A full double game week of MLS action wrapped things up before the international break, and there was a good bit of movement throughout, including in the top 10. The projected standings are finalizing, too, giving a good look at where teams can expect to finish when the season ends in October.
As a reminder, here’s how the OPI model works:
- 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 30 Power Rankings
|RANK||TEAM||SCORE||RANK CHANGE||SCORE CHANGE|
|1||FC Cincinnati – x||30.23||—||-0.96|
|4||ST. Louis CITY SC||26.38||-2||-1.24|
|7||New England Revolution||23.11||—||+0.10|
|8||Orlando City SC||22.35||+2||+1.87|
|16||Real Salt Lake||12.10||+1||+1.73|
|17||New York Red Bulls||11.17||-3||-1.60|
|19||New York City FC||8.49||-1||+0.07|
|22||San Jose Earthquakes||7.50||-1||+0.29|
|27||Inter Miami CF||-0.97||—||+1.75|
FC Cincinnati officially clinched a playoff spot with a fantastic comeback win against Atlanta United midweek, but their score dropped by nearly a point after a losing 1-0 to Orlando City on Saturday. Their first loss at home in MLS this season won’t impact their final place in the table much, and they still have a commanding lead in the rankings. However, it may hurt their shot at setting the single-season points record. More on that later.
Columbus Crew climbed two spots into second place. Despite a 2-0 loss on the road to Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, they bounced back with a dominant 4-2 win in Wildfried Nancy’s return to CF Montréal. Their 54 goals scored are the most in MLS, and they continue to play the most attractive brand of football in the league. At this point, it’s hard to make an argument that they’re not one of the two or three favorites for MLS Cup.
Orlando jumped two spots into eighth with their win in Cincinnati and draw on the road against Charlotte FC. Philadelphia Union also jumped two spots into third, even with a shock 3-1 loss away to Toronto FC, thanks to a dominant 4-1 win over New York Red Bulls.
LAFC drop two spots into fifth after their 3-0 loss to Inter Miami at BMO Stadium. Miami’s score increased by 1.75 points, the third-biggest increase of the week, which also included a 0-0 draw against Nashville SC midweek. Miami are no longer the worst-ranked team in MLS, and at this pace will push for the top 10 by the end of the season.
Lastly, Sporting KC are the biggest movers of the week, climbing from 22nd into 18th with wins over Chicago Fire and St. Louis City. They’re just two points out of the playoff spots, and after struggling for much of the season, Alan Pulido is firing and SKC look incredibly dangerous.
Cincinnati are the first side to officially clinch a playoff spot. Philadelphia, New England, and Orlando are projected to round out the Eastern Conference top four. Columbus is projected to finish fifth with 56 points, while Nashville and Atlanta are trending towards 51 points each, battling for sixth and seventh.
DC United are now projected to grab the final play-in spot with 42 points. Miami are currently trending towards 34 points and and a 14th place finish, but that number is increasing weekly. They’re now projected to finish just eight points out of the playoff spots, and they’re closing that gap quickly and have the most games in hand in the conference.
In the West, St. Louis are on track for a handy first place finish, projected to win the conference byeight points ahead of second-place LAFC. RSL and Houston are on pace to finish in third and fourth, with San Jose and Dallas in the play-in spots.
LA Galaxy have played the fewest games in the West, and are slowly climbing the projections. After looking dead in the water earlier in the year, they’re currently just four points out of the playoff spots. Don’t sleep on the Galaxy.