Do we finally get an idea of how the field for MLS teams stacks up? It certainly looks as if the parties are finding their footing, the mostly casual signings have all found the field and the new managers’ philosophies are taking hold.
Then again, we have D.C. United who added Louis O’Brien, Minnesota United who added Jeong Sang-bin, LA Galaxy’s Julian Odd and Houston Dynamo’s Eric Sviachenko. These are just a few of the new deals being finalized, as well as many more that are sure to come as the close of the transfer window is still weeks away.
As usual, you think you have control of the league, but have you ever really?
Let’s rank these ever-changing teams.
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Previous ranking: 1
The Black and Gold played their first scoreless draw in over 100 games over the weekend, but it was indicative of how much the team had grown in the past couple of years that they could play this kind of game against a stellar team in Seattle and a no-look kind. This team is comfortable in many styles of play now.
Previous ranking: 3
What was telling about the Sounders’ draw with LAFC was not just how good both teams were, and being able to match each other at such a high level, but how, despite playing in very different ways, they both had the ability to be flexible. And meet the style and quality of the discount. It’s a versatility you don’t usually see teams capable of, especially early in the season.
Previous ranking: 5
Imagine that you are a defender and Atlanta United is running towards you. You have to catch numbers coming at you, follow their clever trajectories, be aware of their clever passing combination, and rush in front of any shots. Most of all, you can’t attack them because if you did, Thiago Almada would only add to his highlight reel on his free kicks as he did in Atlanta’s 5-1 attack on Portland. good luck!
Previous ranking: 2
Should Sensei need Luciano Acosta to come off the bench and salvage a tie against Chicago? Probably not, but no team will apologize for having a guy who can turn a game into a dime.
Previous ranking: 11
A comprehensive win over San Jose The full list of expansion teams to win their first four games in MLS history is as follows: St. Louis City.
Previous ranking: 4
Jim Curtin called their loss to Montreal “a show.” This may be the worst example of Philly failing to control games this season, but it’s not the only one, and it’s amazing considering how special the association did a year ago. And somehow, it still feels like a blip rather than a serious team flaw.
Previous ranking: 7
There’s no reason to question Nashville’s ability to play when things go their way, but can they chase down a game? Nashville couldn’t match the Revs when it conceded its first goal of the season, thus its first loss of the season. Whether he can play from behind may dictate how far this team will go in 2023.
Previous ranking: 10
Use VAR to allow Martin Paes to save one penalty. And also for saving him from a red card in Dallas’ win over SKC.
Previous ranking: 8
Only away goals denied the team qualification to the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League, and a loss to Charlotte followed. So far, Orlando City have had a pass on league form as their continental ambitions have clearly taken top priority, but starting next week they should really start winning.
Previous ranking: 6
Will some decent center backs come to the front please? no? Well, losing 2-0 to Houston it is.
Previous ranking: 12
The RBNZ broke with their habits of spending big on a striker rather than continuing to rely on in-house options, but we haven’t seen what this could mean for the team as Dante Vanzeir hasn’t played yet. Well, he came off the bench on Saturday and promptly scored his first goal to beat Columbus. If this is a sign of things to come, watch out.
Previous ranking: 15
As always, the question is whether TFC can back their stars enough to win. Federico Bernardeschi got the support he needed to beat Miami, and with it the Reds got their first win.
Previous ranking: 9
Kocho Hernandez was injured, Lucas Zelarayan had an uncharacteristically choppy performance and the Crew still came close to outing New Jersey by a point. Wilfred Nancy’s journey goes more smoothly than many expected.
Previous ranking: 18
Pigeons just press teams into oblivion while they wait until the transfer window closes and they have a full squad. This week, it was DC that got crushed by the press.
Previous ranking: 13
The Quakes have been extremely efficient this season, but they’ve met a St. Louis team who is as sure of who they are and how they want to play as any team in the league. Faced with that, we took a look at the San Jose hardtop so he could add more quality to the team.
Previous ranking: 16
The Loons continued to pick up three more points despite a string of injuries in their win over Colorado, and their analytics more like their strong streak, Jeong Sang-bin set to join soon and Emmanuel Reynoso could join them again at some point. If you’re looking for a buy-low team with great upside potential, look no further.
Previous ranking: 14
There is no substitute for Gregor in the Inter squad, as the loss to TFC showed. It must be a collective hike to make things irritating without its leader, and it will take time to sort out the problem.
Previous ranking: 21
Gustavo Poe starts, Gustavo Poe scores, toss win. It’s not that simple, but it’s not like that either no that simple. Just check out the 1-0 score against Nashville.
Previous ranking: 19
Wayne Rooney has come a long way in a short time. It’s pretty amazing to think of how bleak things were in June last year, but the way the New York City press hit DC’s loss on Saturday was also a sign of how far United still has to go.
Previous ranking: 22
If Dejan Joveljic’s goal counted, we’d be talking about the Galaxy’s improved wide play resulting in a deserved win over Vancouver. Instead, we’re still wondering how he can be called on for a handball when the ball never hits his arm and we’re looking at another draw with Los Angeles.
Previous ranking: 17
SKC achieved their first goal of the season! Their first win had to wait, as they not only missed one penalty but a second on a replay, then conceded a late Dallas goal. This team is still waiting for the health of Johnny Russell, Alan Pulido and Gadi kinda to be like the casual deals he didn’t offer, which is reasonable, if frustrating.
Previous ranking: 24
The set-piece routine for Caps’ lone goal in Los Angeles was a work of art. Their transmission wasn’t a technical defense, but thanks to some lucky refereeing, they moved away by a point anyway.
Previous ranking: 26
Dynamo outdid their results at the start of the season, so they were left behind with an actual result. Timing it so that those elusive first points come against a challenger in Austin is a bonus.
Previous ranking: 22
Charlotte has gotten some things right in their first season and three games of existence, but the designated players weren’t one of them. Hitting Kamil Jozwiak and Karol Swiderski off the bench and the Crown beating Orlando for their first win of the season was either a very good sign or a very bad sign, depending on how they rotated.
Previous ranking: 23
They are given a week off to prepare for St. Louis next week. Hope it does them some good.
Previous ranking: 27
On the one hand, the Fire played Philly well a week ago and then followed it up with a draw with Cincinnati in two good performances against two of the best teams in the league. On the other hand, they only have one point to show in those performances and blew a late two-goal lead to Jarrez. The optimist says there’s more to quality in Chicago than is reflected in a score.
Previous ranking: 20
You’ll say burn the tape and forget their 5-1 loss to Atlanta ever happened, except the rest of the season wasn’t quite as stellar either.
Previous ranking: 29
The team that hasn’t scored a goal all season put up three goals against Philly? It doesn’t make sense until you see they get an Etihad red card and two goals from the 90th minute on, but Montreal has goals and points for the first time this year, so no one is putting any qualifiers on how that plays out.
Previous ranking: 28
If another loss, this time to Minnesota, wasn’t bad enough, they also added a season-ending injury to Jack Price. This team doesn’t look very good when fit, so injuries are tough.
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