MLS Power Rankings: Fire go streaking
MLS Power Rankings: May 23
With three wins in an eight-day period, the Chicago Fire is suddenly one of the hottest teams in the league. How far did they move up in CSNChicago.com's MLS Power Rankings?
1. Toronto FC (7-1-5, 26 points)
Toronto’s six-game winning streak came to an end at the New York Red Bulls, but the fact that a draw at the Red Bulls came off as a bit of a disappointment shows how well Toronto is playing at the moment. TFC had a goal waved off for a close offside call and had a Jozy Altidore penalty kick saved in the final minutes or it could have been another win.
2. FC Dallas (5-1-4, 19 points)
Dallas’ unbeaten run came to an end, which means every team in MLS now has a loss. Holes are starting to get poked in FCD’s resume as well. Dallas only has one win against a team in a playoff spot (a 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City) and is winless in three straight at home.
3. Sporting Kansas City (6-3-4, 22 points)
Sporting KC went through the first nine games of the season without giving up multiple goals in a game, but has now done so in three of the last four. It's not time for panic stations, but the league does seem to be adapting a bit.
4. Portland Timbers (5-4-3, 18 points)
Portland is now winless in four straight, but three of those have come on the road. Diego Chara's first half red card doomed the Timbers in Montreal. Portland was already down a goal when he was sent off and it ended up a 4-1 loss.
5. New York City FC (6-4-2, 20 points)
NYCFC already had two losses to Orlando this year, but turned things around against the Lions with an emphatic 3-0 win in Florida on Sunday. Not only did it give New York a win on the road against a potential playoff opponent, it ended Orlando’s home unbeaten run.
6. Chicago Fire (6-3-3, 21 points)
The Fire don’t have a real quality win to speak of (Columbus, which sits fifth in the Eastern Conference, is the only playoff team the Fire have beaten), but the reality is the Fire have the third most points in the league and winning three games in eight days is impressive. The road win at D.C. makes things look better and there will be a good test Thursday against FC Dallas.
7. Orlando City (6-4-2, 20 points)
The Lions have come back to earth a little bit after a scorching hot start. Orlando is winless in five after a 6-1 start. On top of that the Lions have a draw and now a loss at home after winning the first five in the new stadium.
8. Atlanta United FC (4-4-3, 15 points)
Atlanta appeared to look more like a contending team in a 4-1 dismantling of Houston on Saturday. Miguel Almiron had two of the prettier goals of the week and finished with a hat trick. Even though Atlanta is only 2-2 at home, the fact that just four of its first 11 games have been at home is a sign that the record should improve.
9. Columbus Crew (6-6-1, 19 points)
Justin Meram had a hat trick to help the Crew win at Montreal last week, a win that could prove massive by the end of the year, but Columbus remained inconsistent by losing 2-1 at New England on Sunday. Ola Kamara’s volley in that one is a must-see goal.
10. San Jose Earthquakes (5-4-4, 19 points)
Out of nowhere, San Jose now has one of the best wins in the league. The Earthquakes knocked off FC Dallas, which was the last undefeated team in the league, and did so in Texas. With teams like Colorado and Real Salt Lake falling way off in the Western Conference and LA and Seattle struggling so far, San Jose could be able to sneak into the playoffs.
11. Houston Dynamo (6-5-1, 19 points)
A lot of teams have imbalanced home and away records in MLS, but Houston is the most extreme. The Dynamo are 6-0-1 at home and 0-5 on the road. Four of the home wins have been by multiple goals. All five of the road games have been losses by two or more goals.
12. Vancouver Whitecaps (5-5-1, 16 points)
Vancouver has won three of its past four and is holding onto the last playoff spot in the Western Conference at the moment. Saturday's 2-0 win against Sporting Kansas City was the best team the Whitecaps have beaten.
13. New York Red Bulls (5-6-2, 17 points)
The Red Bulls' winless streak has reached four games and the last two have been at home. Jesse Marsch (pictured) has time to figure things out with this team, but it does seem they miss Dax McCarty.
14. New England Revolution (4-4-4, 16 points)
After two straight wins, the Revolution are hanging around in the playoff picture. Last year the Revs were kept out of the playoffs on goal differential. It could be very close again this year.
15. Seattle Sounders (3-5-4, 13 points)
The Sounders were in desperate need of a win and got it against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. It came against a struggling, short-handed team with and the game’s lone goal (Harry Shipp) requiring a big deflection to beat Nick Rimando, but will take a win anyway it comes at the moment.
16. LA Galaxy (4-5-2, 14 points)
It sounded like coach speak at the time when Curt Onalfo said LA became a team after coming back from two goals down at halftime against the Fire, but the Galaxy have won two straight on the road since then to prove he may have been on to something.
17. Philadelphia Union (4-4-4, 16 points)
Philadelphia was the last team in MLS to win a game and has now won four in a row. Go figure. The Union still sit a bit low in the rankings because the two teams above them, which both have worse records, have better talent on paper and appear to have turn things around a bit.
18. Montreal Impact (3-4-4, 13 points)
Montreal has been one of the most disappointing teams in the league so far. The Impact also didn't pick a good year in the Eastern Conference for a sluggish start. Montreal has games in hand on the teams ahead of them, but hasn't been able to string many positive results together yet.
19. Minnesota United FC (3-7-2, 11 points)
Minnesota is definitely more competitive than it was in its first four matches, but still is not as good as most of the rest of the league. Even despite the obvious improvement (3-4-1 in the last eight after getting outscored 18-6 and getting one point in the first four matches), the Loons don’t appear to be a contender for a playoff spot.
20. D.C. United (3-6-2, 11 points)
Remember how there was measured positivity when the Fire went 2-0-1 in a three-game homestand? D.C. just went 0-3 in a similar homestand and didn’t score a goal. Ouch.
21. Real Salt Lake (3-8-2, 11 points)
Mike Petke (pictured, right) inherited a bit of a mess in Utah. There's talent on this team, but a slew of injuries and now a number of players gone to play in the U-20 World Cup has given Petke a tough task to try to make this team competitive in the short-term.
22. Colorado Rapids (2-8-1, 7 points)
Tim Howard has still been solid and Colorado is still a decent defensive team. The problem is scoring goals. Colorado has just nine this season, last in the league and fewer than Nemanja Nikolic has by himself.