MLS is back and the first week of matches are out of the way, that means it is high time to start arguments online as we idly rank the teams using our guts and only marginally from data and evidence.
Rather than give each time a specific number, my Power Rankings will be instead to split the teams into groups. To start, I’m splitting them into five groups, and we’ll see how this works. Maybe groups will coalesce or perhaps they will split and we find greater granularity.
Within each group, the ranking will be alphabetical by team name and is not indicative of ranking within the group.
- Atlanta United - They got the win, but paid the ultimate price with Josef Martinez likely out for the season with a torn ACL. The good news is that this is a recoverable injury and if he comes back anywhere like Jordan Morris did last year, he could come back stronger and better.
- LAFC - They welcomed Miami to the league with a rude golazo by Carlos Vela. It wasn’t a rout but LA got the win and remains in the leader group.
- New York Red Bulls — Starting the season off with a win is good. Giving up two at home to Cincinnati is not so good. New York heads on the road to Salt Lake City, they are definite favorites but winning on the road is tough in this league.
- Seattle Sounders — Jordan Morris put the team on his back and scored two goals to get the season opener victory. Sounders are MLS Cup champions and they have a roster meant to go deep in CCL, but no CCL to go deep in. So MLS is going to get the full brunt of this squad when it gets healthy (which should be soon.)
I don’t plan to write blurbs for every team. But will highlight some things in each group. Miami is above the fold, they come into existence with a lot of big names and swagger. It will be interesting to see how their year goes. Minnesota got a good in in Portland to kick off their season, I think they could be a top contender.
- FC Dallas
- Inter Miami
- LA Galaxy
- Minnesota United
- Sporting KC
- Toronto FC
NYCFC is a top team and I have no doubt they are going to climb as the season gets going, but an opening loss with a 4′ redcard is not something that gets you high in the power rankings. Montréal notched their opening win and are on the cusp of climbing higher in the power groupings. DC United have to be disappointed with their loss to start the season, will they bounce back or fall further?
- Colorado Rapids
- DC United
- Chicago Fire
- Columbus Crew
- New England
Portland losing their home opener is music to my ears. San Jose managed a tie at home against the MLS Cup runner-ups Toronto, but I need to see them get traction and putting 3’s on the board.
- Real Salt Lake
- San Jose
- Houston Dynamo
- Orlando City
What is there to say? Nashville have a great potential to climb out of here with their roster, but Cincinnati and Vancouver continue to be the punching bags for the league so far. Can they change their fate?