Week 9 of the 2019 MLS season featured several teams playing in two matches with some interesting results. Several teams took steps to show they are contenders, while other clubs struggled under the spotlight.
Here is a look at our MLS Power Rankings after Week 9:
(Legend: (W-L-T, LW: last week’s rankings )
1. Los Angeles FC (7-1-2, LW: 1)
LAFC earned a point in the return match at the Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday night. What’s equally impressive is the traveling fan support for the young club. The City of Los Angeles takes a lot of heat for its fanbase. However, any time a visiting club’s supporters can march to the stadium like LAFC’s did in Seattle, that’s something to brag about.
2. L.A. Galaxy (7-1-1, LW: 2)
The Galaxy have been dominant and exciting at Dignity Health Sports Park this season, but their only loss was a devastating one earlier this season at FC Dallas. They needed to salvage something in a tough road match at Minnesota to show how much they have progressed. The Galaxy did just that in last week’s tie. A couple days later, the Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the game-winner late to earn a 2-1 victory at home against Real Salt Lake to secure the second spot.
3. Houston Dynamo (5-1-1, LW: 4)
Houston sent slumping Columbus Crew SC to another loss, but it was much closer than it appeared. Given the Crew’s pedigree, the Dynamo still deserve credit for the clean sheet despite facing their fair share of pressure.
4. Seattle Sounders FC (5-1-3, LW: 5)
Last week’s devastating loss at LAFC did little to motivate the Sounders against the San Jose Earthquakes a few days later in a 2-2 tie. However, the Sounders did recover well enough to earn a point against LAFC in the return match on Sunday night. Something is off about Seattle right now, but its record keeps it sitting pretty in the rankings.
5. FC Dallas (5-2-2, LW: 6)
It’s hard to believe that the top five slots in this week’s power rankings are taken by Western Conference clubs, but the a stark reality is setting in: the East simply doesn’t compare. If FC Dallas were playing in the Eastern Conference, there is a good chance the club would be sitting in first right now.
6. Toronto FC (4-2-1, LW: 3)
There’s no way around it. Toronto took a horrible loss at home to struggling Portland over the weekend. Fortunately, the Eastern Conference is there for the taking for any club that can survive its mediocrity.
7. D.C. United (5-3-2, LW: 8)
There’s no shame in dropping three points on the road to an improved Minnesota United club, but the big win at Columbus stands stall on D.C. United’s resume.
8. Minnesota United FC (4-3-2, LW: 11)
Minnesota United compiled a solid week. It outplayed the Galaxy for much of its mid-week match and beat the Eastern Conference leaders a few days later.
9. Montreal Impact (5-3-2, LW: 14)
At first glance, there is little to be impressed about with Montreal’s two wins last week. However, given the Impact’s road struggles, their 3-0 victory at New England matters. Days later, they followed up that win with another over the gritty Chicago Fire. It’s a good launching point for the rest of the season.
10. Philadelphia Union (4-3-2, LW: 7)
Don’t underestimate the point earned on turf in Vancouver.
11. Orlando City (3-3-3, LW: 12)
Orlando City did well to earn a point against improving New York City FC. Keep an eye on Orlando City.
12. NYCFC (2-1-6, LW: 13)
NYCFC continued its strong run last week, but can it keep it up on the road?
13. Columbus Crew SC (4-5-1, LW: 10)
The Crew’s scoring woes continued in two losses this week. Here’s an even scarier thought for a team with scoring problems: GK Zach Steffen leaves for Manchester City in July.
14. Sporting Kansas City (2-2-4, LW: 15)
Moving up a spot is not a ringing endorsement for Sporting Kansas City. It gave up four goals at home to the worst team in the Eastern Conference. Instead, it moves up simply due to the lack of a more deserving team in this slot.
15. Chicago Fire (2-4-3, LW: 9)
A disastrous road trip leaves the Fire goalless and with no points in two matches.
16. Atlanta United FC (2-3-2, LW: 19)
Are congratulations in order for a 1-0 victory over the worst team in the league? It’s hard to make the case for that when looking at the defending MLS Champions.
17. Real Salt Lake (3-5-1, LW: 16)
RSL gave the Galaxy all they could handle on the road. Sometimes you can’t stop Superman (Zlatan).
18. New York Red Bulls (2-4-2, LW: 20)
Perhaps a win over struggling FC Cincinnati will wake up the Red Bulls. However, the reality is FC Cincinnati played them tough from beginning to end. That’s not what we’d expect from a team much more talented than an expansion club.
19. FC Cincinnati (2-5-2, LW: 17)
The talent deficit is showing with FC Cincinnati.
20. San Jose Earthquakes (2-5-2, LW: 21)
San Jose’s improved play continued with draws at two of the best teams in MLS: FC Dallas and Seattle.
21. Portland Timbers (2-5-1, LW: 23)
Portland earned a second straight impressive road victory with its 2-1 win over Toronto FC. We may see a reversal of fortunes for the Timbers once they end their massive season-opening road trip.
22. Vancouver Whitecaps (1-5-3, LW: 22)
The Whitecaps haven’t capitalized on their recent upset victory over LAFC. Time is running out for Vancouver to put it all together.
23. New England Revolution (2-6-2, LW: 18)
Four goals should earn a win. Instead, the end result for New England was a 4-4 tie at Sporting Kansas City. A 3-0 home loss to the Impact made the Revolution’s week even worse.
24. Colorado Rapids (0-7-2, LW: 24)
Is there any hope for the Rapids?