Week 29 of the MLS season featured several teams making their playoff push. The New York Red Bulls hurt the Philadelphia Union’s chances of winning the Eastern Conference title with a devastating 2-0 victory. New York’s win unbelievably kept it within a point of earning a first-round home game. Meanwhile, Atlanta United recovered from its shock loss to the Columbus Crew with two straight victories.
Out west, the Los Angeles Galaxy earned a critical 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact to land in fourth place. Elsewhere, Minnesota United pulled closer to the second-place Seattle Sounders with a tough 0-0 tie at Portland.
Here is a look at the Week 29 Cincinnati Soccer Talk MLS Power Rankings:
(Legend: (W-L-T, LW: last week’s rankings )
1. Los Angeles FC (19-4-8, LW: 1)
LAFC dominated MLS this season, but its recent struggles should raise some eyebrows.
2. New York City FC (16-5-10, LW: 2)
NYCFC can clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over Atlanta United and a Philadelphia loss or tie this week.
3. Atlanta United FC (17-11-3, LW: 4)
Atlanta still has a chance to win the regular season Eastern Conference title, but it needs a little help. Oh, and it has to do it without Josef Martinez.
4. Philadelphia Union (15-9-7, LW: 4)
The Union have faded a bit recently, but they still have an outside shot at one of the top two seeds in the East.
5. Minnesota United FC (14-10-7, LW: 5)
I would have thought someone crazy for predicting Minnesota United to finish in the top three teams out west. Actually, Minnesota appears to be more of a threat than the Sounders right now.
6. Seattle Sounders FC (14-10-8, LW: 7)
The Sounders’ 2-0 loss to D.C. United should serve as a reminder that they are not true contenders.
7. Real Salt Lake (14-12-5, LW: 9)
RSL faces the L.A. Galaxy at Rio Tinto in what should be regarded as a must-win for both clubs.
8. Los Angeles Galaxy (15-13-3, LW: 11)
Something woke up in the Galaxy with their seven-goal demolition of the Sporting Kansas City a couple weeks ago. However, winning at Rio Tinto may be a bit much for them.
9. D.C. United (13-10-9, LW: 12)
D.C. United vaulted back into the fourth seed with a tough 2-0 win over the visiting Seattle Sounders.
10. Toronto FC (12-10-10, LW: 13)
Toronto FC’s fortunes looked dim as it entered the season, but it overcame some definitive flaws. Now it might just earn a home playoff game with Chicago and Columbus still on the schedule.
11. New York Red Bulls (14-13-5, LW: 14)
Two critical victories in a row over quality opponents clinched a playoff berth for the Red Bulls.
12. FC Dallas (12-11-9, LW: 10)
The tie with NYCFC keeps Dallas ahead of struggling San Jose and Portland.
13. New England Revolution (10-10-11, LW: 13)
The Revolution’s toughness has made them a leading candidate for team to watch entering 2020.
14. Portland Timbers (13-13-5, LW: 8)
Well, the Timbers had everything set for them, and they blew it.
15. Colorado Rapids (11-15-6, LW: 19)
Imagine where the Rapids would be ranked if they showed up for their first 11 matches.
16. San Jose Earthquakes (13-13-5, LW: 6)
San Jose’s collapse is nearly complete. What happened to the team that swept the Galaxy and gave the rest of the league fits?
17. Chicago Fire (9-12-11, LW: 17)
Chicago really blew an opportunity to pull closer in the East with the 0-0 draw with FC Cincinnati.
18. Houston Dynamo (11-16-4, LW: 22)
Too little, too late for the Dynamo.
19. Orlando City (9-14-9, LW: 18)
The loss to Houston likely ended Orlando’s hopes for a playoff spot.
20. Columbus Crew (9-15-8, LW: 21)
The Crew showed their improvement with a 3-1 win over Atlanta. It’s something to build on for next year.
21. Sporting Kansas City (10-14-7, LW: 16)
Epic failure of a season for Sporting Kansas City.
22. Montreal Impact (11-17-4, LW: 21)
At least they gave the Galaxy a match.
23. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7-15-10, LW: 23)
Will the Whitecaps ever draw a star-caliber player on their turf?
24. FC Cincinnati (6-22-4, LW: 24)
So many flaws on this roster. It’s going to take some time before FC Cincinnati can compete for a playoff berth.