It doesn’t look like anyone will be catching Toronto FC in the regular season nor the SBI MLS Power Rankings, but there’s plenty of movement behind them as the playoff push continues.
The Western Conference certainly has a Cascadia feel at the current moment as the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps duke it out for playoff positioning. The East, meanwhile, is still run by TFC with several teams in behind looking to compete for that second opening round bye.
Elsewhere, the last-place Colorado Rapids picked up a big win while Atlanta United could be poised for a run after opening their new stadium.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings:
SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 27)
1. TORONTO FC (17-3-8)
LAST WEEK: Won, 4-0, vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at LA Galaxy on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Reds became the first team to clinch a playoff spot on Saturday and their focus continues to be the Supporters’ Shield and home-field advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They now have a nine-point lead on New York City FC.
2. NEW YORK CITY FC (15-8-5)
LAST WEEK: Won vs. Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, on Wednesday, Lost to Portland Timbers, 1-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: NYCFC’s momentum was stymied by the Timbers on Saturday as they fell to the Western Conference foe with a depleted squad. The focus now for Patrick Vieira’s men should be securing the No. 2 seed and the valuable bye that comes with it.
3. PORTLAND TIMBERS (12-9-8)
LAST WEEK: Won, 1-0, vs. New York City FC
THIS WEEK: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Timbers used their fourth road win of the season, and some misfortune at home from their biggest rival, to take sole possession of first place in the West. But the margins are still slim with the top six separated by seven points.
4. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (11-7-10)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, vs. LA Galaxy on Sunday
THIS WEEK: at FC Dallas on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Sounders extended their unbeaten run to 12 games on Sunday, but it almost felt like a loss by drawing at home with the Galaxy and losing Jordan Morris to a hamstring injury.
5. CHICAGO FIRE (13-9-6)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, vs. New York Red Bulls
THIS WEEK: vs. D.C. United on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Fire are back on the upswing of form after a win and a draw in the last two weeks, and although Saturday’s game ended in a home draw, Nemanja Nikolic ended his two-month scoring drought against the Red Bulls.
6. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (12-9-5)
LAST WEEK: Won, 3-2, vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Whitecaps started a home-game homestand with a win over Real Salt Lake. Everything is set up in the coming weeks for the Whitecaps to not only lock up a playoff spot at home, but contend for a bye into the semifinals as well.
7. COLUMBUS CREW (13-12-4)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, vs. Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: at Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Crew picked up seven points from their three-game homestand that ended on Sunday against Sporting KC. With five games remaining, the Crew must continue to pick up points, especially as Atlanta makes up its games in hand.
8. ATLANTA UNITED (11-8-6)
LAST WEEK: Won, 3-0, vs. FC Dallas
THIS WEEK: vs. New England on Wednesday and vs. Orlando on Saturday
OUTLOOK: Atlanta United finally opened their beautiful new stadium on Sunday, and did so in dominant fashion with a win over a struggling FC Dallas team. Now the real challenge begins as the Five Stripes embark on three consecutive two-game weeks.
9. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (10-6-11)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, at New York City FC on Wednesday and Tied 1-1 at Columbus Crew on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: vs. New England Revolution on Saturday
OUTLOOK: Sporting KC’s road mark dropped to 2-6-6 after Week 27. They should make a charge back up the Western Conference standings for the rest of September with three straight games at Children’s Mercy Park, where they are 8-0-5.
10. NEW YORK RED BULLS (12-10-5)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, vs. Chicago on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Philadelphia on Sunday
OUTLOOK: Three ties in a row have kept the Red Bulls afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but they need to do more to solidify their position in the postseason. A home match against the Union on Sunday should present Jesse Marsch’s men with three points.
11. FC DALLAS (9-8-10)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 3-0, to Atlanta United
THIS WEEK: vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: It appears there’s no end in sight to FC Dallas’ brutal stretch of form. Oscar Pareja’s men haven’t won since July 22 and it doesn’t get any easier with the Sounders coming to Frisco this weekend.
12. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (10-12-5)
LAST WEEK: Won, 1-0, vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Atlanta United on Wednesday, at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Revs are still hanging around in the playoff hunt after a win over Montreal, but in order to have any shot at the top six, they’ll need to pull a result out of Atlanta, which would be quite the task.
13. HOUSTON DYNAMO (10-9-8)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Dynamo’s return to action was a disappointing one as they fell to the Rapids at BBVA Compass Stadium. Wilmer Cabrera’s men have one win in their last five games and now play two straight on the road, starting in San Jose on Saturday.
14. MONTREAL IMPACT (10-11-6)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, at New England on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota United on Saturday
OUTLOOK: As fast as the Impact caught fire, they cooled off. The Impact lost their third straight game to the Revs on Saturday and now their playoff hopes are looking bleaker sitting three points back of Atlanta, who has two games in hand on them.
15. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (10-12-6)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 4-0, at Toronto FC on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Houston Dynamo on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Quakes suffered their second 4-0 loss in three games at BMO Field on Saturday to add to a horrendous -17 goal differential. This week will be a big one in the playoff hunt for the Quakes as they host Houston in a six-pointer.
16. REAL SALT LAKE (10-14-5)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 3-2, at Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday
OUTLOOK: RSL lost just their second game since July 4 at BC Place over the weekend. With a few teams in front of them sputtering at the moment, the Claret and Cobalt have an opportunity to jump into the top six if they beat Portland at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
17. ORLANDO CITY (9-12-7)
LAST WEEK: Won, 2-1, at D.C. United on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Atlanta United on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Lions got back on track with a needed win over D.C. United in Week 27, but pulling positives out of back-to-back trips to Atlanta and Portland will be a tough task.
18. D.C. UNITED (8-16-4)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-1, vs. Orlando City on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Chicago Fire on Saturday
OUTLOOK: D.C. United‘s winning streak was halted by Orlando City on Saturday night. There are now just two games left at RFK Stadium.
19. MINNESOTA UNITED (7-14-5)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, at Montreal Impact on Saturday
OUTLOOK: Adrian Heath’s side picked up a point at home to stay above the Rapids in the Western Conference basement. The Loons face a brutal two-game trek across Canada in Week 28, starting at BC Place on Wednesday.
20. LA GALAXY (7-14-6)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, at Seattle Sounders
THIS WEEK: vs. Toronto FC on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Galaxy continued to get results on the road by taking a point out of CenturyLink Field. They are now 5-6-2 on their travels compared to their 2-8-4 home record.
21. PHILADELPHIA UNION (8-12-8)
LAST WEEK: Tied, 1-1, at Minnesota United on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: The Union got out to an early lead in Minnesota, but could only come away with a draw. Now the focus has to shift toward seeing who should stick around for 2018.
22. COLORADO RAPIDS (7-16-4)
LAST WEEK: Won, 1-0. at Houston Dynamo on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. New York City FC on Saturday
OUTLOOK: The Rapids picked up their first win since July 1 by way of a late goal from Dominique Badji in Houston on Saturday. They’ll try to win consecutive games for the first time since June when NYCFC comes to town on Saturday.