Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

MLS Power Rankings: Exciting Start for Philly and Seattle; Early Struggles for Vancouver and Colorado

mls teams ranked

MLS is back! And not in the “we really named a tournament this” way. Just in the “first weekend of the season, everyone is really excited and every team is still dreaming of glory” way.

With the start of every season, the dreaded question for the all-important power rankings arises: how much stock should we put in the first results?

On one hand, 90 minutes is a laughably small sample size – and are you really going to toss out last season, winter transfers, and basic beliefs that the players who have performed well in recent years are probably going to keep playing well, even if matchweek one didn’t go according to plan?

On the other hand, one match is the entirety of the sample size we’ve got, and we’ve seen how quickly teams can turn over from year to year or how preseason can lead us astray. So, a real, live, actual game that matters can be persuasive.

Simply put, there is no good answer. How much you move teams up and down in the first month of the season is mostly about vibes. So without further ado, here are the first thoughts and vibes ranking of 2023.

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1. Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Previous ranking: N/A

Next MLS match: at Inter Miami, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

What’s more convincing than bringing back every starter from a team that tied for the most points in the league last season with plenty of young talent that only figures to get better? Beating a pretty good Crew team, 4-1, to open the season.



Previous ranking: N/A

Next MLS match: vs. Portland Timbers, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET

The last time we saw LAFC, they were lifting MLS Cup, so really who could stop this team? Mother Nature, apparently, after torrential rain forced their season opener to be postponed.

3. Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders

Previous ranking: N/A

Next MLS match: vs. Real Salt Lake, Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET

The season really got away from the Sounders after their CONCACAF Champions League run last season, but when healthy, the roster was still mostly very good. They’re mostly healthy now, and rested, and this weekend’s 4-0 shellacking of Colorado is a good way to keep the season from getting away from you at the start.

4. Orlando City

Orlando City

Previous ranking: N/A

Next MLS match: vs. FC Cincinnati, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Lions won the offseason with approximately 692 moves, most of which were very good. Their 1-0 win over RBNY didn’t set the world on fire, but with so many new players to integrate, the early part of the season is just about getting enough points to keep the train on the tracks until everything starts clicking. Job done.

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5. FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati

Previous ranking: N/A

Next MLS match: at Orlando City, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Cincy drew a lot of games they probably should have won last season, so while some might see being outplayed by Houston for large stretches a problem, the fact that they came out 2-1 winners anyway is probably a good sign. With a solid team in tow, FCC will probably play good enough soccer week in, week out. It’s about turning performances into points that is the question, and they answered it in Week 1.

6. Austin FC

Austin FC

Previous ranking: N/A

Next MLS match: vs. CF Montreal, Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Austin were clearly good last season, but they also needed a little magic to rack up points. Is it reasonable to expect more of that this season? Because St. Louis had all the magic in knocking off the Verde at Q2 Stadium on Saturday.

7. Nashville SC

Nashville SC

Previous ranking: N/A

Next MLS match: at New York Red Bulls, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Can Nashville outwork, outrun, and outfight teams for an entire season? When they had the energy last season, they were pretty good. When there were lulls, it was ugly. That said, they had the juice in a 2-0 win over NYCFC to kick off the season.


What is the purpose of the MLS Power Rankings?

The MLS Power Rankings provide a subjective assessment of each team’s performance and form based on their recent matches. They aim to capture the current state of the league and provide fans with an overview of how each team is faring.

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How often are the MLS Power Rankings updated?

The MLS Power Rankings are typically updated on a weekly basis throughout the season. However, changes in team form, injuries, or other significant events may prompt more frequent updates.

How are the MLS Power Rankings determined?

The MLS Power Rankings are determined by a panel of experts who consider various factors such as recent results, quality of play, strength of schedule, and overall team performance. The panelists take into account both objective statistics and subjective observations to arrive at their rankings.


The start of the MLS season has brought excitement, surprises, and early struggles for several teams. While it’s still early days, the performances of teams like Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders have shown promise, while Vancouver Whitecaps and Colorado Rapids will be looking to bounce back from their early stumble. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see how these power rankings evolve and which teams will rise to the top. Stay tuned for more updates on the latest happenings in MLS!

Disclaimer: This article was written by a football expert with more than 10 years of practical experience analyzing techniques, tactics, and life on the football sidelines. For the latest news, insights, and statistics on football, visit Pesstatsdatabase.