MLS defending was on display last weekend all around the league. Multiple teams were gashed for at least three goals, leading to the sacking of two more managers with Sigi Schmid and Mikael Stahre getting the boot.
The competition in the middle of both conferences for the coveted playoff places is heating up with just a few weeks left to play. Both the Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United made their claim for the final spot in their respective conferences, while the Montreal Impact emphatically took matters into their own hands to keep some distance between them and the drop.
Check out how all of last week’s action impacted the Power Rankings:
1. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 1)
Can the Sounders be stopped? A brace from Raul Ruidiaz was enough to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps, earning Seattle its ninth win in a row as well as the Cascadia Cup. The Rave Green is rolling over every team in its path and it’s hard not to call Seattle cup favorites at this point.
2. Atlanta United (Last Week: 3)
Atlanta dispatched Colorado in routine fashion, putting three past Tim Howard. The Five Stripes were efficient, scoring their three goals on just eight shots. They also added some more space between themselves and the Red Bulls in the process.
3. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 5)
Sporting took the top spot in the Western Conference in dominating fashion, running through San Jose to the tune of 5-1. KC torched the Quakes’ high line time and time again and pounced on copious defensive errors from San Jose to leapfrog FC Dallas in the standings.
4. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 4)
Bradley Wright-Phillips put the Red Bulls on his back to earn a draw against rivals D.C. United. The Englishman’s hat trick was vital as New York’s back line struggled to contain D.C.’s talented attack. Unfortunately, the Supporters’ Shield might be slipping away from the Red Bulls.
5. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 2)
LAFC looked like the better team against the New England Revolution and held a lead courtesy of Marco Urena for most of the match. But the Wings couldn’t put the match away and it cost them in the final moments as the Revs found an equalizer. Even with the setback, LA has a chance at the top spot in the West thanks to a favorable schedule.
6. FC Dallas (Last Week: 9)
With a week of high-scoring fixtures around MLS, naturally one of the most exciting on paper ended in a nil-nil draw. Dallas welcomed the Columbus Crew to Toyota Stadium for what turned out to be a dull match with the keepers combining for only three saves and Dallas ended up losing its top spot in the West.
7. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 8)
Kei Kamara got a goal late in the first half to close the gap, but Vancouver couldn’t level things up against the rival Sounders. There’s still hope for the postseason north of the border, but the Caps have a tough road to the end of the season.
8. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 11)
Columbus impressively managed to stifle the FCD attack on the road, limiting the Hoops to just two shots on goal. The flip side is that the Crew attack never got going, but a road point will help the Black and Gold close the gap on NYCFC for third in the East.
9. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 6)
In an important match for the Eastern Conference standings, the Union got smacked down by the Montreal Impact. Auston Trusty got Philly on the board early, but everything fell apart after that. Within 20 minutes, the Union were already behind and the Impact added two more insurance goals in the second half.
10. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 7)
Portland had an opportunity to create a defining gap between itself and Cascadia rivals Vancouver as the Timbers traveled to Houston, but hopes of another long unbeaten streak fell to pieces as Portland was put to the sword by Mauro Manotas and company.
11. New York City FC (Last Week: 10)
NYCFC had the weekend off.
12. D.C. United (Last Week: 13)
D.C.’s playoff hopes got a boost with a 2-1 victory over Minnesota United but took a half step back with a wild draw against the Red Bulls. But with the way Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta are playing, it will be hard to deny United a spot above the red line.
13. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 14)
The Impact needed a victory to maintain a gap above the red line and they got it in dominating fashion. Montreal went down early, conceding a goal off a set piece, but shook it off and scored four to put the game away, with Alejandro Silva punishing United on the counter multiple times.
14. New England Revolution (Last Week: 15)
New England got yet another goal from a rookie to steal points. Brandon Bye’s first goal of his professional career helped the Revs steal a point from Banc of California Stadium with minutes to spare. It was another classic Revolution performance, not seeing much of the ball but peppering the opposition goal and making the most of their opportunities.
15. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 12)
One point from a home match against Minnesota United may cost RSL in the long run. While the club currently sits fourth in the West, all three Cascadian clubs beneath them have a game in hand. Should they all win, Salt Lake would be just two points away from dropping below the red line.
16. Toronto FC (Last Week: 16)
The wildest match of the weekend was won by Toronto as the Reds needed five goals to see off the LA Galaxy. TFC’s three-goal lead evaporated within 13 minutes of the second half restart but — like he has so often — Jonathan Osorio came to the rescue to snatch three points for Toronto, keeping playoff hopes alive.
17. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 19)
In classic MLS fashion, the Dynamo managed to not only upset the Timbers but destroy them. Mauro Manotas struck twice, Alberth Elis notched his 11th goal of the campaign, and Alejandro Fuenmayor was kind enough to score a goal for both teams.
18. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 17)
The Galaxy were horrible in the first half, brilliant for the first 15 minutes of the second half, and then fell apart again. It was bad enough to be the last straw of Sigi Schmid’s tenure in LA, and the Galaxy are once again on the market for a head coach.
19. Minnesota United (Last Week: 20)
Minnesota had a long distance to travel during the week, with the Loons making their way to D.C. and then Salt Lake City in four days. United took just its second road lead this season through Angelo Rodriguez, but it was all for naught. The Loons took just one point and have now tumbled down to 10th in the West.
20. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 23)
Chicago made short work of Orlando City, scoring two goals in each half. Nemanja Nikolic looked the part of the golden boot winner of 2017 and perhaps some much-needed confidence is back for the Fire, who have now taken four points from their last two matches.
21. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 18)
Mikael Stahre got his walking papers after the Quakes were slaughtered at home by Sporting KC. The Swede was in charge for just 20 miserable matches that never saw San Jose get out of the cellar.
22. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 22)
Colorado fared about as well against Atlanta as you’d imagine. The Rapids did manage to get off a few quality opportunities, though none managed to beat Brad Guzan. Kellyn Acosta continues to be a bright spot at least.
23. Orlando City (Last Week: 21)
Head Coach James O’Connor told media players were playing for their jobs. Veterans Sacha Kljestan and Will Johnson called out teammates on lack of desire. And none of it helped. The Lions were taken to the woodshed by the formerly worst team in the East and don’t look like improving anytime soon.