MLS Power Rankings: Philly continues to stumble

The Philadelphia Union may sit second in the Eastern Conference and third in the Supporters’ Shield race, but heading into this past weekend, Jim Curtin‘s team had won just once in its past eight games across all competitions. A draw in New England made it one win in nine.

While the Union continue to trip in the East, in the Western Conference, LAFC lead an ever-evolving field of contenders. Once again, the LA Galaxy have demonstrated that the Black and Gold’s biggest rival may come from the other side of Los Angeles, while FC Dallas now heads an unpredictable Texas triumvirate of threats including Austin FC and the Houston Dynamo.

With Week 13 in the books, Austin Lindberg and Dan Hajducky look at the results, break down where all 28 teams stand after a wild weekend of action and bring you the latest edition of the MLS Power Rankings.

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Previous ranking: 1

Next MLS match: June 18 at Seattle Sounders FC, 3 p.m. ET, ABC

Brian Rodriguez notched a goal and an assist in LAFC’s closely contested, and endlessly entertaining, 3-2 win over San Jose on Saturday, matching his season total through his previous eight appearances. Steve Cherundolo needs more performances like this weekend’s from the Young DP if the Uruguay international is to justify his standing in Los Angeles. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 2

Next MLS match: June 19 vs. Colorado Rapids, 5 p.m. ET

The Bronx Blues have continued their torrid form en route to a league-best plus-15 goal differential atop the East. They’ve posted six straight league shutouts, to boot; in fact, the only goal allowed across all competitions in May was a first-half stoppage-time tap-in against Rochester in the Open Cup in front of 1,000 fans. No one has more shots on goal or allowed fewer goals than NYCFC; they also haven’t dropped a single point once establishing a lead. They continue to be the East’s most fearsome force. Worth mentioning, too, that Sean Johnson has an MLS-high eight clean sheets and is T-4th in goals prevented. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 6

Next MLS match: June 18 vs. Portland Timbers, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN

Are the Galaxy really the second-best team in the West? Maybe not, but when you trounce a conference-contending side like Austin 4-1 and get goals from the likes of Mexico stars Javier Hernandez and Efrain Alvarez, you get noticed. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 3

Next MLS match: June 18 vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET

Despite an MLS-high seven draws, Philly still hovers around the top of the East, the lone loss on its resume a mid-April defeat courtesy of Toronto up north. Andre Blake & Co. have only surrendered 10 goals in 14 games, tied for the fewest across the league, but they’re languishing in a few key offensive categories: shots (163, T-18th) and conversion percentage (11.7%; 12th). The Union will be fine — they haven’t finished lower than third in the East since 2018 — but with 58% of their total goals coming from Daniel Gazdag and Julian Carranza, there’s desire for more offensive firepower in Chester. — Hajducky



Mikkel Uhre goal 77th minute New England Revolution 1-1 Philadelphia Union

Previous ranking: 5

Next MLS match: June 11 vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 6 p.m. ET

Is there a more efficient team in MLS than Nashville? Gary Smith’s side created just five scoring chances Saturday in Colorado; it converted three of them en route to a 3-1 win. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 10

Next MLS match: June 18 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 9 p.m. ET

With a brace in Dallas’ 3-1 win in Orlando, Paul Arriola now has seven goals on the season. That’s tied for the most he’s ever scored in an entire campaign, achieved in just 1,070 minutes, and is fourth-most in MLS in 2022. And if that wasn’t enough, FCD also boasts Jesus Ferreira, who leads the league in goal scoring and assisted on two of the tallies in central Florida. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 7

Next MLS match: June 11 at Charlotte FC, 3 p.m. ET, ABC

Sure, New York’s 4-1 drubbing this weekend was over D.C. United, but there were some stunners. (Seriously, Lewis Morgan’s volley may never get stale.) The trademark stingy Red Bulls defense is, as always, ever-present (15 goals allowed, T-4th in MLS) but there’s a renewed offensive force in Harrison. Across 2020 and 2021, they scored 68 goals combined; thus far, they’ve tallied 24 with 20 matches to play. They’re also the best road team in the MLS at 5-1-1. The Red Bulls haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs since 2018; it certainly feels like the pieces are there to buck that trend in 2022. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 9

Next MLS match: Saturday at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

After comprehensively beating Houston 3-0, RSL have played opponents in playoff positions in each of their past five games and earned wins in all of them barring a 2-0 defeat at Nashville’s brand-new GEODIS Park. This is a battle-tested group building the grit necessary for a postseason push. — Lindberg



Real Salt Lake takes a 3-0 lead thanks to Justen Glad’s diving effort to head home the goal.

Previous ranking: 11

Next MLS match: June 18 vs. Austin FC, 7:30 p.m. ET

Sure, I could note that Montreal looks to be on pace for its best MLS season since joining a decade ago, that it’s scored 28 goals (T-2nd in MLS) in 14 matches and that in a stretch from late April to mid-May, it tied Philadelphia, then beat Atlanta, Orlando City and Charlotte in quick succession. But instead, I can only muster woe over another poorly timed injury ahead of the World Cup: MVP contender Djordje Mihailovic exited last week and, pending MRI results, could miss USMNT camp while hoping to compete ahead of Qatar. Montreal looks promising; let’s hope, for its sake, Mihailovic’s results are, too. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 4

Next MLS match: June 18 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m. ET

Austin has the second-most goals in MLS and the league’s third-leading goal scorer in Sebastian Driussi, yet Los Verde are averaging just 1.2 goals per game in their past five, including a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the Galaxy in Southern California. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 8

Next MLS match: June 15 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. ET

Orlando City continues to be tough to pin down: After outlasting Toronto, it tied Austin and then got steamrolled by FC Dallas… OK, sorry, by Paul Arriola. The culprit? Oscar Pareja’s squad is far from a second-half team, with an MLS-worst minus-8 goal differential and one of the weaker home sides in MLS, taking only nine points from seven at Exploria Stadium (league-low minus-4 goal differential). But it’s still in fifth in the East. If the Lions can finish games stronger — and capitalize off a fervent Orlando fan base — they can last. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 12

Next MLS match: June 18 at Orlando City, 7:30 p.m. ET

The past two weeks perfectly encapsulate Houston’s season to this point: beat Nashville 2-0, lose to Seattle 1-0, beat the Galaxy 3-0, lose to RSL 3-0. When you consider there was a 2-1 U.S. Open Cup defeat to Sporting KC squeezed in there, it’s little surprise to learn that the Dynamo are one of four teams in the league to have a neutral goal differential. — Lindberg



Alexander Callens gets his head to the corner kick and puts it past the keeper to take the 1-0 lead.

Previous ranking: 13

Next MLS match: June 19 at New England Revolution, 8 p.m. ET

Averaging a goal a game in their previous seven, Minnesota started the Saturday night contest vs. NYCFC with two DP forwards on the bench and were held scoreless for the third time in eight games in a 1-0 defeat. Those DPs, Luis Amarilla and Adrien Hunou, have combined for just two goals in 882 minutes of MLS action this season. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 14

Next MLS match: June 19 at New York City FC, 5 p.m. ET

For the fifth time in six games, the Rapids were held to a goal or fewer in a 3-1 defeat to Nashville. After trading for Gyasi Zardes last month and sending Andre Shinyashiki to Charlotte earlier in May, Colorado is effectively down $75,000 in general allocation money and has seen its former forward outpace his replacement three goals to one across all competitions. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 17

Next MLS match: June 12 at Sporting Kansas City, 3 p.m. ET, ABC

The Revs are showing signs that their record-setting 2021 form hasn’t escaped them. They were unbeaten in May MLS play, tying Philly, Atlanta and Columbus while shellacking Cincinnati twice. The return of Matt Turner has been crucial and the offense has been methodical. (And a little outlandish, evidenced by Adam Buksa’s outrageous backheel against Cincy.) In May, 76.4% of New England’s shots were inside the box, third-most in the league; the Revs also only allowed an astounding 12 shots on goal all May. That’s a recipe for success. They shouldn’t be brooding in the Eastern Conference basement much longer. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 15

Next MLS match: June 19 vs. Inter Miami CF, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Atlanta United league results since April 10: one win, five losses, three ties. “We’re just not paying attention to those little details,” head coach Gonzalo Pineda said after a 2-1 loss to Columbus over the weekend. Injuries — the headline of the Five Stripes’ season — still mount, too, with left-back Ronald Hernandez exiting early, but Atlanta finally got Josef Martinez back. Dom Dwyer looks rejuvenated, with stoppage-time goals in each of Atlanta’s past two matches. It still leads the entire league in chances created (160) and passing percentage (85.3%), but can’t seem to convert (9.6%) and is third to last in goals prevented (-2.82), too. — Hajducky



Erik Hurtado nets the goal in the 45th minute to give the Crew a 2-0 lead.

Previous ranking: 19

Next MLS match: June 14 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Goals from Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz saw Seattle sneak past Charlotte on Sunday night. Since winning the CONCACAF Champions League, the Sounders have played five times in MLS and scored six goals, all coming from Morris, Ruidiaz, Cristian Roldan and Nicolas Lodeiro. With that kind of steady production from its biggest names, it’s not hard to see Seattle climbing out of its early-season hole and making the playoffs for a 14th straight season. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 18

Next MLS match: June 18 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET

Cincinnati is an all-or-nothing side for the ages: six wins, seven losses, one draw. It’s also one of only four MLS teams with four-plus away wins. It’ll edge Minnesota one week, then lose 5-1 to New England the next. Will the Cincinnati that’s last in MLS in shooting goals added show up, or the one that’s in the top two in both tackles and successful duels away from home? It’s sixth in the East, largely due to the prowess of attackers Brandon Vazquez and Luciano Acosta, who have scored 57% of Cincy’s total goals. It’s anyone’s guess where this team goes from here. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 21

Next MLS match: June 19 at Atlanta United p.m. ET, ESPN2

Inter Miami has been impressive since April 9: third in MLS in shooting goals added and tied for third in goals allowed (while facing the most crosses in the league, 32 more than any other team). In that span, the team went 5-2-2 (17 points, third-best in MLS), beating Portland, the New York Red Bulls and Seattle and tying Philadelphia. As Lindberg wrote last week, “There’s the beginnings of a foundation emerging in South Florida.” Hear, hear. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 16

Next MLS match: June 18 at LA Galaxy, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN

Bill Tuiloma scored his fifth goal of the season in Portland’s 2-1 loss at the hands of Inter Miami on Saturday. The holding midfielder now has five goals on the year, most on the team, which goes some way to explaining why the Timbers have scored more than one goal just four times in their 15 games this term. — Lindberg



Sergio Santos heads home the goal to give the Union a 2-0 lead in the 48th minute.

Previous ranking: 22

Next MLS match: June 18 vs. Charlotte FC, 7:30 p.m. ET

It’s been a tough month for the Crew, having to play the East-leading NYCFC and West-leading LAFC in back-to-back weeks. Over the weekend, keeper Eloy Room — in what might be the goalkeeping performance of the season — made eight saves en route to a crucial 2-1 victory over Atlanta (without star Lucas Zelarayan), including a full-stretch turn away on an upper-90 rocket off the boot of Alan Franco in the 95th. Since losing 2-1 to Detroit City in the Open Cup in mid-April, they’ve only won two of six matches and sit in ninth in the East. With Charlotte coming into town after the international break, that should change. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 20

Next MLS match: June 11 vs. New York Red Bulls, 3 p.m. ET, ABC

I’ll cop to a bias on enjoying Andre Shinyashiki’s emergence with Charlotte: Two goals in four matches since the trade from Colorado will do just fine for the Brazilian All-American out of the University of Denver. Charlotte, however, continues to struggle on the road — one of only two winless away teams in the East, managing only four goals in seven matches away from Bank of America Stadium. At home, it’s still one of the league’s best, especially goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina, who’s prevented the second-most goals at home this season. Charlotte clearly needs to score more often (13 goals, tied-fewest in MLS) and balance the home-away scales, but 14 games into its first MLS season, eighth place in the conference isn’t all that bad. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 23

Next MLS match: June 18 at New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. ET

Toronto finally got a win over the weekend, its first since April 16. It was against Chicago, who wield the league’s worst record, but you won’t hear Bob Bradley’s men complaining. Toronto concedes often, T-2nd in the league in total goals allowed, and was held scoreless in May until the 36th minute against D.C. United on May 21. The good news? Alejandro Pozuelo looks determined to reclaim his earlier MLS form just in time for MLS-record signing Lorenzo Insigne to arrive in a month. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 26

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Vancouver was out-possessed and out-shot in Kansas City, yet the ‘Caps still emerged with a 1-0 win Saturday and held the expected goals (xG) edge, too. — Lindberg



Lucas Cavallini tallies the penalty in the 24th minute to put the Whitecaps on the board first.

Previous ranking: 25

Next MLS match: June 11 at Nashville SC, 6 p.m. ET

The Quakes fell 3-2 at LAFC, but at least this team gives its fans reason to tune in. Games involving San Jose have averaged 4.07 goals scored this season, which is considerably more exciting than the average 2.80 goals scored across all MLS games in 2022. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 24

Next MLS match: June 18 vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. ET

Listen, I’m a sucker for a stingy, relentless defense, OK? That being said, Chicago’s goal-mouth fortitude has crumbled (13 goals allowed in May) and I regret the lauding. To err is human and all that. The Fire are an increasingly tough weekly watch; no MLS side has managed fewer points or scored fewer goals — especially troubling considering Xherdan Shaqiri’s MLS-high $8.15 million salary. Shaqiri has created the fifth-most chances in the league this season, but eked out only three goals on seven shots on target. Kacper Przybylko (three goals in 2022), who tallied the third-most MLS goals from April 2019 to the start of the 2022 season, has also only managed eight shots on target. They’ve combined for three goals since the beginning of April. That won’t do. — Hajducky

Previous ranking: 27

Next MLS match: June 12 vs. New England Revolution, 3 p.m. ET, ABC

A 1-0 defeat to fellow cellar dwellers will sting a Sporting KC team that surely is now coming to terms that the bottom of the Western Conference is likely where it will remain throughout 2022. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 28

Next MLS match: June 18 at Chicago Fire, 8 p.m. ET

D.C. hasn’t won in any competition since May 7. In fact, after starting the 2022 season with two straight wins, it’s been MLS’ worst team, taking eight points from 11 matches. In that span, only Sporting KC have a worse goal differential (minus-12) than United’s minus-10. It’s a tough time for The District. — Hajducky

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