Week 13 of the 2019 MLS season turned the Western Conference on its head. Minnesota United scored massive 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo, signalling a possible change in that franchise’s direction. Meanwhile, Sporting Kansas City flashed back to recent history with a 3-2 victory over second-place Seattle. Finally, the Colorado Rapids won their second straight match with a 3-2 win over the collapsing Columbus Crew.
Here is a look at our MLS Power Rankings after Week 13:
(Legend: (W-L-T, LW: last week’s rankings )
1. Los Angels FC (10-1-4, LW: 1)
LAFC’s dominance continued in a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Impact in a match that ended much closer than it actually was. There’s little room for error against LAFC, and the Impact made the biggest one of all seven minutes into the match. Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush’s failed clearance bounced off of LAFC’s Chrisian Ramirez and became the first goal. The flood gates opened from there to give LAFC a 4-0 lead. LAFC is too good for teams to make early mistakes. They stand alone atop of MLS after Week 13.
2. Seattle Sounders FC (7-2-5, LW: 2)
The top 10 struggled overall this week, but since almost everyone lost or tied, we’re going to see little movement. In the Sounders’ case, they remain in second after a wild loss at Sporting Kansas City. The bigger concern for Seattle is whether or not it can be consistent enough to challenge LAFC. Right now, it is a Jekyll and Hyde team that never ceases to surprise us from week to week.
3. Houston Dynamo (7-3-3, LW: 3)
Houston controlled possession for much of the match at Minnesota, but the Dynamo struggled to finish. I wouldn’t be too worried if I were a Houston fan. This is a well-built club that came up against a quickly improving franchise on the road.
4. D.C. United (7-4-4, LW: 5)
Wayne Rooney’s 90th minute penalty kick salvaged a point for D.C. United, which put it back in first place. However, D.C. has gone three matches without a win. Will they get it together?
5. Philadelphia (7-4-3, LW: 4)
The Union have exceeded expectations thus far, but they can’t lose matches to struggling clubs and hope to win the East. Is their 3-1 home loss to Portland a sign of the future or a fluke?
6. L.A. Galaxy (8-5-1, LW: 8)
It’s hard to say where the Galaxy will finish this season. On one hand, the team is better than last year’s squad. Yet the roster still has plenty of flaws. Orlando City outplayed the Galaxy for much of their match, but Los Angeles came up on the back line at the right team.
7. New York City FC (4-1-7, LW: 7)
The Chicago Fire outplayed NYCFC for much of the match, but they proved unable to breakdown their backline. If there is anything that has kept NYCFC contending this season, it’s been their back line. The club’s tough defense salvaged a point.
8. Minnesota United FC (6-4-3, LW: 9)
The jury has been out on Minnesota this season, but its win over the Houston Dynamo could well be a franchise changer.
9. New York Red Bulls (6-5-3, LW: 10)
The Red Bulls beat FC Cincinnati 2-0 in a match where the favorites were dominated for much of the match.
10. Atlanta United FC (6-5-2, LW: 6)
Atlanta lost its second in a row when it dropped a 2-1 match at Real Salt Lake. Winning at Rio Tinto remains one of the toughest tasks in MLS, so that’s not the concern. The real problem for the defending champs is the 14 goals scored in 13 games.
11. Real Salt Lake (6-6-1, LW: 14)
RSL’s Jefferson Savarino scored the game-winning goal as time expired against Atlanta. His goal sent RSL to fifth in the Western Conference standings with its third straight victory.
12. San Jose Earthquakes (5-6-3, LW: 17)
Chris Wondolowski’s scoring run continued with both goals in San Jose’s 2-1 win at Toronto. He recorded his 150th goal in the 81st minute.
13. Montreal Impact (6-5-3, LW: 12)
Losing a match at LAFC should be expected at this point. However, if the Impact are ever going to make a long-term move in the Eastern Conference, they need to be more consistent.
14. FC Dallas (5-6-3, LW: 11)
It’s a long season, so maybe Dallas can turn the season around. However, there is no real easy fix for Dallas’ problems.
15. Toronto FC (5-6-2, LW: 13)
Three straight home losses and several missing players equals all kinds of questions for Toronto FC.
16. Chicago Fire (4-5-5, LW: 15)
The Fire needed a home win over NYCFC. They will take the points, but a win over a fellow playoff contender would have made a huge difference.
17. Portland Timbers (4-6-2, LW: 20)
Portland’s early struggles were only exacerbated with a season opening 12-game road trip. Now it will go home only four points out of playoff position. Its 3-1 victory over then Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia should serve as a warning to the rest of the league that Portland will be dangerous entering the summer.
18. Vancouver Whitecaps (4-6-5, LW: 19)
Parity rules MLS. Look no further than Vancouver — a team that sits 18th in our power rankings but is only one point out of a playoff spot.
19. Sporting Kansas City (3-4-5, LW: 21)
Will SKC’s huge win over the Sounders begin an early summer run?
20. Orlando City (4-7-3, LW: 16)
Orlando City controlled much of its 1-0 loss to the Galaxy, but it proved unable to score when it counted.
21. Columbus Crew (5-9-1, LW: 18)
The Crew’s loss at Colorado set the low point of the season thus far. It’s unbelievable that a club with the Crew’s talent level has nine losses in its first 15 games. Still, the season isn’t lost. The Crew sit only one point out of a playoff spot right now.
22. New England Revolution (3-8-4, LW: 22)
New England gave D.C. United all it could handle and probably should have won the match. Wayne Rooney was the difference. He served as a great example of why the Revolution are languishing near last place. Rooney represents the level of player that the Revolution never sign. Maybe that will change under Bruce Arena.
23. FC Cincinnati (3-9-2, LW: 23)
“Pathetic”? No. Shorthanded? Yes. Give credit where credit is due that FC Cincinnati realized what wasn’t working in the Queen City. I only wish the club would have figured it out a little sooner.
24. Colorado Rapids (2-9-2, LW: 24)
Don’t be surprised if the Rapids move out of last place soon. If they can square away that back line just a little, the offense will score enough to be competitive.