The playoff race is quickly coming to a close as four teams in either conference have officially been mathematically eliminated. With several teams also ensuring their spots in the postseason, the fates of only a handful of teams remain in the balance as the 2018 regular season draws to a close.
The New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United continue to remain in lock step for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield, but FC Dallas has opened up some space over Sporting Kansas City for the West crown.
See how all of last week’s action affected this week’s Power Rankings:
1. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 1)
The Red Bulls kept pace with Atlanta United with a victory over the San Jose Earthquakes. New York overwhelmed the Quakes on the road with Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring his 20th of the campaign and Alex Muyl and Aaron Long also getting in on the action.
2. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 2)
Seattle scored goals for fun as the Sounders notched their 11th victory in 13 matches. The 4-1 win gives the Rave Green a four-point cushion in fifth place and also provides the club with a golden opportunity to jump arch-rivals Portland.
3. Atlanta United (Last Week: 3)
Miguel Almiron is scheduled to miss the final stages of the regular season, which throws a wrench into the Supporters’ Shield race. Atlanta managed to see off the New England Revolution without their keystone, but all eyes will be on the Five Stripes to see if they stumble on the run-in.
4. FC Dallas (Last Week: 4)
Dallas took care of business against an Orlando City side that looked obviously already eliminated in the second half. The Hoops carved the Lions apart for the opener before adding the nail in the coffin courtesy of Victor Ulloa. Dallas now has a four-point cushion at the top of the West.
5. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 6)
The Union had an opportunity to move up in the East standings and they took it. Minnesota United didn’t know what hit it as Philadelphia took a 4-0 lead into halftime. Fafa Picault scored twice and three other players chipped in as Philly DOOPed its way to a potential home playoff match.
6. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 5)
Johnny Russell saved the day for SKC with his curler in the 83rd minute. Sporting had by far been the better side on the evening but, thanks to a penalty, nearly saw all three points slip away at home. Russell’s strike meant the home team kept a point even if they dropped to second in the West.
7. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 7)
The Timbers got back in the scoring groove, piling it on Real Salt Lake in the second half. Sebastian Blanco led the charge as Portland got all three points and vaulted to the fourth spot in the West.
8. D.C. United (Last Week: 9)
Wayne Rooney magic was at it again in D.C. The Englishman bagged a second-half brace — the second from the spot — to lift United to a 2-1 victory over Chicago. D.C. seems to be the favorite to unseat Montreal from its current playoff spot with two games in hand and just a two-point disadvantage.
9. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 10)
LAFC sealed its first playoff berth emphatically, trouncing the Colorado Rapids, 3-0. Bob Bradley’s side may be the deadliest team on set pieces in the league as Walker Zimmerman scored yet again. Adama Diomande got back into dominating scoring form as well, adding a brace for good measure.
10. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 11)
The Galaxy tried to hold on for dear life after Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Los Angeles the lead from the spot early on. Unfortunately with 34 shots and eight saves by David Bingham, the LA defense broke and dropped two points. Luckily with RSL’s loss, the Galaxy still gained ground on the final playoff spot in the West.
11. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 12)
Kei Kamara dealt the death blow to Toronto after Russell Teibert got things started early. Things looked a little hazy for the Caps after Doneil Henry was called for a hand ball and allowed TFC to equalize. But in the end, there’s still hope for Vancouver to make the postseason.
12. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 8)
Try as they might, the Crew just could not find the back of the net. Columbus took 14 shots and forced Evan Bush into a staggering nine saves but was left scoreless on the afternoon. Combined with poor defending, it was a frustrating afternoon for the away side.
13. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 20)
On the brink of dropping below the red line, Montreal responded emphatically. Bush stood on his head in goal, denying every Crew opportunity while the offense responded in kind, slotting three past Zack Steffen. The Impact are still at the mercy of D.C. United, but they’re going down swinging.
14. New York City FC (Last Week: 16)
NYCFC had the weekend off.
15. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 14)
Hope was fleeting for RSL after Jefferson Savarino’s masterful strike drew his side level near the hour mark. But Salt Lake crumbled in the final minutes, allowing three goals down the stretch and keeping the club in the danger zone above the red line.
16. Toronto FC (Last Week: 15)
Any hope of a miracle run is over for TFC after losing to Vancouver. Even a man down, Toronto found a way to equalize late on via Jozy Altidore’s penalty but couldn’t stop Kei Kamara from taking the victory just five minutes later.
17. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 17)
It was agony for Chicago in D.C. as the Fire let a result slip through their grasp. Aleksandar Katai and Raheem Edwards made the United defense look foolish to take the lead in the second half but allowed Rooney to equalize just 10 minutes later. A clumsy challenge from Johan Kappelhof in the penalty area sealed their fate, giving Rooney a spot kick and all three points.
18. Minnesota United (Last Week: 13)
Defense was not on offer for the Loons against Philadelphia. Down 4-0 at the half thanks to some shambolic defending, the Union mercifully took their foot off the gas and only scored once in the second half. Playoffs are once again out of reach for Adrian Heath and the Loons.
19. New England Revolution (Last Week: 19)
New England isn’t hanging on to much more than hope after a decisive loss in Atlanta. Juan Agudelo’s goal at the death made the score look closer than the match actually was. The Revs now have one win in their last 14 matches.
20. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 18)
The Dynamo were dumped out of the playoffs in unceremonious fashion by the Sounders. Barely a half hour had gone by and the Houston defense had already allowed two goals, to be matched by two more in the second half. After a promising start to the year, the long, slow descent is finally over.
21. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 21)
The news of Matias Almeyda taking charge in the Bay Area probably means Earthquakes faithful don’t mind too much that they were beaten soundly by the Red Bulls over the weekend. Even if the present is dull in San Jose, there’s suddenly some excitement for the future.
22. Orlando City (Last Week: 22)
Orlando looked solid for the first 45 minutes, nearly beating Jesse Gonzalez a pair of times before collapsing in the second half. At this stage, results are secondary for the Lions, but that doesn’t mean points wouldn’t be welcomed in Central Florida.
23. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 23)
In unsurprising fashion, the Rapids were blown to smithereens by LAFC. Just one shot on target from a tough angle is almost never going to be enough for a result, but that’s what you get when you trade your lone goal scorer to Dallas.