MLS Power Rankings: Back from break
MLS Power Rankings: June 23
Major League Soccer took a break for the Copa America Centenario, but returned in full force last weekend. The CSN Chicago.com MLS Power Rankings by Dan Santaromita are back as well.
1. Colorado Rapids (9-2-5, 32 points)
The Rapids just keep on getting results. Even without Jermaine Jones and Shkelzen Gashi, Colorado beat the Fire at home and earned a draw at the also shorthanded LA Galaxy.
2. Real Salt Lake (8-4-3, 27 points)
The come-from-behind win against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday is worth some extra credit because of how well the Red Bulls have been playing recently. RSL’s potent attack is tied for the league lead in goals per game (27 goals in 15 matches) with the LA Galaxy.
3. FC Dallas (8-5-4, 28 points)
Before Sunday’s bizarre 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City, which featured a phantom penalty kick given to KC and a missed goal line decision that went against Dallas, FC Dallas was unbeaten in five matches. This team has settled in as one of the top tier teams in the league, as expected.
4. Philadelphia Union (7-4-5, 26 points)
Some feared the Union could be in trouble after losing Vincent Nogueira, but the performance of Roland Alberg against the Fire should calm those concerns. The 25-year-old Dutch midfielder scored a hat trick and played a major part in Jonathan Campbell’s own goal in the 4-3 win on Wednesday.
5. New York Red Bulls (7-8-1, 22 points)
The Red Bulls had won four straight matches, all shutouts, before giving up a second half lead in a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. The team that was shut out in five of its first six matches is now tied for the league lead in goals with 27.
6. LA Galaxy (5-3-7, 22 points)
The Galaxy haven’t scored in three straight matches. On the upside, the defense kept a clean sheet to at least earn draws in two of those matches. Once Robbie Keane (with Ireland at Euro 2016) and Gyasi Zardes (with the U.S. at Copa America) return, the Galaxy can return to being one of the best attacking teams in the league.
7. Toronto FC (5-5-4, 19 points)
After failing to win in three straight home matches, TFC got back on track with a 1-0 win against the Galaxy on Saturday. Toronto also got off to a good start in the Amway Canadian Championship final by beating Vancouver 1-0 in the home leg on Tuesday.
8. San Jose Earthquakes (5-4-6, 21 points)
The Earthquakes are winless in four straight matches, but once Chris Wondolowski returns from the Copa America things should settle down. San Jose doesn’t look like a top tier team in MLS, but has a solid formula to at least make the playoffs in the tough Western Conference. It involves a solid defense and letting Wondolowski, Simon Dawkins and Quincy Amarikwa carry the load offensively.
9. Montreal Impact (5-4-5, 20 points)
With one win in the past eight matches, Montreal has slid a bit after a positive start to the season. The Impact were held to a scoreless draw in Columbus on Saturday.
10. Portland Timbers (5-6-5, 20 points)
Look out, the Timbers are undefeated in four straight. Maybe this is just an upswing for what has otherwise looked like a pedestrian team. Maybe this is the defending champs rounding into form.
11. New England Revolution (4-4-7, 19 points)
The Revolution are on the good side of the playoff line in the Eastern Conference after picking up three wins in the past four matches. The team has played well since Kei Kamara’s arrival.
12. Vancouver Whitecaps (6-7-3, 21 points)
The Whitecaps have been up and down all season and that continues. After winning three matches in a row, including an impressive win in Toronto, Vancouver is winless in three straight, including two home matches.
13. Sporting Kansas City (6-8-3, 21 points)
This team doesn’t look as strong as the more recent Sporting Kansas City teams, but the win against FC Dallas could be a starting point. KC still has plenty of talent if they can get things going once Graham Zusi and Matt Besler return from Copa America.
14. Seattle Sounders (5-8-1, 16 points)
The Sounders have lost four out of five. One of the preseason favorites in the league is five points below the playoff line in the Western Conference. Getting Clint Dempsey back from Copa America should help, but Seattle was struggling even with Dempsey.
15. D.C. United (4-6-5, 17 points)
D.C. doesn’t have a lot of talent, but they just kind of hang around in the standings. The Eastern Conference isn’t good enough to bury this scrappy team so expect United to be there at the end of the year. Which side of the playoff line they end up on is anyone’s guess.
16. Columbus Crew (3-5-6, 15 points)
The Crew’s attack stalled again in a scoreless draw with Montreal on Saturday. Ola Kamara, Kei Kamara’s unrelated replacement, didn’t start. In Ola Kamara’s four starts he has scored four goals.
17. Orlando City (3-3-8, 17 points)
Orlando City got to play a part in the healing process for the city after the shootings. Saturday's home match was a crushing 2-2 draw after giving up a goal in the final seconds of the match. The Lions lead the league with eight draws and have played three straight 2-2 draws.
18. New York City FC (5-5-6, 21 points)
All three Designated Players, David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, scored in the 3-2 win against Philadelphia on Saturday. That has never happened before. NYCFC is third in the Eastern Conference, but has allowed the most goals in MLS.
19. Houston Dynamo (3-7-5, 14 points)
Three straight draws for the Dynamo since Owen Coyle left as manager. Houston is seven points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
20. Chicago Fire (2-7-5, 11 points)
The back-to-back road losses against the leader in each conference weren’t a surprise, but the Fire are finding different ways to lose. The Fire lost on a late goal in Colorado and then lost a seven-goal game in Philadelphia.