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MLS Power Rankings Week 5: Minnesota lead the way in the West

It was not a typical weekend in Major League Soccer with around 100 players out of action due to international duty and that meant a few eyebrow-raising results during week five.

The season is still in its infancy, but here is a look at the season's current power rankings after the weekend's games.

1. Minnesota United

W3 D1 L0, 1st Western Conference

Minnesota United do not have the highest points total in MLS this season, but their average points figure of 2.5 is the best in both conferences and they take top spot in this week's power rankings.

That is despite the fact they did not even feature at the weekend, but they have already chalked up some impressive results this season, winning on the road to Orlando and posting a 2-0 home win over LAFC earlier this month.

2. FC Cincinnati

W3 D2 L0, 1st Eastern Conference

In second spot are the Eastern Conference pacesetters Cincinnati.

Cincy topped their conference by six points last season and have performed well again, edging New York City 1-0 at home on Saturday.

Getting knocked out of the Concacaf Champions Cup by Monterrey in the round of 16 has helped their cause and they are serious MLS Cup contenders again.

3. New York Red Bulls

W3 D1 L1, 3rd Eastern Conference

Inter Miami may have been missing Lionel Messi, but it was hardly a second-string side they put out in their 4-0 mauling by New York Red Bulls on Saturday and that was one of the most eye-catching results of the weekend.

It was a third MLS win of the season for the Red Bulls, who have evolved into a more possession-focused side under Sandro Schwarz and have shown they can beat anyone on their day, especially if Emil Forsberg is available.

4. Columbus Crew

W3 D1 L1, 4th Eastern Conference

MLS Cup holders Columbus Crew endured a surprise 2-0 defeat to Charlotte on Saturday, but they played most of the game with 10 men and they have nonetheless made a steady start to their title defence.

Three wins from five games keeps them in the hunt in the Eastern Conference and juggling domestic duties with their Concacaf Champions Cup involvement will be key.

5. Inter Miami

W3 D1 L2, 2nd Eastern Conference

Messi will not be available all season long and Inter Miami need to ensure they can perform without the Argentinian maestro leading the line.

The 4-0 defeat to New York Red Bulls was unacceptable but more likely a one-off blip rather than the start of a downward spiral.

6. Toronto FC

W3 D1 L1, 5th Eastern Conference

Toronto finished rock bottom of the Eastern Conference in 2023 but this year they are already just one win behind their overall win tally last season.

That leaves them in prime playoff contention following a particularly impressive 2-0 defeat of Atlanta United on Saturday.

7. LA Galaxy

  W2 D3 L0, 2nd Western Conference

The top of these rankings are dominated by Eastern Conference sides, meaning LA Galaxy, who are second in the Western Conference, are down in seventh.

They have performed well so far, but a goals-against figure of nine is alarming and they have been held to too many draws for potential Supporters' Shield contenders.

8. CF Montreal

W2 D1 L1, 6th Eastern Conference

Montreal suffered a gut-punching 4-3 loss to Chicago in their last MLS match earlier this month, having led 3-1 in that game until the 84th minute.

But they have had time to reflect on that game with no game played this weekend and they are still in the playoff mix with just one defeat from four games.

9. Vancouver Whitecaps

W2 D1 L1, 3rd Western Conference

Vancouver sustained their first defeat of the season in MLS on Saturday, going down 2-1 at home to Real Salt Lake, and there is plenty of work to do for the Canadians, although wins on the road to San Jose and Dallas show promise. 

10. Houston Dynamo

W2 D1 L1, 7th Western Conference

Keeping things tight is essential to the gameplan of Houston Dynamo, who have won back-to-back MLS matches 1-0 against Colorado and Portland Timber.

That leaves them just above the dotted line in the Western Conference and scoring more goals could do them no harm.

11. LAFC

W2 D1 L2, 6th Western Conference

It has been a little underwhelming from LAFC in MLS this season, but after a run of three games without a win, they turned on the style in a 5-0 thrashing of Nashville at the weekend.

Star man Denis Bouanga looked like the player who lit up MLS last season with his brace in that game and that could well steer them back on track.

12. Charlotte FC

W2 D1 L2, 7th Eastern Conference

Charlotte have had a mixed bag of results in MLS this year, so 12th spot in the power rankings seems right.

They were 2-0 winners over MLS Cup holders Columbus on Saturday, but scored their goals in the 83rd and 88th minutes of that game after the Crew's Derrick Jones had been sent off in the 26th minute.

13. Atlanta United

W2 D0 L2, 8th Eastern Conference

Atlanta United should never be written off, but it looks as though they could be particularly reliant on home performances this season following their 2-0 loss to Toronto on Saturday.

There is definitely room for improvement.

14. Portland Timbers

W2 D1 L2, 4th Western Conference

Without a shutout in their first five games of the season in MLS, Portland need to improve at the back if they are to challenge in MLS this season.

Wins over Colorado and New York City were promising but the 3-1 loss to Philadelphia was disappointing given they racked up 18 shots and had 73 per cent possession.

15. Real Salt Lake

W2 D1 L2, 5th Western Conference

Real Salt Lake placed fifth in the MLS Western Conference last season and find themselves there deservedly so after five games in 2024.

They are a team with goals in them - they put three past LAFC earlier this month - and should make the playoffs again this year.

16. Philadelphia Union

17. St Louis City

18.  Sporting Kansas City

19. DC United

20. Nashville SC

21. Colorado Rapids

22. Chicago Fire

23. Orlando City

24. FC Dallas

25. New York City FC

26. Seattle Sounders

27.  San Jose Earthquakes

28. Austin FC

29. New England Revolution

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