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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 18


Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports


The holiday weekend provided plenty of changes in MLS, as several teams picked up major upsets to shuffle up the MLS Power Rankings.

Headlining the week’s upset parade was an unlikely candidate, as the shorthanded Seattle Sounders did just enough to squeak past D.C. United. Elsewhere, Western Conference cellardwellers Colorado Rapids defeated a Supporters’ Shield candidate in the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Meanwhile, both the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers continued their respective hot streaks, while FC Dallas served up a statement with a thrashing of the New England Revolution to assert the West’s dominance over the MLS landscape.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 18, as voted on by SBI’s editorial staff:


1. (Last Week- 2)  SPORTING KANSAS CITY (7-3-6)



THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday

OUTLOOK– Blessed with a bye week, Sporting KC enter the upcoming match with the Impact with fresh legs and riding a bit of a hot streak. Sporting KC has lost just one of the team’s last eight game, but will now need to recapture that momentum without Graham Zusi, who will be away on international duty.


2. (5) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (8-6-7)

LA Galaxy

LAST WEEK: Defeated Toronto FC, 4-1, on Saturday


OUTLOOK– After falling into a bit of a trap with last week’s loss to the Earthquakes, the Galaxy left little doubt as to where they stand with Saturday’s thrashing of TFC. Robbie Keane once again asserted his dominance and with the Steven Gerrard cavalry coming, the Galaxy are poised to make another big run.


3. (4) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (10-7-2)

Seattle Sounders FC

LAST WEEK:  Defeated D.C. United, 1-0, on Friday

THIS WEEK: at Chicago Fire on Saturday

OUTLOOK– After going through a major rough patch without the team’s two stars, the Sounders picked up what is likely their most impressive win of the season with Friday’s besting of D.C. United. Still, without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins for the near future, the Sounders still have a lot to prove as a unit until their two DP’s return.


4. (1) D.C. UNITED (10-5-5)


LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to Seattle Sounders on Friday


OUTLOOK– Despite facing off with a shorthanded Sounders side, D.C. United failed to muster a goal in a disappointing 1-0 loss. Having a look at the table leaves no question as to where D.C. lies when it comes to the rest of the East, but questions still remain


5. (6) PORTLAND TIMBERS (9-6-4)


LAST WEEK: Defeated San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, last Sunday

THIS WEEK: at Philadelphia Union on Saturday

OUTLOOK– They may have left it for late, but the Timbers’ surge continued on Sunday with yet another victory. Continuing to climb in the West, the Timbers look legitimately dangerous now that everyone has returned to fitness. Now a contender, it’s up to the team to remain consistent as everyone continues to round into form.




LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-1, to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Sporting KC on Sunday

OUTLOOK– Definitely a frustrating result for a Whitecaps team that still remains right in the midst of a Supporters’ Shield race. Dropping points to the lowly Rapids is definitely a major setback but that could be remedied with a result against a fellow contender in Sporting KC this weekend.


7. (10) FC DALLAS (8-5-5)


LAST WEEK: Defeated New England Revolution, 3-0, on Saturday

THIS WEEK: at Orlando City on Saturday

OUTLOOK– After topping the Dynamo last week, FC Dallas made another statement Saturday in a demolition of the overmatched Revolution. Everyone knows that the FC Dallas attack has the firepower to explode at anytime, but in order to continue a push to the top, these performances will need to happen much more consistently than they have in the past month or two.


8. (8) TORONTO FC (7-7-2)


LAST WEEK: Lost, 4-0, to LA Galaxy last Saturday

THIS WEEK: at New York City FC on Sunday

OUTLOOK– Without Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, TFC looked like a shell of itself in an absolute thumping from the Galaxy. Sebastian Giovinco may just be the best player in the league, but it will take more than the diminutive Italian to carry the load for a TFC team that will be without a pair of stars for at least a few more games.


9. (9) NEW YORK RED BULLS (6-6-5)


LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-1, to Columbus Crew last Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. New England Revolution on Saturday

OUTLOOK– After experiencing a mini hot streak, the Red Bulls came back down to earth with a loss against the Columbus Crew. A frustrating result considering the early goal, and a result that leaves the Red Bulls right on the line when it comes to the current playoff race.


10. (7) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (7-6-4)


LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to Portland Timbers on Sunday

THIS WEEK: vs. Houston Dynamo on Friday

OUTLOOK– After toppling the Sounders and Galaxy, the Earthquakes suffered a bit of a setback this week against the Timbers. Still, giving up a late goal to fall to the league’s most in-form team is no reason to despair, as the Earthquakes’ status as playoff contenders remains firm.


11. (13) COLUMBUS CREW (5-6-6)


LAST WEEK: Defeated New York Red Bulls, 2-1, on Saturday

THIS WEEK: at Montreal Impact on Saturday

OUTLOOK: Another spectacular 90 minute performance from Ethan Finlay, but it may have been a two minute cameo from Wil Trapp that is the most important takeway from the Crew’s win this past weekend. With Trapp healthy, the midfiedler joines a surging Finlay and Kamara, providing even more balance to a Crew team that now has the mettle to rejoin the Eastern Conference’s top sides.




LAST WEEK: Lost, 3-0, to FC Dallas on Saturday

THIS WEEK: at New York Red Bulls on Saturday

OUTLOOK–  Having now lost four out of five, the Revs continue to struggle without Jermaine Jones. Slipping towards the pack in the East, the Revs can’t seem to function without Jones in the midfield, a scary thought considering the midfielder’s absence for at least another month or so.


13. (15) NEW YORK CITY FC (5-8-5)


LAST WEEK: Defeated Montreal Impact, 2-1, on Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Toronto FC.

OUTLOOK– After seeing their three-game winning streak halted last week, NYCFC did well in a major bounce-back game against the Impact. However, gazes immediately turn towards next week’s match, which will feature the debut of Frank Lampard and Spanish import Andoni Iraola, two players that will immediately elevate NYCFC’s starting lineup.


14. (12) ORLANDO CITY (6-6-6)


LAST WEEK: Tied Real Salt Lake, 1-1, on Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. FC Dallas on Saturday

OUTLOOK– Orlando City may have dropped two points in a draw with RSL, but the biggest loss will likely be that of Kaka. Having been issued a red card, Kaka will likely be absent starting this weekend against FC Dallas, a tough team to face without their superstar playmaker.


15. (14) HOUSTON DYNAMO (5-7-6)


LAST WEEK: Tied Chicago Fire, 1-1, on Friday

THIS WEEK: at San Jose Earthquakes on Friday

OUTLOOK– In a game where they could have easily earned all three points, the Dynamo will be disappointed in letting a lead slip to the Fire. With just one point in hand, the Dynamo are falling further and further out of the playoff picture, a scary proposition heading into the second half of the campaign.


16. (17) REAL SALT LAKE (5-6-8)

RSL Logo

LAST WEEK: Tied Orlando City, 1-1, on Saturday

THIS WEEK: at Colorado Rapids on Saturday

OUTLOOK–Although the point was probably a fair result, RSL would have liked to have done more against a 10-man Orlando City. Falling further and further back, RSL now face a rough patch ahead without the ever-reliable Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman and Alvaro Saborio due to the Gold Cup.


17. (16) MONTREAL IMPACT (5-7-3)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-1, to New York City FC on Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday

OUTLOOK– Having snagged just one point from a double-game week last time out, the Impact were saddled with yet another disappointing result this time out against NYCFC. The good news is that the Impact still carry plenty of games in hand, but those games will be for naught if points aren’t gained more efficiently going forward.


18. (19) COLORADO RAPIDS (3-6-9)


LAST WEEK: Defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, on Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday

OUTLOOK–Despite entering this past weekend winless in six games, the Rapids pulled off the upset of the weekend in knocking off the highly-regarded Whitecaps. With Kevin Doyle leading the way, the Rapids have plenty of room for improvement, and they may have finally found the player that could lead the way to better days and, more importantly, goals.


19. (18) PHILADELPHIA UNION (5-10-4)



THIS WEEK: vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday

OUTLOOK– Riding a big week prior to this weekend’s bye, the Union will look to carry momentum into Saturday’s matchup with a surging Sounders team. Despite all of the team’s early-season struggles, the Union remain just outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, providing some promise heading into the second half of the season.


20. (20) CHICAGO FIRE (4-9-3)


LAST WEEK: Tied Houston Dynamo, 1-1, on Friday

THIS WEEK: vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday

OUTLOOK– Picking up a point is a welcome result for a Fire team that remains in a major funk. Winless since May 30, the Fire need changes, and fast, as the club now sits three points back of the rest of MLS.


What do you think of this week’s rankings? Which team do you feel isn’t ranked highly enough? Which team do you think has too generous a place in the rankings?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I love my Galaxy, but until they win an actual league game on the road, they don’t belong in the top five. They’re like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They’re obliterating teams at home (outscoring opposition 20-2 in their last five home matches, all comps), but have only managed one measly road win since last August.

    • I somewhat agree. But it just shows you that you don’t need to win on the road in the regular season to be a good team. Post -season, its another story and woe to the Galaxy should they not fix their away game blues and have to face an MLS final that not at the Stub n Nub Center.

      But overall I’m not worried. Stevie G’s here and the Mexican and Spanish press have reported that the transfer fees between Villareal and he Galaxy have been accepted and Dos Santos agent has reported the the deal is signed but will not be announced until the end of the Gold Cup (earlier, if Mexico go out )

    • One of the biggest issues with ownership has been a lack of consistency, switching managers mid-season will continue that inconsistency & constant upheaval. Continue through the end of the year, and give an opportunity for something to gel. If it still does not result in an Open Cup Trophy or playoff win, then sack Yallop. I thought he was the wrong coach to hire from the get go, but the problems with the club have to be addressed on a more wholesale level & getting rid of the coach midseason does not acknowledge that or even address it. Band Aids are not needed, Big Plans are, Chicago Style.

    • I doubt Pirlo and Lampard make big impacts this year. Pretty much every time a big name DP joins halfway through the year they don’t do anything until the following year. I doubt NYCFC moves that much further up.


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