New York City FC’s defense was on full display this week, picking up a pair of clean sheet victories over rivals New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.
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New England is as hard to read as they have been all season. The Revs came out horrendously flat at home against one of MLS’ worst sides in Seattle Sounders, limited to just one shot on target in a 0-0 draw. We would have removed them from our power rankings, however, their defense was very impressive.
SKC’s terrible run of form continues and they have dropped from first to third in the Western Conference standings in a matter of about a week and a half. If not for a pair of goals after the 85th minute to defeat Houston a few weeks ago, they would be without a win in five matches. Their latest 2-2 draw against struggling, albeit defending champions Toronto FC was not the worst match they have ever played. They need to bounce back in the coming weeks to prove they are amongst the MLS elite… and it will not be easy. SKC face off against New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas, Houston, LAFC, and Portland all in the next month.
Houston are finally turning into the team we thought we could be at the start of the season. They absolutely dismantled Minnesota United 3-0, and it could have been a lot worse for the Loons. They destroyed them on both ends of the pitch and are on the edge of a playoff berth with matches in hand.
We consider their 4-0 loss to LA Galaxy a fluke. A couple of rare defensive mistakes combined with a last-minute counter turned what should have been a 1-0 loss into a 4-0 loss. Columbus still equaled the Galaxy in shots and dominated possession, something they do every match. On to the next one.
First place in the Western Conference and sixth in our power rankings. Why? Inconsistency and close results. Seventh-place Houston Dynamo have a better goal differential than FCD, and their latest 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake has exposed the club’s lack of steady play once again.
Their performance against NYCFC was quite alarming. Despite losing 1-0, it was one of the Red Bulls’ worst performances of the year, against their rivals no less. However, it is understandable, given Jesse Marsch’s sudden departure.
One week after dropping three spots in our rankings, NYCFC used a pair of important performances to jump up into the fourth spot once again. A pair of clean sheet victories in four days is definitely a power move.
11 straight matches without a loss and 13 in all competitions. Wow. The Timbers were well in control of their last test against the San Jose Earthquakes, despite a 2-1 final scoreline. LAFC will have two chances to break the streak, on Sunday in MLS play followed by Wednesday in the US Open Cup. Both matches will be in LA.
What separates LAFC from Sporting KC and FC Dallas? Consistency. Not once have LAFC looked completely dominated on the pitch and are currently in the middle of a seven-match unbeaten streak in all competitions. If they can beat Portland this weekend, after defeating Orlando City 4-1 on Saturday, they will have a real shout at taking over our top spot.
Atlanta continue to occupy the top spot in our rankings following a well-deserved 2-0 road victory over Philadelphia in which they only allowed three shots on target. Atlanta should keep on rolling, with upcoming fixtures against Seattle, DC United and Montreal.