MLS Power Rankings: Matchday 10

Hey gang, more soccer means more power rankings. No time to waste, here we go.

For a detailed breakdown of how our OPI model works, check out this explainer from 2022. Here’s the shortened version:

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  • Points per game – 30%
  • Goal difference – 15%
  • Form in last five games – 15%
  • Expected goal difference – 12.5%
  • Strength of schedule – 12.5%
  • Home and away form – 12.5%
  • Goals added – 2.5%

Matchday 10 Power Rankings

1Vancouver Whitecaps2-0 win at SEA20.02+1+1.64
2Real Salt Lake4-0 win at CHI18.81+5+3.48
3New York Red Bulls2-2 draw at LAFC18.76-2+0.04
4LA Galaxy4-3 win vs SJ18.16+1.77
5Philadelphia UnionBye16.87-2
6Minnesota United3-0 win at CLT16.82+7+3.12
7Inter Miami CF3-1 win vs NSH16.75-1+1.06
8LAFC2-2 draw vs RBNY14.97+2+0.38
9Columbus Crew2-2 draw vs POR14.66+0.05
10FC Cincinnati2-1 win at ATL14.54+4+1.86
11Colorado Rapids2-1 win vs DAL14.26+4+1.76
12Atlanta United1-2 loss vs CIN14.24-7-1.52
13DC United2-0 loss at NYC12.68-5-2.50
14New York City FC2-0 win vs DC12.33+5+3.09
15St. Louis CITY SC3-3 draw at SKC11.96+1+0.66
16Houston Dynamo1-0 loss vs ATX11.91-5-1.90
17Charlotte FC3-0 loss vs MIN11.32-5-2.44
18Toronto FC1-0 win vs NE9.32+5+1.74
19Seattle Sounders2-0 loss vs VAN9.01-2-1.76
20Sporting KC3-3 draw at STL8.81-0.17
21CF Montréal2-2 draw vs ORL8.40-3-1.08
22Orlando City SC2-2 draw at MTL7.78+0.16
23Portland Timbers2-2 draw at CLB7.03+1-0.16
24Austin FC1-0 loss at ATX5.58+2+1.67
25Chicago Fire4-0 loss vs RSL4.41-4-3.42
26Nashville SC3-1 loss at MIA3.52-1-0.79
27FC Dallas2-1 loss at COL1.94-0.88
28San Jose Earthquakes4-3 loss at LA-0.91-0.38
29New England Revolution1-0 loss at TOR-1.70-0.92

Since most teams have played nine matches, despite it being labeled “Matchday 10”, we’ll save the deep dive for next week. For now, a few standouts.

Inter Miami are on top of the Supporters’ Shield standings, but only in seventh in the rankings. Why? Well, they’re one of the least stable defenses in the league, conceding the most expected goals in the Eastern Conference. Only LA Galaxy have allowed more. Lionel Messi’s solo brilliance is propping them up in a lot of ways. Normally I don’t think this is sustainable over the course of a full season, but Messi is different. Like the Galaxy, though, Miami will have to score multiple goals each game to overcome their poor defense. It’s box office viewing.

Also, before you get upset that Miami dropped from sixth to seventh, their score (the important part of these rankings) got a solid +1.06 bump after their win over Nashville. The only reason for the drop was that teams like Minnesota United, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake had even bigger improvements this week.

Speaking of box office, Real Salt Lake are one of the most dynamic teams in the league. Chicho Arango has turned into one of the most well-rounded attackers in MLS, doing everything – playmaking, defending, and finishing. Granted, they played Chicago Fire this weekend, one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen at this level. But they’ve been good for quite a while. That’s not changing anytime soon.

Vancouver Whitecaps have been towards the top of the rankings all season, and their 2-0 win on the road against Seattle Sounders was quite professional. They’re balanced, deep, and dangerous going forward. They don’t make many mistakes, and they finish chances consistently. With LAFC and Seattle potentially in a down year, Vancouver are making a play for the top.

At the other end of the table, there are some truly awful teams. We already talked about Chicago. New England are even worse. 0.50 points per game. -5.9 xG difference. -9 goal difference. One win in eight games. Caleb Porter has been in charge for a few months and he’s already on the hot seat.

San Jose Earthquakes are also bad, but at least put up a fight in Carson. They got a few lucky breaks, but took their chances against a porous Galaxy defense. They don’t have the top-end talent in attack or the solidity in defense to be a playoff team. I didn’t think they would be Wooden Spoon contenders, but man… there’s not much to like in the Bay Area.

Nashville SC are still a tier above Chicago and New England and San Jose, but just barely. Their score dropped to an all-time low this week with a 3-1 loss to Miami. Granted, they created plenty of chances, and with average finishing they would have won. But poor finishing and actually horrific defending is a recipe for disaster every time. Saturday at home against San Jose should be a great chance for a bounce back. If it’s not, I think they have to start thinking about making a change. They’ve been on a stark downward trend since August. It’s simply not good enough.

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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