Week 14 of the 2019 MLS season featured a wakeup call for the city of Los Angeles. It’s been no secret that second-year franchise Los Angeles FC have been the class of the league this season, so much so that the five-time MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy have become an afterthought. This weekend highlighted that change in hierarchy with LAFC’s tough road win at Portland, while the Galaxy suffered a 2-1 upset at home to one of the worst teams in the league. It’s the second time in four games that the Galaxy lost to a league-bottomfeeder on their own pitch.
Meanwhile, the revitalized Colorado Rapids ran their unbeaten streak to four games with the 3-1 victory over FC Cincinnati. It’s not too late for the Rapids to get back in the playoff race, but they will need plenty of help.
Here is a look at our MLS Power Rankings after Week 14:
(Legend: (W-L-T, LW: last week’s rankings )
1. LAFC (11-1-4, LW: 1)
LAFC’s dominance should carry them to a Western Conference title, especially if Houston doesn’t fully get it together. Houston is probably best suited to beat LAFC, which is still a tall order unless the league leaders suffer a major injury.
2. Philadelphia Union (8-4-4, LW: 5)
The Union’s 3-2 victory at Minnesota was as impressive as they come. Philadelphia struggled at times in a tough venue, but the club’s hardworking nature resulted in a late game-winning goal. It’s hard to say whether or not the Union have the talent for a deep run into the playoffs, but everything else is there for success.
3. Houston Dynamo (7-3-3, LW: 3)
It’s hard to get a handle on the Dynamo right now. Overall, they sit in solid position for the stretch run of the season. But something is off about the Dynamo right now. The talent is there, but are the Dynamo mentally tough enough to win the big matches?
4. Atlanta United FC (8-5-2, LW: 10)
Last week, I questioned whether or not Atlanta could score enough to recapture last season’s magic. They proved me wrong last week with five goals combined in victories against solid opponents, Minnesota United and the Chicago Fire.
5. Seattle Sounders FC (7-3-5, LW: 2)
Two own goals sunk the Sounders’ hopes at FC Dallas. Yes, two own goals from an expensive back line.
6. D.C. United (7-4-6, LW: 4)
D.C. United’s two home ties wouldn’t be a problem if those ties came against clubs like Philadelphia and the New York Red Bulls. However, their draws against the Fire and Earthquakes were cases of the D.C. playing down to an opponent. United will regret not taking three points from one of those matches.
7. New York Red Bulls (7-5-3, LW: 9)
What a dominant performance by the Red Bulls in their 4-0 victory over Real Salt Lake. The Red Bulls outshot RSL 19-10, with nearly 63% possession and four different goal-scorers.
8. New York City FC (4-1-8, LW: 7)
Sooner or later, NYC FC needs to win some of these matches.
9. L.A. Galaxy (9-6-1, LW: 6)
The Galaxy deserve no quarter from criticism following the embarrassing 2-1 loss to Bruce Arena’s New England Revolution. It’s a devastating loss for a team about to hit the meat of its schedule.
10. Montreal Impact (7-7-3, LW: 13)
The cream is rising to the top in MLS. As a result, there are about 10 teams between 10-19 that are as mediocre as they come. Montreal takes this slot out of respect for its seven wins. Still, the Impact’s 3-0 home loss to Orlando City is a black mark on their record.
11. FC Dallas (6-6-3, LW: 14)
FC Dallas benefited from a leaky Seattle back line to break its winless streak.
12. Minnesota United (6-6-3, LW: 8)
Minnesota United suffered through a tough week. Two matches against Eastern Conference title contenders equalled two losses.
13. San Jose Earthquakes (5-6-3, LW: 12)
The Earthquakes got another goal from Chris Wondolowski, but it wasn’t enough to earn the three points.
14. Toronto FC (5-6-3, LW: 15)
Nick DeLeon snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat with a 90th minute goal in Vancouver.
15. Real Salt Lake (6-8-1, LW: 11)
Real Salt Lake’s hot and cold year continued with two road losses, including a 4-0 drubbing at the Red Bulls.
16. Orlando City (5-7-3, LW: 20)
Orlando scored a massive 3-0 win at Montreal in a game that was close early until Nani’s penalty kick goal.
17. Chicago Fire (4-6-6, LW: 16)
The Fire hung with D.C. United in a shootout, but they couldn’t handle the Atlanta United back line. The loss is more of an indicator of Atlanta than anything else.
18. Vancouver Whitecaps (4-6-6, LW: 18)
What a tough way to lose a victory in the 1-1 draw with Toronto. Still, the Whitecaps will take the draw.
19. Portland Timbers (4-7-2, LW: 17)
The Timbers finally returned home after 12 straight road games to start the season. Unfortunately, LAFC stood waiting for them.
20. Sporting Kansas City (3-5-6, LW: 19)
Sporting Kansas City’s 2-0 home loss to the L.A. Galaxy ended any thought that I had about the club fixing its season
21. Columbus Crew SC (5-9-2, LW: 21)
The Crew said goodbye to goalkeeper Zach Steffen in their 2-2 draw with NYCFC.
22. New England Revolution (4-8-4, LW: 22)
The Revolution deserved every point they earned in the 2-1 win over the Galaxy.
23. Colorado Rapids (3-9-3, LW: 24)
Colorado has a chance to extend their winless streak to five games against Minnesota United on Saturday.
24. FC Cincinnati (3-10-2, LW: 23)
Unfortunately, I expected FCC to be here at some point this season. I have several questions about the process management used to build this club. Expansion teams often struggle, but the unbalanced nature of the roster has me scratching my head.