It was a week of mismatches in MLS, as multiple teams won big.
Four teams won by an astounding 4-0 scoreline over the weekend. Toronto FC, the New York Red Bulls, Minnesota United, and the Vancouver Whitecaps all emerged victorious by that massive result. Outside of those four standouts, there were several 3-0 results from the Philadelphia Union, one on the winning side, and one on the losing end of things to the New England Revolution.
At the other end come the losers of those matches. The Union themselves for example in their 3-0 defeat. On the end of those 4-0 results were New York City FC, the Montreal Impact, D.C. United, and FC Dallas, a fairly surprising group of teams including a pair of playoff contenders.
With a big Hudson River Derby on Sunday, and plenty of intriguing matches near the top of the rankings, the results next weekend will hopefully contain no less goals, but a bit more balance.
Here’s a look at this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings:
SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 21)
1. (Last Week – 1) TORONTO FC (12-3-7)
LAST WEEK: Beat New York City FC, 4-0, on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: at D.C. United on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Talk about a statement win. Toronto FC re-solidified themselves as the top dog in the East with a massive 4-0 win over contenders New York City FC. Toronto is right back to streaking, with another four-match unbeaten run underway entering this weekend’s clash with D.C. United.
2. (2) CHICAGO FIRE (11-5-5)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Sporting Kansas City, 3-2, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. New England Revolution on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Bad news for the Chicago Fire, as they lost a second straight on Saturday for just the second time this year. The effects of a bad loss while up a man at New York City FC the week before led to another lackluster performance and loss to Sporting Kansas City this weekend. They’ll hope to bounce back at home against the Revs.
3. (4) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (9-4-9)
LAST WEEK: Beat Chicago Fire, 3-2, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Atlanta United on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: Defeating the Chicago Fire is a great win at this stage in the season, especially with FC Dallas nipping on Sporting KC’s tail. The win is even sweeter in that it was the team’s first match without Dom Dwyer and should go a long way to settling them down after that big shift. It also makes it an impressive eight straight unbeaten for SKC.
4. (3) NEW YORK CITY FC (11-7-4)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Toronto FC, 4-0, on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: vs. New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: A loss to Toronto FC at BMO Field is nothing to be ashamed of, but the manner in which NYCFC went down will surely leave a sour taste. Patrick Vieira’s men were simply run off the field and find themselves falling decently behind the league-leaders. The closeness of the Eastern Conference table makes this weekend’s clash with the Red Bulls the most important in the rivalry’s young history.
5. (5) FC DALLAS (9-4-7)
THIS WEEK: at Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: In the midst of a bunch of 4-0 losses around the league last week, FC Dallas’ drubbing at the hands of the Whitecaps was the only one to see the road team emerge victorious. The loss snaps FCD’s five-match unbeaten run and gives Sporting KC the lead out West once more. A bounce back match is much needed against the Union this weekend.
6. (10) NEW YORK RED BULLS (11-8-2)
LAST WEEK: Beat Montreal Impact, 4-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at New York City FC on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: Talk about having things figured out. Saturday’s 4-0 domination of the Impact makes it four straight for the Red Bulls in which they’ve out-scored opponents, 15-3. They’re rapidly rising back into strong playoff position and can make things even sweeter if they can keep it going against cross-river rivals NYCFC this weekend.
7. (6) ATLANTA UNITED (10-7-4)
LAST WEEK: Tied Orlando City, 1-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: Two straight weeks and four points earned against their Floridian rivals leaves Atlanta flying high with five straight unbeaten. They’re in great position to be a rare expansion team to make the MLS playoffs, and will look to prove themselves against top competition when they take on Sporting KC this weekend.
8. (7) PORTLAND TIMBERS (8-8-7)
LAST WEEK: Tied Houston Dynamo, 2-2, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. LA Galaxy on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: The Portland Timbers recent form hasn’t been spectacular, but they did well last weekend to steal a point in Houston from the Dynamo. They became just the third team to accomplish that feat this year and settled themselves down after rapidly falling towards the red line out West for a few weeks. A visit from the hapless Galaxy could help secure that further.
9. (11) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (9-8-3)
LAST WEEK: Beat FC Dallas, 4-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: While asserting their playoff hopes, the Whitecaps secured what is certainly their win of the season to date in demolishing Western Conference contenders FC Dallas, 4-0. The Whitecaps sit just above the red line with several matches in hand, good position at this point in the season, and can make it even better when they face a struggling Rapids team this weekend.
10. (8) ORLANDO CITY (8-8-6)
LAST WEEK: Tied Atlanta United, 1-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Montreal Impact on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: A tie is better than last week’s loss, and Kaka’s goal was stunning, but things are not looking stellar in Orlando. After such a strong start to the season, the Lions find themselves below the red line out East and at risk of missing the playoffs once again. They need a turnaround match against the Impact to help boost them back into the picture.
11. (12) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (8-9-5)
LAST WEEK: Beat Colorado Rapids, 1-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Quakes kept pace out West with a good win over the Rapids last weekend, keeping them firmly within the realistic playoff candidates. The much-needed win snapped a three-match losing streak for the Quakes, and the victory came courtesy of a Nick Lima stunner as he continues a Rookie of the Year campaign.
12. (15) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (8-7-7)
LAST WEEK: Tied LA Galaxy, 0-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Minnesota United on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: While most teams have been able to take three points off the Galaxy at home this year, a road point is still nothing to be ashamed of for the Seattle Sounders. The result makes it six straight unbeaten for the Sounders, with 12 points earned in that span. On the right side of playoff contention out West, but just barely, another good road result against the Loons could help a lot.
13. (13) HOUSTON DYNAMO (9-7-6)
LAST WEEK: Tied Portland Timbers, 2-2, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Houston Dynamo suffered a rare road draw on Saturday, as the Timbers managed to escape BBVA Compass Stadium with a point, just the third team to do so this year. The result certainly isn’t unwelcome for the Dynamo though, who sit in good playoff position, and secured their fourth straight unbeaten.
14. (14) COLUMBUS CREW (10-11-2)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Philadelphia Union, 3-0, on Wednesday; Tied Real Salt Lake, 2-2, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Columbus Crew had a chance to separate themselves a bit from the red line out East, and failed to grab the opportunity. After a hugely disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Union in midweek play, the Crew could only salvage a draw against Real Salt Lake over the weekend. With Orlando City right on their tails, they’ll try and take a result from the Quakes this weekend.
15. (16) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (7-9-5)
LAST WEEK: Beat Philadelphia Union, 3-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Chicago Fire on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: After their heart-attack win over the Galaxy last weekend, the Revs found their form again in defeating the Union, 3-0, this weekend. The victory keeps them within touching distance of the Crew in sixth-place out East. They’ll have a hard time catching up though, as they go to Chicago to take on the Fire, where just one team has taken a single point against the hosts all year.
16. (9) LA GALAXY (6-10-5)
LAST WEEK: Tied Seattle Sounders, 0-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Portland Timbers on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: A draw is better than a loss, but absolutely is not what the Galaxy need right now. A point from red hot Seattle is valuable, but represents another poor home result in a season full of them. The Galaxy are still floundering with six straight winless and need a result to keep from falling out of the playoff picture altogether. Sigi Schmid will need to right the ship fast if the Galaxy expect to make the postseason.
17. (17) PHILADELPHIA UNION (7-10-5)
LAST WEEK: Beat Columbus Crew, 3-0, on Wednesday; Lost to New England Revolution, 3-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. FC Dallas on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: This week was a microcosm of the Union season to date. Alternating wins and losses, in big streaks to start the year, and now condensed into a single week of frustrating inconsistency. After a big 3-0 win over the Crew, the Union came right back out on the weekend and flopped to a 3-0 loss to the Revs. It doesn’t get any easier this weekend against FC Dallas.
18. (19) MINNESOTA UNITED (6-12-4)
LAST WEEK: Beat DC. United, 4-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: A spectacular victory for Minnesota United amid an unspectacular season was a very welcome sight. The Loons took advantage of a bad D.C. United run of form to seize a huge 4-0 victory. They elevated themselves out of the last spot out West, even if the playoffs remain a distant dream at this point. The Sounders provide a stiffer home test this weekend.
19. (18) MONTREAL IMPACT (6-8-6)
LAST WEEK: Lost to New York Red Bulls, 4-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Orlando City on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Montreal Impact ran into the wrong team at the wrong time, as the red-hot Red Bulls simply ran them off the field, 4-0, over the weekend. The Impact, in spite of games in hand, find themselves falling further down the Eastern Conference table, and now sit next-to-last after two straight losses. Can they turn things around against the Lions this weekend?
20. (22) REAL SALT LAKE (7-12-4)
LAST WEEK: Tied Columbus Crew, 2-2, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Real Salt Lake continued their odd resurgence with a draw against the Columbus Crew, making it four straight unbeaten and eight points over that span. RSL amazingly sits just five points out of the playoffs out West, with a key match against the Dynamo approaching this weekend. Even better, the Dynamo are 1-7-3 on the road, giving RSL a good chance to make it five straight without a loss.
21. (21) COLORADO RAPIDS (6-12-2)
LAST WEEK: Lost to San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: With their loss to the Quakes and a Nick Lima stunner, the Rapids dropped right back down into the cellar in the West. Worse still, the road loss means the Rapids still have just a point in nine matches away from home this year. Thankfully, they return home to their 6-4-1 record when they face the Whitecaps this weekend.
22. (20) D.C. UNITED (5-14-3)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Minnesota United, 4-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Toronto FC on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: How does one go downhill from five straight losses? By losing the sixth in terrible fashion to one of the league’s worst teams this year. D.C. United made is six straight losses in a huge, 4-0, blowout to Minnesota United. Fate plays cruel tricks, as they now need to face a blazing hot Toronto FC coming off their own 4-0 victory.