MLS Power Rankings Week 31: Toronto FC surges into top 10

The MLS regular season came to a dramatic end on Decision Day and, along with it, comes the final Pro Soccer USA MLS Power Rankings of the 2019 season.

It’s no surprise the top two seeds in each conference — LAFC and NYCFC — top the Week 31 power rankings. Toronto FC, which ended the regular season on a 10-game unbeaten streak and earned a first-round playoff home game following a 1-0 win over Columbus Crew SC, made the biggest leap, advancing five spots to No. 7.

The Portland Timbers and FC Dallas, which both needed wins to clinch their postseason berths, each made four-spot positive advancement, while the LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls both dropped four spots after disappointing Decision Day defeats.

The Major League Soccer Power Rankings are created by averaging the rankings submitted by a committee of Pro Soccer USA’s editors and writers.

(1) Los Angeles Football Club (21-4-9, 72 points): Carlos Vela claimed the Golden Boot emphatically with a hat trick and LAFC set a new MLS record for points in a regular season following a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. (2) New York City FC (18-6-10, 64 points): Ronald Matarrita and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored inside the opening half hour to help lead NYCFC to a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union. No team is hotter down the stretch (7-1-2) than the East’s top seed. (4) Atlanta United FC (18-12-4, 58 points): Julian Gressel had a goal and assist and Josef Martinez returned from injury to score in a 3-1 win over the New England Revolution. The Five Stripes went 3-1-1 in their last five games. (6) Seattle Sounders FC (16-10-8, 56 points): Roman Torres scored the lone goal as the Sounders clinched the second seed in the West, beating Minnesota Untied for their second consecutive 1-0 victory to end the season. (5) Philadelphia Union (16-11-7, 55 points): The boos rained down at halftime and although the Union rallied to pull within a goal in an inspired second half, they ended the regular season with consecutive defeats. (3) Minnesota United FC (15-11-8, 53 points): The bad news for the Loons is they won just one of their final four regular season games, ending with a 1-0 loss to Seattle. The good news? Their first-ever MLS Cup playoff game is at Allianz Field vs. the Galaxy. (12) Toronto FC (13-10-11, 50 points): Alejandro Pozuelo’s second-half free kick was the difference for Toronto FC in a 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew which helped the Reds move up to fourth in the East and clinch a home playoff game. (10) Real Salt Lake (16-13-5, 53 points): It’s back-to-back wins for Real Salt Lake, which defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 courtesy of a Damir Kreilach headed goal in the 28th minute. They are home in the first round against the Timbers, who handed them one of four losses at RioT. (7) D.C. United (13-10-11, 50 points): The good news is D.C. United didn’t concede a goal over the course of the final five games of the regular season. But failing to score in a regular season finale against FC Cincinnati cost them a home game. (14) Portland Timbers (14-13-7, 49 points): The Timbers needed a win on Decision Day and they got one, beating the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 to extend an unbeaten streak to four consecutive games to end the regular season. (15) FC Dallas (13-12-9, 48 points): What an emphatic way to book a playoff berth as FC Dallas crushed Sporting Kansas City 6-0 on Decision Day. Zdenek Ondrasek struck for a brace in the victory. (8) LA Galaxy (16-15-3, 51 points): The Galaxy are leaking goals at the most inopportune time, conceding a combined eight goals in consecutive defeats to the Vancouver Whitecaps and Houston Dynamo, a pair of teams that missed the playoffs. (9) New York Red Bulls (14-14-6, 48 points): The Red Bulls had an outside shot at a first-round home game, but that went out the window with another decisive defeat in Montreal. The Red Bulls lost five of their final 10 games of the season and haven’t scored in consecutive games. (11) New England Revolution (11-11-12, 45 points): Cristian Penilla leveled five minutes after Darlington Nagbe’s opening goal, but the Revs conceded twice in an eight-minute span early in the second half in a 3-1 loss to Atlanta, their opponent in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs. (13) Colorado Rapids (12-16-6, 42 points): The Rapids needed a win, and some help, to clinch a spot in the MLS Cup playoffs. That didn’t happen with a 3-1 ouster at LAFC. Winning five of their last seven was impressive. (17) Chicago Fire (10-12-12, 42 points): The Fire missed the playoffs, but they ended the regular season on a high note, beating Orlando City SC, 5-2, to extend an unbeaten streak to five straight games. (16) San Jose Earthquakes (13-16-5, 44 points): The Earthquakes needed a Decision Day win to book a playoff spot, but they fell to the Timbers 3-1. Their season ended with six straight defeats. (18) Columbus Crew SC (10-16-8, 38 points): The Crew saw their five-match unbeaten streak snapped with a 1-0 Decision Day loss to Toronto FC. But for the first time since 2016, Columbus has missed out on the playoffs. (19) Montreal Impact (12-17-5, 41 points): There’s questions abound about the future of Nacho Piatti and others, but the Impact gave their home fans one last thrill with a convincing 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. Bojan, Maxi Urruti and Orji Okwonkwo scored a goal apiece. (23) Houston Dynamo (12-18-4, 40 points): DaMarcus Beasley closed out his stellar career in fine fashion as the Dynamo defeated the Galaxy, 4-2. Christian Ramirez scored a brace and Alberth Elis had one goal and two assists. (20) Orlando City SC (9-15-10, 37 points): Another season that ended without a playoff berth was capped by a decisive defeat to the Chicago Fire. The Lions fell 5-2 at home and, a day later, James O’Connor was fired as head coach. (22) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8-16-10, 34 points): After three consecutive matches without a loss, the Whitecaps season ended with a 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake. How much will the roster be overhauled again. (21) Sporting Kansas City (10-16-8, 38 points): And the award for most disappointing Decision Day defeat went to Sporting Kansas City, which conceded six goals without response in a blowout loss to playoff-bound FC Dallas. (24) FC Cincinnati (6-22-6, 24 points): Despite finishing the match with nine men, FC Cincinnati managed to earn a 0-0 season-ending draw at D.C. United. Their expansion season finished with three consecutive draws and three clean sheets in their final five games.

Pro Soccer USA writers Dylan Butler, Chris Fuhrmeister, Robert Jonas and Emily Olsen contributed to this report.

The post MLS Power Rankings Week 31: Toronto FC surges into top 10 appeared first on Pro Soccer USA.

Original author: Dylan Butler, Pro Soccer USA
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