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MLS Power Rankings – LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders


Breathe deeply. It’s time for the international break, and everyone (except LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes, FC Cincinnati and Seattle Sounders – surprise!) can relax.

Let’s take stock of our situation: six teams have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, six teams have clinched playoff spots, LAFC has clinched the No. 1 seed in the West and three teams have a chance to win the shield supporters.

That only leaves a few hundred permutations of ways for the season to end. This break couldn’t have come at a better time, but before we all try to reset our overwhelmed brains, let’s rank some teams.


– MLS on ESPN+: Stream live games, replays (US)
– Football on ESPN+: FC Daily | Futbol Americas


Previous ranking: 1

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Charlotte, 5:30 p.m. ET

They…didn’t…score? It’s allowed ? Of course, they also kept a clean sheet, so they came back from Atlanta with a point.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 2

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. DC, 7:30 p.m. ET

It shouldn’t be that hard to beat Chicago and New England, but we’re down to “wow, didn’t you earn more by getting a top-two seed?” stage of Montreal’s rise. Fast forward to the playoffs and see these guys cook.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 3

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Portland, 3 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN Deportes

A draw in Minnesota and a win over Houston puts the Black and Gold in Shield pole position with two weeks remaining, but do you trust them to win their final two games and hold Philly?

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 5

Next MLS game: October 1 c. Vancouver, 10 p.m. ET

They limited Hany Mukhtar to just one goal this time around and got a point for their effort.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 4

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Colorado, 3:30 p.m. ET

After a season full of games in which he controlled things but couldn’t wrap up for all the points, Dallas went to San Jose and stole a point in a game he spent on his heels. Watch Dallas add a fun new tool to his belt.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 8

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Houston, 8:30 p.m. ET

Nashville will feel like they deserved three points, not one, against Austin, but that point is enough to be in position for a playoff game at home. Open the shiny doors to GEODIS Park for a playoff game and get the place a little dirty.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: seven

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m. ET

The hostile surroundings of Yankee Stadium were just too much for MLS’ top road team.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: ten

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. LAFC, 3 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN Deportes

Santiago Moreno’s 95th-minute equalizer was a rush of ecstasy and yet the Timbers are still as likely to miss the playoffs as they are to host a playoff game. How is every Portland fan not perpetually exhausted?

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 6

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. San Jose, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A draw against LAFC and a loss against SKC extended their winless streak to six. Playing in San Jose and Vancouver to finish the season should fix those issues, but it could also be the path to an all-time meltdown.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 11

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. NYCFC, 1 p.m. ET

If they could have reversed the results and beat Atlanta and then lost to Toronto, they would have done it, but three points is three points.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 14

Next MLS game: Sept. 27 vs. Seattle, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

They won in Salt Lake and may have picked up another win the week the USMNT called Jordan Morris, but they left Brandon Vazquez for their Sept. 27 meeting with Seattle.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 9

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET

Losses to Austin and Cincy are a blow to their playoff hopes, but they are still within three points of Portland, who they play on the final day of the season. All we’re looking for is for it to be a de facto game for a playoff spot and pure mayhem.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 12

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Crew have conceded 26 goals this season and, after giving Miami a late winner and equalizing in stoppage time against Portland, 15 of them have come from a points position after the 75th minute. It’s the season here.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 17

Next MLS game: September 30 c. Toronto, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Were their victories over Columbus and DC pretty? Not really, but thanks to the magic of Gonzalo Higuain working hard and doing everything, they are in position to qualify for the playoffs.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 15

Next MLS game: Sept. 24 vs. San Jose, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The Galaxy got smoked in Vancouver but beat Colorado, so where does that leave them? In control of their own destiny in the playoffs, with a season finale against Dynamo. Creepy.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 19

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Seattle, 5 p.m. ET

They beat DC and Minnesota by a combined score of 7-1. A core of William, Agada, Erik Thommy, Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido next season looks great right now, but will the salary cap allow it? Someone launches QuickBooks and finds out.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 13

Next MLS game: Sept. 30 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The problem with being an all-offensive, defenseless team is that sometimes the offense doesn’t make it to Orlando and you go down 4-0 to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 23

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Austin, 10 p.m. ET

Well, well, if that’s not the smell of cold pizza the morning after beating LA and Seattle to keep your playoff hopes alive.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 16

Next MLS game: Sept. 27 vs. Cincinnati, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A loss to Vancouver ended their Cascadia Cup, and if the Sounders miss the playoffs, taking just three points from their regional rivals could be the reason.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 21

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. New England, 1:30 p.m. ET

Addendum to Rules: If you hold Philly scoreless, you get three points even if you didn’t score yourself. Congratulations to Atlanta on those three points, to go along with three midweek threes for beating Orlando.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 20

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Philadelphia, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

They won a road game! It was against the disastrous Fire, but you’re not picky about how you win No. 3.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 22

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Dallas, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Beat San Jose, get whipped by the Galaxy. The Rapids make it very clear where they sit in the MLS pecking order – bad, but not so bad.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 24

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Orlando, 1 p.m. ET

Nick Cushing finally had something to celebrate after winning the Campeones Cup and the Hudson River Derby.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 16

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Atlanta, 1:30 p.m. ET

It was a Bruce Arena special until it wasn’t. The Revs’ second-half rise turned into a tailspin after losses to Montreal (good) and Houston (rather inexcusable).

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 27

Next MLS game: Oct. 2 vs. Nashville, 8:30 p.m. ET

Dynamo might not be great at football, but they seem pretty good at Penalty Fest, a new game they and the Revs came up with midweek. Three penalties in total, three points for Houston, before a loss to LAFC this weekend.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 26

Next MLS game: Sept. 24 vs. Galaxy, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A loss to Colorado and a tie against Dallas isn’t a bad week, relatively, but Houston had the audacity to win a game and knock the Quakes into the West basement. Rough.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 25

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET

A month ago, they were in the hunt for the playoffs. After losses against Montreal and Charlotte, they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and it is surprising that it took so long.

MLS Power Rankings - LAFC, Philadelphia battle for Shield; playoff hopes dim for Revs, Sounders

Previous ranking: 28

Next MLS game: Oct. 1 c. Montreal, 7:30 p.m. ET

Losses against SKC and Inter? Wrong. There are only two games left in this cursed season? Good.

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