Week 24 of the 2019 season showed MLS which teams will dominate the news for the league in the stretch run. Los Angeles FC beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 at Rio Tinto behind Carlos Vela and Adala Diomande. Meanwhile, Atlanta United outplayed Portland 2-0 in another road victory to take over first in the Eastern Conference.
Here are the Week 24 Power Rankings:
(Legend: (W-L-T, LW: last week’s rankings )
1. Los Angeles FC (18-3-4, LW: 1)
Winning at Rio Tinto remains one of the toughest tasks in MLS. LAFC made its points loud and clear.
2. Atlanta United FC (14-9-3, LW: 3)
Josef Martinez scored in his 11th straight game as Atlanta United continued its rise back to the top.
3. Minnesota United (12-8-6, LW: 5)
Minnesota United continues to show it belongs near the top of the league with its consistent effort weekly.
4. Philadelphia Union (13-8-6, LW: 2)
The 2-0 loss at Chicago will come back to hurt the Union.
5. New York City FC (11-5-8, LW: 7)
FC Cincinnati tested New York City FC at times early in their match, but their depth overwhelmed the home club as time wore on.
6. Seattle Sounders FC (11-8-7, LW: 4)
The Sounders finished Week 24 with plenty of questions, especially after a red card gifted them a chance at a road win in Los Angeles. Instead, they barely earned the tie.
7. Los Angeles Galaxy (13-11-2, LW: 11)
The Galaxy earned a solid 2-0 win over Dallas midweek, but their draw against Seattle showed a level of grit we haven’t seen from them all season. Somehow, they played almost the entire match with 10 men and still earned a point.
8. Real Salt Lake (12-10-4, LW: 8)
RSL’s 3-0 victory over Seattle set the table for a huge matchup with LAFC. It gave LAFC some problems, but RSL’s lack of high-end talent showed in a rare home loss.
9. Portland Timbers (11-10-4, LW: 9)
The Timbers suffered a 2-0 loss at home to Atlanta, but the score is a bit deceiving. Portland stuck with United for much of the match, and a few bounces simply didn’t go its way.
10. San Jose Earthquakes (11-9-5, LW: 6)
Has San Jose peaked?
11. D.C. United (10-8-9, LW: 10)
D.C. United’s loss at Vancouver left it only five points ahead of Orlando City. What was once a promising season could become a disaster for United.
12. New York Red Bulls (11-10-5, LW: 13)
New York’s tough 1-1 tie with New England really should have been a win.
13. New England Revolution (9-9-8, LW: 14)
Imagine how good the Revolution would be with just another scorer or two. Expect the Revolution to make a big leap next season.
14. FC Dallas (10-10-7, LW: 12)
FC Dallas fell flat at Los Angeles but had a chance for redemption in Montreal. Facing a leaky backline, Dallas fell behind 3-0 before rallying for the tie.
15. Orlando City (9-11-7, LW: 16)
Orlando City’s backline turned in a gem against a desperate Sporting Kansas City club. They’re lingering in the playoff race.
16. Toronto FC (9-10-7, LW: 15)
Toronto FC needed at least a point at rival Columbus, but a win would have made a huge difference.
17. Chicago Fire (8-11-9, LW: 17)
Chicago pulled off another big victory when it knocked the Union out of first place. The question is whether or not the Fire can build on this as the playoffs draw near.
18. Sporting Kansas City (8-11-9, LW: 19)
SKC needed points at Orlando and failed. However, its 2-1 victory over slumping San Jose put it in striking distance of the Timber. Unfortunately, SKC’s track record this season doesn’t say much for its chances.
19. Montreal Impact (10-13-4, LW: 18)
The Impact will look back on their 3-3 tie with Dallas as the match that changed their season. Montreal blew a 3-0 lead at home to a team worn out by travel. Only the Impact…
20. Houston Dynamo (9-13-4, LW: 20)
The Dynamo managed a 2-2 tie against the Colorado Rapids in their first match since firing manager Wilber Cabrera.
21. Colorado Rapids (7-13-6, LW: 21)
Colorado continues to improve defensively, but anything it does is for next year at this point.
22. Vancouver Whitecaps (6-12-9, LW: 23)
Vancouver stunned D.C. United with the 1-0 victory, despite being outshot 24-8.
23. Columbus Crew (7-14-6, LW: 22)
The Crew snapped defeat from the jaws of victory with sluggish marking against Jozy Altidore late against Toronto FC.
24. FC Cincinnati (5-18-3, LW: 24)
A win over Columbus in the return match for Hell is Real would mean the world to FCC fans.