MLS Power Rankings: Union charge up, Minnesota disappoint

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 6. Let’s dive in.


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Previous ranking: 1

The Crew picked up their first loss last week and a second draw of the season this weekend (with an absent Cucho Hernández for reasons that remain internal), but the underlying numbers still point to a team that warrants our most hopeful estimation.

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Previous ranking: 2

Charlotte’s goal from the penalty spot marked just the third goal allowed for Pat Noonan’s FC Cincinnati side this season. Only Toronto has kept more clean sheets, and nobody has allowed fewer goals in 2024. In part, they have Roman Celentano to thank, who’s saved 19 of 22 shots on target. But Cincinnati has limited the number of shots the opposition earned as well — only seven clubs have allowed fewer shots fired on frame. DeAndre Yedlin‘s transition to Ohio has been smooth; his stoppage time assist for Aaron Boupendza was pivotal in earning their three points.

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Previous ranking: 3

Lewis Morgan continues his blistering pace of goals, following last week’s hat-trick with a 21st minute goal against Orlando to stay top of the Golden Boot race. Unfortunately, an own goal in the 89th minute and a few key chances missed kept NYRB from the full three points in Orlando.

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Previous ranking: 7

Worries of a stagnating season seem to be receding for Jim Curtin’s Union, who remain one of just three teams undefeated. The Union absconded from Portland with a 3-1 win on the road with half of their starting XI absent last week. They followed with a resounding 2-0 defeat of Minnesota United at home. Their non-penalty xG (8.2) is the sixth highest in the league (with fewer matches played than most teams), and only Inter Miami and LA Galaxy have scored more goals.

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Previous ranking: 4

With the longest injury report of the matchday (including marquee star Leo Messi), the Herons took a point on the road from a struggling NYCFC side thanks to a goal from Luis Suárez (the team’s top scorer, one goal shy of the aforementioned Morgan’s golden boot-leading perch). Were it not for Matt Freese‘s five-save performance they likely would have taken more.

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Inter Miami and NYCFC play to a 1-1 draw

Inter Miami gets a goal from Luis Suarez, but can’t find a second as they draw 1-1 with NYCFC.

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Previous ranking: 6

Only Miami has accrued more total goals than LA’s 13, and the Herons have played one more game than a Galaxy side that’s firing on all cylinders. Gabriel Pec‘s fourth-minute goal was enough to put away Seattle as the Galaxy prepare for El Trafico next week.

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Gabriel Pec scores goal for LA Galaxy

Gabriel Pec scores goal for LA Galaxy

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Previous ranking: 9

Chicho Arango deserves accolades as the most impactful MLS player of the week, as the Designated Player took over the game in the 70th minute, scoring a hat trick to win 3-1 after trailing all game.

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Previous ranking: 11

Atlanta bounced back from their loss to Toronto with a 3-0 rout of Chicago at home with Thiago Almada back in the squad. Giorgos Giakoumakis‘ fifth goal of the year opened things up but Jamal Thiaré came off the bench with a bang, subbing in for the likely MVP candidate Giakoumakis, and scored two goals on his birthday to mark his first tallies in MLS.

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Jamal Thiare doubles Atlanta United’s lead with a nice header

Jamal Thiare heads home the goal to give Atlanta United a 2-0 lead.

Houston Dynamo logo

Previous ranking: 12

Still absent key players to injury (including Héctor Herrera and Nelson Quiñónes) the Dynamo picked up their third straight win with a 2-1 defeat of San Jose. True to form, they held 82% of the ball and completed 748 passes, as among the teams with the highest pass percentages in the league.

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Previous ranking: 15

Vancouver don’t need more of the ball to produce higher-quality opportunities, and so it was in Canada this weekend as they overcame Portland 3-2 at home. Fafà Picault‘s impact was felt all over the match, with a 29th minute golazo and 87th minute game-winning assist.

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Previous ranking: 5

LAFC fumbled an early lead in Colorado as they failed to limit Djordje Mihailovic in a two-goal and one-assist breakout match. Not the momentum they were looking for as they prepare for El Trafico next week. They’ve been a bit unlucky this season, but they’re under pressure to turn it around with a few tough games ahead.

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Previous ranking: 16

Charlotte’s home crowd atmosphere has been among the best in the league since their entry, and home-field advantage helped collect a draw against FC Cincinnati. Djibril Diani‘s goal from the penalty spot marks just the third slotted past Cincy’s Roman Celentano this season.

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Previous ranking: 14

In many ways, D.C. has been unlucky this season. Only Orlando is underperforming their xG by a larger margin than United, though they clinched a 1-0 victory at home over a talented Montreal side this weekend.

Minnesota United logo

Previous ranking: 8

Minnesota picked up their first loss of the year as they visited Philadelphia, failing to respond in a 2-0 defeat as Philly took an early 16th minute lead. In their defense, Philly is tough to play at home, and perhaps the bye last weekend gave pause to their momentum.

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Previous ranking: 13

Held off in the first half by John Herdman’s injury-riddled Toronto, Rémi Walter opened up the floodgates in the 57th minute with a shot from way out on the counter, making a big mark in his 100th MLS appearance. Seven or so minutes later, Jacob Davis from way out made it two, and Alenis Vargas‘ first MLS goal made it three.

CF Montreal logo

Previous ranking: 10

Montreal fell just short of a point in D.C. as an 84th minute match-winner handed the home side the victory after a testy, back-and-forth match that saw Montreal with more of the ball but fewer quality chances on the night.

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Previous ranking: 20

John Herdman had his squad looking fierce in their first few matches, but they’ll battle myriad injuries to essential players (including Lorenzo Insigne and Sean Johnson) as they move on. Six saves from Toronto’s backup keeper, Luka Gavran, wasn’t enough to stop SKC from making use of every chance they had in a 3-1 defeat for the visitors (accounting for three of five goals allowed from Toronto this season). Silver Lining: Jonathan Osorio is back and scored in stoppage time to pull one back.

Orlando City logo

Previous ranking: 17

The team some thought might challenge for a top finish in the east is struggling slightly to start the season. They were lucky to collect a point at home against NYRB thanks to a late own goal from the opposition. Nobody in the league is underperforming their xG to a wider margin than Orlando, though, so perhaps there’s time to progress to the mean.

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Previous ranking: 26

Colorado picked up their second win of the year and their first victory at home as they came from behind to defeat LAFC 3-2. This game will go down as Mihailovic’s much-needed breakout match, as he collected a brace and an assist, playing a crucial part in all three goals for the Rapids to mark his first goal contributions of the year.

St. Louis City SC logo

Previous ranking: 18

Last year’s star debutantes have been heavy on the draws (four) to start their season but picked up their first loss against RSL as Arango went on a hat-trick tear.

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Previous ranking: 24

Nashville might be disappointed as they were on track to collect three points from Columbus before Marino Hinestroza‘s 79th minute equalizer, but solace should be found in a strong performance that limited last year’s champions. Aníbal Godoy‘s wonder-goal to give them an early 2-1 lead will surely be on season-ending highlight reels.

Seattle Sounders logo

Previous ranking: 22

After a rainy visit to Southern California where the Sounders fell 1-0 to LA Galaxy, Seattle has still yet to win a game this season. It was a close game against a league leader where you produced (but failed to put away) a few quality chances.

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Previous ranking: 19

Portland’s Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau returned to his former club in Vancouver and struggled before a hostile crowd of his former fans. Portland clawed back a few goals in the second half after falling behind 2-0 early, but it wasn’t enough as they conceded one more.

Chicago Fire logo

Previous ranking: 23

Chicago are tied with San Jose for allowing the most goals this season, with three of them coming as the Fire finished with ten men in the 3-0 defeat to Atlanta.

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Previous ranking: 21

Injury woes have been cruel to FC Dallas, as heartbreak for Paxton Pomykal saw them lose yet more talent ahead of the Texas Derby. They scored first but fumbled the lead and fell 2-1 to Austin, as a team with 10 goals allowed has responded with just six of their own, possessing the lowest total xG in the league.

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Previous ranking: 25

A five-save performance from Freese helped scrape a point (their fourth point from six games) from a Messi-less Miami, limiting their goal tally to one (Suarez) despite a 2.48 xG. At the other end, Alonso Martinez scored his first goal in his first start to draw level in the first half.

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Previous ranking: 27

San Jose scored first but couldn’t hold on (again) as they went down to 10 men early and nine men by the end, in a match that not even William Yarbrough‘s six-save performance could salvage a point from.

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Previous ranking: 28

The Revs had the weekend off as they prepare for Concacaf Champions Cup this week.

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Previous ranking: 29

Austin picked up an essential win at home in the Texas Derby to mark their first victory of the season, but have yet to find a stride. The only team with a lower xG than them is Dallas, the team they beat, and they’ve conceded nine goals of their own at the other end.