Red cards dominated Major League Soccer over Week 14 with five players sent off. Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin’s dust-up in Atlanta likely cost the Union points in a positive road performance while Jordan Harvey, Cristian Colman, and Maximiano all received their marching orders in other matches. It’s nothing new for MLS, though the recent rash of the league’s Disciplinary Committee overturning some of those red cards in the age of Video Assistant Referees is disconcerting.
There were also plenty of lopsided results this week in MLS, including Sporting Kansas City’s thrashing of Minnesota United, New York City FC blanking Orlando City in Yankee Stadium, and the Philadelphia Union on both ends of a beatdown during the course of the double-game week. Check out how the results impacted the latest version of the Power Rankings:
1. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 3)
Teenagers were the talk of the match as SKC ran riot on Minnesota United. Wan Kuzain scored his first MLS goal in his second appearance and Jaylin Lindsey made his debut as Kansas City won, 4-1.
2. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 1)
Columbus’ offense woke up in the final 30 minutes after conceding a three-goal lead to Toronto. Gyasi Zardes, Alex Crognale, and Federico Higuain all combined to complete a wild comeback as the Crew fought back to earn a draw in just over 20 minutes.
3. New York City FC (Last Week: 4)
With David Villa starting the game on the bench, it was Ismael Tajouri-Shradi that took the reins of the offense. The young forward bagged a brace on Saturday, bringing his tally of goals against Orlando City to three in two matches (on three shots).
4. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 2)
The Red Bulls fell victim — as most teams do in Gillette Stadium — on the road against the Revs. Bradley Wright-Phillips continued his scintillating goal-scoring run this season but it wasn’t enough as New York was soundly beaten by the home side.
5. Atlanta United (Last Week: 7)
Controversy dominated the headlines for both Atlanta’s matches. After a questionable penalty call went against the Five Stripes midweek to let a win slip away, a meltdown from Philadelphia saw the Union concede a penalty and have two players sent off within moments just 20 minutes into the match that Atlanta eventually saw off, 3-1.
6. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 5)
A seven-game win streak wasn’t in the cards for the Timbers. A draw was barely on the docket if not for a clumsy challenge from Jorgen Skjelvik just before the hour mark that gave Diego Valeri a chance to equalize from the spot.
7. FC Dallas (Last Week: 8)
Dallas did the double over the Los Angeles clubs with a wild 3-2 victory over the Galaxy before returning to Texas to down LAFC at the weekend. FC Dallas has surged to the top spots in the West, which is a great sight for its fans after a miserable 2017.
8. New England Revolution (Last Week: 11)
The Revs needed a late penalty to salvage a draw against Atlanta, but New England impressively stonewalled the red-hot Red Bulls over the weekend to take four points from the week.
9. Toronto FC (Last Week: 10)
With just under an hour to play, it looked like TFC had its first road win of 2018 done and dusted. But the 3-0 lead wasn’t enough as the Reds allowed Columbus to storm all the way back for a 3-3 draw and another setback for the champs.
10. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 6)
It was a rough week for the Dynamo. Houston lost a heart breaker in Salt Lake with a late goal, letting a result slip away. Then Alberth Elis and company traveled up to Montreal on short rest and couldn’t find the back of the net in Quebec, resulting in zero points to show for the double game week.
11. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 9)
Without superstar Carlos Vela, LAFC struggled to get much going in the final third in the way of quality chances. Tyler Miller did his best to quell the Dallas attack, but the expansion side’s defense gave up too many easy looks for the home team.
12. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 14)
The Union walloped Chicago on Wednesday night, but a catastrophic meltdown doomed them in Atlanta. A cheap giveaway saw Auston Trusty foul Josef Martinez, giving up a penalty. In the scuffle after it was awarded, both Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin were sent off and it was a rout from there.
13. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 16)
After four straight draws, the Whitecaps finally notched a win against the woeful Rapids in Colorado. Cristian Techera continued his sterling form with another goal and Yordy Reyna finished off the job as Vancouver won its first match in over a month.
14. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 13)
The wounded Galaxy walked into the buzz saw that is Mauro Diaz and the FC Dallas offense and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return couldn’t spur Los Angeles to a point. LA managed to salvage something from the week, denying the Timbers their seventh win in a row. But the Galaxy will wish they had taken more after gifting Portland a late penalty to drop two points.
15. Orlando City (Last Week: 12)
Orlando City continues to struggle without talisman Dom Dwyer up top and a Frankenstein’s monster of a defensive line hasn’t helped matters. After a promising start to the match, the Lions collapsed in the Bronx while hitting the woodwork three times to lose their fourth straight.
16. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 15)
The Fire were summarily smashed in Chester by the Union but bounced back over the weekend to dispatch the Earthquakes in Bridgeview. Chicago is still clinging to hope of a potential playoff spot, but the Men in Red have work to do.
17. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 19)
RSL took full advantage of its two matches at home. Kyle Beckerman found a late winner in a 2-1 victory over Houston, while the Utah club continued Seattle’s woes with another clean sheet and a 2-0 win.
18. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 21)
After three straight losses, the Impact somehow managed to defeat the Houston Dynamo at home with a phenomenal strike from Jeisson Vargas. But perhaps the most positive takeaway for Remi Garde will be holding high-flying Houston scoreless.
19. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 18)
The Sounders have now been shut out in eight of their 11 MLS matches and are deservedly tied for last in the West. Nicolas Lodeiro is not the same player that carried Seattle to the Cup in 2016, Clint Dempsey is declining, and there doesn’t seem to be an answer for the Rave Green.
20. D.C. United (Last Week: 20)
D.C. was off again.
21. Minnesota United (Last Week: 17)
The evening for the Loons went from bad to worse. Minnesota allowed three goals in the first half, then midfielder Maximiano was sent off just after halftime, and it was a rout from then on. United was lucky not to allow more than the four goals it did.
22. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 22)
After a pair of positive results, San Jose has lost three straight again. This time, it was the Fire manhandling the Quakes’ defense for two goals as the Northern California side dropped three more points.
23. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 23)
Edgar Castillo’s wonderful strike did nothing but make the scoreboard look a little better at the end of the day. Colorado has now lost seven matches in a row and has seemingly regressed under Anthony Hudson.