MLS Week 10 Power Rankings: Atlanta United wakes up, New York Red Bulls earn crucial win

Derek is back with around round of MLS Power Rankings. Who is he buying and who is he selling?

Week 10 of the 2019 MLS season featured the return of the defending champion Atlanta United FC, and a thrilling New York Red Bulls victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the league standings, FC Cincinnati’s losing streak continued and the Colorado Rapids remained winless.

Here is a look at our MLS Power Rankings after Week 10:

(Legend: (W-L-T, LW: last week’s rankings )

Top Ten

1. LAFC (7-1-3, LW: 1)

There was some talk over the weekend that the Houston Dynamo are the best team in the league. That may be the case, but LAFC’s resume is hard to ignore, even with the tie at Chicago. However, a back-to-back against FC Dallas will give fans a real look at how LAFC compares to the Dynamo.

2. Houston Dynamo (6-1-1, LW: 3)

The Dynamo pass the Los Angeles Galaxy on the strength of their victory over FC Dallas. Houston has played well throughout the season with a balanced roster across the board. The question will be whether or not they can keep it up against some of the more stacked rosters in the league.

3. L.A. Galaxy (7-2-1, LW: 2)

Another year and another leaky back line. Zlatan Ibrahimovic did his best to deliver a win for the Galaxy at the revitalized Red Bulls. However, the Galaxy’s defensive issues came to the forefront again in the second half. L.A. has enough firepower to win their fair share of matches this season, but a deep run in the postseason will be near impossible at this rate.

4. Seattle Sounders FC (5-1-4, LW: 4)

The Sounders deserve props for the entertaining 1-1 performance at Minnesota last weekend. However, they run the risk of falling too far behind LAFC and the Dynamo in the West if they don’t start winning more of these close matches.

5 (tie). Toronto FC (5-2-1, LW: 6)

Toronto put on one of their best performances of the season on the road in Orlando. The best part of that victory was the clean sheet after the club gave up 10 goals in its last four matches.

5 (tie). Philadelphia Union (6-3-2, LW: 10)

Philadelphia is probably the best team in the Eastern Conference right now, but I couldn’t ignore Toronto’s full body of work. That said, the Union outscored their opponents 8-1 this week and earned six points to reach first place in the Eastern Conference. It’s about time the Union began reaching their potential, and it appears that’s what is happening here in 2019.

7. D.C. United (6-3-2, LW: 7)

D.C. United earned its second victory over the struggling Columbus Crew in two weeks, which a month ago would have meant a lot more. Now we really don’t know what D.C. is all about, despite the talent-laden roster.

8. F.C. Dallas (5-3-2, LW: 5)

F.C. Dallas’ loss at Houston exposed an unfortunate truth: they aren’t part of the league’s top tier. There are too many questions and inconsistencies on this roster and complete teams like Houston will continue taking advantage of those weaknesses.

9. Minnesota United (4-3-3, LW: 8)

Two years ago, Minnesota likely would have fallen apart under pressure from a more talented club like Seattle in the second half. Instead, they returned fire against the Sounders and left with a point in the standings. Don’t sleep on Minnesota United this season.

10. NYC FC (3-1-6, LW: 12)

NYC FC has earned points in six straight matches to put themselves in contention. They will get a real test at the L.A. Galaxy this weekend.

Next Nine

11. Montreal Impact (5-4-2, LW: 9)

The Impact suffered a devastating 2-0 home loss to NYC FC. Montreal always seems to do this. They come close to showing they are a contender and then fall apart the next time out.

12. Atlanta United FC (3-3-2, LW: 16)

It’s hard not to give the defending champions some credit after dominating Sporting Kansas City in one of the toughest environments in MLS. Atlanta United may be getting it together.

13. New York Red Bulls (3-4-2, LW: 18)

It took some time, but the Red Bulls have figured it out. A huge 3-2 victory over the Galaxy put the Red Bulls near playoff position with plenty of room to move up. The question is whether or not they can build on their exciting performance and challenge for a high seed.

14. Orlando City (3-4-3, LW: 11)

There’s little doubt that Orlando City is improved. However, their lackluster (2-3-1) home record will hurt them long-term.

15. Portland Timbers (3-5-1, LW: 21)

The Timbers won their third straight match in a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto. Considering the league-high 12-match road trip to start the season, Portland has a chance to head home in a couple of weeks with enough points to set up the second half of the season. Keep an eye on the Timbers.

16. San Jose Earthquakes (3-5-2), LW: 20)

San Jose took advantage of FC Cincinnati’s growing pains to earn the 1-0 victory. In fairness, the Earthquakes look so much better than they did a month ago. They may be a dark horse to win a low playoff seed.

17. Columbus Crew SC (4-6-1, LW: 13)

It’s hard to describe how surprising it is to see the Crew fall apart so early in the season. Can Caleb Porter salvage this mess?

18. Sporting Kansas City (2-3-4, LW: 14)

There is absolutely no excuse for a club as talented as SKC to lose 3-0 at home in a critical match against Atlanta United FC.

19. Chicago Fire (2-4-4, LW: 15)

The Fire did well to hold LAFC to a scoreless tie at Banc of California Stadium.

Final Five

20. Real Salt Lake (3-6-1, LW: 17)

Real Salt Lake lacks a consistent scoring threat. That flaw is killing RSL’s season.

21. Vancouver Whitecaps (2-5-3, LW: 22)

Vancouver scores a win over the worst team in the league. Sorry, but I’m not going to throw a lot of credit their way.

22. FC Cincinnati (2-7-2, LW: 19)

FC Cincinnati is simply outmanned at this point. They have a long road ahead of them.

23. New England (2-7-2, LW: 23)

Nothing says horrible like giving up six goals to a conference rival.

24. Colorado Rapids (0-8-2, LW: 24)

What can fix this mess?

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