Power Rankings

MLS Week 1 Power Rankings: Expansion teams drop first games, Atlanta loses Martinez

Derek Ciapala ranks his top 10 MLS teams after the first week in action.

Week 1 of the 2020 MLS campaign featured the debuts of the two newest expansion teams, Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF. Unfortunately, both clubs discovered how difficult it would be to win in this league with opening losses to powerhouses Atlanta United FC and Los Angeles FC.

Speaking of Atlanta United, its road back to the MLS Cup took a severe hit when striker Josef Martinez suffered a torn ACL in the 63rd minute of its 2-1 victory. Atlanta will need to find some scoring help quickly if it is going to keep pace with the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Here are the Week 1 Power Rankings:

Note: Given the league’s parity, I hold a general lack of trust in the MLS power structure. Therefore, expect the early season power rankings to fall more in line with overall performance instead of trends.

(Legend: (W-L-T, LW: last week’s rankings)


1. Seattle Sounders FC (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

The defending MLS Cup champions rebounded from early issues to beat Chicago Fire FC 2-1 at home. Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan led the charge and appear ready for a title defense.

2. LAFC (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

LAFC didn’t exactly dominate its season-opening 1-0 victory over Inter Miami CF, but its mainstay goal-scorer Carlos Vela ensured the three points. Also, don’t look now, but LAFC appear to have overtaken the L.A. Galaxy in the City of Angels. The Galaxy ranked second in MLS in November at $480 million. LAFC blew past that number at $700 million with a recent stock-sale.

3. Atlanta United (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

Atlanta United’s title hopes took a huge hit in Week 1. Can they find a goal scorer?

4. Minnesota United FC (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

Minnesota United flashed its potential last season, so an early season victory at Portland shouldn’t be surprising. However, no one expected dominance on the Timbers’ home field.

5. Columbus Crew SC (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

The Crew entered the season as one of the league’s mystery teams. A season-opening 1-0 win over short-handed New York City FC doesn’t change that, but it’s a start.

6. Montreal Impact (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

Good win by the Montreal Impact to open the 2020 season. Can it keep it up?

7. Sporting Kansas City (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

Sporting Kansas City’s 2019 struggles appear to be behind it. Any win on the road is a good one, even a victory at Vancouver

8. FC Dallas (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

FC Dallas gave a solid, well-rounded performance in its 2-0 victory over Philadelphia. Look out for Dallas. It may surprise some teams this season.

9. Colorado Rapids (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

The Rapids will take any victory after their disastrous start last season, but the 2-1 victory over D.C. United gave their fans a lot to be happy about.

10. New York Red Bulls (1-0-0, LW: N/A)

At this point, a victory over FC Cincinnati is worth the paper I … nevermind.


11. Toronto FC (0-0-1, LW: N/A)

12. Houston Dynamo (0-0-1, LW: N/A)

13. L.A. Galaxy (0-0-1, LW: N/A)

14. Real Salt Lake (0-0-1, LW: N/A)

15. San Jose Earthquakes (0-0-1, LW: N/A)

16. Orlando City SC (0-0-1, LW: N/A)

17. NYCFC (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

18. Chicago Fire FC (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

19. Inter Miami CF (0-1-0, LW: N/A)


20. Philadelphia Union (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

21. D.C. United (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

22. Nashville SC (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

23. New England Revolution (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

24. Portland Timbers (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

25. Vancouver Whitecaps (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

26. FC Cincinnati (0-1-0, LW: N/A)

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