SBI MLS Power Rankings

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 31)


The playoff picture further narrowed in this week’s MLS action.

Several high ranking teams had bad weeks and faced corresponding plunges. Toronto FC’s draw against Orlando City and loss to D.C. United drop them from first to third in the East and represent a recent dip in form at a bad time. The Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City also lost matches that see them drop back towards the playoff fringe.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned D.C. United won two big matches that bumped them pleasantly up the table. Their East coast fellows also found themselves victorious as the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC both secured victories, as did the New England Revolution.

At the very bottom of the table, the Chicago Fire continued to sink to the end of a dismally low season with two defeats. But Orlando City’s draw and loss see the Lions keeps the Fire company at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference and on the outside of the playoffs for good in 2016.

Here is a closer look at this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings:


1. (Last week-1) FC DALLAS (16-8-8)

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LAST WEEK: Tied Suchitepequez, 0-0, on Wednesday (CCL); beat LA Galaxy, 1-0, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: A 0-0 draw against Suchitepequez in CCL play to keep them atop Group H, followed by a 1-0 victory at home over the LA Galaxy, marked a solid week for the league’s top team. While not in control of their destiny in terms of winning the West or Supporters’ Shield (thanks to the Colorado Rapids), FCD did guarantee themselves a top-two spot in the West and a first round bye in defeating the Galaxy. With two matches to play, FCD remains poised to enter the playoffs with a league/cup double and a possibility at a treble in the post-season.


2. (2) NEW YORK RED BULLS (14-9-9)

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LAST WEEK: Beat the Philadelphia Union, 3-2, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: With their cross-town rivals victorious, the Red Bulls needed a win at home against the Union to keep up and despite a difficult match, came out with the desired result. Bradley Wright-Phillips recorded a brace, keeping him level with David Villa atop the Golden Boot standings, to lead the Red Bulls to victory and the top of the East with Toronto FC dropping points in their loss. A few more positive results could see them top the conference and book a place in next years edition of the CCL, along with a first-round bye.


3. (5) NEW YORK CITY FC (14-9-9)

NYCFC logo

LAST WEEK: Beat Houston Dynamo, 2-0, on Friday.


OUTLOOK: The Houston Dynamo haven’t been phenomenal this season, but they’ve been tough at home, so a convincing road win for New York City FC comes as a pleasant result. Combined with Toronto FC’s loss and the fact that they are now the only team with a winning record both home and away makes this a very solid weekend for NYCFC. With two more positive results, a first-round bye is there for the taking, as is the Eastern conference with any Red Bulls slip-up.


4. (6) COLORADO RAPIDS (13-5-12)

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LAST WEEK: Beat the Portland Timbers, 1-0, on Saturday.

THIS WEEK: at Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

OUTLOOK: With a four-match unbeaten run featuring two wins and two draws, could the Rapids be returning to their strong early season form just in time for the playoffs? The hosts added to the Portland Timbers’ road woes this season, leaving them still the only winless road team (0-10-6) with a 1-0 victory. The win leaves the Rapids in great position for a top-2 finish and a first-round bye, and leaves them in control of their Supporters’ Shield destiny if they can win out. They’ll feature in the only match next week as they visit the Houston Dynamo.



5. (4) LA GALAXY (11-6-15)

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LAST WEEK: Lost to FC Dallas, 1-0, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: The Galaxy were fortunate enough over the weekend to secure a playoff spot thanks to results elsewhere in the West, but their own loss to FC Dallas hurts them in important positioning. With FCD now unreachable and the Colorado Rapids ahead of them by three points with two games in hand, the Galaxy have all but squandered the possibility of earning a first-round bye. With the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake both within striking distance, the Galaxy will need to rebound and get positive results in their last two matches to secure a home playoff game.


6. (8) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (13-13-5)

Seattle Sounders FC Logo

LAST WEEK: Beat the Chicago Fire, 1-0, on Wednesday; beat the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, on Sunday.


OUTLOOK: What a week for the Sounders. They made the most of their match in hand by coming away victorious on both Wednesday and Sunday and suddenly find themselves almost certainly playoff-bound. Now four points clear of the red line and with a game in hand, the Sounders need only a win after the break to secure themselves a playoff spot. Also within reach is hosting a knockout-round match if they can continue their winning ways.


7. (3) TORONTO FC (13-9-9)

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LAST WEEK: Tied Orlando City, 0-0, on Wednesday; lost to D.C. United, 2-1, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: The former Eastern Conference leaders have seen their form drop off in recent weeks. Now winless in their last four, Toronto FC drops all the way to third in the East after squandering their game in hand against Orlando City in a scoreless draw and failing to keep up with both New York teams as they lost to D.C. United over the weekend. TFC will have to rely on the Red Bulls and New York City FC to drop points if they want to secure a first-round bye.



8. (7) REAL SALT LAKE (12-11-9)

RSL Logo

LAST WEEK: Lost to the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: The Earthquakes have been far from easy to beat at home and they showed why against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. In a battle of recent futility, the 2-1 result snaps the Earthquakes 7-match winless streak and makes it 5 matches without a win for RSL. But the news isn’t all bad for RSL, as the Portland Timbers loss leaves them needing only one more win to guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs. They’ll have an additional week to prepare and hopefully break their recent form thanks to the international break.


9. (12) D.C. UNITED (10-9-13)

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LAST WEEK: Beat the Columbus Crew, 3-0, on Wednesday; beat Toronto FC, 2-1, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: Counter to the many teams lagging close to playoff time is D.C. United. Winners of three straight, unbeaten in their last five, DCU defeated both the Columbus Crew and top-of-the-East Toronto FC this past week and moved into the 5th position in the Eastern Conference. Incredibly, with two more wins and any dropped points by the Montreal Impact, DCU could host a knockout game. They’ll face New York City FC and freshly eliminated Orlando City in their final two matches, far from an easy slate, but very possible given their form.



10. (9) PHILADELPHIA UNION (11-12-9)


LAST WEEK: Lost to the New York Red Bulls, 3-2, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: The Union came out on the wrong end of a back-and-forth affair on Saturday, as they took the lead, fell behind, evened the score, and eventually lost to the New York Red Bulls. Unfortunately for the Union, wins by the Montreal Impact, D.C. United, and New England Revolution leave them in a precarious position. The Union now sit just three points above the playoff line at 6th in the East and winless in their last five just as the team hot on their tails, the Revs, have won four of their last five. It would be a shocking collapse if the Union missed the playoffs, they’ll need to get back on track against Orlando City after the break to avoid it.


11. (13) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (10-13-9)

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LAST WEEK: Beat Sporting Kansas City, 3-1, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: After a tough loss to the Columbus Crew last week, the Revs bounced right back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. Now having won four of their last five, the Revs sit three points behind the Union with two matches to play as they stave off elimination (though with unfavorable tiebreakers). They’ll close out with the Chicago Fire and Montreal Impact, two winnable matches that could lead to an exciting final day showdown if the Impact lose and Revs win their next respective matches.


12. (15) MONTREAL IMPACT (11-10-11)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK: Beat San Jose, 3-1, last Wednesday; Beat Orlando City, 1-0, on Sunday.


OUTLOOK: Though under pressure for most of the match, the Montreal Impact managed to squeak a 1-0 victory on a lightning-fast Dominic Oduro counter attack on Sunday. The victory sees the Impact all but guarantee themselves a place in the playoffs, though a loss against Toronto FC in two weeks could place them in danger against the New England Revolution on the closing day of the season. But two consecutive victories has the Impact feeling fine as they head into their last two matches of the season.


13. (10) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (12-13-7)

Sporting Kansas City Logo

LAST WEEK: Lost to the New England Revolution, 3-1, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: Much like the Union, Sporting Kansas City’s recent run of form has put them in a dangerous position. Now sitting at 6th in the West and just two points above the Portland Timbers and the playoff line, they’ve won just one of their last five matches. The loss to the red-hot New England Revolution comes at a bad time. With Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes, desperately clinging to playoff hopes, still to come, Sporting KC will need to figure out their woes if they want to make and last in the playoffs.


14. (11) PORTLAND TIMBERS (11-13-8)

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LAST WEEK: Lost to the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: What will it take for the Portland Timbers to win on the road? Not once in 2016 have the Timbers returned home from a trip with all three points and that trend continued in a 1-0 loss to the Rapids. They now sit on the outside looking in as Cascadia rivals, the Seattle Sounders, have taken their place in the playoff picture. The Timbers remain alive, but just barely, as they’ll need help from the struggling Sporting Kansas City to drop points if they want to get in to the playoffs.






15. (16) COLUMBUS CREW (8-12-11)


LAST WEEK: Lost to D.C. United, 3-0, on Wednesday; beat Chicago Fire, 3-0, on Saturday


OUTLOOK: What a week of polar opposites for the Columbus Crew. After being thrashed, 3-0, in their midweek game against the resurgent D.C. United, the Crew turned right around and demolished the Chicago Fire by the same score. Ultimately, the split record isn’t a good enough result for the Crew, who now sit on the fringe of elimination, needing all the help in the world to pull through. Not on their side is their opposition, as the Fire await once more before both New York teams close the season.


16. (17) HOUSTON DYNAMO (7-12-11)

Houston Dynamo Logo

LAST WEEK: Lost to New York City FC, 2-0, on Friday.

THIS WEEK: vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

OUTLOOK: Somehow, in dead last in the West coming off a loss, the Dynamo are still not eliminated from playoff contention, thanks largely to their two games in hand. The 2-0 loss brings them to the brink of elimination as they looked hopeless against New York City FC. The prognosis is far from good, as four likely playoff-bound opponents remain and a massive amount of help is needed for the Dynamo with the Sounders, Galaxy, and Rapids twice still on the schedule. They’ll face the Rapids for the first of their two remaining clashes in this week’s only game.


17. (18) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (8-10-13)


LAST WEEK: lost to the Montreal Impact, 3-1, on Wednesday; beat Real Salt Lake, 2-1, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: A split decision is not the result the Earthquakes were looking for this week. Though still technically in the hunt for the playoffs six points out with a match in hand, they’ve left themselves a big hole to dig out of, needing to leapfrog both the Timbers and Sporting KC to make it in. The Rapids, Whitecaps, and Sporting KC await in their remaining three matches, making the hole that much deeper for the Quakes, who likely wouldn’t be in this position if they could achieve results like their 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake all season.


18. (14) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (9-15-8)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Logo

LAST WEEK: Beat Central, 4-1, on Wednesday (CCL); lost to the Seattle Sounders, 2-1, on Sunday.


OUTLOOK: While the good news continues in CCL play for the Whitecaps, elimination has claimed another victim as the Whitecaps have officially failed to make the playoffs following their 2-1 loss to the Sounders. Unfortunately for the Whitecaps, their late-season form of just one win in 12 matches doomed them to watch from their homes as other teams compete for the MLS Cup.


19. (19) ORLANDO CITY (7-11-14)


LAST WEEK: Tied Toronto FC, 0-0, on Wednesday; lost to the Montreal Impact, 1-0, on Sunday.


OUTLOOK: Last week saw Orlando City’s playoff hopes take a hit, and this week saw the final nail driven into the coffin as their loss to the Montreal Impact sealed their fate and eliminated them from playoff contention. Their 2016 season represents at best a minor regression and at most a major step back from their inaugural campaign, as they can neither equal their wins or points total from 2015. They’ll seek to play spoiler to the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United in their final two matches, and hopefully break their five-match winless streak and enter 2017 on a positive note.


20. (20) CHICAGO FIRE (6-16-9)

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LAST WEEK: Lost to Seattle Sounders, 1-0, on Wednesday; lost to Columbus Crew, 3-0, on Saturday.


OUTLOOK: A microcosm of the Chicago Fire’s season, this week saw them lose twice in different forms. The first loss away at the hot Seattle Sounders isn’t a terrible one and shows promise, but the 3-0 thrashing at the hands of the Crew in Columbus shows the deep flaws in this team. Long eliminated from playoff contention, the Fire can at least match last year’s 30 points with a win in their last three matches and can match 2015’s win total with two victories.


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