MLS Power Rankings: Real Salt Lake eyes playoffs; Orlando City hits rock bottom

1. Atlanta United

Record: 12W-4D-4L
Week 18 ranking: 1

The Five Stripes rebounded from a loss to FC Dallas on the Fourth of July with a 2-0 win over Philadelphia on Saturday. Josef Martinez scored his 18th goal of the season in the win as he continued his record-breaking pace.


Record: 10-4-4
Week 18 ranking: 4

Bob Bradley's team ran rampant over Orlando 4-1 on Saturday after a midweek draw away to the Dynamo. LAFC let the confidence slip late in Texas but bounced back with a pair of late goals themselves to put away the Lions for good.

3. New York Red Bulls

Record: 10-2-5
Week 18 ranking: 2

After playing NYCFC to a goalless stalemate through nearly 85 minutes, a moment of miscommunication between Tyler Adams and Aaron Long doomed the Red Bulls to a 1-0 loss. Chris Armas will be questioned in his first game for waiting 88 minutes to make a substitution.

4. Portland Timbers

Record: 8-5-3
Week 18 ranking: 6

The Timbers are on a league-best 11-game unbeaten run after Saturday's 2-1 victory over the visiting Earthquakes. Samuel Armenteros scored twice -- his fifth and sixth goals of the season.

5. FC Dallas

Record: 10-5-3
Week 18 ranking: 5

A big swing in emotions for FC Dallas in the last week as the club adjusts to life without Mauro Diaz. Midweek saw FCD beat Atlanta United, while the weekend delivered a dispiriting 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake in Utah.

6. New York City FC

Record: 10-4-4
Week 18 ranking: 7

Credit Domenec Torrent for making the aggressive sub in Jonathan Lewis in the Hudson River Derby on Sunday, a move that paid off when Lewis created the winning goal with a run and pass for Maxi Moralez.

7. Sporting Kansas City

Record: 9-6-4
Week 18 ranking: 3

Sporting broke a two-game losing streak with a 2-2 draw against Toronto FC at Children's Mercy Park on Saturday. The draw is obviously better than a loss, but Sporting won't be happy about dropping two points from a winning position at home.

8. Houston Dynamo

Record: 7-4-6
Week 18 ranking: 10

Wilmer Cabrera's side followed up a stunning comeback draw against LAFC in midweek with a home win over Minnesota United on Saturday. The hero of Tuesday night, defender Philippe Senderos, scored a brace Saturday.

9. LA Galaxy

Record: 7-4-7
Week 18 ranking: 11

With a draw and a win this week, the Galaxy quietly built itself some actual momentum. It's five unbeaten for the Galaxy now, with Saturday's 4-0 win over Columbus the kind of result that might indicate real progress for Sigi Schmid's team.

10. Montreal Impact

Record: 8-0-11
Week 18 ranking: 12

For most of three months, the Impact was a mess, foundering under new head coach Remi Garde. Since June 1, Montreal has won four of five, collected 12 of a possible 15 points, and has climbed into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

11. New England Revolution

Record: 7-7-4
Week 18 ranking: 9

There's not much to say about the Revs' goalless draw with the Sounders at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. New England hardly threatened Seattle's goal, forcing just one save from Stefan Frei.

12. Columbus Crew SC

Record: 8-6-6
Week 18 ranking: 8

The Crew has taken only three points of the past 12 available, a troubling trend for Gregg Berhalter made worse by the manner of the 4-0 defeat in Los Angeles. Getting Federico Higuain back from injury, and soon, will help.

13. Real Salt Lake

Record: 9-2-8
Week 18 ranking: 18

Four days, six points, and the start of a winning streak. With wins over Sporting and FC Dallas, two of the top teams in the West, Mike Petke's side has reason to believe there's a playoff spot in its future.

14. Vancouver Whitecaps

Record: 7-5-7
Week 18 ranking: 14

The Whitecaps need Kei Kamara scoring goals to be at their best, so it's good news for Carl Robinson that the Sierra Leone international has two braces in his past four games. The latter helped Vancouver down the Fire 3-2 on Saturday.

15. Philadelphia Union

Record: 6-3-9
Week 18 ranking: 13

Andre Blake's heroics kept the Union in the game against Atlanta United, but it was Blake's foul on Miguel Almiron that handed United the lead. Borek Dockal was good again but couldn't finish. The margins are small for Philadelphia.

16. Chicago Fire

Record: 6-5-8
Week 18 ranking: 15

A 3-2 loss to Vancouver on Saturday snapped a five-game unbeaten run for the Fire, who have now slipped below the red line in the race for the Eastern Conference playoffs. A leaky defense has a lot to do with Chicago's mediocre 2018.

17. Seattle Sounders FC

Record: 4-4-9
Week 18 ranking: 19

Seattle got a huge win over Colorado on Wednesday but couldn't find the goals necessary to beat the Revs in New England on Saturday. Raul Ruidiaz's arrival in the lineup can't come soon enough.

18. Toronto FC

Record: 4-4-10
Week 18 ranking: 16

When the season has been as bad as the one Toronto FC is having, a point on the road in Kansas City probably feels like a win. Next up for the Reds is a visit to Orlando to play a Lions team that has lost nine straight.

19. Minnesota United

Record: 6-1-11
Week 18 ranking: 20

After Wednesday's thrilling 4-3 win over Toronto driven by a Darwin Quintero hat trick, the Loons slumped to a 3-0 loss against the Dynamo. The story of the Loons' season: a small blip of good play, followed by a depressing return to poor form.

20. Colorado Rapids

Record: 4-3-11
Week 18 ranking: 17

An extremely modest two-game winning streak ended with a midweek home loss to the Sounders. Saturday brought a road loss to Montreal. The defining image of the 2018 season for the Rapids will be the look of exasperation on the face of Tim Howard.

21. D.C. United

Record: 2-5-7
Week 18 ranking: 23

United earned a point on the road in L.A. on the Fourth of July with 2-2 draw and sat out the weekend ahead of the opening of Audi Field on July 14. Wayne Rooney is expected to debut in the game against Vancouver.

22. San Jose Earthquakes

Record: 2-6-10
Week 18 ranking: 21

The Quakes' 2-1 loss in Portland means they are now nine games without a win and stuck at the bottom of the Western Conference. San Jose remains the only team in MLS without a clean sheet in 2018.

23. Orlando City

Record: 6-1-11
Week 18 ranking: 22

No new manager bounce for the Lions, at least not yet. James O'Connor's first game in charge of Orlando, a 4-1 loss to LAFC, was the club's ninth straight loss. The Irishman will coach at home for the first time next week in a bid to avoid a double-digit losing streak.