Power Rankings

Power Rankings: New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC continue dream starts

Power Rankings - Matchday 6 - 2024 season

Lewis Morgan put on a show, the LA Galaxy struggled defensively, but looked great in attack, and the Seattle Sounders underperformed expectations. It was truly a week in MLS unlike any other.

The Power Rankings are voted on by like 20 MLS writers, editors and personalities and are not solely the fault of the column’s author. That said, the 2024 MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings Committee may have also taken an international break last weekend and let some old computers they found lying around construct this week’s rankings. Who’s to say?

Derrick Jones’ red card in the 26th minute shaped Columbus' 2-0 loss at Charlotte. It's one you try to quickly move on from.

Previous: 2-0 loss at CLT | Next: 3/30 at NSH

Lucho Acosta is inevitable.

Cincy are good enough to win a second straight Supporters' Shield.

Previous: 1-0 win vs. NYC | Next: 3/30 at CLT

The Loons got a week off to get to know new manager Eric Ramsay. They’re off to Philadelphia this weekend.

Previous: Bye | Next: 3/30 at PHI

It looked like Sporting KC were set to cruise to a 2-0 win, but one 10-minute ambush showed just how scary LA are in attack.

Even with LA’s defensive issues, there won’t be many teams that can go blow for blow with them, especially when Dejan Joveljic is putting up historic numbers. With his goal on Saturday, he became the first player since 1998 to score a goal in each of the first five games of the season.

It’s not a fluke. Joveljic is leading the league in expected goals (xG). Even with five goals, he’s actually underperforming his underlying numbers so far.

Previous: 3-2 win at SKC | Next: 3/30 vs. SEA


The Red Bulls followed up their 3-0 loss at Columbus last week by putting a whooping on Inter Miami in Harrison. Lewis Morgan scored his third, fourth and fifth goals of the year and Dante Vanzeir provided his second, third, fourth and fifth assists of the season as the Red Bulls went on parade. They did it without Emil Forsberg in the lineup, too.

Maybe that shouldn’t be quite as surprising as it seems. Then again, we didn’t know exactly what kind of player Morgan would be a year after what became a season-ending injury. Turns out, he’s the same dynamic player who, other than an out-of-position year in Miami and last year’s injury, has been a highly productive attacker. Morgan put up 14 goals and four assists for the Red Bulls in 2022 and could be on track for a similar season this year.

If Morgan's as back as he seems and Vanzeir continues to look increasingly comfortable, this team is fully prepared to compete with anyone in the league (non-Columbus category).

Previous: 4-0 win vs. MIA | Next: 3/30 at ORL

A heavily-rotated Herons lineup looked cold and miserable from the first whistle in Harrison. And 90 minutes later they were nursing a 4-0 haymaker on the chin.

Through six games, Miami are averaging 1.67 points per game. That’s playoff-level, but not Supporters’ Shield-caliber.

To make a macro-lensed summation of a whole bunch of details: MLS is hard. To make a micro-lensed summation of this last weekend, let's turn to MLS Wrap-Up:

Previous: 4-0 loss at RBNY | Next: 3/30 vs. NYC

The Five Stripes went up to Toronto missing a handful of starters and looked like a road team missing a handful of starters. That is what it is. What’s concerning is the meniscus injury DP center back Stian Gregersen picked up.

Previous: 2-0 loss at TOR | Next: 3/31 vs. CHI

Montréal got to stay home for a weekend and ponder what they did to deserve whatever happened in the Chicago match. They’ll be back on the road for their fifth straight road match when they visit D.C. United this Saturday.

Previous: Bye | Next: 3/30 at DC

The Whitecaps are among several home teams that just need to brush off last week and move on. They were up 1-0 thanks to Damir Kreilach’s opener and then a 17-year-old merc’d them. RSL earned a 2-1 win via two late goals and two assists from Fidel Barajas. Probably nothing to panic about. But, still, not fun.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. RSL | Next: 3/30 vs. POR

That’s much, much more like it from LAFC.

After going scoreless across three straight games, LAFC scored early against Nashville and took off running in a 5-0 win. Dénis Bouanga found the net twice in this one.

Just going to prepare everyone now: We’re two weeks away from what has the potential to be one of the best El Tráficos ever.

Previous: 5-0 win vs. NSH | Next: 3/30 at COL

It’s not clear how good this Toronto team truly is, but it’s abundantly clear they have no intention of winning a second straight Wooden Spoon. Their win over Atlanta on Saturday gave them three wins this season and 10 points through five games. Most importantly, they’ve only allowed two goals through their first five games. That’s a stark change for a team that nearly allowed more goals than any team in the Eastern Conference last season.

It’s not all great news right now, though. Lorenzo Insigne came off injured (hamstring) in the first half of their win.

Previous: 2-0 win vs. ATL | Next: 3/30 vs. SKC

St. Louis played relatively well in their 2-2 draw against D.C., but couldn’t slow down Christian Benteke. They won’t be the only team to struggle with that this season. All considered, things are going just fine in Year Two. The point gives them seven through their first five games and they’re technically undefeated so far… even if they only have one win.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. DC | Next: 3/30 at RSL

The Union bounced back nicely over the weekend despite missing most of their starting midfield and only fielding five players on the bench. A Julián Carranza brace led the way as they rolled over Portland in a 3-1 win that saw Philly earn just 32% of the game’s possession.

Previous: 3-1 win at POR | Next: 3/30 vs MIN

Christian Benteke is on a mission this year. His header led to an easy tap-in for Ted Ku-DiPietro on D.C.’s first goal, and he sent the ball into the back of the net on D.C.’s second. He’s been outstanding so far and has four goals in three starts to show for it.

Previous: 2-2 draw at STL | Next: 3/30 vs. MTL

Please allow Fidel Barajas to introduce himself.

That’s the 17-year-old playing a dart to Anderson Julio in the box and jumpstarting a 2-1 comeback win on the road. Barajas picked up an assist on Alexandros Katranis’ elite shross moments later and became the sixth player in MLS history to have a two-assist game at 17 years old.

Previous: 2-1 win at VAN | Next: 3/30 vs. STL

The Timbers have fallen back to earth after back-to-back losses. It’s too early to read too much into the underlying numbers, but they haven’t been great so far. It feels like their first few games might have been a bit of a mirage.

The good news is this team is still changing. They officially brought in DP forward Jonathan Rodríguez last week and he already has his first goal. It still counts even if it came in garbage time of a 3-1 loss to Philadelphia.

Previous: 3-1 loss vs. PHI | Next: 3/30 at VAN

Sometimes it’s not “waiting,” it’s “biding your time.”

Brad Smith’s very late winner gave Houston three points in their first road match of the year.

Previous: 1-0 win at COL | Next: 3/30 vs. SJ

Charlotte show up at home. They only lost three home games last season and they’re undefeated at home through two games after pulling off an upset over Columbus. Is it the consistent crowds of 30,000+? Is it the malevolent aura of possible multiverse traveling time demon, Sir Minty?

No. It’s whatever this is.

Charlotte FC knight

It may also help to have a few calls go your way and to have Ashley Westwood do things like this:

But it’s mostly the knight guy thing. 

Previous: 2-0 win vs. CLB | Next: 3/30 vs. CIN

Things were just fine against the Galaxy until they gave up three goals in about eight minutes. Oops. This feels like one to brush off and move on quickly from. 

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. LA | Next: 3/30 at TOR

Yeah, it’s time to worry about Nashville. Sure, few teams are going to look great traveling across the country to LAFC, but they looked disorganized in a way we’re just not used to seeing from this team. That resulted in their worst loss in club history (this one came with 10 men).

Per Ben Wright of Broadway Sports Media, Nashville have five wins in the 21 matches following last year’s Leagues Cup final. They need Walker Zimmerman back in the lineup and probably a little more than that to get things steadied.

Previous: 5-0 loss at LAFC | Next: 3/30 vs. CLB

The Lions finally got off the deck and earned their first win of the season despite missing multiple starters. Jack Lynn, the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro MVP, stepped up to score his first-ever MLS goal and Orlando took care of business against Austin in a 2-0 win. Earning three points will be a bit tougher on Saturday against the Red Bulls.

Previous: 2-0 win vs. ATX | Next: 3/30 vs. RBNY

The Fire built off last week’s miracle by heading on the road and earning a point against a desperate New England side. That makes it a totally fine five points in five games for Chicago (and goals in two consecutive games for Hugo Cuypers). Amazing what 100 or so minutes of soccer can do to change a team’s outlook.

Previous: 1-1 draw at NE | Next: 3/31 at ATL

Well. Ouch.

The Rapids took an elbow to the face literally and metaphorically when a stoppage-time counter from Houston gave the Dynamo a 1-0 win. Colorado have failed to grab three points in their first two home games.

Previous: 1-0 loss vs. HOU | Next: 3/30 vs. LAFC

Dallas got the week off to recover from a 3-1 trouncing from Vancouver. They really need a bounce-back performance in Austin this weekend.

Previous: Bye | Next: 3/30 at ATX

Everything feels off. Even when things go right they find a way to go wrong.

The Sounders found their way back from a 2-0 deficit against San Jose this weekend and, immediately after equalizing, let this happen:

Seattle are winless through their first four games and officially last in the West. There aren’t any clear answers right now. 

Previous: 3-2 loss at SJ | Next: 3/30 at LA

The Quakes dug themselves out of the West cellar after going up early against Seattle and finishing them off late. The 3-2 win earned San Jose their first points of 2024.

Previous: 3-2 win vs. SEA | Next: 3/30 at HOU

New York City FC went to Cincinnati and came away with no points and no goals scored. In a vacuum, that’s not a big deal. In the context of their season so far, that’s four losses in five games and the third time they’ve been held scoreless.

Previous: 1-0 loss at CIN | Next: 3/30 at MIA

After drawing with Chicago, that’s one point out of a possible 15 for the Revs with Club América waiting for them in CCC on the other side of a bye week. This isn’t going to get easier. 

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. CHI | Next: Bye

Austin have one win since July 15, 2023. That win did not come last weekend against Orlando City.

Previous: 2-0 loss at ORL | Next: 3/30 vs. DAL