MLS Power Rankings: Toronto locks up Supporters' Shield
MLS Power Rankings: Oct. 10
Toronto clinched the Supporters' Shield with two matches remaining. TFC will enter the MLS Playoffs as the favorite, but the Eastern Conference field is all over the top spots in NBCSportsChicago.com's power rankings.
1. Toronto FC (19-5-8, 65 points)
Toronto clinched the Supporters’ Shield with two games left and can break the MLS record for most points in a season with four points from the last two matches. Can the Reds win the Canadian version of the MLS treble (Canadian Cup, Supporters’ Shield, MLS Cup)? (Pictured: Justin Morrow)
2. New York City FC (16-8-8, 56 points)
For seven straight matches NYCFC has failed to score multiple goals. The good news for New York is that no opponent has scored multiple goals during that span either. That’s not hitting the playoffs on a high note, but keeping the No. 2 seed is still likely. (Pictured: David Villa)
3. Columbus Crew (15-12-5, 50 points)
Don’t look now, but Columbus is one of the hottest teams in MLS. After being the epitome of mediocrity for most of the season, the Crew clinched a playoff berth with an eight-match unbeaten streak. In order to get a home game in the playoffs, the Crew will have get points on the road for the final two matches.
4. Atlanta United FC (15-9-8, 53 points)
Atlanta’s home loss to Minnesota was a shocker and could cost the team a first-round bye in the playoffs. Miguel Almiron’s return from a hamstring injury will be key for Atlanta’s playoff hopes, but they’re going to be tough to beat at home regardless. (Pictured: coach Tata Martino)
5. Seattle Sounders (12-9-11, 47 points)
Two losses in three games have prevented the Sounders from gaining separation in the incredibly congested Western Conference. Still, playoff experience and plenty of talent on the roster make Seattle an MLS Cup contender once again. (Pictured: Nicolas Lodeiro)
6. Vancouver Whitecaps (15-11-6, 51 points)
Vancouver leads the Western Conference, but hasn’t been delivering dominant performances. The Whitecaps just play on the counter and hope their speedy attackers can finish. Yordy Reyna and Fredy Montero have delivered, but it’s fair to question if that will work in the playoffs. (Pictured: David Ousted)
7. Sporting Kansas City (12-7-12, 48 points)
Offense is not Sporting’s strength, but the team’s defense is very solid. KC’s 25 goals against is 10 fewer than the next closest team. However, only three teams have scored fewer than KC’s 38 goals.
8. Chicago Fire (15-10-7, 52 points)
The home draw against New York City FC was a setback as far as seeding goes, but the Fire still likely host a first-round game. The upcoming match against eliminated Philadelphia is the kind of game a playoff team should win at home. (Pictured: David Accam)
9. Portland Timbers (13-11-8, 47 points)
Like any of the Western Conference playoff teams, a lack of consistency has prevented the Timbers from being an elite team this year. Portland has a slight advantage in the closing race though with each of its final two games being at Providence Park.
10. Real Salt Lake (12-14-6, 42 points)
The fact that RSL is still in the playoff race at all is remarkable given how the team started the season. However, it won’t be easy to stay in it with the two games remaining: at rival Colorado and at home against Sporting Kansas City. (Pictured: Joao Plata)
11. New York Red Bulls (13-12-7, 46 points)
Finally. The Red Bulls delivered a win against Vancouver on Saturday to end an eight-game winless run and clinch a playoff berth that never should have been in question. Even with the recent struggles, no one should want to play a team with Bradley Wright-Phillips (pictured) and Sacha Kljestan.
12. Houston Dynamo (11-10-10, 43 points)
Houston currently has the edge in the race for the final two playoffs spots in the Western Conference. The Dynamo hold a game in hand and are just ahead of the other three contenders, Dallas, Salt Lake and San Jose. (Pictured: Alberth Elis)
13. Minnesota United FC (10-16-6, 36 points)
The Loons were eliminated with a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, but Minnesota is 4-2-2 in its last eight matches. Five of those matches were on the road and six were against teams in playoff spots. This is a far cry from the team that began the season with talks of being the worst team in MLS history.
14. FC Dallas (10-9-13, 43 points)
Dallas is crawling towards the playoffs and is a point ahead of Real Salt Lake and San Jose with two matches to go. The race for fifth and sixth in the Western Conference should be fun in the last two weeks. (Pictured: Maxi Urruti)
15. San Jose Earthquakes (12-14-6, 42 points)
The Earthquakes saved the season with a 2-1 win against Portland. San Jose is still on the outside, looking in at the final playoff spots, but remains in the race. (Pictured: Chris Wondolowski)
16. Philadelphia Union (10-13-9, 39 points)
Philly was eliminated after the Red Bulls beat Vancouver, but the Union went out after beating a pair of playoff teams in the Fire and Seattle by two goals each. Haris Medunjanin was a good acquisition in the offseason and C.J. Sapong (pictured) had a big year, but many players disappointed in this group.
17. Orlando City (10-13-9, 39 points)
With the Lions now eliminated from playoff contention it will be interesting to see what Orlando does in the winter. Kaka’s (pictured) contract expires and Cyle Larin will have suitors abroad. Orlando could have a very different look next year.
18. New England Revolution (11-15-6, 39 points)
On paper New England has so many attacking talent and depth, but it hasn’t clicked since the Revs made it to MLS Cup in 2014. With Jay Heaps out as coach, it’s probably time New England shakes things up this winter. (Pictured: Lee Nguyen)
19. Montreal Impact (11-15-6, 39 points)
Montreal has been one of the biggest disappointments this season. After a tightly contested Eastern Conference final against Toronto last year, the Impact figured to be among the contenders once again. Instead, the Impact hold a 1-7 record in the past eight matches. (Pictured: Samuel Piette)
20. D.C. United (9-18-5, 32 points)
For most of the season D.C. was a lost cause. Some positive additions in the summer and a new stadium to play in next year could rejuvenate one of MLS’ most successful original clubs. (Pictured: Paul Arriola)
21. LA Galaxy (7-17-8, 29 points)
LA didn’t withstand the loss of so many familiar names from the Bruce Arena era. Perhaps Arena was the biggest loss of them all. The Galaxy have been a disaster in 2017. There’s still talent on the roster, but a new crosstown rival, Los Angeles FC, enters the league next year. (Pictured: Giovani Dos Santos)
22. Colorado Rapids (8-18-6, 30 points)
The Rapids got to play spoiler, a bit, by holding Dallas to a draw on Saturday. Colorado gets another crack at the spoiler role against rival Real Salt Lake next weekend. (Pictured: Dominique Badji)