MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls finish on top

The New York Red Bulls snared the top spot in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings from Atlanta United when they beat the Five Stripes, 2-0, at the end of September, and they won every game after that, taking the Supporters' Shield on Sunday when their rivals faltered at Toronto.

MLS, Week 35 Results:
Sunday, October 28
Seattle 2 San Jose 1.
Vancouver 2 Portland 1.
Columbus 3 Minn. United 2.
NYCFC 3 Philadelphia 1.
Colorado 2 FC Dallas 1.
Chicago 0 D.C. United 0.
Sporting KC 2 LAFC 1.
LA Galaxy 2 Houston 3.
NY Red Bulls 1 Orlando City 0.
Toronto FC 4 Atlanta United 1.
New England 1 Montreal 0.

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. NY RED BULLS (22-7-5), 1.
The Red Bulls set single-season records for wins (22) and points (71) on Sunday by winning their third Supporters' Shield in six years under three different coaches.

2. ATLANTA UNITED (21-7-6), 2. Coach Tata Martino said the Five Stripes wasted everything they had done all season with their performance in Toronto. There's still the playoffs, though.
3. SEATTLE (18-11-5), 3. The Sounders won their last five games and 14 of their last 16. Can they make it to MLS Cup for the third year in a row?
4. SPORTING KC (16-8-8), 4. Losing Seth Sinovic to a red card complicates things for Peter Vermes. He already allowed backup left back Jaylin Lindsey to leave for Florida and join the U-20s. Frenchman Yohan Croizet will probably start on Sunday.
5. LAFC (16-9-9), 5. LAFC blew a chance to become the first expansion team to win a regular-season conference title. Bob Bradley wasn't a happy camper: “I don’t think we were any good today.”
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6. FC DALLAS (16-9-9), 6. FC Dallas went from first to fourth place in the Western Conference with losses in its last two games.
7. PORTLAND (15-10-9), 7.
As it turned out, the Timbers could have taken fourth place -- and earned a home game on Wednesday -- if they had won at Vancouver. But with a quick turnaround, Giovanni Savarese chose to rest his starters. His owner, Merritt Paulson, says it was the right move.
8. D.C. UNITED (14-11-9), 8. A draw in Chicago sends United into the playoffs with a 10-game unbeaten streak. Bonus: It gets a home game for the Knockout Round.
9. NYCFC (16-10-8), 9.
The Cityzens, winners of just one of their previous nine games, woke up just at the right time. They'll face the Union again on Wednesday.
10. PHILADELPHIA (15-14-5), 10. The Union picked the wrong time to play its worst game since losing to Houston in the Open Cup final.
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11. COLUMBUS (14-11-9), 13. Gyasi Zardes scored two goals in 2017 for the LA Galaxy. He had 19 goals in 2018, saving the Crew, which got only 24 goals from the rest of the team.



12. REAL SALT LAKE (14-13-7), 14. Coach Mike Petke spent the first half of the Galaxy-Dynamo game working his barbecue and sitting his office while his staff and their families watched in the TV room. When the shouting started, he joined them.
13. VANCOUVER (13-13-8), 15. Alphonso Davies had all of one assist in his first two seasons (34 games) with the 'Caps. He heads off to Bayern Munich after finishing the 2018 season with eight goals -- two on Sunday -- and 11 assists.
14. LA GALAXY (13-12-9), 11. Since MLS started Decision Day, has a team ever choked like the Galaxy did in blowing a 2-0 lead against Houston?
15. MONTREAL (14-16-4), 12. The Impact started the season with a 2-10-0 record, digging too deep a hole that it could never get out of. Still, 12-6-4 the rest of the way was impressive.
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16. HOUSTON (10-16-8), 17. Mauro Manotas finished with eight goals in his last eight games for a Dynamo record 19 goals, none bigger than the two goals that knocked the Galaxy out of the playoffs.
17. NEW ENGLAND (10-13-11), 18. The Revs finished with a 3-3-2 record over their last eight games, but they were 0-6-2 over the eight games before that when their season took a turn for the worse.
18. TORONTO FC (10-18-6), 19. Coach Greg Vanney said the season finale was a chance to make the 2017 championship season mean something -- deny Atlanta United the league points record it shared with the Reds. They did just that, but they could do nothing to stop the Red Bulls from breaking the record en route to winning the Supporters' Shield.
19. MINNESOTA UNITED (11-20-3), 16. in early October, Loons CEO Chris Wright gave GM Manny Lagos and Coach Adrian Heath "passing grades" for 2018. But that was before the Loons finished with four straight defeats, conceding 13 goals. Will there be changes now?
20. CHICAGO (8-18-8), 20. It's too early to tell whether Bastian Schweinsteiger will be back in 2019. The German World Cup champion's assessment after two seasons in MLS? "It's an interesting league with a lot of potential."
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21. COLORADO (8-19-7), 22. The Rapids went unbeaten in their last three games. They coincided with the first three starts in central midfield for 17-year-old Cole Bassett, who scored the first goal on Sunday.
22. ORLANDO CITY (8-22-4), 21. The Lions capped off the worst of their four MLS seasons by clinching an MLS record for the worst defense in league history (74 goals allowed).
23. SAN JOSE (4-21-9), 23. Interim coach Steve Ralston departs after going winless in six games (0-5-1 record).

MLS, Knockout Round Schedule:
Eastern Conference
Wednesday, October 31
#3 NYCFC vs. #6 Philadelphia, 7 pm. ET (FS1, UniMas)
Thursday, November 1
#4 D.C. United vs. #5 Columbus, 8 pm. ET (FS1, UniMas)
Western Conference
Wednesday, October 31
#4 FC Dallas vs. #5 Portland, 9:30 pm. ET (ESPN+, UniMas)
Thursday, November 1
#3 LAFC vs. #6 Real Salt Lake, 10:30 pm. ET (ESPN2, UniMas)

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