MLS Power Rankings: Home teams still dominate
MLS Power Rankings: June 5
Home teams have been dominant all season long in MLS and this week was no exception with home teams going 12-0-3.
1. Toronto FC (8-2-5, 29 points)
Toronto saw its eight-game unbeaten run come to an end at New England on Saturday, but the Reds were without Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, who both joined the national team for a pair of World Cup qualifiers. Sebastian Giovinco (pictured) did return to the starting lineup. TFC is four points ahead of its nearest competition in the league standings.
2. Sporting Kansas City (7-4-4, 25 points)
Sporting didn’t score in two road losses at Vancouver and Colorado, but it was without Dom Dwyer. The team’s leading scorer returned in the 3-0 win against Minnesota on Saturday. Dwyer came off the bench and should rejuvenate KC’s attack.
3. Chicago Fire (7-3-4, 25 points)
The Fire’s past two matches could have been solid measuring sticks, but instead turned into matches with significant asterisks. The Fire beat FC Dallas in a match where Dallas left a majority of its starting lineup in Texas. Sunday in Orlando the Lions received two red cards, including one in the first half, and still managed to hang on for a draw. Maybe this weekend’s match against an improving Atlanta team will be a good test.
4. FC Dallas (6-2-5, 23 points)
After being the last team in the league to lose, Dallas went winless for four straight. Three of those matches were at home. FCD took out its frustration on Real Salt Lake on Saturday to the tune of five goals in the first half, something that had never happened before in MLS. Roland Lamah (pictured) had a hat trick by halftime.
5. Portland Timbers (6-5-3, 21 points)
Portland got back in the win column against San Jose on Saturday with a 2-0 win. The Timbers had been winless in five straight. The shutout is probably more encouraging for a team that has had its defensive issues so far.
6. Atlanta United FC (5-5-3, 18 points)
Just when it appeared Atlanta was trending up with a draw at Portland and a pair of multi-goal wins against Houston and New York City FC, the club dropped a 3-1 game in Vancouver. Atlanta led early in that match and couldn’t hold on defensively. Josef Martinez, who scored five goals in three games before going down with an injury, is nearing his return and could provide a big boost. (Pictured: coach Tata Martino)
7. Orlando City (7-5-3, 24 points)
Orlando hasn’t played well since its hot start. The Lions are 1-4-3 in the last eight, but the 0-0 draw against the Fire will be looked at as a positive. Orlando was able to keep the Fire off the board despite playing the final quarter of the match down two men.
8. New York City FC (7-5-3, 24 points)
NYCFC is part of a crowded Eastern Conference playoff mix. The overall record is solid, but the consistency hasn’t been there. NYCFC has had consecutive wins just once and has yet to lose two straight this season.
9. Houston Dynamo (7-6-2, 23 points)
The Dynamo remain undefeated at home and winless on the road, but have showed some improvement on the road. Houston kept Dallas off the board in a 0-0 draw at Toyota Stadium and was competitive in a 1-0 loss at Seattle on Sunday. It’s hard to say two games without goals is improvement, but Houston’s first five away from home were all losses by two or more goals. (Pictured: midfielder Alex)
10. Columbus Crew (7-8-1, 22 points)
Columbus has been a rollercoaster this season. Only Toronto has more wins than the Crew’s seven and only Real Salt Lake has more losses than the Crew’s eight. Justin Meram (8 goals, 6 assists) and Ola Kamara (8 goals, 1 assist) give Columbus a dangerous attack, but the team has allowed the third most goals in the league (26). (Pictured: Federico Higuain)
11. Seattle Sounders (5-6-4, 19 points)
The Sounders still aren’t clicking on all cylinders, but three wins in the past four matches put the team back in a playoff spot. Seattle can add a Designated Player in the summer and that could get the Sounders back to being an MLS Cup contender. (Pictured: Will Bruin)
12. LA Galaxy (5-5-3, 18 points)
The Galaxy are now unbeaten in six straight, and that’s with the last four of those being on the road. LA doesn’t have the imposingly stacked roster or the dangerous attack like it did in recent years, but the Galaxy are starting to look like a solid team again. (Pictured: Gyasi Zardes)
13. Vancouver Whitecaps (6-6-1, 19 points)
In another universe, Vancouver has a three-game winning streak right now. The Whitecaps’ 1-0 loss to D.C. United, which is sandwiched by wins against Sporting Kansas City and Atlanta, was incredibly one-sided but still went to the visitors. D.C. was awarded a penalty that was such a bad dive that the league suspended Jose Guillermo Ortiz for it. Meanwhile, Vancouver had a penalty of its own go off the post in added time. The Whitecaps hit the goal frame a whopping four times in a totally bizarre game. (Pictured: Kendall Waston)
14. Montreal Impact (4-4-4, 16 points)
Montreal has played the fewest games in MLS so the Impact are a bit lower in the standings than their record deserves. The Impact have won three out of the last four and got a first goal from DP striker Blerim Dzemaili (pictured) in the 1-0 win against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
15. New York Red Bulls (6-7-2, 20 points)
The Red Bulls’ attack has gone from one of the best in the league (61 goals in 2016, second-best in MLS) to one of the worst (15 goals, tied for third-fewest in MLS). Bradley Wright-Phillips has six goals and Sacha Kljestan (pictured) has six assists, but the supporting cast needs to do more.
16. New England Revolution (5-5-5, 20 points)
New England is the definition of average so far. They were 4-4-4 and then added a win, a draw and a loss to keep the balanced record at 5-5-5. Like Houston, the Revs are undefeated at home and winless on the road. (Pictured: Juan Agudelo, left, and Diego Fagundez, right)
17. San Jose Earthquakes (5-6-4, 19 points)
Just as San Jose had its best result of the season, a 1-0 win at Dallas, the Quakes drop a pair of games by two goals. The 4-2 loss to LA last week was as fun of an MLS game as you will see this year. (Pictured: Chris Wondolowski)
18. Philadelphia Union (4-6-4, 16 points)
The Union got back in the mix with a four-game winning streak, but back-to-back losses at Real Salt Lake and New York City FC have Philadelphia looking up in the standings again. C.J. Sapong (pictured) is in the middle of a potential breakout season with eight goals and three assists. The seventh-year forward has never scored more than nine goals.
19. Colorado Rapids (4-8-1, 13 points)
Even with back-to-back wins, Colorado still has the fewest points in MLS. The Rapids beat Sporting Kansas City last week despite getting outshot 24-6 and losing the possession battle 73-27. (Pictured: Alan Gordon)
20. Minnesota United FC (4-8-2, 14 points)
Minnesota was absolutely dominated in a 3-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. The Loons gave up 27 shots, 10 of which were on target. The improvement from the first month of the season is clear, but Minnesota is still simply not good enough in its expansion year. (Pictured: coach Adrian Heath)
21. D.C. United (4-7-3, 15 points)
D.C. has one goal in its last six matches, with four of those matches taking place at home. United fans will have to take solace in the fact that the team’s new stadium is under construction because the on-field performances haven’t been pretty. (Pictured: coach Ben Olsen)
22. Real Salt Lake (4-10-2, 14 points)
RSL gave up 11 goals in two losses to Houston and Dallas. RSL has given up a league-worst 35 goals and has a nasty minus-20 goal differential, also worst in the league. The good news is RSL gets four players back from the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team which made the quarterfinals. Winger Brooks Lennon and defender Justen Glad were among the bright spots for the U.S. (Pictured: Joao Plata)