MLS Power Rankings: Philadelphia Union's young stars replace Columbus at the top, Montreal continues to fall

Union spoil Gonzalo Higuain's MLS debut with 3-0 win (2:01)

Gonzalo Higuain hits the post and misses a penalty as Inter Miami loses at Philadelphia. Watch MLS on ESPN+. (2:01)

There is a new No. 1 in this week's edition of MLS Power Rankings, with Columbus' stumble against Toronto clearing the path for the youthful Philadelphia Union to become kings of the league. At the other end, Thierry Henry's Montreal lost twice in a week to fall 10 places down the order.

1. Philadelphia Union

Previous ranking: 2

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

A scoreless draw at Cincinnati in midweek was underwhelming, but the Union rebounded to rain on the parade of Gonzalo Higuain's MLS debut in a dominant 3-0 win as the heavens opened in Philadelphia, providing a deluge of precipitation and goals. Twenty-year-old Anthony Fontana and 19-year-old Brenden Aaronson chipped in with a goal each as the league's model academy continues to power its strongest club.

2. Toronto FC

Previous ranking: 5

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

Toronto moved just two points off the lead in the race for the Supporters' Shield by knocking off Eastern Conference contenders NYCFC and then league-leading Columbus. Alejandro Pozuelo scored in both of the pivotal wins, serving a reminder that the 29-year-old is very much in the race for this year's Landon Donovan MVP award.

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3. Columbus Crew

Previous ranking: 1

Next MLS match: Saturday at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET

The Crew's three-week reign on top of MLS Power Rankings came to an end following their 3-1 defeat to Toronto -- the most goals that the league's best defense has conceded in a single game all season.

4. Orlando City

Previous ranking: 4

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Red Bulls, 4:30 p.m. ET

Orlando took four points from two trips in the span of four days, beating Sporting KC 2-1 before settling for a 0-0 draw in Dallas. For a club that's never made the MLS Cup playoffs, Oscar Pareja & Co. are 10 points clear of the East's final postseason place.

5. Portland Timbers

Previous ranking: 8

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Colorado, 11 p.m. ET

A couple of tense 1-0 wins -- including an always-satisfying triumph over the Sounders -- have the Timbers tied for the top spot in the West. Gio Savarese was able to rotate his squad, too, which is always a nice thing.

6. Seattle Sounders

Previous ranking: 3

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Vancouver, 10 p.m. ET

The Sounders bounced back from their midweek disappointment against the Timbers with an emphatic away win against the Galaxy. Jordan Morris continued his fine season with a goal and an assist.

7. New York City FC

Previous ranking: 6

Next MLS match: Saturday at Miami, 8 p.m. ET

Heber tore his ACL in Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Toronto, so NYCFC will be without their No. 9 for the remainder of the season, but the club's depth in attack picked up the slack as Alexandru Mitrita netted twice and Jesus Medina added another in a 4-0 win over Cincinnati. They'll need that to continue if the Bronx side is to make a playoff run.

8. New England Revolution

Previous ranking: 13

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

The wins came against strugglers D.C. and Montreal, so take them with a grain of salt, but those results have given the Revs some separation from those sides fighting for their postseason lives.


Bou breaks the deadlock for Revs vs D.C. United

Major League Soccer: Gustavo Bou (86') D.C. United 0-1 New England Revolution. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

9. FC Dallas

Previous ranking: 7

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

FCD manager Luchi Gonzalez managed to avoid defeat against his old mentor Oscar Pareja, but a 1-0 loss earlier in the week against Atlanta is a bad result. The attack continues to be feast or famine for Dallas.

10. Colorado Rapids

Previous ranking: 16

Next MLS match: Saturday at Portland, 11 p.m. ET

The Rapids walloped San Jose 5-0, only for three staff and one player to test positive COVID-19. Here's hoping that all involved recover quickly and get back on the job soon.

11. New York Red Bulls

Previous ranking: 22

Next MLS match: Saturday at Orlando, 4:30 p.m. ET

After losing three of four, the Red Bulls outscored Miami and Montreal 8-2 for a crucial six-point haul. That those wins saw six different goal scorers provides further evidence that New York is still without a focal point for an inconsistent attack.


Red Bulls pummel Impact after slow start

After a wonder goal by the Impact the Red Bulls take over, winning 4-1. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

12. Nashville SC

Previous ranking: 17

Next MLS match: Saturday at New England, 7:30 p.m. ET

With four points from games against D.C. and Houston, Nashville has lost just once -- to Supporters' Shield leader Columbus -- in five September fixtures. Daniel Rios, who scored the Music City side's lone goals in the win over D.C. and draw with Houston, makes him the expansion side's leading scorer with two.

13. Real Salt Lake

Previous ranking: 20

Next MLS match: Sunday vs. LAFC, 9:30 p.m. ET

RSL looked to have a pair of tough matchups against the Galaxy at home and Minnesota on the road, and still managed to pick up four points. Goalkeeper Andrew Putna was sharp in the 0-0 draw against the Loons.

14. Minnesota United

Previous ranking: 14

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Cincinnati, 8 p.m. ET

There was no disgrace in losing 2-1 against Columbus, but disappointment was the byword after creating more of the chances in the 0-0 draw against RSL. Kei Kamara is still awaiting his first MNUFC goal.

15. LA Galaxy

Previous ranking: 9

Next MLS match: Saturday at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. ET

The Galaxy have scored just one goal in their past four games, and just three with Chicharito on the field (compared to 10 against) this season. Sure, it's a team game, but Chicharito's production hasn't been anything near what was expected.

16. LAFC

Previous ranking: 17

Next MLS match: Sunday at Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m. ET

The Black and Gold's season of inconsistency continued after a blowout win against Vancouver and then falling apart in a 2-1 home loss to San Jose. Meanwhile, Brian Rodriguez has one goal in 22 league and playoff appearances. LAFC desperately needs some end product from the attacker.

17. Houston Dynamo

Previous ranking: 11

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Kansas City, 8 p.m. ET

The Dynamo's winless streak has hit five after getting torched by the Fire and tying Nashville on the road. Matters would be even worse if Maynor Figueroa hadn't popped up for his second equalizer in as many weeks.


Houston score late to tie Nashville

Maynor Figueroa's late leveler helps the Dynamo leave Nashville with a point. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

18. Sporting Kansas City

Previous ranking: 12

Next MLS match: Saturday at Houston, 8 p.m. ET

A chance to get three points at Colorado will have to wait after a cluster of COVID-19 cases within the Rapids team, which means the home defeat to Orlando will stick in the craw for a bit longer. For those counting: just one win in the past seven for SKC.

19. Chicago Fire

Previous ranking: 24

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

Having scored twice in his first 10 appearances, DP striker Robert Beric has scored in each of his past four appearances, including Wednesday's 4-0 romp over Houston and Saturday's 2-0 win over Atlanta.

20. Montreal Impact

Previous ranking: 10

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

Last week Montreal lost twice by a combined scoreline of 7-2 and followed it up with a 3-1 defeat at the Red Bulls and a 4-1 capitulation in New England. The Impact have just one win in September, conceding 18 goals in seven contests.


San Jose shock LAFC with stoppage-time winner

After weeks of bad results, a wild finish gives San Jose their first-ever win over LAFC. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

21. San Jose Earthquakes

Previous ranking: 26

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET

After a 5-0 defeat in midweek to Colorado, another blowout seemed in the offing against LAFC. Credit the Quakes for a 2-1 fightback thanks to Jackson Yueill's ridiculous finish for the game winner.

22. Vancouver Whitecaps

Previous ranking: 19

Next MLS match: Saturday at Seattle, 10 p.m. ET

After the 'Caps got smashed by LAFC last Wednesday, they pushed the Timbers to the limit -- in a "home" game at Providence Park -- but it wasn't enough. Still, Vancouver is just three points outside the playoff places.

23. Inter Miami CF

Previous ranking: 18

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. NYCFC, 8 p.m. ET

Gonzalo Higuain's debut will be remembered for a missed penalty and an ensuing near-brawl as Miami looked as lifeless as ever in attack, falling 3-0 at Philadelphia on the heels of being on the wrong end of a 4-1 rout at home against the Red Bulls.


Chicago Fire blank Atlanta United

Fabian Herbers and Robert Beric net goals in Chicago's 2-0 win over Atlanta. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

24. Atlanta United

Previous ranking: 25

Next MLS match: Saturday at D.C. United, 7 p.m. ET

Wednesday's 1-0 win over Dallas was the first victory of the month for Atlanta, but followed it up with a 2-0 defeat in Chicago. The Five Stripes have scored more than a single goal in any games just twice since MLS play resumed in July, both times against expansion side Nashville.

25. FC Cincinnati

Previous ranking: 21

Next MLS match: Saturday at Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET

Cincinnati was shut out by Philadelphia and NYCFC, collecting a point from its pair of games last week. In the nine games since returning from the MLS is Back bubble in Orlando, Cincy has scored just two goals.

26. D.C. United

Previous ranking: 23

Next MLS match: Saturday vs. Atlanta, 7 p.m. ET

Defeats to Nashville and New England leave D.C. at the foot of the league table. United have won just once since March. With the utmost respect to Ben Olsen and his decade in charge of the club, his seat surely must be getting warmer than would be comfortable right now. The same goes for GM Dave Kasper.