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MLS Power Rankings Week 12: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Inter Miami continue to dominate

Week 12 of the MLS season is in the books, and Inter Miami asserted themselves as the best side in the league with another victory to remain top of the Power Rankings. 

Cincinnati still sit top of the West, where there was a big riser in the form of LAFC, and the full rankings can be found below. 

1. Inter Miami

W8 D3 L2, 1st Eastern Conference

Pre-season title favorites Inter Miami continued their dominance at the top of the East with a 3-2 win over Montreal at the weekend, with Luis Suarez, the joint top-scorer in the MLS, notching one of the goals in that match to keep Tata Martino’s side three points clear of the chasing pack. 

2. FC Cincinnati

W7 D3 L2, 2nd Eastern Conference

A 2-1 win over reigning champions Columbus Crew means FC Cincinnati are within touching distance of Miami, just three points behind and with a game in hand. 

That victory at Columbus was impressive and it extended the Orange and Blue’s winning streak to four games, suggesting they will be challenging Inter in the East for the whole season.

3. Real Salt Lake

W6 D4 L2, 1st Western Conference

A 2-2 draw with LA Galaxy sees Real Salt Lake slip to third in the rankings. RSL were poor in that clash, losing the shot count 23-12, with some key weaknesses being highlighted in California. 

They are still top of the West, however, so remain the best-ranked side from that conference.

4. Minnesota United

W6 D2 L2, 2nd Western Conference

Minnesota had another free week so they remain in fourth in our Power Rankings as results elsewhere ensured they remained second in the West. 

They have won their last three matches and are only two points off Real Salt Lake with two games in hand, suggesting they could actually be the team to watch in the Western Conference. 

5. LA Galaxy

W5 D5 D2, 3rd Western Conference

The Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake sees them jump up a few places as they dominated proceedings and were unlucky not to come away with the win.

Wingers Joseph Paintsil and Gabriel Pec, both offseason signings, have been perfect complements to open things up for Riqui Puig in midfield throughout the season.

6. Toronto FC

W6 D1 L5, 4th Eastern Conference

Toronto’s three-match winning run was snapped with a shock 3-2 home defeat to New York City last weekend, but they outshot their opponents in that clash so there is no need to hit the panic button just yet. 

John Herdman is a great manager with a solid squad, so we will put that loss down as a one-off for now. With five goals in the team's 12 matches, forward Prince Osei Owusu has already equalled the total that Deandre Kerr and Federico Bernardeschi tallied to lead the team to finish last in MLS in 2023.

7. Los Angeles FC

W5 D3 L4, 5th Western Conference

LAFC are the biggest risers this week thanks to their convincing 3-0 victory over Vancouver, jumping up a huge seven places in our rankings. 

Los Angeles are now just four points off the top of the Western Conference with a game in hand, having won two of their last three. They look one of the most in-form and potent sides in the West. 

8. New York City FC

W5 D2 L5, 5th Eastern Conference

New York’s shock win north of the border makes it four wins in five for Nick Cushing’s men, who are looking like one of the most in-form sides in the East, with a postseason appearance looking likelier with each passing game for City.

9. Vancouver Whitecaps

W5, D3 L3, 4th Western Conference

Vancouver’s heavy loss to LA means it is now three games without a win for the Whitecaps and if they fail to beat Colorado in their next outing, they could start slipping down the rankings at an alarming rate. 

10. New York Red Bulls

W5 D5 L2, 3rd Eastern Conference

This might seem a low ranking for the side third in the East, but the Red Bulls had gone four games without a win before beating Eastern Conference basement boys New England last weekend - a result which is difficult to get excited about. 

Their heavy defeat to Inter is still fresh in the memory and their lofty placing in the standings may be a false position. 

11. Charlotte FC

W5 D2 L5, 6th Eastern Conference

Back-to-back clean sheet wins see Charlotte jump up six places in our rankings. With experienced manager Dean Smith at the helm, the North Carolina-based outfit could be set for an exciting season. 

12. Colorado Rapids

W5 D3 L4, 6th Western Conference

Colorado are still sixth in the West, so they remain relatively high in our rankings. However, a 3-2 home defeat to San Jose - who came into the gameweek bottom of the Western Conference - was a very poor result, meaning the Rapids fall a few places. 

13. DC United

W4 D5 L3, 7th Eastern Conference

Christian Benteke, the joint top-scorer in the MLS, was on top form over the weekend as he netted a hat-trick in DC’s 3-2 win at Atlanta. Each goal means a lot due to the thin margins in MLS so, despite United’s modest position in the East, they stand above some closely-matched rivals thanks to the Belgian’s scoring talents. 

14. Houston Dynamo

W5 D2 L4, 7th Western Conference

Houston have the joint-best defense in the West having conceded just 11 goals in their 11 matches so far. That resolute nature coupled with the fact they have managed five wins in their last nine MLS games - winning 2-1 at Sporting KC last time - earns them a spot in our top-15. 

15. Austin FC

W4, D4, L4, 8th Western Conference

Austin will have been disappointed to lose an all-Texas clash with Dallas on Saturday, but they had won four of their last six matches prior to that defeat. Austin is on the cusp of the top seven in the East, so they should not be written off yet. 

16. Philadelphia Union

W3 D5 L2, 8th Eastern Conference

The Union are in poor form, which puts their playoff chances at risk. They’ve gone four games without a victory and they’ve suffered defeats at home to Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders in that stretch. As a result, they've fallen down the rankings after sitting 12th last week.

17. Columbus Crew

W3 D6 L1, 5th Eastern Conference

Columbus Crew have enjoyed an impressive campaign, suffering only one defeat across 10 matches this season. That consistency has put them on course for a playoff spot, but they simply don’t win enough games to feature any higher.

The Crew are winless in their last six and they need to start turning draws into victories in order to avoid slipping down the standings. 

18. St. Louis City

19. Seattle Sounders

20. Orlando City 

21. FC Dallas

22. Atlanta United

23. Montreal CF

24. San Jose Earthquakes

25. Nashville SC

26. Sporting Kansas City

27. Chicago Fire

28. Portland Timbers

29. New England Revolution 

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