LA Galaxy, LAFC on top as the rest of the league looks up to Los Angeles

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Another week, another LAFC victory, another edition of MLS Power Rankings topped for Steve Cherundolo & Co. Behind the Black and Gold, though, their closest rivals are steadily sneaking up the order.

The LA Galaxy are just three points behind the team on the other side of Los Angeles, following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Nashville SC, leaving Javier Hernandez, Douglas Costa and the rest of the Galaxy as a contender for Best of the Rest. That’s especially true with the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union slipping to a 1-1 draw with CF Montreal on Saturday.

With Week 8 in the books, James Tyler and Austin Lindberg look at the results, break down where all 28 teams stand after a wild weekend of action and bring you the latest edition of Power Rankings.

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Previous ranking: 1

Next MLS match: May 1 vs. Minnesota, 10 p.m. ET

Carlos Vela didn’t score in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Cincinnati, but he was instrumental in an impressive road rally by Cherundolo’s side. The Mexico star set up substitute Danny Musovski (who’d only been on for five minutes) for what would be the game-winning goal to make it six wins from their first eight games, and their first one-goal win of the 2022 season. There’s a lot of toughness in this star-studded side; can they make it count come the playoffs? — Tyler

Previous ranking: 3

Next MLS match: April 30 at Salt Lake, 3:30 p.m. ET

Phew: after a frustrating afternoon against an obdurate Nashville side, substitute Dejan Joveljic got to play hero in the 86th minute, popping up at the far post to beat Joe Willis and bag all three points. It was just reward for a persistent performance against a Nashville team that’s finally going home to open its new stadium after an eight-game road trip: Efrain Alvarez hit the post and the Galaxy racked up 16 shots (and a 0.90 xG) over the 90 minutes. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 2

Next MLS match: May 1 at Nashville, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN

Being held at home to midtable Montreal is obviously frustrating for the Eastern Conference leaders, but let’s take a moment to appreciate the contributions of Julian Carranza. The 21-year-old forward’s goal in the 1-1 draw took his tally to three goals in his past four, and direct contributions to five goals in seven appearances in 2022. In 41 appearances spread across two seasons with Inter Miami, he had just three goals to his name. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 4

Next MLS match: April 30 at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

It was a late show in Texas as Tsiki Ntsabeleng and Facundo Quignon scored after the 87th minute to flip an impending 1-0 defeat into a 2-1 home win over local(ish) rivals the Houston Dynamo. Alan Velasco was also impressive for Dallas in the victory. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 7

Next MLS match: April 30 at Chicago, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Is there a more effective counterattacking team in MLS than Gerhard Struber’s Red Bulls? They went to Orlando, conceded possession by a two-to-one ratio, yet out-chanced the Lions by a three-to-one margin, out-shot their hosts 17-3 and didn’t allow a single shot on target. It was a deserving 3-0 victory against one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference in the early stages of this season. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 6

Next MLS match: April 30 at Houston, 1:30 p.m. ET

All right, all right, all right! This Austin team might be for real this season. Its pair of Argentine forwards, Maxi Urruti (two goals) and Sebastian Driussi (one goal, one assist), paced the fledgling side to a 3-0 home win over Vancouver to put it second in the Western Conference after eight games. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 5

Next MLS match: May 1 vs. Philadelphia, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

It was a valiant effort from Nashville in Carson, California, conceding possession two to one and allowing 17 shots from an increasingly dangerous-looking Galaxy side, but eventually its luck ran out with Dejan Joveljic’s 86th-minute winner. Now, though, Music City can put its eight-game road trip to start 2022 behind it, prepare for Sunday’s opening of brand-new GEODIS Stadium and a schedule that includes eight of its next 11 at home. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 9

Next MLS match: May 1 vs. San Jose, 1 p.m. ET

In two games since being knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League, NYCFC have combined to score 11 goals. Sure, they also were rather leaky in Sunday’s 5-4 win over Toronto, but that scoreline doesn’t reflect just how dominant the reigning MLS Cup champions were at Yankee Stadium. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 10

Next MLS match: May 1 at LAFC, 10 p.m. ET

The Loons continue to entertain: after all, they went from having zero shots through 70 minutes to winning 3-0, with Emanuel Reynoso scoring the first as they overwhelmed the Fire late on for their fourth win in six league games. It won’t always be this easy, though: Chicago’s Federico Navarro was sent off after Reynoso’s goal to give the Loons a man advantage they didn’t let slip, but can they do this against tougher teams? — Tyler

Previous ranking: 8

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. Charlotte, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The less said about the comprehensive 3-0 defeat to the Red Bulls, the better. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 12

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. LA Galaxy, 3:30 p.m. ET

Considering RSL’s previous two games were a 6-0 drubbing at NYCFC and a 1-0 U.S. Open Cup loss to third-division Northern Colorado Hailstorm (who’d played a total of three games in their history before that famous upset), a 0-0 draw at Providence Park counts as an improvement. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 11

Next MLS match: April 30 at Colorado, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Sunday’s 0-0 draw vs. Salt Lake extended Portland’s scoreless streak to 192 minutes. If you take away the 3-2 win over Vancouver, statistically speaking the worst team in MLS in 2022, the Timbers are averaging just 0.87 goals for per game. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 14

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. Austin, 1:30 p.m. ET

So close! Sebastian Ferreira had the Dynamo on course for a first road win in the Texas Derby since 2016 until Dallas‘ late goal glut — including the 93rd-minute game-winner. Better luck next time. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 13

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The good news for Chicago this season? It’s only conceded five goals through eight games. The bad news? It’s only scored five times as well, and three of the goals it’s given up came in Saturday’s 3-0 humbling defeat at Minnesota. All three Loons goals came in the final 18 minutes as the Fire turned to smoke. Best to forget it and move on. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 19

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. Atlanta, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN+

How do you make sense of this Montreal team? Wilfried Nancy’s team out-chanced Philadelphia 7-1, out-shot the East-leading Union 8-4, out-possessed their hosts 54% to 46%, yet the story xG tells us is that Philly should’ve won this game 1.21-0.47, and the sides settled for a 1-1 draw. The Quebec club is unbeaten in five straight, including a win over the Red Bulls and draws against Atlanta and now Philadelphia. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 16

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. Cincinnati, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Two goals in the final four minutes gave the appearance of a tight contest in the Bronx, but the reality is that Toronto — who’s conceded more shots on target than any other team in MLS — were never anywhere near their hosts in a 5-4 loss to NYCFC. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 15

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. D.C., 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The in-game lightning delay — things were paused for more than an hour with just 15 minutes left to play — was the most exciting thing in a rainy, attritional 0-0 draw for the Crew in Kansas City. That’s now four games without a goal for Columbus, who traded Zardes just last week, and coupled with the midweek U.S. Open Cup humbling against Detroit City FC, all is not well in Ohio. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 17

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. Portland, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Their 0-0 draw with Charlotte was a game that definitely happened this weekend. All joking aside, William Yarbrough had to make some impressive saves to preserve the clean sheet, Diego Rubio hit the crossbar twice in the first half and Gyasi Zardes made his Rapids debut with a second-half cameo. Oh, and the draw extended Colorado’s home unbeaten run to 20 games in the regular season, a new club record. Onward! — Tyler

Previous ranking: 18

Next MLS match: April 30 at Montreal, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN+

It was another weekend to forget for the Eastern Conference side, as they let a 1-0 road lead in Miami turn into a morale-boosting 2-1 win for their hosts. Atlanta hasn’t won in the league since April 2, despite facing Miami, Charlotte FC and FC Cincinnati in the past month. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 22

Next MLS match: April 30 at New England, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Is it fair to say that Leandro Campana is enjoying his time in the USA? The Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee was superb in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Atlanta, contributing a goal and assist in a winning effort for the Herons as they continue to build some much-needed momentum. The victory was their third straight in league play (fourth if you count them advancing in the U.S. Open Cup) and considering they’ve beaten New England, Seattle and now Atlanta, this can only be a positive. Maybe this team will make some noise by season’s end … — Tyler

Previous ranking: 23

Next MLS match: April 30 at Orlando, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The league’s newest team completed a busy week — defeat at New England, a U.S. Open Cup win in midweek — with a 0-0 draw at Colorado in a game that really merited a goal. The two sides combined for 17 shots over a busy 90 minutes, but neither converted when it counted (Charlotte did win the xG battle 1.24 to 0.65). Still, this constitutes progress. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 21

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The Revs had the better of the chances and more of the ball, but for the fifth time this season, they were condemned to defeat. Only Kansas City and Vancouver have lost more than New England this season. That’s a dramatic fall from grace for a team that set a single-season points record in 2021. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 20

Next MLS match: May 7 at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET

We know: the Sounders haven’t exactly been able to focus on league play this season while they continue their run to the CONCACAF Champions League final. That said, Seattle followed up its 1-0 humbling at the hands of Miami with a 4-3 loss in San Jose, with a first-choice XI. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 25

Next MLS match: April 30 at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. ET

Talk about a new-manager bounce! Fresh off firing Hernan Losada, interim coach Chad Ashton led D.C. to an impressive 3-2 win over New England at Audi Field. Taxi Fountas (is there a better name in the league?) scored his first two goals for United after the Revs had taken an early lead, and it snapped a four-game losing skid for the capital city club. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 24

Next MLS match: April 30 at Toronto, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Cincy lost 2-1 at home to LAFC on Sunday, but there was plenty to be happy about despite the defeat. SuperDraft No. 2 pick Roman Celentano was a virtual brick wall in goal and the attacking play had much more fluency than we’ve seen from this team since it entered the league in 2019. — Tyler

Previous ranking: 28

Next MLS match: May 1 at New York City, 1 p.m. ET

Look, we’re not saying Matias Almeyda was the problem in San Jose, but since the former River Plate and Chivas manager was dismissed, the Quakes beat Bay Cities FC 5-0 in the U.S. Open Cup and then shocked Seattle with a 4-3 upset of the CONCACAF Champions League finalists. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 26

Next MLS match: April 30 vs. Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Sunday’s 0-0 draw against Columbus snapped SKC’s three-game losing streak, but it also marked the third time this season Peter Vermes‘ team has been shut out. With Alan Pulido lost for the season and Daniel Salloi registering a solitary goal from seven appearances, it’s going to be a long season in Kansas City. — Lindberg

Previous ranking: 27

Next MLS match: May 8 vs. Toronto, 4 p.m. ET

Austin was fortunate to come away with a 3-0 victory over Vancouver that was far, far closer than the scoreline suggests, but the reality is that the ‚Caps have been dismal in 2022. They have scored the second fewest goals in MLS, conceded the second most goals, have the league’s worst goal differential and boast the fewest points in MLS. — Llindberg


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