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MLS Power Rankings Week 16: Sporting Kansas City showing their best side

There wasn't a lot of MLS action over the weekend just gone, due to the ongoing international fixtures, with only four games taking place as New England and Sporting Kansas City got wins on the board.

Minnesota spurned their chance to go second in the Western Conference as they were held by FC Dallas, while St. Louis and Portland couldn't engineer a goal between them.

Here's our latest MLS Power Rankings at the end of week 16, with Sporting Kansas boss Peter Vermes full of praise for his team's attitude despite its rough first half of the season.

1. Inter Miami

W10 D5 L3, 1st Eastern Conference

They weren't in action at the weekend but Inter Miami's heavy scoring continues to keep them at the summit 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.

Lionel Messi has 12 goals, but the team will need to improve at the back if they are to achieve their aim of lifting the MLS Cup, while they also need to cope without the Argentine as he's now at the Copa America.

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, 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 16 goals. One of his three goals against Austin FC came from inside his team's own half.

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. 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 despite trailing the conference leaders by 11 points.

6. New York City FC

W9 D2 L5, 3rd Eastern Conference

New York City extended their winning run to five 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. Minnesota United

W8 D5 L3, 3rd Western Conference

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

An early goal from Hassani Dotson put them in front against Dallas at the weekend but it was soon cancelled out and they had to settle for a share of the spoils at Allianz Field.

8. New York Red Bulls

W8 D5 L4, 4th Eastern Conference

The Red Bulls remain unbeaten at home this season and their front three - Lewis Morgan, Dante Vanzeir, and Emil Forsberg - have combined for 17 goals and 12 assists in 17 matches.

On the road, things are less rosy. A late goal from Emmanuel Boateng condemned them to defeat against New England on Saturday, their fourth defeat of the season.

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 Western Conference.

10. Toronto FC

W7 D3 L7, 6th Eastern Conference

The Canadians have scored 26 goals and conceded 26. They will need to tighten up at the back if they are to contend in the East and their record of seven wins and seven losses in 17 games is tell-tale of a mediocre campaign so far, although it's an improvement on last year's last-placed finish.

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 at LA Galaxy in fourth spot and they could draw level if they win their game in hand.

12. Charlotte FC

W7 D4 L6, 5th Eastern Conference

Charlotte has 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 scored a brace in Charlotte's recent 3-2 win over rivals Atlanta United and has been a fine acquisition since he joined from Scottish champions Celtic.

13. Sporting Kansas City

W3 D5 L9, 12th Western Conference

As one of only two teams to win this weekend, Sporting Kansas City earn a high rank. They took care of 10-man Seattle at Children's Mercy Park with goals from Johnny Russell and Alenis Vargas.

After seven consecutive losses, and 10 matches overall without a win, SKC manager Peter Vermes suggested: "The whole idea is always to become, or try to get close to, the best version of yourself. And I think the guys were trying that today."

14. New England Revolution

W4 D1 L10, 15th Eastern Conference

A rare win, just their fourth in 15 attempts, gives the Revs a spot in the top half of the power rankings this week with so many teams not in action. Dylan Borrero is back from injury and New England now find themselves on a two-game winning run.

15. Portland Timbers

W5 D6 L7, 9th Western Conference

Portland have now managed a run of just one defeat in six games, with three wins in that span. At the weekend, they were in St Louis and emerged with a stalemate as the goalkeepers took center stage in a scoreless draw. They are now just four points behind Vancouver in fifth spot in the West.

16. Colorado Rapids
17. Philadelphia Union
18. Seattle Sounders
19. Austin FC
20. Houston Dynamo
21. DC United
22. Atlanta United
23. Nashville SC
24. Orlando City
25. St Louis City
26. CF Montreal
27. San Jose Earthquakes
28. FC Dallas
29. Chicago Fire

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