In typical MLS fashion, Week 27 featured a ton of cross-country travel in a matter of days and points naturally dropped for travelling teams. There were plenty of goals scored, led by Real Salt Lake, which has now scored 12 goals in its last two matches.
The race for the Supporters’ Shield is now squarely between two horses, though both the New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United were tripped up this week. Meanwhile in the wild West, LAFC continues to impress as an expansion side and the Seattle Sounders are doing Seattle things and setting historic records.
1. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 1)
Seattle set a league record with its eighth victory in a row after putting Western Conference contenders Sporting Kansas City to the sword, 3-1. Seattle has not only revived itself to probably make the playoffs, but it’s arguably the Cup favorite in this form.
2. Los Angeles FC (Last Week: 6)
Carlos Vela (technically) had two goals and an assist as LAFC slaughtered Toronto. Vela had very little to do with the Wings’ first that deflected off his hip, but the Mexican superstar was unstoppable for most of the evening.
3. Atlanta United (Last Week: 2)
Atlanta fell from the top of the East after a poor performance in D.C. The Five Stripes forced Bill Hamid to make six saves, but the defense was constantly ripped open by D.C.’s attack and allowed three goals.
4. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 3)
The Red Bulls rolled out the backups against a bad Houston Dynamo side and still managed to scrape out a 1-0 victory. But the extra rest didn’t do much good for New York’s stars as they were shellacked by Montreal, 3-0. Still, Bradley Wright-Phillips and company jumped to the top of the East.
5. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 4)
Sporting jumped out to an early lead courtesy of Diego Rubio’s second-minute volley but eventually succumbed to the buzz saw that is Seattle in September. SKC’s defense got caught napping on the equalizer and it was all downhill from there.
6. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 8)
The Union nearly had a perfect week after downing D.C. at Audi Field, 2-0, and then coming from behind to take the lead in Orlando. But the full six points wasn’t to be as Orlando City found a last-minute goal.
7. New York City FC (Last Week: 5)
Domenec Torrent hasn’t quite been able to pick up where Patrick Vieira left off. The Pigeons have just one victory in their last six matches and have quickly fallen out of the Supporters’ Shield race.
8. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 10)
Portland has righted the ship after being in free fall for weeks. The Timbers blanked Toronto in the middle of the week and rallied from behind to take a point from New England courtesy of a Lawrence Olum goal. Portland is sitting sixth in the West for now.
9. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 9)
The Whitecaps completed their two-week sweep of San Jose and there was no comeback necessary this time. Alphonso Davies added to his season goal total, punishing the defense for a poor pass, and Nicolas Mezquida added the insurance goal in the final 15 minutes.
10. FC Dallas (Last Week: 7)
Dallas started the week out by losing to the worst team in the league in San Jose (and allowing four goals in the process). But the Hoops shrugged off their poor performance to beat another admittedly bad side in Houston. Dallas’ defense has a lot of questions to answer after allowing six goals, though.
11. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 12)
Justin Meram made his mark after returning to the Crew in the summer window. The Iraqi international forward scored the winning goal after some poor defending at the back post by NYCFC. Columbus is slowly closing the gap on New York City for third in the East.
12. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 14)
RSL followed up its six-goal performance against Colorado with another six-goal performance against the LA Galaxy. Damir Kreilach bagged a hat trick and Albert Rusnak scored two of his own as the floodgates opened in the second half. Mike Petke has Salt Lake’s offense firing on all cylinders.
13. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 16)
The Impact are still treading water above the red line after a dominant performance against the Red Bulls. Rod Fanni and Bacary Sagna got their first goals in MLS and Ignacio Piatti sealed the deal in stoppage time.
14. D.C. United (Last Week: 15)
United struggled in a mid-week loss to the red-hot Union but managed to follow it up with a drubbing of Atlanta. Luciano Acosta has been on fire since the club’s acquisition of Wayne Rooney and his brace was the difference as D.C. defeated that other red and black United.
15. Toronto FC (Last Week: 11)
It’s just not the Reds’ year. Toronto wasn’t able to get the offense clicking after a long road trip to Portland and the team was shelled upon its return home by Carlos Vela and LAFC.
16. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 13)
With or without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy have been dismal. LA allowed RSL to put a whopping six past them and the Galaxy haven’t won a match since July 29. Whatever magic Zlatan brought with him seems to have disappeared entirely.
17. New England Revolution (Last Week: 18)
Brad Friedel lambasted his squad after a 1-1 draw at home to Portland over the weekend. The new head coach has made no question about whether or not his players’ jobs are on the line as the Revs limp toward the finish line.
18. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 19)
The bipolar Earthquakes struck again. San Jose has only won four matches this year but has swept two teams: Minnesota United and conference-leading FC Dallas.
19. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 17)
Houston has now lost seven of its last eight and has not won since July 7. The season has fallen apart for the Dynamo in dramatic fashion.
20. Minnesota United (Last Week: 20)
Minnesota stayed home.
21. Orlando City (Last Week: 23)
Orlando City needed another late equalizer courtesy of Scott Sutter to snatch a draw in the final moments against Philadelphia. The Swiss right back now has three goals in four matches.
22. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 21)
The Rapids had the week off.
23. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 22)
Chicago spent the week recouping from Bastian Schweinsteiger’s testimonial in Munich.