MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls stay top, Philly Union No. 2

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

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

So, who’s climbing the table? Who’s in free fall? We’ve ranked all 29 clubs in the league after Matchday 7. Let’s dive in.


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Previous ranking: 1

A reckless foul from Andres Reyes diminished New York to 10 men from the 42nd minute on. The league’s assist leader, Dante Vanzier, made way for another defender in the process. Despite that and with just 23% of the ball in the second half, they produced more quality chances than Chicago overall and came away with a 0-0 draw.

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Previous ranking: 2

Goes to Atlanta, plays before 42k+ fans, falls behind 2-0, finds a way to scrape back to a draw. Philly’s two goals — in the 73th and 77th minutes — ensure they’re still the only unbeaten team in MLS.

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Previous ranking: 3

Vancouver picked up their second loss of the season in a clash of the west’s top-ranked teams. After falling 3-1 to LA Galaxy at home thanks to two late goals from the Californians and a failure to finish their chances, they’ll test their mettle with a few interesting road games upcoming (Seattle, Red Bulls).

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Previous ranking: 4

Crew were held RSL to a 0-0 draw in Utah following a historic win in Mexico last week. It wasn’t their most notable performance of the year, but absent a few players (Cucho Hernandez was suspended due to a red card) and resting others, a point on the road against a strong team is solid for Week 9.

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Previous ranking: 6

In the first meeting of a clash recurring in two weeks, LAFC and Portland tied 2-2 in Portland with the Timbers down to 10 men. Tim Tillman had a late match-winner called off in a test that had LA looking extra threatening at the end.

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Previous ranking: 7

Limping back to league play after falling to Monterrey midweek in the Concacaf Champions Cup, Miami reasserted itself as Supporters Shield leaders before 72,610 fans at Arrowhead Stadium. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Diego Gomez all registered memorable goals and elite performances in the Herons first win since March 16.

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Lionel Messi unleashes stunning strike from distance for Inter Miami

Lionel Messi lines up a superb goal from over 25 yards out for Inter Miami.

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Previous ranking: 8

With home field advantage and a date with a Crew team that was rotating its squad, RSL may regret not making more of their eight shots on target. That said, a 0-0 draw with the reigning Champions is no reason to fret.

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Previous ranking: 9

Galaxy recovered from their El Trafico defeat to LAFC by taking points on the road from Vancouver, the west’s second-ranked team. After taking the initial lead, they let the Whitecaps equalize on a set piece — their seventh goal conceded from a set piece this season — but recovered minutes later to claim two more goals before the end. Their attack is ever-threatening: only Miami have scored more goals this season. But they desperately need set piece defending straightened out.

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Previous ranking: 10

Still without forward Giorgos Giaokoumakis, Atlanta let a 2-0 advantage slip for just the fifth time in club history. The Union are pesky visitors, but the hosts will rue letting this end 2-2. The Union’s first goal also came directly off the back of an egregious mistake.

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Previous ranking: 5

Last year’s Supporters Shield winners collected their second loss of the year in their second straight match without goalkeeper Roman Celentano. Alec Kann collected a few saves in his stead, but not enough to keep Josef Martinez from scoring his 107th goal in MLS and giving Montreal the win.

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Previous ranking: 12

With a squad missing key players through injury, Houston showed their mettle once more as they took three points on the road against Minnesota United. Steve Clark’s five saves and Sebastian Kowalczyck’s first career goal were key.

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Previous ranking: 11

D.C. continues to be a team whose underlying numbers portend an attack with the potential to score a lot more goals. Saturday seemed to be the day fate shifted, as Christian Benteke scored inside five minutes — his sixth goal of the season — and then assisted the hosts’ second-half goal. But twice Orlando clawed back, and Duncan McGuire’s elite stoppage time goal gave Orlando City all the points in the capital.

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Previous ranking: 16

Charlotte’s 3-2 victory at home was the latest gut check to Toronto’s early start to the season. Getting three goals past Sean Johnson account for a full quarter of the goals scored against TFC Toronto this year; they also account for a third of the goals Charlotte has scored in eight games so far this season.

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Previous ranking: 13

Minnesota created more quality chances than the scoreline reflects, as Franco Frangapane’s 70th minute equalizer from the bench was overshadowed seven minutes later by Houston in a biting home loss to the Dynamo.

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Previous ranking: 14

Peter Vermes’ side took the lead over Inter Miami in front of 72,610 fans at home at Arrowhead, but fumbled the advantage against a Miami side eager to show their elite talent as Messi & Co. nabbed their first MLS win in a month.

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Previous ranking: 18

Orlando has yet to fully deliver on expectations for their season as they’ve underperformed their attacking numbers — Saturday’s three-goal game vs. D.C. is nearly half their season total of seven — but that dramatic 3-2 win thanks to Duncan McGuire’s stoppage time finish could provide some wind beneath their sails.

Seattle Sounders logo

Previous ranking: 15

Seattle’s tepid start to ’24 continued with their third draw of the season. In a 0-0 meeting with FC Dallas, each side registered two shots on target and came away without any goals to show for it.

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Previous ranking: 17

A resounding 3-0 win against San Jose, one of the worst teams in the league, isn’t the toughest test they’ll face, but it does add continued momentum to a side showing ever more promise in attack.

St. Louis City SC logo

Previous ranking: 23

Last year’s ascendant debutantes have had a draw-heavy (five ties) year, but collected their second win in a 1-0 result against a struggling Austin FC.

CF Montreal logo

Previous ranking: 20

Josef Martinez came off the bench to score his 107th goal in MLS history (ninth-most all-time in Major League Soccer) for the decisive goal to beat last year’s Supporters Shield winners at home.

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Previous ranking: 26

After two hard fought draws in two straight weeks, NYCFC picked up a sorely needed second win of the season at home against the Revs. Remarkably, Saturday’s two goals account for two of their seven this year (only slightly underperforming their 9.3 expected).

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Previous ranking: 22

Evander was electric as Portland fought LA to a respectable 2-2 draw while down to ten men the majority of the match.

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Previous ranking: 19

Manager John Herdman came out swinging this season with last year’s wooden spoon winners, but things have started to slow down again as they picked up another loss this week. On the road in Charlotte, three goals conceded accounts for a quarter of their season total, and nearly half of the 7 scored on Sean Johnson (all seven of which came in the last two games as he returns from injury).

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Previous ranking: 24

After a gutting loss to Philly in Week 8, Nashville had a bye this weekend and will play Miami next.

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Previous ranking: 21

Despite playing a 10-man New York Red Bulls for more than half the game, Chicago came away with a 0-0 draw on the road. They held 77% of possession in the second half but managed 2 shots on target in that same 45, failing to outproduce the Red Bulls.

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Previous ranking: 25

Injuries put a serious damper on Dallas’ season and they’ve failed to recover just yet. They fought Seattle to a 0-0 draw registering just two shots on target marking their second 0-0 draw in two weeks.

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Previous ranking: 28

Austin picked up another loss in a 1-0 defeat to St. Louis that saw them fire off just two total shots and neither one of them on target.

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Previous ranking: 29

San Jose’s seventh loss of the year came against Colorado who put three goals past San Jose, bringing their goals against total to a whopping 20 this year.

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Previous ranking: 27

The Revolution nicked their first win of the year in a 1-0 victory last weekend, but followed up with a loss at 2-0 NYCFC this week. Nobody has scored fewer goals than the Revs this season, and they registered few real opportunities this match.