MLS Power Rankings – LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Take a deep breath. It’s international break time and everyone (except LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes, FC Cincinnati and Seattle Sounders – surprise!) can relax.

Let’s take stock: Six teams are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, six teams have earned playoff spots, LAFC has secured the No. 1 spot in the west, and three teams have a chance to win the Supporters Shield.

That leaves just a few hundred permutations for the end of the season. This break couldn’t have come at a better time, but before we all try to reset our overwhelmed brains, let’s rank some teams.


– MLS on ESPN+: Stream LIVE matches, replays (USA)
– Soccer on ESPN+: FC Daily | Soccer America


Previous placement: 1

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Charlotte, 5:30 p.m. ET

You… didn’t… hit? Is that allowed? Of course, they also kept a clean sheet, so they came back from Atlanta with a point.

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Previous placement: 2

Next MLS game: October 1 vs. DC, 7:30 p.m. ET

It shouldn’t be that hard to beat Chicago and New England, but we’re at “Wow, you didn’t keep winning when you placed in the top 2?” Stage in Montreal’s rise. Let’s fast-forward to the playoffs and watch these guys cook.

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Previous placement: 3

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Portland, 3 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN Deportes

A draw in Minnesota and a win over Houston have the black-and-gold in pole position for the Shield with two weeks to go, but do you trust them to win their last two and hold Philly back?

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Previous placement: 5

Next MLS game: October 1st vs. Vancouver, 10pm ET

They limited Hany Mukhtar to just one goal this time and picked up a point for their effort.

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Previous placement: 4

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Colorado, 3:30 p.m. ET

After a season of games in which it controlled things but couldn’t finish with full points, Dallas went to San Jose and stole a point in a match it spent on its heels. Check out Dallas adding a fun new tool to his belt.

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Previous placement: 8th

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Houston, 8:30 p.m. ET

Nashville will feel like it deserves three points against Austin, not one, but that point is good enough to position it for a home game in the playoffs. Open the shiny GEODIS Park gates for a playoff game and mess the place up a bit.

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Previous placement: 7

Next MLS game: October 1 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m. ET

The hostile environment of Yankee Stadium was just too much for MLS’ best road team.

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Previous placement: 10

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. LAFC, 3 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN Deportes

Santiago Moreno’s 95th-minute equalizer was a frenzy of ecstasy, and yet the Timbers are as likely to miss the playoffs as they are to host a playoff game. Why isn’t every Portland fan tired all the time?

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Previous placement: 6

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. San Jose, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A draw against LAFC and a loss against SKC extended their winning streak to six. The season-ending game against San Jose and Vancouver should solve those problems, but it could also be the road to an all-time collapse.

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Previous placement: 11

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. NYCFC, 1 p.m. ET

If they could have turned the results around and beat Atlanta and then lost to Toronto, they would have, but three points is three points.

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Previous placement: 14

Next MLS game: Sept. 27 vs. Seattle, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

They won at Salt Lake and perhaps picked up another win in the week when the USMNT called Jordan Morris, but they left Brandon Vazquez at home for their Sept. 27 meeting with Seattle.

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Previous placement: 9

Next MLS game: October 1 vs. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET

Losses to Austin and Cincy are a major blow to their playoff hopes, but they’re still within three points of Portland, who they play on the final day of the season. All we aspire to is that it’s a de facto play-in game for a playoff spot and pure chaos.

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Previous placement: 12

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Crew have conceded 26 goals this season, and after Miami struck a late winner and equalized against Portland in added time, 15 of those came from a points position after 75 minutes. This is the season, right there.

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Previous placement: 17

Next MLS game: September 30 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Were their victories against Columbus and DC pretty? Not really, but through the magic of hard-working Gonzalo Higuain, they’re poised to make the playoffs.

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Previous placement: fifteen

Next MLS game: Sept. 24 vs. San Jose, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The Galaxy was smoked in Vancouver but beat Colorado so where are they? Control their own playoff destiny with a season finale against Dynamo. Dreadful.

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Previous placement: 19

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Seattle, 5 p.m. ET

They beat DC and Minnesota 7-1 aggregate. A core of William, Agada, Erik Thommy, Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido next season is looking very good at the moment but will the salary cap allow for that? Someone starts QuickBooks and finds out.

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Previous placement: 13

Next MLS game: September 30 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The problem with an all-offense, no-defense team is that sometimes the offense doesn’t travel to Orlando and you lose 4-0 to mathematically be out of the playoffs.

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Previous placement: 23

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Austin, 10 p.m. ET

Well, well, well, if it’s not the smell of cold pizza in the morning after beating LA and Seattle to keep your playoff hopes alive.

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Previous placement: 16

Next MLS game: Sept. 27 vs. Cincinnati, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A loss to Vancouver ended their Cascadia Cup, and if the Sounders miss the playoffs it could be because they shave just three points from their regional rivals.

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Previous placement: 21

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. New England, 1:30 p.m. ET

Addendum to the Rules: If you keep Philly scoreless, you get three points even if you didn’t score yourself. Congratulations to Atlanta on those three points, along with three midweek three-pointers for beating Orlando.

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Previous placement: 20

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Philadelphia, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

You have won a street game! It was against the cataclysmic fire, but you don’t get picky about how you win #3.

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Previous placement: 22

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Dallas, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Defeat San Jose, let the galaxy flog you. The Rapids make it very clear where they stand in the MLS hierarchy – bad, but not that bad.

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Previous placement: 24

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Orlando, 1 p.m. ET

Nick Cushing finally had something to celebrate after winning the Campeones Cup and the Hudson River Derby.

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Previous placement: 16

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Atlanta, 1:30 p.m. ET

It was a Bruce Arena special until it wasn’t. The Revs’ second-half rise has turned into a free fall after losses to Montreál (good) and Houston (kinda inexcusable).

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Previous placement: 27

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Nashville, 8:30 p.m. ET

The Dynamo may not be very good at soccer, but they seem to be doing pretty well at Penalty Fest, a new game they and the Revs invented midweek. A total of three penalties, three points for Houston before losing to LAFC over the weekend.

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Previous placement: 26

Next MLS game: Sept. 24 vs. Galaxy, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A loss in Colorado and a draw with Dallas isn’t a bad week relatively speaking, but Houston had the audacity to win a match and toss the Quakes into the West’s basement. Rough.

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Previous placement: 25

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET

A month ago they were in the playoff race. They are mathematically eliminated from the postseason after losses to Montreal and Charlotte and it’s a wonder it has lasted so long.

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Previous placement: 28

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m. ET

Defeats against SKC and Inter? Poorly. Only two games left in this cursed season? Good.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/major-league-soccer/story/4750581/mls-power-rankings-lafcphiladelphia-battle-for-shield-playoff-hopes-dim-for-revssounders MLS Power Rankings – LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Emma Bowman

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