Week 34 MLS Power Rankings

One week left in the 2021 MLS regular season means just one more edition of the power rankings to go this season. Depending on who you support, that could be a good or a bad thing.

How the rankings work

These power rankings aren’t a subjective result of one person’s opinion, but use a stats-based model for each team to get a more in-depth look at where clubs actually stand. The model weighs points per game and strength of schedule most heavily, with goal difference and expected goal difference weighted incrementally less. This is an attempt to show not just how teams have done in the table, but how they’ve played on the field. If you’re interested in the methodology, the full model can be viewed here.

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These power rankings aren’t an attempt to predict the final table, just to provide readers with a different angle from which to judge teams. A helpful way to think of it is if a team is significantly higher in the rankings than they are in the table, they’re probably underperforming. If they’re significantly lower in the rankings than in the table, they’re overperforming.

Week 34 Power Rankings*

*This power rankings update includes results from both Week 33 (the midweek slate of games) and Week 34 (games from weekend).

  1. New England Revolution (↑1)
  2. NYCFC (↑2)
  3. Sporting KC (-)
  4. Seattle Sounders (↓4)
  5. Nashville SC (-)
  6. LA Galaxy (↑1)
  7. Colorado Rapids (↓1)
  8. Philadelphia Union (-)
  9. New York Red Bulls (↑1)
  10. DC United (↓1)
  11. Minnesota United (↑1)
  12. Atlanta United (↓1)
  13. CF Montréal (-)
  14. Orlando City (↑2)
  15. LAFC (↓1)
  16. Real Salt Lake (↓1)
  17. Columbus Crew (↑2)
  18. Portland Timbers (-)
  19. Vancouver Whitecaps (↓2)
  20. FC Dallas (-)
  21. San Jose Earthquakes (-)
  22. Houston Dynamo (-)
  23. Chicago Fire (-)
  24. Austin FC (-)
  25. Inter Miami CF (-)
  26. Toronto FC (-)
  27. FC Cincinnati (-)

New England Revolution won a midweek contest against Colorado Rapids, moving back into the top spot. Seattle Sounders played a pair of matches against the Los Angeles teams, losing 3-0 to LAFC midweek and drawing 1-1 with LA Galaxy on Monday night. On the plus side, they got Raúl Ruidíaz, Nicolás Lodeiro and Jordan Morris on the field together for the first time this season.

Nashville SC got a bump from a midweek 6-3 win over FC Cincinnati, and their 1-1 draw with Orlando City this weekend kept them level. Meanwhile, NYCFC continue to bounce back, winning games against Chicago Fire and Inter Miami to claim the second spot.

Playoff picture

The playoff race is tight with most teams playing just one final match. Nashville are projected to finish in second with a win over New York Red Bulls on Decision Day, with Philadelphia Union and NYCFC drawing. Columbus Crew, DC United and CF Montréal are all projected to miss out on the playoffs.

In the West, LAFC are projected to win their final two matches and finish the season in fifth place, with Vancouver Whitecaps and Real Salt Lake each eliminated.

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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