MLS Power Rankings: Atlanta United is back on top

Atlanta United's 3-1 win over D.C. United moved it back on top in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings.

The Five Stripes, who have lost only one of  their last 10 games, are followed by New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls, MLS's two best teams since the World Cup break. Portland and FC Dallas dropped to 4-5 after they both tied.

MLS, Week 21:
Wednesday, July 18
Minnesota United 2 New England 1.
Saturday, July 21
Atlanta United 3 D.C. United 1.
Seattle 2 Vancouver 0.
Chicago 1 Toronto FC 2.
NY Red Bulls 2 New England 0.
Philadelphia 1 LA Galaxy 3.
Columbus 3 Orlando City 2.
Houston 1 FC Dallas 1.
Real Salt Lake 2 Colorado 2.
Portland 2 Montreal 2.
Sunday, July 22
Minnesota United 5 LAFC 1.

Only MLS results are counted in the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record in parentheses (W-L-T) and rank last week.

1. ATLANTA UNITED (13-4-5), 4. In his first start for D.C. United, Wayne Rooney was introduced to the Josef Martinez show. All the Venezuelan did was erase an early 1-0 deficit with all three goals to give him 22 in 22 games and an MLS-record six career hat trick in only 43 games.
2. NEW YORK CITY FC (12-4-4), 3. NYCFC was off this past week. Now new coach Dome Torrent gets to learn all about MLS travel. NYCFC is at Orlando City on Thursday night and at Seattle on Sunday afternoon.
3. NY RED BULLS (12-5-2), 6. The Red Bulls have dominated at Red Bull Arena, where they are now 8-1-1 and have outscored their opponents, 25-6.

4. PORTLAND (8-3-7), 1. 
The Timbers' unbeaten run is now at 13 games --  the longest in MLS in 2018 -- but they had to twice come from behind to earn a tie at home against the Impact. The unbeaten streak began with six wins but it has been followed by five ties in the last seven games.

5. FC DALLAS (11-3-6), 2. FCD would have taken the three points at Houston but for keeper Joe Willis' rare double save on Roland Lamah's penalty kick and follow-up attempt on the rebound of Willis' initial save. The big news out of Friscois the trade that sent Kellyn Acosta to Colorado for Dominique Badji.
6. LA GALAXY (9-7-4), 7. Slowly but surely, the Galaxy is getting its act together. It is now unbeaten in its last seven MLS contests and has scored 18 goals in their last six MLS games. A major factor in recent games has been the work in midfield by Jonathan dos Santos, back from World Cup.

7. LAFC (10-5-5), 5. A big win in the Open Cup -- 3-2 over Portland, which dropped its protest over the inclusion of six foreigners -- was followed by a terrible showing in Minnesota. "We deserved to get smacked," said LAFC coach Bob Bradley.
8. HOUSTON (7-6-6), 9. Mauro Manotas has already matched a career high with 10 goals. He could have had his 11th goal but it was disallowed for offside after Video Review.
 9. MONTREAL (9-12-1), 10. The 2-2 tie at Portland -- the Impact's first draw in 22 games -- gives it a 4-1-1 record, the fourth best in MLS since since the World Cup.
10. COLUMBUS (9-7-6), 13. A big win against Orlando City came after the Crew fell behind twice but rallied for goals by Gyasi Zardes -- his second of the game -- in the 88th minute and captain Wil Trapp's rocket -- just his second goal in 145 MLS games -- in stoppage time.

11. SPORTING KC (9-5-6), 11. SKC was off this weekend after losing at Houston, 4-2, in the Open Cup. Peter Vermes was livid, saying a couple of players "gave up" and are going to find themselves "very, very, very, very, very far away from the team." We should know Saturday who he was talking about when SKC hosts FC Dallas.
12. REAL SALT LAKE (9-9-3), 12.
A 71-minute weather delay shifted momentum, and RSL, up by two goals after 17 minutes, had to settle for a tie against the Rapids. Not a good start to head coach Mike Petke's two-ame suspension.

13. NEW ENGLAND (7-7-7), 8. For the first time under Brad Friedel, the Revs have a losing streak: three games. But despite two losses last week, New England still has a four-point cushion in sixth place. The three teams below it in the Eastern Conference all lost.
14. SEATTLE (5-9-5), 15. New DP Raul Ruidiaz made his MLS debut in the second half against the 'Caps. With Kelvin Leerdam back from injury and Gustav Svensson back from the World Cup, things are starting to look up in Seattle, now unbeaten in four games in a row.
15. MINNESOTA UNITED  (9-11-1), 17. The win over LAFC was the Loons' second of the week and third in a row to move into playoff contention. The catalyst: Colombian Darwin Quintero, who had one goal and two assists against LAFC to give him six goals and four assists in his last five games.
16. VANCOUVER (7-9-5), 14. Amid reports of a move to Bayern Munich, Alphonso Davies didn't dress for the Whitecaps' defeat at Seattle, its fourth loss in the last five games.
17. D.C. UNITED (3-8-5), 16. Zoltan Stieber put United ahead in the eighth minute, but it couldn't hold off the inevitable Atlanta onslaught.
18. PHILADELPHIA (7-10-3), 18. The loss to the Galaxy was the Union's fourth in its last six games, a downer after the game drew the highest announced attendance figure in Chester since 2013.

19. COLORADO (4-11-5), 19. The equalizer at RSL came in 88th minute when an opportunistic Dillon Serna nailed a rebound past Nick Rimando for his first goal of the season. He's played just 192 minutes in his sixth season in MLS. Perhaps the goal will lead to more playing time.
20. TORONTO FC (5-11-4), 22. The good news: TFC won in Jozy Altidore's first game back in more than two months. But the Reds are still in 10th place and nine points below the red line.

21. CHICAGO (6-11-5), 20. In midweek, the Fire beat Louisville City to advance to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup. But the win was costly: Dax McCarty injured his hamstring and will probably miss 2-4 weeks. Not good news for the Fire, riding a four-game losing streak after its loss at home to Toronto FC.
22. ORLANDO CITY (7-12-1), 21.
The Lions were fuming about the penalty that led to Zardes' tying goal whistled in the 88th minute. After the loss, CEO Alex Leitao and forward Dom Dwyer went off on the refereeing and will likely have to pay up.

23. SAN JOSE (2-11-6), 23. A 0-0 tie with Manchester United in a meaningless friendly at Levi's Stadium can't erase the trouble in San Jose. First-year head coach Mikael Stahre has gotten a lot of the heat, but Chris Wondolowski was blunt that the problems aren't of the Swede's doing alone.

MLS, Week 22 Schedule:
Wednesday, July 25
D.C United vs. NY Red Bulls 8 pm (ESPN+)
Houston vs. Philadelphia 9 pm (ESPN+)
San Jose vs. Seattle 10:30 pm (ESPN+)
Thursday, July 26
Orlando City vs. NYCFC 8 pm (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
LAFC vs. LA Galaxy 10:30 pm (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
Saturday, July 28
Montreal vs. Atlanta United 7 pm (ESPN+)
NY Red Bulls vs. Columbus 7 pm (ESPN+)
Toronto FC vs. Chicago 7 pm (ESPN+)
D.C. United vs. Colorado 8 pm (ESPN+)
Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas 8:30 pm (ESPN+)
Portland vs. Houston 9 pm (ESPN)
Vancouver vs. Minnesota United 10 pm (ESPN+)
San Jose vs. Real Salt Lake 10:30 pm (ESPN+)
Sunday, July 29
Seattle vs. NYCFC 5 pm (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
LA Galaxy vs. Orlando City 9:30 pm (FS1, Fox Deportes)

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