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The Mane Land MLS Power Rankings: Week 9

It was a record-tying weekend for offense around the league.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at Sporting KC Peter G. Aiken

There were a lot of similarities around Major League Soccer in Week 8, and it wasn’t just the Parley kits that every team rolled out this weekend. Three clubs scored at least five goals and the league matched an all-time high with a total of 46 goals across all matches.

New York City FC took its first step back in 2018 by losing to the Portland Timbers on the road, Toronto FC continued to play reserves and rack up losses, and Sporting Kansas City blitzed conference foe Vancouver. Check out how it affects the Power Rankings going into Week 9:

1. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 3)

In one of the most unusual MLS matches in recent memory, SKC romped all over the Vancouver Whitecaps, who had two players sent off after a scuffle in the first half. Johnny Russell bagged a hat trick, Jimmy Medranda scored with a world-class finish, and Sporting rolled to a 6-0 victory.

2. New York City FC (Last Week: 1)

NYCFC is unbeaten no longer after falling 3-0 in a rough road match to the Portland Timbers. The Pigeons never really got going in this one even with David Villa, but New York’s blue team still sits top of the Eastern Conference even after the setback.

3. Atlanta United (Last Week: 6)

Atlanta jumped all over the toothless LA Galaxy, coming away with a 2-0 win in an abnormally sloppy performance. But the Five Stripes held on a long way from home to beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic and friends and are now within touching distance of first place.

4. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 7)

LAFC was down 3-1 to the Montreal Impact before storming all the way back to win, 5-3. The defense is still a huge question mark, but four wins out of the grueling opening road stretch has to have Bob Bradley and company feeling great about their chances.

5. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 2)

The Red Bulls did everything they could to beat Richard Sanchez, forcing the Mexican keeper into nine saves. But it was all for naught as New York’s streak ended with a woeful 2-1 loss to Chicago at Red Bull Arena. There’s no longer a Concacaf Champions League excuse for this club.

6. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 9)

There may be an asterisk for the side Toronto fielded, but Houston won’t mind. The Dynamo blew the doors off the Reds to the tune of a 5-1 thrashing. Five different players found the back of the net as Houston did what they do best.

7. Orlando City (Last Week: 10)
MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Orlando City SC Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions dominated San Jose for nearly 80 minutes before a near-collapse almost meant yet another draw with the Earthquakes. But Orlando’s team is looking more and more like the team they built it to be, and that’s great news for OCSC.

8. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 8)

The Crew were unlucky not to take all three points from Saturday’s home match with the New England Revolution as Gyasi Zardes continued his scintillating form in yellow and scored his fifth of the year. But the New England Revolution battled back and the clubs split the four goals scored in the first half. A ball bounced off the woodwork at the death, which meant a home draw for the Crew.

9. FC Dallas (Last Week: 13)

Dallas remains the last unbeaten team in MLS after putting the Philadelphia Union in their place with a 2-0 victory in Frisco.

10. Toronto FC (Last Week: 4)

They set all kinds of records last year and have been playing reserves in the league and this team is absolutely miles better than its record. But that doesn’t change that the Reds are bottom of the table and just got walloped by Houston. They’ll have a hole to dig out of starting this weekend.

11. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 5)

Since adding Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy have struggled to find an identity in midfield to complement their firepower up front. With Jonathan dos Santos bowing out in warm-ups due to injury, it further complicated matters and LA was overrun in a 2-0 defeat at home.

12. New England Revolution (Last Week: 14)

Cristian Penilla continues to be one of the signings of the young MLS season. He set up Teal Bunbury for the Revs’ first of the evening and his equalizer in first-half stoppage time was the goal that brought a point back to New England.

13. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 17)

League leaders NYCFC came into Providence Park and were thoroughly silenced by the home side, which comfortably walked to a 3-0 victory. It was a stellar defensive performance for Portland, which allowed New York City to dwell on the ball and still kept a rare clean sheet against David Villa and company.

14. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 15)

It was nervy at times, but the Sounders finally got the monkey off their back and earned their first victory of 2018. The Loons threatened to steal a point from CenturyLink Field, but Clint Dempsey and Jordy Delem sealed the victory in the final minutes.

15. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 16)

Even up a man for 70 minutes, RSL’s offense struggled to break down Colorado. It wasn’t until a handball in the box allowed Joao Plata to put the home team up from the spot that Real ran riot in the final stage of the game to a 3-0 victory over their Rocky Mountain Cup rivals.

16. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 12)

San Jose made a last-minute attempt at a point in Orlando, but couldn’t quite eek out a draw. The Earthquakes were poor all night as the Lions routinely ripped through their defense. San Jose was lucky to have only allowed three goals by the time Florian Jungwirth scored his heroic brace to save some face in the match.

17. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 11)

The Whitecaps went down to nine men early against SKC, but at that point Vancouver was already 3-0 down. The rout was yet another blow to the Kei Kamara-less Caps, who have been on a steady tumble down the table since his injury.

18. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 22)

The Fire needed a defensive stand to weather New York’s attack, but goalkeeper Richard Sanchez did just enough to keep the Red Bulls off the score sheet until a consolation goal from Bradley Wright-Phillips as time ran out. After a rough start to the campaign, the Fire have won two of their last three.

19. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 18)

Ignacio Piatti put on a sterling performance, earning a hat trick in just 43 minutes. But Montreal squandered it all, allowing LAFC to score four in a row. It didn’t help that Victor Cabrera was sent off in the first half, but it also could have been worse had Evan Bush not saved Marco Urena’s penalty. The Impact defense needs a lot of work,

20. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 19)

The Tim Howard red card meant this edition of the Rocky Mountain Cup left the Rapids with a bad taste in their mouths. But it was a great showing even a man down, Colorado just collapsed in the final 10 minutes and couldn’t see the match through.

21. D.C. United (Last Week: 21)

D.C. was the only team not to participate this weekend.

22. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 20)

The Union’s offense continues to be woeful at finishing despite boasting talents like David Accam, CJ Sapong, and Fafà Picault. They’ve scored just one goal in five matches and as the young defense continues to give up goals, things are already looking bleak in Philadelphia.

23. Minnesota United (Last Week: 23)

The Loons looked lost on defense yet again, capitulating to the Sounders’ pressure. Christian Ramirez nabbed a consolation goal, but it was a rough road game for Adrian Heath and company, who have now lost four in a row. With Ethan Finlay lost for the year, things aren’t looking up in the Twin Cities.