Playoff contenders all around the league matched up during Week 11 of the Major League Soccer season. West leaders Sporting Kansas City traveled east to take on East contenders Atlanta United, who then traveled south to take on the league’s hottest team in Orlando City.
Meanwhile, the other top team in the Eastern Conference took on expansion team LAFC in an offensive showdown in Hollywood. With so many marquee matches, there was plenty to take from Week 11. Check out how it informed the Power Rankings going in to Week 12:
1. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 2)
SKC went into Atlanta and came out the 2-0 victors in no small part due to Brad Guzan’s reckless red card. But without Felipe Gutierrez in midfield against one of the better teams in the East, KC will take three points and a clean sheet every day of the week.
2. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 3)
The Red Bulls have now won four straight after taking down the Rapids in Colorado. Jesse Marsch’s side has bounced back tremendously from its early season struggles to surge up the Eastern Conference table.
3. Atlanta United (Last Week: 1)
A boneheaded decision from Guzan put the Five Stripes in a hole early during their double game week, starting with a loss at home. But Atlanta made the most of its chances in Orlando, converting two of the four shots the team put on target — one of those from the spot — and it was enough to get over the line with three points.
4. New York City FC (Last Week: 4)
In a back-and-forth battle of talented attacks, NYCFC managed to gain a lead, lose that lead, go down a goal, and snatch a draw in the final moment. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi continues to be one of the most underrated new attackers brought into the league this year as he scored his fifth goal of the campaign.
5. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 6)
While LAFC started the club’s first double game week off right with a 2-0 blanking of Minnesota, a scramble in the box meant just a draw from the expansion side’s first meeting with NYCFC. But Carlos Vela continues to play like a superstar and Bob Bradley has his team sitting second in the West.
6. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 9)
The Crew doubled up during the double game week, downing both the Union and rival Chicago with two clean sheets. Gyasi Zardes has shocked the league on his way to eight goals in 12 games. Gregg Berhalter has his men flying.
7. Orlando City (Last Week: 5)
The Lions’ winning streak was halted at six by northern neighbors Atlanta United. Justin Meram finally found the back of the net, but there’s still work to be done in the City Beautiful.
8. FC Dallas (Last Week: 10)
The Hoops endured a red card from Reto Ziegler and a late surge from the LA Galaxy to remain unbeaten at home. Mauro Diaz was the main man for FC Dallas this time around, setting up Roland Lamah for a brace and Maxi Urruti somehow converted another ridiculous shot to give Dallas all three points.
9. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 8)
The Dynamo were lucky to walk out of Vancouver with a point after surrendering the majority of clear-cut chances to the Caps. Luckily for Houston, Brek Shea couldn’t find the back of a wide-open net — the most blatant of VWFC’s three missed chances — and Houston took a valuable road point.
10. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 11)
Portland has finally woken up, earning its fourth straight victory. The reigning Western Conference table-toppers have found their form under Giovanni Savarese, including getting the better of the Sounders in the clubs’ 100th meeting. Sebastian Blanco found the winner at the death and the Timbers are on the up.
11. New England Revolution (Last Week: 14)
Cristian Penilla has quietly been one of the top signings of the off-season. His brace within 10 minutes helped propel the Revolution to a 3-2 victory at home over Toronto. The Revs still need to find some consistency, but they’re hanging on above the red line with performances like this one.
12. Toronto FC (Last Week: 7)
TFC dropped both of its matches in Week 11. A midweek home loss to struggling Seattle and a high-scoring away trip to New England left the Reds with zero points and hovering just above last in the East. A careless Sebastian Giovinco red card coupled with Jozy Altidore’s lengthy injury made things go from bad to worse.
13. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 17)
It was a loaded week for Seattle with two road trips against top opposition. While the Sounders won the MLS Cup final rematch with Toronto, the feelings were soured a few days later against arch-rival Portland. But two good showings for the Sounders could be the start of turning their season around.
14. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 16)
Chicago managed to down Montreal at home with a lucky glance from Kevin Ellis but the Fire were unlucky not to win by more as Aleksandar Katai was robbed on numerous occasions. But the 3-0 defeat at the hands of rival Columbus to cap off the week raised numerous concerns for Chicago in 2018 once again.
15. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 13)
The Galaxy defense has negated a star-studded attack week after week. Injuries and poor decision-making once again reared up as LA dropped its fourth straight.
16. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 12)
The Impact failed to score a goal during the week, losing 1-0 in Chicago and then 2-0 at home to Philadelphia. When Ignacio Piatti is on, he’s almost unstoppable — but when he isn’t on this Montreal side has no threat up front. Nacho needs help.
17. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 19)
RSL struggled early with D.C. United, leaving Paul Arriola wide open for the visitors’ first goal and almost allowing Zoltan Stieber to score in similar fashion within 20 minutes. But after Joseph Mora’s red card, the home side blew the doors off for a 3-1 lead within an hour. D.C. would mount a comeback, but Salt Lake saw the victory to the end.
18. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 18)
Former Lions featured heavily in Vancouver’s 2-2 draw at home. Jose Aja scored his first goal in MLS while Brek Shea missed a golden opportunity to put the Caps up 2-1. Vancouver deserved the draw in the end, but missing opportunities like those will cost the Whitecaps over time.
19. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 20)
The Quakes finally got over the hump against Minnesota, getting their first win in seven matches. San Jose’s last win, not so coincidentally, was also against the Loons.
20. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 21)
The Union were one of the latest victims of the Crew, though it was a respectable 1-0 defeat. Philly bounced back against Montreal, though, and it was a busy afternoon for Jamaican forward Cory Burke. The 26-year-old notched his first start, first goal, and first red card in just 58 minutes.
21. Minnesota United (Last Week: 15)
The Loons have lost three of their last five and six of their last eight. This Minnesota side is streaky and while it has been hanging around the red line in the wild West, struggling to score against a leaky San Jose defense and captain Francisco Calvo consistently making mistakes are bad signs going forward.
22. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 22)
The Rapids struggled all afternoon with New York, going down 2-0 and clawing their way back to a 2-1 loss. Jack McBean’s consolation goal wasn’t enough, and now Colorado sits tied for last in the West.
23. D.C. United (Last Week: 23)
United put up a good fight in Salt Lake City but ultimately fell short. D.C. went down to 10 men with Joseph Mora sent off, but still clawed back to a respectable 3-2 scoreline. Audi Field — and potentially Wayne Rooney — can’t come soon enough.