You’ll have to forgive us, the Rankings are still recovering from the insanity that went down at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday night. Heart rates remain elevated, the sweating is profuse, and we’re going to need some breathing exercises to get through this.
The absolute insanity of Danny DeVito attending a soccer match. Wow. Can you believe it? It’s Week 2 and we’re already ready to shake it up.
Previous rankings: Week 1
Previous ranking: 2
Next MLS match: March 23, vs. Portland, 8 p.m. ET
LAFC is a team with a stuck accelerator. Even if you wanted to apply the brakes, it would just burn up. The only way to stop is to run out of gas and, at this rate, that might just be LAFC’s problem. That and defending. But who really needs defending when you can score three goals every match?
Previous ranking: 6
Next MLS match: March 15, at New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. ET
We’re in uncharted territory as the Loons hit ‘Year Four of The Three-Year Plan’ and, so far, the territory is good. Two wins, eight goals, and they haven’t even played at home yet. We might see a record for renditions of “Wonderwall” by a group of soccer fans from the upper Midwest this season.
Previous ranking: 12
Next MLS match: March 14, at Atlanta, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
If there were a separate set of standings that gave clubs points just on how their new signings are doing, Sporting would be leading thanks to the exploits of Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda. We mean in addition to leading the actual standings, what with two dominant wins and a +6 goal differential.
Previous ranking: 5
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. Sporting KC, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Post-Josef Martinez life isn’t all that bad, it turns out. With their best player out injured, United handled its business. It looks like the other high-priced talent in the squad is ready to step up (Ezequiel Barco, come on down!) and Emerson Hyndman is a goal-scoring machine.
Previous ranking: 3
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. Real Salt Lake, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Who’s ready for some pretty team goals? The Crew is already setting a standard for putting together team moves that end up in the net. You’ll have to take our word for it that we had Gyasi Zardes down for a big year in our Big Book of Predictions. It’s leather-bound and written in calligraphy.
Previous ranking: 7
Next MLS match: March 14, at Vancouver, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Excuse us while we take our seat on the Rapids bandwagon. Be sure to get yours soon, because this thing is filling up fast. Sure, Rapidman is driving and we’re not sure if his license is current, but when you’ve got a team this likable firing out of the gates to start the season, there’s no time for discretion.
VAR comes to the rescue for Seattle in a 1-1 draw vs. Columbus. Watch MLS on ESPN+.
Previous ranking: 1
Next MLS match: March 14, at Houston, 8.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
It feels like the Sounders are doing that thing where they lull us to sleep by playing some underwhelming soccer to start the season only to kick it into gear and win another championship. Maybe that’s harsh. The champs do have four points from two home matches, so there’s no reason to worry. Right?
Previous ranking: 4
Next MLS match: March 7, vs. Montreal Impact, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Okay, so “Kids Incorporated” fell behind at home and had to execute a comeback to grab a point against the Impact. But … what a comeback! And how perfect was it for the club’s up-and-coming young striker, Ricardo Pepi, a player who led USL League One in scoring as a 16-year old, to be the one to score the equalizer. FC Dallas stays consistent.
Previous ranking: 8
Next MLS match: March 14, at NYCFC, 12.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
The less-sexy Red Bulls shouldn’t be in any danger of slipping out of the playoff conversation in the Eastern Conference, but it’s still a question as to where the goals will come from. You can’t play FC Cincinnati every week … which Red Bulls are the real Red Bulls?
Ifunanyachi Achara’s late goal gives Toronto FC a 1-0 win over NYCFC. Watch MLS on ESPN+.
Previous ranking: 9
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. Nashville, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Ifunanyachi Achara is a name to remember, in part because it’s almost impossible to forget. The Reds did a thing — namely winning against a top Eastern rival without Michael Bradley as the captain recovers from ankle surgery — thanks to Achara’s late goal. It’s a big step for the player and the club.
Previous ranking: 11
Next MLS match: March 21, at Minnesota, 2 p.m. ET
Thierry Henry is undefeated as head coach of the Montreal Impact. Only one of those results was a win, but he appears to be making a bigger success of MLS than his short-lived run with Ligue 1 club Monaco. That’s not saying much, but it’s a start.
Previous ranking: 16
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. San Jose, 5.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Whoa, Union. Whoa, we see you. What a performance out in Los Angeles. Is that an announcement of intent? Can we count on that kind of effort every week? CAN WE EXPECT 40-YARD ROCKETS FROM CENTRE-BACKS EVERY WEEK? Take a bow, Jakob Glesnes. Please say yes. Please.
Previous ranking: 18
Next MLS match: March 14, at Cincinnati, 5.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
A loss to an expansion team at home would have been disastrous for a new-look United team who dropped millions in the offseason to sign Edison Flores. Sure, it took a strange Miami red card and a penalty kick to push DC to the win, but you gotta start somewhere, right?
Previous ranking: 19
Next MLS match: March 15, at New England, 1.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Diego Valeri is still Diego Valeri, which is good for the Timbers because they failed to generate many chances against an expansion team at home at Providence Park. Let’s just let that one simmer for a bit: The Portland Timbers bunkered in at home against an expansion team. Whatever works we guess?
Previous ranking: 15
Next MLS match: March 15, vs Portland, 1.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Last time we saw Bruce Arena and the New Revolution (also the name of Bruce’s Prince cover band), they were losing on opening day in Montreal. Week 2 saw an improvement, at least in terms of result. We’re going to go out on a limb and imagine Arena wasn’t happy with this one.
Previous ranking: 22
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. Colorado, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Vancouver is taking more than just film and TV production from LA these days: Now it’s taking points. Marc Dos Santos got himself a much-needed win for his job security, for his team’s confidence, for the very future of soccer in British Columbia. Or something a little less dramatic.
Previous ranking: 23
Next MLS match: March 14, at Orlando, 7.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
The Fire is probably better than it was last year but it’s going to take a little more time for anyone to be sure. Two road draws against playoff teams from 2019 is a promising start for new head coach Raphael Wicky and the *checks notes* 12 new players in the team.
Chicharito and LA Galaxy slump to a 1-0 loss at home against Vancouver. Watch MLS on ESPN+.
Previous ranking: 14
Next MLS match: March 14, at Inter Miami 2.30 p.m. ET
Is it starting to turn sour for Chicharito in Los Angeles already? Sure, he’s got some rad shirts, but the Mexican superstar looks lost and starved for service on the field. Losing to Vancouver at home is a bad enough look, but Hernandez made it worse by dodging the media after the game.
Previous ranking: 13
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. Seattle, 8.30 p.m. ET
Tab Ramos’ boys took it on the chin in Week 2, reminding us that the Dynamo are definitely a work in progress. It’s probably right to say that Tab is a work in progress himself, having come straight from coaching youth team players to taking the reins of an in-transition MLS club.
Previous ranking: 17
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. Philadelphia, 7.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
“Earthquakes: The Ride” took a scary turn this week with disastrous defensive efforts. The Quakes’ highs are going to be really high and their lows will be really low. If this pattern keeps up, we’re going to be exhausted by the time we get to April.
Previous ranking: 20
Next MLS match: March 14, at Columbus, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN+
It’s going to take a lot for RSL to convince us that the Utahans are more than just flat-out average. The good thing about being average in MLS is that it probably gets you in the playoffs. And once you get into the playoffs (say it with us) … anything can happen.
Previous ranking: 21
Next MLS match: March 14, at Chicago, 7.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Next week Nani will be available again following a suspension that carried over from 2019 and we’ll get a chance to see what Oscar Pareja can do with a full complement of players. Saturday was not that day and so we reserve our judgement for the Lions for yet another week.
Previous ranking: 10
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. Dallas, 12.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Last year’s first-place finisher in the Eastern Conference has zero points from two games. Two road games, to be specific. Ronny Deila’s false start to life with NYCFC should get better when his club can play in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. What a weird sentence. There’s nothing quite like a short porch.
Previous ranking: 24
Next MLS match: March 14, at Toronto, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
There are worse things than being a team that “deserves more,” but no one wants to be that team if they can help it. Nashville’s reputation through two games can be accurately described as “plucky” which we promise we didn’t pick just because it’s a guitar pun.
Rodolfo Pizarro scores Inter Miami’s first-ever goal, but D.C. come back to win 2-1. Watch MLS on ESPN+.
Previous ranking: 25
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. LA Galaxy, 2.30 p.m. ET
It’s only fitting that the first goal in Inter Miami’s history was scored by the man they spent millions to wrestle away from Monterrey. Next up, doing it in a win. And wouldn’t it be something if that win came in the club’s first home game against David Beckham’s old team on national television.
Previous ranking: 26
Next MLS match: March 14, vs. DC United, 5.30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Right now, FCC’s 2020 is all about small victories. Small victories like not getting embarrassed in Atlanta. Like Yuya Kubo scoring his first MLS goal. Like only giving up two goals instead of three or four or five. Like not being in last place in the East thanks to scoring three times in two losses. Small victories.