MLS Power Rankings — Week 7

The league is stabilizing but there are still a few shakeups in the ranking this season. LAFC, Sounders, DC and now Houston lead the league.

Biggest climber: Houston Dynamo. Biggest loser: Toronto FC.

The Leaders

1. Los Angeles FC

Change: +0 — Form: WWWWD
As of today LAFC are 19% favorites to win the MLS Cup according to 538. It’s not a perfect prediction, but since they’ve been making MLS predictions they have never rated a team as favored this early in the season that much. LAFC look to be historically good.

2. Seattle Sounders FC

Change: +0 — Form: WWDWW
Seattle played an excellent game against Toronto FC. It was a tight one, not a blow out, but it was well played and Seattle walked away with another win. They are proving themselves to be the marriage of offensive weaponry and the gritty frame of old. It’s a historic start for the team.

3. DC United

Change: +1 — Form: WLWWD
DC United regained their winning ways with a win on the road.

4. Houston Dynamo

Change: +4 — Form: WWWWD
Houston are one of the few undefeated teams left in the league with wins at home and on the road.

The Pack

5. LA Galaxy

Change: +0 — Form: WWWWL
The City of Los Angeles is expected to discuss being renamed “Zlatopia.” A goal and a PK for the Swede.

6. Toronto FC

Change: -3 — Form: LDWWW
Pozuelo is my pick for newcomer of the league, Toronto looked strong and put up a good fight against Seattle.

7. Sporting KC

Change: -2 — Form: DDWDW
SKC fought in the CCL, and that has hurt their power rankings as the team’s depth has been tested. And yet they claimed 11 out of 15 points for their last five matches. They could easily be in the lead group were it not for two draws and stiff competition.

8. Columbus Crew

Change: -2 — Form: LWWLW
Caleb Porter’s boys put up a good fight in Montréal and couldn’t walk away with a point. Columbus looks threatening and now Portland is coming to visit them.

9. FC Dallas

Change: +1 — Form: WLWWL
The latest team to benefit from Portland coming to town.

10. Minnesota United

Change: -1 — Form: DWLLW
Minnesota opened their new stadium with a 3 – 3 draw against NYCFC. First goal to the Sounder legend Ozzie Alonso. I’m sure they would have preferred a win but a draw isn’t as bad as it could have been.

11. Philadelphia Union

Change: +0 — Form: LWWWD
Philly faced LA Galaxy and discovered they were not as good. Simple as that.

12. Atlanta United

Change: +3 — Form: WLDDL
Finally the five stripes get a win and on the road. Could this be the firestarter for Atlanta?

The Chase

13. FC Cincinnati

Change: -1 — Form: LDLWW
Sometimes you stand in front of the steamroller and get rolled over.

14. Montréal Impact

Change: +3 — Form: WDLWL
Montréal got the goal in the 55th minute and got to bounce back from the drubbing when they were in Kansas City.

15. New York Red Bulls

Change: -2 — Form: DLLLW
They drew on the road at Kansas City, nothing to be overly shamed of, but being winless in four means as the table shifts they find themselves two spots lower. You know how you climb the table? Win.


Change: -2 — Form: DLLDD
Winless in how many weeks? The pigeons are sinking and they need to win. Soon.

17. Chicago Fire

Change: -1 — Form: DDWWL
Chicago welcomed the Whitecaps to town and found a draw. An underwhelming result against the Caps.

18. Real Salt Lake

Change: +0 — Form: WLLLL
RSL went up 2 – 0 and only thanks to the great Nani did Orlando get hope of coming back.

19. Orlando City

Change: +0 — Form: LWLWL
Orlando is so thankful for Nani, but is he enough to keep them floating upwards? He wasn’t in Salt Lake City.

20. Vancouver Whitecaps

Change: +1 — Form: DLDLL
Two points in five games. Vancouver needs a fucking win. Or a fucking change. One of these two things.

The Basement

21. Colorado Rapids

Change: -1 — Form: LLLLD
Second from the bottom in the west, only thanks to Portland being worse.

22. San Jose Earthquakes

Change: +1 — Form: LWLLL
San Jose lost to Houston, far from unexpected. Why the bump? New England is just that much worse.

23. New England Revolution

Change: -1 — Form: LLWLL
Brad Friedel is an American legend. But let me say this: #FriedelOut.

24. Portland Timbers

Change: +0 — Form: LLLLL
Has someone registered

Watch These — Week of Apr. 15

Champion’s League, as you would expect, leads the exciting matches for this week. However there’s several other quality matches from Japan to Denmark to the top leagues in Europe and here in the states. Let’s look at the schedule!

Tuesday, Apr. 16

  • Juventus vs. Ajax (Champion’s League) — They ended 1 – 1 last week, giving Juventus the edge. Now they return to Turin to finish out the match. Who will advance? 538 favors Juventus and I tend to agree.
  • Barcelona vs. Manchester United (Champion’s League) — Barca snatched a 1 – 0 victory on the road in England, can they defend at home? Yes.

Wednesday, Apr. 17

  • Manchester City vs. Tottenham (Champions League) - Sadly this is where I think Tottenham’s Champions League run ends, but I will still be watching, hoping for a miracle.
  • Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage (NWSL) — Women’s soccer is back in the US after it’s long off season. The kicked off this weekend and their first midweek game of the season brings two of the league’s top teams face to face.

Thursday, Apr. 18

  • Napoli vs. Arsenal (Europa Cup) - Napoli must come back from a two goal deficit as they return home to Italy, if they want to advance.
  • København vs Midtjylland (Denmark Super League) - I know nothing about either of these teams except that they sit atop Denmark’s league and the game is broadcasting on ESPN+. Games like this are one of the great things about being a soccer fan, you get to see players and teams from around the world play the game.

Friday, Apr. 19

  • LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo (MLS) — #3 and #4 in the west meet. Historically these two teams have had a fairly balanced history, though the Galaxy have dominated when Houston came to town. Can they continue that trend this time?
  • Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs. Tokyo (J1 League) — Japan’s J1 league is underway and so far it is both of these teams sitting atop it. J1 is broadcast in the US on DAZN, which isn’t a network I normally watch so I am not positive how watchable this game will be to us Americans.

Saturday, Apr. 20

  • Manchester City vs. Tottenham (EPL) - Manchester race to hold onto the lead in the league, and Tottenham fight to claim the third spot in the league after their recent slide. Will Kane be healthy? Can Tottenham manage an upset against the Citizens?
  • Inter vs. Roma (Serie A) - #3 vs #5 in Italy, but only 3 points separate them. A win by Roma would tie them with Inter.
  • Borussia M’gladbach vs. Red Bull Leipzig (Bundesliga) — A top battle in Germany. M’gladbach (#5) hosts the Red Bulls.
  • Feyenoord vs. AZ (Eredivisie) — The Netherlands sees two of their top 5 squads face off, it might just be my imagination but it seems like the Eredivisie has had a series of weeks with high level face offs. Good stuff.

Sunday, Apr. 21

  • Los Angeles FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) — The two best teams in MLS clash for the first time this season. It’s going to be a high stress, high intensity match I expect.
  • Reign FC vs. Orlando Pride (NWSL) — The NWSL season is still getting underway, but it’s fair to expect both of these teams be dominant performers in the coming season.

MLS Power Rankings — Week 6

This week had its share of surprises, though few of those surprises were stunning upsets. Definitely fewer major swings in the power rankings below than in previous weeks.

Biggest climber: Orlando City SC. Biggest loser: New York Red Bulls.

The Leaders

1. Los Angeles FC

Change: +0 — Form: WWWDW
LAFC continue to dominate, this time with their 4 – 0 rout of DC United. Sure, Rooney got a red card but it didn’t look his presence would have changed this game’s outcome.

2. Seattle Sounders FC

Change: +2 — Form: WDWWW
A win is a win. It wasn’t the prettiest, it wasn’t the offensive monster we saw in early weeks, but it was a win. And the Sounders are having the best start for their franchise.

3. Toronto FC

Change: +0 — Form: DWWW
Pozuelo looks to be an exciting signing for Toronto and I can’t wait to see more of him in the league, but they only managed a draw with Chicago. Surprised it wasn’t a win.

4. DC United

Change: -2 — Form: LWWDW
It isn’t cause for panic, sometimes you take a shot on the chin and fail to regain your footing.

The Pack

5. Sporting KC

Change: +0 — Form: DWDWL
SKC went on the road to Cinci and left with a point, a point on the road is a fine result. Had they not given up the penalty, they might have left with a win though.

6. Columbus Crew

Change: +0 — Form: WWLWW
Twelve points in their last five games has to feel good for Caleb porter and the team. Will be curious to see how they handle the trip up to Montréal this week.

7. LA Galaxy

Change: +0 — Form: WWWLW
The Galaxy heard my criticisms last week and went to Vancouver to make a statement. Now they get to return home and welcome Philadelphia for next week. Zlatan playing on turf is something I am extremely here for.

8. Houston Dynamo

Change: +0 — Form: WWWD
Bye week.

9. Minnesota United

Change: +2 — Form: WLLWW
They stop their losing skid and get a win on the road in New Jersey against the Red Bulls. They get a win for some confidence just in time to return home next week and open their new stadium. Should be quite the celebration.

10. FC Dallas

Change: -1 — Form: LWWLW
Dallas nearly got out of Philadelphia with a point, only to have it snatched away by Alejandro Bedoya in the final moments of the game. Had Minnesota not jumped them, this loss wouldn’t have affected their power ranking.

11. Philadelphia Union

Change: +3 — Form: WWWDL
A third win in a row for Philadelphia is impressive. Bedoya gave them the W, but the team worked to keep them in a position for it.

12. FC Cincinnati

Change: +1 — Form: DLWWD
Cinci were disappointed with a draw against the western powerhouse of SKC, that is the right mentality and a result they should be satisfied with. Cinci have really impressed me thus far this season and I am eager to see how their inaugural season unfolds.

The Chase

13. New York Red Bulls

Change: -3 — Form: LLLWD
Three losses in a row. Red Bulls are officially in crisis as they try and halt their skid. Also two of these losses occurred at home, which is a bitter pill to swallow.


Change: -2 — Form: LLDDD
Seeing NYCFC as a powerhouse of the east seems so long ago. I wonder how much they wish they still had David Villa in their roster.

15. Atlanta United

Change: +0 — Form: LDDL
Bye week.

16. Chicago Fire

Change: +0 — Form: DWWLD
A draw on the road is an acceptable result in most cases. For it to be a draw in a match that you could easily see being a loss is a great outcome.

17. Montréal Impact

Change: +0 — Form: DLWLW
A draw is, you guessed it, a fine result. But Montréal needs to do more and keep climbing in the east.

18. Real Salt Lake

Change: +1 — Form: LLLLW
A fourth loss in a row is tough for Petke and his crew. As a Sounders fan they looked dangerous and had some bad luck in not walking away with a point. But thanks to Colorado dropping, they get a bump in the ranking.

19. Orlando City

Change: +3 — Form: WLWLD
A win over Colorado isn’t the biggest of results, but for Orlando it was another spark in their engine as they try to figure out their system.

20. Colorado Rapids

Change: -2 — Form: LLLDL
Three points in their last four games is not good. They are destined for the basement if they can’t get a win soon.

The Basement

21. Vancouver Whitecaps

Change: -1 — Form: LDLLL
One point in their last five matches. At this point, I think their coach could be the first one fired this season.

22. New England Revolution

Change: -1 — Form: LWLLL
Four points after six games is not a good result. Friedel’s seat has to be getting quite warm as pressure to deliver mounts.

23. San Jose Earthquakes

Change: +1 — Form: WLLLL
San Jose gets their first win in 220 days with their victory over Portland. Even more, they didn’t look awful. Could they finally be waking up?

24. Portland Timbers

Change: -1 — Form: LLLLD
Portland is bad and Merritt + Gio should feed bad. The team needs a reboot.

Watch These — Week of Apr. 8

I somehow missed last week, so let’s get back into the top matches to watch for this week!

My Top 3

The tail end of this International break leading back into a lot of fantastic league action. Tough to pick just three matches, but here are mine:

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City (B/R Live — Tuesday, 12:00pm Pacific)
  • Milan vs. Lazio (ESPN+ — Saturday, 11:30am Pacific)
  • Lille vs. Paris Saint‐Germaine (BeIN — Sunday, 12:00pm Pacific)

Tuesday, Apr. 9

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City (Champion’s League) — The Champions League has reached pinnacle excitement in the quarterfinals. Tottenham are the definite underdog between Man. City, which look to be the best team in the world right now.
  • Bristol City vs West Bromwich Albion (Championship) — The 2nd division in England have a race for promotion. Norwich City have 1st place by a safe distance, but the 2nd spot is up for a fight. WBA winning this would put them in striking distance of Leeds United. A win for Bristol City would make them more secure in the top 6, a loss leaves them on the cusp of falling in to the pack.

Wednesday, Apr. 10

  • Manchester United vs. Barcelona & Ajax vs. Juventus (UEFA Champions League) - Two fantastic matches between teams which need no explanation.
  • Orange County SC vs. Tacoma Defiance (USL Championship) — Tacoma got their second win off of a roster that featured largely MLS players, as the Sounders got players warmed up before heading into a stretch where their depth will be tested. How will they do on the road against the struggling Orange County?

Thursday, Apr. 11

  • Sporting KC vs. Monterrey (Concacaf Champions League) -There are stories of heroes. Epic tales of the protagonists overcoming unthinkable odds. And that is what Kansas City have to do. They left Mexico 3 – 0 losers. I don’t think they can do it, but every great epic stacks the chips against the hero.

Friday, Apr. 12

  • Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS) — Chicago and Vancouver are two teams struggling to reliably get points. Vancouver just held Seattle’s offense at bay while Chicago just managed a win at home against the New York Red Bulls.
  • Hoffenheim vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Bundesliga) — Leverkusen are clinging to their sixth position quite precariously and a loss here could be what causes them to fall out of Europa competition for next year. Conversely, if Hoffenheim can claim a win, they are now in striking distance to climb into the top six. An important match for both teams.

Saturday, Apr. 13

  • Seattle Sounders FC vs Toronto FC (MLS) - Two of the top teams in the league face off in what has grown to be a rivalry in the league.
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs Huddersfield Town (EPL) - Tottenham have been on a slide, but opening their new stadium seems to have relit their fires and now they welcome Huddersfield into their arena. How many can Tottenham score?
  • Milan vs. Lazio (Serie A) — Two of the top in Italy face off. Lazio has Torino and Roma tied on points, all competing over the 6th spot in the league.

Sunday, Mar. 24

  • Liverpool vs. Chelsea (EPL) — Liverpool is chasing Manchester City, can they get a win to put themselves back on top of Manchester City?
  • Sporting KC vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS) — KC are coming off a, well let’s face it, likely loss and exit from the CCL. How hungry will they be for redemption? Red Bulls need to get their heads straight and run for the top of the east, to do so they need to win this game.
  • Lille vs. Paris Saint‐Germaine (Ligue 1)  — There is a twenty point gap between these two teams, and yet they are first and second in the league. Ligue 1 needs a serious push for balance between teams to make the race more interesting. However, this should be a good game.

MLS Power Rankings — Week 5

I dare not try to apply reason and logic to the MLS in all but a few cases. Otherwise the league is far too wild to try and feel confident about… well, just about anything. Lots of good games this weekend and a good number of surprises. Let’s get to the ratings.

Biggest climber: FC Dallas. Biggest loser: Atlanta FC.

The Leaders

1. Los Angeles FC

Change: +2 — Form: WWDWW
Carlos Vela nabs a hat trick and I feel even more comfortable in my league predictions for the team to win it all.

2. DC United

Change: -1 — Form: WWDW
The 2 – 1 win over the floundering Orlando wasn’t impressive, but it was a win. They lose their throne purely to the sheer audacious force that is LA.

3. Toronto FC

Change: +1 — Form: WWW
This pains me, the Sounder fan that I am, to admit that Toronto keeps winning and it sure feels like they could keep doing it.

4. Seattle Sounders FC

Change: -2 — Form: DWWW
I hate to say I knew it, but I sure felt like Nostro‐fucking‐damus as I watched Seattle struggle against a deep seated Vancouver. They will have to figure out how to score against those opponents.

The Pack

5. Sporting KC

Change: +3 — Form: WDWL
KC demolished a mid‐tier Montréal in a way that the league doesn’t frequently see. They head to Mexico for the CCL and the league can all agree we want them to do as well as possible.

6. Columbus Crew

Change: +1 — Form: WLWWD
Caleb Porter outplayed Atlanta. They took a lot of shots, but most of them were bad ones. And more importantly, none of them went in. Columbus sit atop the east and looking strong.

7. LA Galaxy

Change: +3 — Form: WWLW
LA, put simply, are good and should be better. We all look at Zlatan and hold our breath waiting to be wowed and yet he is only above average… except when he is amazing.

8. Houston Dynamo

Change: +1 — Form: WWWD
Houston are performing well, 10 points tied with Seattle and FC Dallas.

9. FC Dallas

Change: +5 — Form: WWLWD
Dallas are doing what Atlanta should be. A new coach. New players. And they are putting points on the board, with one of the youngest squads in the league. Impressive stuff.

10. New York Red Bulls

Change: -5 — Form: LLWD
Two losses in a row is a tough pill to swallow for Red Bulls fans. What would normally be good news for New York is that their next opponent is Minnesota. And yet… this is a mad mad mad mad mad world.

11. Minnesota United

Change: +0 — Form: LLWW
Minnesota started so good and now they’re not doing so good. Losing to New England is pretty rough.


Change: +0 — Form: LDDD
A loss on the road is not uncommon in the league, but a team that is failing to get W’s means losses are even more painful.

13. FC Cincinnati

Change: +0 — Form: LWWDL
Cincinnati learned what a home loss in the MLS feels like, which I did not expect against Philly.

14. Philadelphia Union

Change: +4 — Form: WWDLL
Philly sits at 4th in the East and they seem to finally have their system working. An impressive win in Cincinnati but next comes a trip to Dallas, can they keep their winning ways?

The Chase

15. Atlanta United

Change: -9 — Form: LDDL
Frank de Boer is at the helm of a broken ship. Atlanta hasn’t synced and they are sitting at the bottom of the east.

16. Chicago Fire

Change: +3 — Form: WWLDL
So Chicago got a win over the struggling Red Bulls, off of an own goal. I am not convinced Chicago is the real threat that these last two wins. Their next game is at Toronto, a win there would be a statement.

17. Montréal Impact

Change: -2 — Form: LWLW
I really like Piatti. But I just don’t see a top class team around him, which is a shame.

18. Colorado Rapids

Change: -2 — Form: LLDLD
Colorado has not had an easy start to the season and the next few weeks are a mixed bag between Orlando, Seattle, DC and Chicago. Colorado need to find the rhythm to stabilize before they sink further.

19. Real Salt Lake

Change: -2 — Form: LLLWD
The RSL balloon is deflating as they sink lower and lower in the power rankings. I am rooting for them purely out of respect for Nick Rimando, he deserves to retire after a winning season.

20. Vancouver Whitecaps

Change: +2 — Form: DLLL
The first point for the Whitecaps comes from a well defended match against Seattle. Dos Santos made a plan and his team delivered, well, except for making any goals.

21. New England Revolution

Change: +2 — Form: WLLLD
Friedel’s team got a win? This must be a dream

The Basement

22. Orlando City

Change: -2 — Form: LWLDD
Orlando looked impotent this week. Dwyer tried his best but they couldn’t find the win at home. Orlando needs help, but I fear it won’t arrive until the middle of the season.

23. Portland Timbers

Change: -2 — Form: LLLD
The Seattle Schadenfraude is real and it is delicious. At least, for now it is. Seeing them lose another one after giving up not one, but two PKs. Gio had to be apoplectic.

24. San Jose Earthquakes

Change: +0 — Form: LLLL
Another week, the same as the last.