The 2019 MLS season completed with a new Supporter’s Shield winner and a playoff contender’s collapse finished. Los Angeles FC finished a dominating season with a 21-4-9 record and an astounding +48 goal differential. Meanwhile, the San Jose Earthquakes fell apart with six straight losses to end any chance of making the playoffs.
Here is a look at the final 2019 Cincinnati Soccer Talk MLS Power Rankings:
(Legend: (W-L-T, LW: last week’s rankings )
1. Los Angeles FC (21-4-9, LW: 1)
LAFC struggled at times late in the season. However, it turned it up late to prove once again that it is the team to beat. One concern might be in the second round where a potential matchup with the Los Angeles Galaxy might be there.
2. New York City FC (18-6-10, LW: 2)
New York City FC finished the season with convincing wins over both of its major rivals in the Eastern Conference. Now can it navigate the playoffs and potentially defeat LAFC?
3. Atlanta United FC (18-12-4, LW: 3)
Atlanta United found a way to finish among the league’s leaders, but its day of dominating MLS are over for now. They simply aren’t the same team.
4. Philadelphia Union (16-11-7, LW: 4)
I have my doubts about the Union on the playoffs, but I still trust them more than the Sounders to make a deep run at this point.
5. Seattle Sounders FC (16-10-8, LW: 6)
The Sounders finished strong defensively. However, their lack of consistency throughout the season leaves plenty of questions.
6. Minnesota United FC (15-11-8, LW: 5)
Minnesota United faced some tough questions throughout the season, and it usually answered them. However, a season-ending loss to Seattle raised some new questions about whether or not it can make a run against the conference’s toughest teams in the playoffs.
7. Real Salt Lake (16-13-5, LW: 7)
RSL’s home loss to the Galaxy would have buried teams with less character. Instead, RSL used its opportunities to finish with the third seed.
8. Toronto FC (13-10-11, LW: 10)
Few people believed Toronto would make the postseason, let alone host a playoff game. Surprise, surprise.
9. D.C. United (13-10-9, LW: 9)
D.C. United completed the season with two uninspiring ties and no goals scored. Does it have enough firepower to make a difference?
10. Los Angeles Galaxy (16-15-4, LW: 8)
The Galaxy’s backline is a problem. They might be able to survive against Minnesota United, but will the Galaxy be able to hold off their crosstown rivals again?
11.Portland Timbers (14-13-7, LW: 14)
I have serious reservations about the Timbers, but the truth is they still put together a solid run to make the playoffs.
12. New England Revolution (11-11-12, LW: 13)
The 2-0 win over NYCFC showed the Revolution have a shot in the right situation. Their problem is the right situation would involve a home match. That likely won’t happen in the playoffs.
13. FC Dallas (13-12-9, LW: 12)
FC Dallas enters the playoffs as the league’s equivalent to Jekyll and Hyde.
14. New York Red Bulls (14-14-6, LW: 11)
Don’t expect much from the Red Bulls this postseason.
15. Colorado Rapids (12-16-6, LW: 15)
Colorado’s 3-0 victory over Dallas again exhibited how different this season could have been for the Rapids
16. Chicago Fire (10-12-12, LW: 17)
Back to Soldier Field in 2020 for the Fire.
17. Houston Dynamo (12-18-4, LW: 18)
The Dynamo ended any hopes the Galaxy had of hosting a home playoff game in the first round.
18. Columbus Crew (10-15-9, LW: 20)
The Crew earned 2-0 win over the Union late in the season. Too little, too late.
19. San Jose Earthquakes (13-16-5, LW: 16)
Thus ends one of the most epic collapses in MLS history. San Jose must answer some key questions in the offseason if it is going to recover for 2020.
20. Montreal Impact (12-17-5, LW: 22)
Another season, another missed playoff berth.
21. Orlando City (9-15-10, LW: 19)
Leave it to Orlando City to give up on another coach. Stability matters. When will they get the memo?
22. Vancouver Whitecaps (8-16-10, LW: 23)
Vancouver played well down the stretch, including a 4-3 upset victory over the Galaxy.
23. Sporting Kansas City (10-14-7, LW: 21)
If done right, Sporting Kansas City’s rebuild should be short.
24. FC Cincinnati (6-22-6, LW: 24)
Expansion seasons are almost always difficult, but it’s hard to believe that FC Cincinnati will be a contender any time soon. Various writers here at CST may disagree, but the club failed to build much of a foundation for the future this season. Winning is going to take time in the Queen City.