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MLS Power Rankings Week 15: Inter Miami cling to top spot

With just eight teams in action this upcoming weekend, now is a good time to look at who's hot and who's not in the MLS in week 15.

Inter Miami is still finding the back of the net with ease while lower-profile teams including Real Salt Lake, Minnesota United and last year's league-worst team, Toronto FC, have been the main surprises so far.

1. Inter Miami

W10 D5 L3, 1st Eastern Conference

Inter Miami’s heavy scoring continues to keep them on top of the Eastern Conference, they have netted 42 goals in 18 games and remain on top of the standings despite a 3-3 draw with St. Louis last time out.

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi have 12 goals each, but the team will need to improve at the back if they are to achieve their aim of lifting the MLS Cup.

2. FC Cincinnati

W10 D3 L3, 2nd Eastern Conference

A run of seven wins in a row for FC Cincinnati was brought to a halt with a 2-0 defeat to Nashville SC on Wednesday but last year’s Supporters Shield winners remain in a strong position in the East.

Young Venezuelan striker Kevin Kelsy has hit the ground running and looks to be an excellent addition to the team, but it is defensively where Cincy have excelled - only Columbus Crew have conceded fewer goals than Pat Noonan’s men. 

3. Real Salt Lake

W9 D6 L2, 1st Western Conference

A 13-game unbeaten run has propelled Real Salt Lake to top spot in the Western Conference, thanks in part to Cristian Arango’s league-leading 16 goals. One of his three goals against Austin FC last weekend came from inside his team's own half and was worth 0.01 expected goals.

RSL have scored the most goals in the West and have the second-best defensive record so it is not hard to see where their success has come from. 

4. Los Angeles FC

W9 D3 L4, 2nd Western Conference

Los Angeles have won six of their last seven games, including a 2-0 win over Minnesota United, and currently sit just three points behind Real Salt Lake in the race for the Western Conference with a game in hand.

After Euro 2024, LAFC will also add Olivier Giroud to a squad that is already star-studded, and they are a major contender in the race for the MLS Cup. Even without Giroud, their attack has been prolific as reigning Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga has 10 goals, Mateusz Bogusz has six, and Timmy Tillman and Cristian Olivera each have four.

5. Columbus Crew

W6 D6 L2, 7th Eastern Conference

Columbus Crew are playing catch up in the Eastern Conference - they have played four games less than Inter Miami - but three wins in a row mean the reigning MLS Cup winners have caught the eye.

The Crew have only been beaten twice all season and will put their credentials to the test with a clash against New York City FC next week. If they can come out on top, it would announce them as a major player in the East once again.

6. New York City FC

W9 D2 L5, 3rd Eastern Conference

New York City extended their run to five wins in a row with a 5-1 win over the struggling San Jose Earthquakes and Nick Cushing’s team are making a charge in the East after a disappointing season last time out.

7. New York Red Bulls

W8 D5 L3, 4th Eastern Conference

New York Red Bulls have bounced back from a disappointing loss to rivals New York City with wins over Charlotte and Orlando. They remain unbeaten at home this season and their front three - Lewis Morgan, Dante Vanzeir, and Emil Forsberg - has combined for 17 goals and 12 assists in 16 matches.

8. Minnesota United

W8 D4 L3, 3rd Western Conference

Minnesota United have benefitted from some excellent displays from Finnish playmaker Robin Lod, who has eight assists, to sit third in the Western Conference.

9. LA Galaxy

W7 D7 L3, 4th Western Conference

Too many stalemates has been an issue for LA Galaxy but they have still only lost three of their 17 matches. Those games have contained 56 goals, making them one of the most entertaining teams in the West.

10. Toronto FC

W7 D3 L7, 6th Eastern Conference

Toronto fans can’t complain about a lack of action in their games: the Canadians have scored 26 and conceded 26. They will need to tighten up at the back if they are to contend in the East.

11. Vancouver Whitecaps

W7 D4 L5, 5th Western Conference

Ryan Gauld continues to be an influential figure for Vancouver, scoring seven goals and registering three assists this season. Back-to-back wins over Sporting KC and Colorado Rapids has the Whitecaps looking up.

12. Charlotte FC

W7 D4 L6, 5th Eastern Conference

Charlotte have one of the best defensive records in the Eastern Conference but 18 goals scored in 17 games is hardly much to shout about. Designated player Liel Abada had a brace in Charlotte's recent 3-2 win over rivals Atlanta United, which caused Atlanta to fire their coach.

13. Philadelphia Union

W4 D8 L4, 8th Eastern Conference

Philadelphia Union have tied the most games of any team in the Eastern Conference with eight. Turning a few more of those into wins should see them rise up the rankings, but their usually solid defense has struggled at times this year.

14. Austin FC

W6 D5 L6, 6th Western Conference

A 5-1 hammering by Real Salt Lake has brought Austin back down to earth and their away record of one win from eight games could do with improving. Despite sitting in the playoff places, Austin FC boasts the league's second-lowest expected goals differential at -11.9, suggesting the team has been lucky so far.

15. Houston Dynamo

W6 D4 L6, 7th Western Conference

Houston picked up a 3-1 win over Colorado Rapids and followed that with a 2-2 tie on the road in Portland. Those results are solid but the team are scratching around for consistency.

16. Colorado Rapids
17. Portland Timbers
18. Seattle Sounders
19. DC United
20. Atlanta United
21. Nashville SC
22. Orlando City
23. St Louis City
24. CF Montreal
25. San Jose Earthquakes
26. FC Dallas
27. Sporting Kansas City

28. Chicago Fire
29. New England Revolution

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