MLS Power Rankings, Week 32: Shake-up at the top after penultimate round

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

Welcome to the 2017 MLS Power Rankings, where we rank each team after each week with consideration to form, latest results, stats, and other intangibles to craft an idea of how things stand in one single table.

Here's how each team ranks after Week 32 of the 2017 season:

1. Toronto FC (-)

  • Last Week: 1-0 win vs. Montreal Impact
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at Atlanta United (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
20-5-8 72 35

Toronto FC has matched the MLS record for most points in a regular season and remains top of our rankings despite a shaky showing against Montreal.

2. Atlanta United (+1)

  • Last Week: 3-2 loss vs. Minnesota, 0-0 draw vs. NY Red Bulls
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. Toronto (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
15-9-9 68 38

Recent results haven't been as kind to Atlanta United as the team might like, but there's no denying the sheer talent on display each week within this side.

3. Chicago Fire (+3)

  • Last Week: 3-2 win vs. Philadelphia Union
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at Houston (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
16-10-7 61 44

The Chicago Fire survived the end-of-summer blues and returned triumphant over Philadelphia. Nemanja Nikolic all but locked up the Golden Boot, too.

4. New York City FC (-2)

  • Last Week: 2-1 loss vs. New England Revolution
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. Columbus (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
16-9-8 54 41

New York City FC will probably want a do-over of the 2-1 loss to New England, but the Pigeons remain second in the East. One last win is the mission now.

5. Portland Timbers (+3)

  • Last Week: 4-0 win vs. D.C. United
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. Vancouver (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
14-11-8 58 49

The Portland Timbers roared to life in a 4-0 win over D.C. and that's exactly the sort of confidence-boosting victory this side needed ahead of the post-season.

6. Columbus Crew (+3)

  • Last Week: 1-0 win vs. Orlando City
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at NYCFC (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
16-12-5 51 47

The Columbus Crew showed, once again, all the qualities needed to be a dark horse: resilience, an eye for goal, and a penchant for the improbable.

7. Seattle Sounders (-)

  • Last Week: 4-0 win vs. FC Dallas
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. Colorado (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
13-9-11 49 39

The Seattle Sounders put the walloping on Dallas this week as Clint Dempsey and co. returned to MLS action. A spot in the post-season was their reward.

8. Vancouver Whitecaps (-4)

  • Last Week: 3-0 loss vs. NY Red Bulls, 1-1 draw vs. San Jose
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at Portland (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
15-11-7 49 47

The Vancouver Whitecaps remain top of the Western Conference, but it must be said that recent results don't bode well for Carl Robinson's men. Tighten up.

9. New York Red Bulls (+1)

  • Last Week: 3-0 win vs. Vancouver, 0-0 draw vs. Atlanta
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at D.C. United (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
13-12-8 51 46

The New York Red Bulls picked up a big win over Vancouver, then held a high-flying Atlanta to a scoreless draw. A respectable feat, all things considered.

10. Sporting Kansas City (-5)

  • Last Week: 1-1 draw vs. Minnesota, 2-1 loss and 0-0 draw vs. Houston
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at Real Salt Lake (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
12-8-13 39 27

Sporting Kansas City suffered poor results in three consecutive showings, but still managed to squeak into the playoffs despite failing to beat Houston.

11. Houston Dynamo (+1)

  • Last Week: 2-1 win and 0-0 draw vs. Sporting KC
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. Chicago (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
12-10-11 54 45

The Houston Dynamo found their form and feet just in time to secure a post-season berth, twice preventing Sporting KC from taking all three points.

12. San Jose Earthquakes (+1)

  • Last Week: 1-1 draw vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. Minnesota (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
12-14-7 36 58

This San Jose Earthquakes team is deceiving. In truth, this side would likely sit further down our table if not for the fact they remain in the playoff hunt.

13. FC Dallas (+1)

  • Last Week: 1-1 draw vs. Colorado, 4-0 loss vs. Seattle
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. LA Galaxy (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
10-10-13 43 47

FC Dallas lost to Seattle, so why the bump up? Simple - despite the thrashing, RSL's 1-0 loss to Colorado proved a bigger blow. One playoff spot remains.

14. Real Salt Lake (-3)

  • Last Week: 1-0 loss vs. Colorado Rapids
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. Sporting KC (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
12-15-6 47 54

Real Salt Lake might have seen its playoff hopes dashed in a Rocky Mountain battle with Colorado. RSL now needs a win - and a Galaxy victory - to get in.

15. Montreal Impact (-)

  • Last Week: 1-0 loss vs. Toronto FC
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. New England (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
11-16-6 50 55

The Montreal Impact probably deserved more out of Toronto, such is the cruel fate of referees, posts, and soccer's sheer bad luck. Big changes loom ahead.

16. New England Revolution (-)

  • Last Week: 2-1 win vs. New York City FC
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at Montreal (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
12-15-6 50 59

The New England Revolution might have made the Eastern Conference table a little more interesting in defeating NYCFC this week. Playing spoilers is fun.

17. Philadelphia Union (+1)

  • Last Week: 3-2 loss vs. Chicago Fire
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. Orlando (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
10-14-9 44 46

The Philadelphia Union took Chicago for a wild ride in a match that Veljko Paunovic's side were desperate to win. That's the only silver lining here, folks.

18. Orlando City (-1)

  • Last Week: 1-0 loss vs. Columbus Crew
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at Philadelphia (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
10-14-9 38 52

Orlando City may have lost to Columbus but the result didn't matter much at the final whistle, as captain and club icon Kaka bid farewell to the Lions faithful.

19. Minnesota United (-)

  • Last Week: 3-2 win vs. Atlanta, 1-1 draw vs. Sporting KC, 3-0 loss vs. LA Galaxy
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at San Jose (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
10-17-6 45 67

There's no more pressure on Minnesota United to perform this season, and in this environment, the Loons are starting to flex their footballing chops.

20. Colorado Rapids (+1)

  • Last Week: 1-1 draw vs. Dallas, 1-0 win vs. Real Salt Lake
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at Seattle (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
9-18-6 31 48

The Colorado Rapids dented Dallas' playoff ambitions, then did the same to RSL a few days later. We'll give them a slight bump up for playing spoilers.

21. D.C. United (-1)

  • Last Week: 4-0 loss vs. Portland Timbers
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 vs. NY Red Bulls (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
9-19-5 30 58

Futility remains the only storyline being told by D.C. United this season. A 4-0 collapse to the Timbers didn't help inspire confidence for next year, either.

22. LA Galaxy (-)

  • Last Week: 3-0 win vs. Minnesota
  • Next MLS Match: Oct. 22 at Dallas (4:00 p.m. ET)
Record (W-L-D) Goals For Goals Against
8-17-8 44 62

The LA Galaxy have been poor all year, and a 3-0 win over Minnesota doesn't change that fact. Now it's back to the drawing board in anticipation of 2018.

Further reading:

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

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MLS Power Rankings, Week 32: Shake-up at the top after penultimate round
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