MLS

Post Week 22 MLS Power Rankings

Eli Lesser

@thisweekinmls

Week 22 of the 2019 MLS Season gave us a mix of close games as well as blowout victories. Additionally, we saw FIVE OWN GOALS. Here is a breakdown of the top tier teams of the Power Rankings:


1. LAFC (-):

Since falling 3-2 to the Galaxy in the battle for LA, LAFC bounced with commanding victories, defeating Atlanta United at home last week, then ending the New England Revolution’s 11-games unbeaten run this past weekend. It would be shocking to find a team other than the Black and Gold lifting up the Supporter’s Shield at the end of the regular season.


2. Philadelphia Union (+8): 

This team continues to surprise, as they demolished DC United 5-1 at Audi Field, a fortress for Rooney and his men. An in-form Marco Fabian and a motivated Alejandro Bedoya can lead Philly to the promised land.


3. Atlanta United (-1):

The Five Stripes got lucky this past weekend as all they needed to do was watch the LA Galaxy defeat themselves. ‘Nuff said.


4. San Jose Earthquakes (-1)

The NorCal boys drew at home against the Columbus Crew, 1-1, in a match where they outshot their opponent 19 to 9. It is hard to keep a team that did not capitalize on their opportunities in the top three. So, the Quakes tumbled a spot.


5. Minnesota United (+1)

The refs may have handed the Loons the victory, calling a penalty against Portland in stoppage time. However, Minnesota looked poised defensively the entire match. Ike Opara now appears comfortable in Adrian Heath’s system and looks like the 2017 Defender of the Year he was for Sporting KC


6. New England Revolution (-2)

The Rev’s 11-game unbeaten run finally came to an end as the Supporter Shield leading LAFC came to Foxborough prepared. New England dropped the game at home, 2-0. It will be interesting to see how Bruce Arena’s men respond to their first loss. 


7. Portland Timbers (-2)

Despite losing on the road because of a controversial penalty call, the red-hot Portland Timbers came up cold and failed to put a ball past Minnesota United keeper Vito Mannone in its 1-0 road loss.  


8. NYCFC (-1)

NYCFC struck first and early in their match against Real Salt Lake, scoring in the fourth minute. That was the only goal for NY, who then saw MLS Legend Nick Rimando battle to save six shots and to give up three goals. It is hard to knock a team like NYCFC due to playing against a non-conference opponent on the road, but they have slipped one spot.


9. Seattle Sounders (-)

Despite falling at home to Sporting Kansas City, 2-3, the Sounders showed they can make a comeback. Still, they fell short. This squad seems a bit off, but it is hard to pinpoint why.


10. Real Salt Lake (+4)

Welcome to the Power Ranking Top 12, Real Salt Lake! The squad gave up an early goal, but settled down and took control on the road, defeating NYCFC, 3-1. Real Salt Lake seems serious about making the playoffs.


11. DC United (-)

Although they got destroyed at home by Philly, the Black and Red remain capable of making a late-season run much like they did last season. Expect the Ola Kamara signing to be announced in the next couple of days, which should give the squad a boost over the remaining season schedule.


12. LA Galaxy (-4)

Last weekend’s match against Atlanta was embarrassing for the five-time MLS Champs, as they handed the game 3-0 on the road with two own-goals and a penalty kick accounting for the scoring. The team is set to announce the signing of star Argentine Winger Cristian Pavon and will see key figures Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Polenta return to the lineup following their card accumulation suspensions. 


Post Week 20 MLS Power Rankings

Eli Lesser

@thisweekinmls

Week 20 of the 2019 MLS Season gave us rivalries matchups and beautiful goals. Here is my breakdown of the upper half of my Power Rankings:

1. LAFC

Despite losing to LA Galaxy, the crosstown rivals, this weekend, LAFC remains miles ahead of the rest of the field. However, the team is not untouchable and continue to struggle in the big matches. This Friday, LA hosts Atlanta United, who are coming in hot.

2. Atlanta United

The Martinez duo came in clutch for the Five Stripes against DC this weekend. With Josef Martinez now scoring 10 goals in his last five matches, expect Atlanta to continue to rise up the Eastern Conference table. 

3. San Jose Earthquakes

The Earthquakes continue to click as a team, and that is a scary thing. With Vako finally living up to his potential and Chris Wondolowski playing like his 2012 MVP self, San Jose has quickly become a serious title contender.

4. Minnesota United

A team with high potential during the preseason, the Loons are now living up to the hype. A team that always fights until the final whistle blows, Minnesota United are putting themselves in a great position to qualify for their first MLS Playoffs.

5. LA Galaxy

The five-time MLS champs showed up for their biggest game so far of the 2019 MLS season, beating their crosstown rivals 3-2 at home. If the Galaxy can play consistently with the same grit and hustle they did against LAFC, they can very well make a run for the MLS Cup.

8. Philadelphia Union

A stunning goal from Mexican International star Marco Fabian lifted the Union over the Chicago Fire, keeping Philly on the top of the Eastern Conference table. If Fabian can become a consistent attacking threat, watch out @MLS.

7. New England Revolution

Ten games unbeaten. A team showing ambition under the leadership of the right coach, the New England Revolution have become a dark horse MLS Cup contender.

8. Portland Timbers

Beating their fierce rivals, the Seattle Sounders, was huge for Portland. Currently Despite not in contention to make the playoffs, the Timbers may surge up the standings, playing 12 of their last 14 matches at home.

9. NYCFC

After losing 2-1 in the Hudson River Derby, NYCFC bounced back on the road, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-1. If Heber and Mitrita can remain consistent offensively, NYCFC will be a force to be reckoned with.

10. New York Red Bulls

It wasn’t the prettiest of matches, but the Red Bulls did defeat a Nani-less Orlando City SC squad 1-0 on the road. Not to knock Chris Armas’ squad, but they just have not been as impressive to watch as they were last season, but the Red Bulls solid.

11. Seattle Sounders

It might seem harsh to knock a solid club for losing to their biggest rivals at home, but this Sounders squad needs to show more firepower on offense to remain a top team in the west.  

12. DC United

DC United fell to Atlanta United, so they fall in the Power Rankings. More consistency from Lucho Acosta, Titi Rodriguez as well as the backline, and this DC squad will be the MLS Cup contender they should be.


Polante's Late Goal Gives Galaxy Fifth Straight Win

Polante's Late Goal Gives Galaxy Fifth Straight Win

LA Galaxy remains undefeated at home after their 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo with a late header from Diego Polenta.