MLS Power Rankings: FC Cincinnati continues dominant form

Seattle moved back into first place in the Western Conference but lost Jordan Morris for 2-3 weeks when he injured his groin on the same play in which he scored the winning goal against the Red Bulls. (Photo: Jane Gershovich/Sounders FC Communications)

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FC Cincinnati remained on top in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings, where there was just one change in the top five.

1. (1) FC Cincinnati (10-1-3)
Last Week
: 1-0 at Colorado. This Week: Wednesday, at NYCFC, Saturday, vs. Chicago.
FC Cincinnati, which opened up a five-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield standings with a game in hand, is just the fifth team in MLS history to reach 33 points in 14 or fewer matches. The other teams -- the LA Galaxy in 1998 and 2010, Sporting Kansas City in 2000 and Miami Fusion in 2001 -- all went on to win the Supporters’ Shield in their respective seasons.

2. (2) LAFC (7-1-4)
Last Week
: bye. This Week: Wednesday, at Leon, Concacaf Champions League, Sunday, vs. Leon, Concacaf Champions League.
Because of Concacaf Champions League, LAFC will go three weeks between MLS games, then play five MLS games in 15 days.

3. (3) Nashville SC (8-3-4)
Last Week
: 3-1 vs. Columbus. This Week: Wednesday, bye, Saturday, at FC Dallas.
• Hany Mukhtar has been a big part of Nashville's seven-game unbeaten streak with seven goals and three assists during the run, but another key has been the continued work of its defense, which hasn’t allowed more than one goal in any match during the run.

4. (4) Philadelphia (7-4-3)
Last Week: 3-1 at NYCFC. This Week: Wednesday, vs. Charlotte FC, Saturday, vs. CF Montreal.
Julian Carranza, who had two goals in the win over NYCFC at Citi Field, will go down as one of the great steals in the history of MLS trades. The Union sent Inter Miami a second-round pick in the 2022 SuperDraft for a loan deal at the start of the 2022 season and then sent $500,000 in GAM and a future transfer percentage to secure the Argentine on a permanent transfer. In 44 Union games, he has scored 21 goals and added 12 assists.

5. (6) St. Louis City (8-4-1)
Last Week
: 3-1 vs. Vancouver. This Week: Wednesday, bye, Saturday, vs. Houston.
• Youth Movement: 
Miguel Perez graduated from Pattonville High School last Thursday. Two days later, his first MLS goal in stoppage time secured the win over the Whitecaps.

6. (5)  FC Dallas (6-3-5)
Last Week
: 1-1 at San JoseThis Week: Wednesday, at Sporting KC, Saturday, vs. Nashville SC.
 Nkosi Tafari scored in the 94th minute to earn FC Dallas a point against the Quakes, its 10th point earned from losing positions this season, the most an MLS team has recovered.

7. (8) Seattle (8-5-2)
Last Week: 1-0 vs. NY Red Bulls. This Week: Wednesday, vs. San Jose, Saturday, vs. Portland.
Jordan Morris injured his groin on the same play in which he scored the winning goal against the Red Bulls -- his first goal since April 1 and ninth of the season. He's unavailable for Wednesday’s game against San Jose, though he's already started training again. Coach Brian Schmetzer's assessment: “We’ll bring him along slowly, probably two weeks, three weeks tops.”

8. (7) New England (7-3-4)
Last Week
: 3-3  vs. Chicago. This Week: Wednesday, at Atlanta United, Saturday, at NYCFC.
The Revs' comeback from 2-0 down against the Fire began with a long-range rocket in the 38th minute from 18-year-old Noel Buck, who is scheduled to graduate from Arlington (Mass.) High School later this week.

9. (9) Atlanta United (6-4-5)
Last Week
: 1-1 at Orlando City. This Week: Wednesday, vs. New England, Saturday, bye.
• Goalkeeper Brad Guzan recorded four saves in his return to the starting lineup seven weeks after he suffered a sprained MCL against New York City FC.

10. (10) Orlando City (5-4-5)
Last Week
: 1-1 vs. Atlanta United. This Week: Wednesday, Saturday.
The Lions had to settle for a tie against Atlanta on Tyler Wolff's goal in the 86th minute, leaving them as the only team in MLS with a losing record at home (2-3-3) and winning record on the road (3-1-2).

11. (11) San Jose (5-5-4)
Last Week
: 1-1 vs. FC Dallas. This Week: Wednesday, Saturday.
• The Earthquakes have dropped eight points on goals conceded in the 90th minute or later -- all three points in a 2-1 loss at Atlanta United on opening day, two in a 1-1 tie at the Red Bulls and one in a 2-1 loss at LAFC, in addition to the two against FC Dallas. Those eight points are the difference between leading the Western Conference and sitting in fifth place.

12. (17) Houston (5-5-3)
Last Week
: 2-1 vs. Austin FC. This Week: Wednesday, at Vancouver, Saturday, at St. Louis City.
• The Dynamo had a lot of reasons to celebrate the 2-1 win over Austin FC on goals by Hector Herrera and Ivan Franco. It ended a four-game winless streak and comes ahead of two games on the road this week. Coach Ben Olsen  said he was also proud how the Dynamo came back from a goal down. "We were down, and we got our first comeback win. That’s great for our psyche that we know we can take a punch and move on.”

13. (14) Minnesota United (5-5-4)
Last Week: 1-1 vs. Real Salt Lake. This Week: Wednesday, at Austin FC, Saturday, vs. Toronto FC.
• Adrian Heath says he prefers to look at the positives rather than the negatives so he seemed OK with taking just one point at home against RSL. It gave the Loons seven points in their last three games after a six-game skid that saw them pick up just one point. "About three games ago," the Minnesota coach said, "if we would have said we’ll take seven points then we would have taken it at the run that we were on at that particular time."

14. (19) Charlotte FC (6-6-3)
Last Week
: 1-0  at LA Galaxy. This Week: Wednesday, at Philadelphia, Saturday, at Columbus.
• Karol Swiderski's winning goal in Carson was set up by Justin Meram, who has a goal or an assist -- two goals and four assists in all -- for Charlotte in all five MLS games it has played in May. (He was acquired in a trade from Real Salt Lake on April 28.)

15. (12)  Vancouver (4-5-5)
Last Week
: 1-3  at St. Louis City. This Week: Wednesday, vs. Houston, Saturday, vs. Sporting KC.
• MLS issued fines to six Vancouver players for a mass confrontation in Saturday’s loss in St. Louis as well as a fine to Coach Vanni Sartini for this tirade (“It’s hard to win when the other team has 12 men") about referee Sergii Boiko  after the match. “Luckily, my parents came yesterday to visit me for two weeks so I’ll ask them to pay for dinner when we are out,” the Whitecaps boss joked Monday.

16. (13) D.C. United (5-6-4)
Last Week
: 0-1 at Toronto FC. This Week: Wednesday, vs. CF Montreal, Saturday, at Inter Miami.
• The three substitutions Wayne Rooney made at the end of a dreadful first half against Toronto FC allowed three veterans to get back on the field after injury layoffs -- Andy Najar and Pedro Santos returned to action for the first time since April 29 and Taxi Fountas for the first time since May 13.

17. (15) Columbus (5-6-3)
Last Week
: 1-3 at Nashville SC. This Week: Wednesday, vs. Colorado, Saturday vs. Charlotte FC.
• The Crew's only win in its last seven games came against the hapless LA Galaxy. On top of that, it was knocked out of the Open Cup last week by the USL Championship's Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

18. (16) Austin FC (4-6-4)
Last Week
: 1-2  at Houston. This Week: Wednesday, vs. Minnesota United, Saturday, vs. Real Salt Lake.
• Gyasi Zardes has scored in three consecutive matches -- his first three goals since his move to Austin -- to give him 100 regular-season goals. He's only the 13th player in league history to reach the century milestone and one of three active players with 100+ goals along with Chicago’s Kei Kamara (143) and Inter Miami’s Josef Martínez (101).

19. (18) NY Red Bulls (3-5-7)
Last Week
: 0-1 at Seattle. This Week: Wednesday, at Inter Miami, Saturday, vs. Orlando City.
• The loss at Seattle was the first in MLS play since Troy Lesesne took over as head coach for Gerhard Struber three weeks ago.

20. (21) Chicago (3-4-7)
Last Week
: 3-3 at New England. This Week: Wednesday, at Toronto FC, Saturday, at FC Cincinnati.
• The Fire's last two games ended in 3-3 ties, the second after it blew 2-0 and 3-2 leads at the Revs. Frank Klopas' reaction: "fair result" (given the chances both teams had) "but kind of bitter.”

21. (20) NYCFC (4-6-4)
Last Week: 1-3 vs. Philadelphia. This Week: Wednesday, vs. FC Cincinnati, Saturday, vs. New England.
• What could go wrong did go wrong for NYCFC, whose lead against the Union disappeared after it conceded two goals in first-half stoppage time. After that, Richy Ledezma had to go off with an injury picked up earlier on Gabriel Pereira's goal he assisted on and Thiago Martins exited with knee pain. The good news: Ledezma will be ready to go against FC Cincinnati.

22. (24) CF Montreal (6-8-0)
Last Wee
k: 1-0 vs. Inter Miami. This Week: Wednesday, at D.C. United, Saturday, at Philadelphia.
• Ariel Lassiter, part of last month's deal that also brought Bryce Duke to Montreal from Inter Miami for Canadian International Kamal Miller and $1,300,000 in 2023 GAM, broke through with a low cross to set up Chinonso Offor's winning goal.

23. (23) Real Salt Lake (4-6-4)
Last Week: 1-1 at Minnesota United. This Week: Wednesday, vs. LA Galaxy, Saturday, at Austin FC.
• Youth Movement: Coming on as a halftime substitute for Zak MacMath (concussion), 18-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Beavers made his second appearance in MLS play, to go along with starts in all three 2023 Open Cup wins.

24. (22) Portland (4-7-4)
Last Week
: 1-4 at Sporting KC. This Week: Wednesday, bye, Saturday, at Seattle.
The Timbers led early and seemed to be in control, said Coach Giovanni Savarese, even after conceding an equalizer in the 33rd minute. "We just had to continue to carry on in the second half the same idea," he said. "Three minutes of distraction, and the game changed completely." Those three minutes of distraction included Daniel Salloi's go-ahead goal for Sporting KC and a Larrys Mabiala own goal.

25. (26) Toronto FC (3-5-7)
Last Week
: 1-0 vs. D.C. United. This Week: Wednesday, vs. Chicago, Saturday, at Minnesota United.
The Reds beat D.C. United without star striker Federico Bernardeschi, benched after his remarks critical of the team’s tactics brought to a head internal issues, but Coach Bob Bradley said the Italian forward will play Wednesday against Chicago. 

26. (27) Sporting KC (3-8-4)
Last Week: 4-1 vs. Portland. This Week: Wednesday, vs. FC Dallas, Saturday, at Vancouver.
Sporting continued its improved play with a comeback win against the Timbers, who led on Franck Boli's goal in the 8th minute. "I will say it was not a good goal to give up for us early on in the game," said Coach Peter Vermes, "but good mentality to come back."

27. (25) Inter Miami (5-9-0)
Last Week: 0-1 at CF Montreal. This Week: Wednesday, vs. NY Red Bulls, Saturday vs. D.C. United.
• Two wins, six losses, three wins, three losses. It has been a series of streaks for the Herons, who have dropped into last place (15 out of 15 teams) in the Eastern Conference. But MLS is very forgiving this season, expanding the playoff fields to the top nine teams in each conference. That leaves Miami just three points below the playoff line.

28. (28) Colorado (2-7-6)
Last Week
: 0-1 vs. FC Cincinnati. This Week: Wednesday, at Columbus, Saturday vs. San Jose.
The Rapids are in the same shape as Miami -- they've lost four MLS games in a row -- but still only four points below the playoff line in the Western Conference. Said Coach Robin Fraser, "It's not like, for as poor a start as we have had record-wise, the league [has] really run away from us."

29. (29) LA Galaxy (2-9-3)
Last Week
: 0-1 vs. Charlotte FC. This Week: Wednesday, at Real Salt Lake, Saturday, bye.
The fallout from the Galaxy's miserable start has begun. It parted ways with Chris Klein, its president for the last 11 years, on Tuesday. Still on the job: head coach (and sporting director) Greg Vanney.

Photos: Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution.

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