston and won 2-0. The win ensured Portland remained atop the playoff line in what is shaping up to be a good race in the west. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 19

Next MLS match: Sept. 12 at LAFC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

After falling behind 1-0, RSL rallied to score three straight goals — from Justen Glad, Jonathan Menendez and Albert Rusnak — in a 3-2 win against FC Dallas. It was an important performance on the heels of a 4-1 loss to Vancouver that followed the resignation of head coach Freddy Juarez.— Bonagura

Previous ranking: 22

Next MLS match: Sept. 12 vs. Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Apparently, all LAFC needed to end its eight-match winless streak was for four key players to be gone on international duty, Carlos Vela to be out with a quad injury and Diego Rossi to depart the club (technically on loan) to Turkish side Fenerbahce. A patchwork starting XI somehow beat Sporting Kansas City, 4-0, on the strength of two headed goals from 18-year-old Senegalese defender Mamadou Fall. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 17

Next MLS match: Sept. 10 at San Jose, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Despite a brilliant late goal from Jesus Ferreira, Dallas fell 3-2 at Real Salt Lake. Franco Jara scored the opener, though they played without Ricardo Pepi, who was with the United States at World Cup qualifying, but has yet to feature. — Bonagura

Previous ranking:20

Next MLS match:Sept. 11 at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The Fire are seven points behind the final playoff place in the East and eight points above the foot of the table. Chicago has gone 3-3-3 in its past nine games, leaving little suggestion that Raphael Wicky’s side will move toward either pole. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 21

Next MLS match:Sept. 11 at Miami, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A week ago, the Crew needed a little fortune to squeeze past hapless intrastate rival Cincinnati and avoid a six-game losing streak. They wouldn’t be so lucky in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Orlando, leaving the defending MLS Cup champions on the outside looking in on the Eastern Conference playoff race, having lost seven of their past eight contests. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 23

Next MLS match:Sept. 11 vs. D.C. United, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Maybe a weekend off is what the Red Bulls needed to reset from a stretch that’s seen them lose five of their past seven matches. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 24

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 at Houston, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Sebastian Driussi‘s goal just before halftime didn’t hold up as Austin allowed a pair of second-half goals from Vancouver to lose, 2-1. With 19 points and 11 off the playoff line, any realistic hope to get hot and sneak in is probably gone. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 25

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 vs. Austin, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A 2-0 loss to Portland extended Houston’s winless streak to 16 matches, the longest in MLS since Philadelphia also went 16 straight spanning the 2016-2017 seasons. There’s nothing really left to salvage this year other than trying to avoid a last-place finish in the Western Conference. — Bonagura

Previous ranking: 26

Next MLS match:September 11 vs. Toronto, 8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Cincy was shut out for the 12th time this season, allowing an agonizing 90th-minute winner in its 1-0 loss to Inter Miami. No one in MLS has scored fewer than FCC’s 21 goals this season, and only a Toronto side in absolute disarray has a worse goal differential. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 27

Next MLS match: Sept. 11 vs. FC Cincinnati, 8:00 pm ET, ESPN+

Toronto has the second-highest payroll in MLS and a league-worst 15 points from 22 games to show for it. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is spending a whopping $1.08 million on player salaries for every point earned in 2021. — Lindberg

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