Week 19 of the Major League Soccer season saw the first New York Derby without both Patrick Vieira and Jesse Marsch since 2015, LAFC run rampant yet again, and a shakeup in the West. Sporting Kansas City continues its slow descent down the table and the Power Rankings while Real Salt Lake is mounting a challenge for the top spots:
1. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 3)
LAFC collapsed in the final two minutes in Houston, allowing the Dynamo to claw their way back to a draw. But the team responded well on Saturday evening, putting Orlando City away with a flurry of firepower in the last stretch. Los Angeles’ black and gold half is now unbeaten through five with four wins.
2. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 1)
Jesse Marsch is now an assistant with Red Bull’s Leipzig outfit, which meant it was Chris Armas who manned the touchline in the latest Hudson River Derby. It was a frantic affair in Yankee Stadium that was honors even just about everywhere but the scoreboard. Unfortunately for the Red Bulls, they were on the losing end for the first time in a long time.
3. Atlanta United (Last Week: 2)
Josef Martinez continues to score but defensive lapses doomed the Five Stripes in Dallas. A late comeback had Atlanta go from three points to zero in the span of five minutes. United bounced back against Philadelphia on Saturday, however, with a comfortable 2-0 victory to keep hold of the top spot in the East for now.
4. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 4)
The Timbers have not lost since April 8 and that wasn’t about to change on Saturday. Samuel Armenteros scored his fifth and sixth goals of the year to ensure Portland’s second win in a row, this time over San Jose.
5. New York City FC (Last Week: 5)
Domenec Torrent was able to accomplish what his predecessor rarely could: defeating the cross-river rival Red Bulls. With just six minutes left in regulation, youngster Jonathan Lewis stripped the ball from a Red Bull defender and found the perfect pass to Maxi Moralez who sealed the victory. For now, New York is blue.
6. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 8)
Late drama at home with two stoppage-time goals had Houston snatching a point from LAFC. The Dynamo followed it up at the weekend drubbing the Loons to the tune of 3-0. Philippe Senderos was the star, scoring the equalizer on Tuesday and bagging a brace on Saturday.
7. FC Dallas (Last Week: 10)
It looked as though Dallas was going to drop its first points at home this season against Atlanta until the 85th minute. But Tesho Akindele saved the day with a late brace, poking home a rebound to take all three points. But FCD fell flat over the weekend, losing a disappointing 2-0 contest to RSL. Luckily for the Hoops, it was enough to top the West.
8. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 9)
Saphir Taider’s brace did the job as the Impact overwhelmed the Rapids. Montreal held an impressive 68.2% of possession while keeping Colorado to just two shots all evening. The Impact have now won four on the bounce and have edged over the red line into the sixth spot.
9. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 7)
KC struck first in Salt Lake City but for the first time this season lost after doing so. And Peter Vermes’ side lost lopsidedly with RSL putting four past Tim Melia and it could have been more if not for a saved penalty. Sporting looked like it was back on track against TFC but Jordan Hamilton’s late equalizer took two points away and SKC is winless through three and has dropped to third in the West.
10. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 13)
Some fantastic finishes weren’t enough for LA to take three points from D.C. United but the Galaxy struck back with a vengeance against Columbus. Los Angeles didn’t need a barrage of shots to beat the Crew, 4-0, just deadly efficient offense. But with cross-town rivals LAFC cruising, the Galaxy are just trying to keep up.
11. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 6)
The Crew did everything they could to beat David Bingham, but Gyasi Zardes’ return to southern California ended without a goal. The Black and Gold held the majority of possession and took 20 shots but couldn’t find that breakthrough. The Crew have now won just once in their last seven matches.
12. New England Revolution (Last Week: 11)
The Revs had the better of the chances against Seattle, but that wasn’t saying much. The two sides combined for just two shots on target and Seattle’s was a speculative effort from distance.
13. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 20)
The only team to sweep all six points during the double game week, Real shut down two of the top teams in the West in SKC and FC Dallas, scoring six goals in the process. RSL still isn’t comfortably above the red line, but Mike Petke’s men are flying high for the moment.
14. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 12)
Chicago’s five-match unbeaten run came to an end in Vancouver as Alphonso Davies terrorized the Fire fullbacks. The woodwork kept the scoreline close and a wonder-goal from Tony Tchani and some late heroics nearly netted the Fire a point but it wasn’t to be.
15. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 17)
A Will Bruin brace meant three points from a pit stop in Colorado, which was the highlight of the week for Seattle. A dour 0-0 draw in New England was a positive result for the Rave Green but just two combined shots on target was the story of the day. Seattle still sits 10 points shy of the red line.
16. D.C. United (Last Week: 16)
D.C. went down two goals within a half hour in Los Angeles and it looked as though the Black and Red were in for their third loss in four matches. But Zoltan Stieber gave United life in the first half and a brilliant solo effort from Darren Mattocks helped D.C. scratch out a draw on the west coast.
17. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 18)
Alphonso Davies continues to be excellent this season. The young Canadian notched his eighth assist in a 3-2 win over Chicago and he would have had his third goal if not for a great save by Richard Sanchez. The Caps are treading water in the final West playoff spot.
18. Toronto FC (Last Week: 14)
Toronto’s mountain to climb got a bit steeper after the Reds took just one point from Minnesota and Kansas City. Both matches involved dramatic TFC surges late in the match but only one was successful. Toronto remains 10th in the East with less than half the season to go.
19. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 15)
The Union have lost four of their last five, allowing a grand total of 11 goals in that span. Saturday was another multi-goal loss as Philadelphia let Atlanta run rampant. Finishing still plagues Philly, which took 18 shots but only put three on frame.
20. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 19)
Colorado dropped two straight contests by 2-1 scorelines. The Sounders scored around the hour mark to down Colorado in Dick’s Sporting Goods Park but the contest in Montreal wasn’t so competitive with a Dominique Badji consolation goal making the match look closer than it was. The Pids have just four wins on the season.
21. Minnesota United (Last Week: 23)
Darwin Quintero was superhuman on Independence Day with three fantastic finishes against Toronto. Minnesota needed all three of them to take the victory as the Loons defense nearly gave away points yet again. Quintero couldn’t replicate his performance in Houston, however, and United were thrashed by three goals.
22. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 21)
The San Jose Earthquakes haven't won a league match at the Timbers since May 26, 1982 #RCTID— Mike Donovan (@TheMikeDonovan) July 8, 2018
That had no threat of changing on Saturday night. The Quakes have just two league wins in 2018 and are averaging a pitiful 0.67 points per game. Ouch.
23. Orlando City (Last Week: 22)
There were some encouraging signs in James O’Connor’s first outing as manager, but things fell apart in the final stages. The Lions went from believing they had equalized against LAFC to three goals down in the span of just 12 minutes. It’s now nine losses in a row for the Central Florida side.