MLS Power Rankings: LAFC top as White, Thiaré score golazos

It’s Monday, and another week of MLS action is in the books, which means it’s time for ESPN’s Power Rankings.

Our Power Rankings are derived from a combination of key season statistics (points per game, goal differential, expected goal differential), recent performance, the Opta computer ratings, and the observations of our writers.

Who’s climbing the table? Who’s in free fall? We’ve ranked all 29 clubs in the league. Let’s dive in.


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Previous ranking: 1

The Black and Gold train kept chugging along with a 3-0 win over the Rapids to make it nine in a row unbeaten. Mateusz Bogusz notched a hat trick and with those early season concerns about their goal-scoring long forgotten, LAFC are in just the right form to take on the Galaxy this week.

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Previous ranking: 2

It didn’t matter how many guys Inter were playing in the Copa America, because they had Jordi Albi hitting a rocket from 20 yards as they won in Nashville, 2-1. They just keep racking up points while short-handed, once again proving that this team has depth to go along with their star power.

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Previous ranking: 3

The Crew spotted the Revs a goal before ripping off five straight for their sixth win in their last seven games. We’ll see how they look without Aidan Morris going forward, but they fared just fine in their first game without the midfielder. Doubt Wilfried Nancy and Co. at your peril.

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Previous ranking: 4

The Galaxy were flying without Riqui Puig, so when they added their superstar back to the mix this weekend, they were predictably unstoppable. They routed their old rivals San Jose, setting the stage for the much-anticipated clash with their newer rivals LAFC.

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Previous ranking: 5

Real Salt Lake had a well-timed bye week with a two-match week on tap.

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Previous ranking: 7

No Miles Robinson. No Matt Miazga. No Obinna Nwobodo. That should have been a death knell for the Cincy defense, but instead they went down to Dallas and put up a clean sheet to pick up the victory. Everybody knows Pat Noonan is one of the best managers in the league and yet he continues to find new ways to impress us.

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Previous ranking: 6

As a good team that has been especially excellent at home this season, you’d expect RBNY to beat D.C. at Red Bull Arena. That’s doubly true after getting to play 70 minutes up a man. So walking away with a 2-2 draw is very disappointing, but getting a result out of one of your sloppier performances of the season isn’t too bad.

Houston Dynamo logo

Previous ranking: 10

Houston did a good job controlling the game against Charlotte en route to a 1-0 win with new signing Ezequiel Ponce watching on for the first time. If he gives them the type of top-end match-winner that they think he can be on top of the reliable, solid performances they’re already putting in, the Dynamo have a recipe for playoff success.

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Previous ranking: 11

The Pigeons put their recent losing streak behind them with an emphatic 4-2 win over Orlando. It was a good reminder of how good this team can be when they’re at their best and, much to the delight of NYCFC fans’ hearts, they didn’t wait until late to kick on this time with three goals before the break.

Seattle Sounders logo

Previous ranking: 12

Seattle has been racking up points for two months now and, while they are only up to ninth in the West, their 2-1 win over Chicago has them just three points back of fourth place. The Sounders dug themselves quite the hole to begin the season, but they’ve been playing some good soccer and are nearly back on stable ground.

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Previous ranking: 8

Charlotte had done a good job in recent weeks generating chances while they wait on summer signings to hopefully supercharge the attack, but that ended in a 1-0 loss to Houston. They just didn’t have enough juice on the ball against a well-organized team.

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Previous ranking: 9

There’s no shame in losing to LAFC, especially on the road, but it was a little concerning just how little the Rapids challenged the West’s top team even before Kévin Cabral’s red card.

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Previous ranking: 13

The Timbers haven’t lost since May 18 and the confidence borne of such a good run of form showed on Saturday. They took two early blows, falling behind Minnesota 2-0, but they never flinched. A goal just before half-time steadied things before two more goals won it for them in dramatic fashion. Fittingly, it was Dairon Asprilla in his final match for Portland who delivered the assist on the stoppage time winner, keeping the good times rolling for this reborn Timbers team.

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Previous ranking: 16

The Whitecaps beat St. Louis, 4-3. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way we can focus on the only thing that mattered from the game; Brian White surely winning Goal of the Year.

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Brian White’s incredible hat trick fuels Vancouver to victory

Brian White nets three incredible goals as Vancouver comes from behind for a 4-3 win over St. Louis CITY SC.

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Previous ranking: 15

The Five Stripes were the better team on Saturday so it’s not really fair to say they stole a win against Toronto, but when you score by sneaking up front behind the goalkeeper for an all-time hilarious stoppage time winner, well, you kind of stole the win. With Thiago Almada and maybe Caleb Wiley joining Giorgos Giakoumakis on the way out, it was a big three points for a team that will probably be short-handed until they can get some signings in.

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Previous ranking: 14

The schedule makers gave the Coyotes a good chance to take some points off of a short-handed Miami team at home and they started brightly, putting themselves in a great position to pick up a good win. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn their good play early on into a goal so, by the time Inter found their footing, Nashville were on their way to defeat.

Minnesota United logo

Previous ranking: 17

The Loons looked well on their way to a big away win with a 2-0 lead as half-time approached in Portland, but a silly penalty just before the break cut their lead in half and things unraveled from there. A 3-2 loss isn’t the worst result at Providence Park, but knowing how much work they did to put themselves in position to win and having nothing to show for it will hurt.

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Previous ranking: 22

D.C. went away to the Red Bulls, got a harsh whistle, played 70 minutes down a man and still walked away with a 2-2 draw. That’s one hell of a result. Oh, and they did it without the suspended Christian Benteke.

Orlando City logo

Previous ranking: 18

The Lions were bad in almost every facet of their 4-2 defeat to NYCFC and had the added hurt of losing Mason Stajduhar to injury. They made things look more respectable late on, but they had pretty much lost this one by half-time. Orlando now has just one win in their last seven and they better get things figured out soon or they will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2019.

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Previous ranking: 24

The Reds went down to Atlanta. They fought and scrapped and clawed. They got into stoppage time at 1-1 and were going to scrape a well-earned point. Well, that is until Luka Gavran didn’t realize Thiaré was standing behind him and they conceded a last-gasp goal that was equal parts heartbreaking and embarrassing.

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Jamal Thiaré sneakily steals ball from goalie for late Atlanta winner

Jamal Thiare robs the Toronto goalie to tap in an easy winning goal in the 97th minute for Atlanta United FC vs. Toronto FC.

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Previous ranking: 23

It’s always going to be tough for Dallas to create much with Jesús Ferreira out and Petar Musa coming off the bench, but they did manage their fair share of chances against a depleted Cincy defense. Unfortunately, few of them were on goal and none found the back of the net as they fell at home, 1-0.

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Previous ranking: 19

The Union gave up a goal in the 89th minute and another three minutes later to lose in Montréal, 4-2. They’ve now lost four in a row and haven’t won since May 18. They are closer to last place in the East than they are a playoff place. It’s all bad in Philadelphia and, while it’s entirely reasonable to believe Jim Curtin and the rest of the club will get things straightened out eventually, it’s impossible to ignore what is right in front of us. This is a bad team right now.

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Previous ranking: 20

The Revs’ four-match winning streak was no fluke, with all four wins coming against good teams, but the Crew proved to be a step too far. New England were ravaged, 5-1, at home. Now let’s see if the previous good run of form was the start of a real turnaround and this loss was a blip, or if the winning streak was the blip.

CF Montreal logo

Previous ranking: 27

Montréal got back on the smiling side of the scoreboard with a 4-2 win over Philly and they made sure it was dramatic too. They scored twice after the 88th minute to win it to give them six results from their last seven matches. Then again, they only have two wins from their last seven, so it’s a real glass half-full or half-empty situation.

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Previous ranking: 21

Austin were probably happy to see Sporting KC after a tough stretch of games, but that just made it so much worse when they lost to one of the league’s worst teams, 2-0.

St. Louis City SC logo

Previous ranking: 25

Injuries are really taking their toll on St. Louis and nobody would fault them for losing in Vancouver short-handed, but blowing a two-goal lead still has to sting.

Chicago Fire logo

Previous ranking: 26

Maren Haile-Selassie‘s goal was a work of art and was worthy of at least a point, if not three. Unfortunately, the Fire couldn’t deliver anything in a 2-1 loss to Seattle.

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Previous ranking: 28

With Peter Vermes under fire and Mike Burns hired as sporting director to try to keep the regime in place, SKC delivered one of their better performances of the season in beating Austin, 2-0.

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Previous ranking: 29

The Quakes may have been hoping for a new manager bump at their Stanford Stadium game after firing Luchi Gonzalez, but it didn’t come. The Galaxy crushed them, 3-0.