MLS: Power Rankings – Seattle on top ahead of MLS Is Back

MLS, Seattle Sounders (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
MLS, Seattle Sounders (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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FC Dallas
TEXAS CITY, TX – MARCH 07: Ricardo Pepi #16 of FC Dallas celebrates with his teammate’s 2nd goal for his team during an MLS match between FC Dallas and Montreal Impact at Toyota Stadium on March 7, 2020, in Texas City, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images) /

20: Orlando City SC (+1)

After five years of failing to reach the post-season, Orlando City hired veteran MLS coach Oscar Pareja to bring the good times to Florida, and playing at ‘home’ could well be a key start for the franchise in this tournament.

They were without Nani and Dom Dwyer for their opening two matches of the 2020 regular-season campaign, and it showed, as they only mustered a single goal against Colorado Rapids, which followed a scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake on the opening weekend.

They come into the tournament as one of the teams people will not expect to get through, but clashes against two expansion sides, in Nashville and Inter Miami, could see them advance to the knockout stages.

Group Matches: Group A – vs. Inter Miami (July 8, 8pm ET), vs. New York City (July 14, 10:30pm ET), vs. Nashville SC (July 20, 9am ET)

19: Montreal Impact (=)

The Montreal Impact made a strong start to the 2020 campaign, advancing to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, along with a four-point haul from their opening two league matches in Major League Soccer.

The Impact defeated New England in their season-opener, before drawing with FC Dallas in week two, but remain in the post-season places at this early stage. Montreal have the league’s top scorer, Maxi Urruti, with the Argentine bagging three times in those opening two matches.

Their first clash in MLS is Back will be a rematch with the Revolution on July 9, before an all-Canadian clash against 2017 treble-winners Toronto FC. D.C. United are the other side in Group B, and although the Impact had a cracking start to the campaign, qualifying from this quartet will be tough work.

Group Matches: Group B – vs. New England Revolution (July 9, 8pm ET), vs. Toronto FC (July 15, 8pm ET), vs. D.C. United (July 21, 10:30pm ET)

18: FC Dallas (-9)

Nothing that has happened on the field has led to FC Dallas dropping nine places in our Power Rankings ahead of the MLS is Back Tournament, but unfortunately, off the field has been a different story over the last week.

The Texan side comfortably sat inside the top ten on our Power Rankings following the opening two games of the regular season, taking four points from their home clashes with Philadelphia Union and Montreal Impact before the suspension.

However, at least six of the FC Dallas squad, along with one of their coaches, have tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving in Orlando, pushing any chance of glory to the back of their minds. There is talk that the club will not play in the tournament due to these tests, but we can only wait and see whether they take the field against Vancouver on Thursday.

Group Matches: Group F – vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (July 9, 10:30pm ET), vs. Seattle Sounders (July 15, 9am ET), vs. San Jose Earthquakes (July 20, 8pm ET)

17: Real Salt Lake (+1)

Another side that makes a move up a place is Real Salt Lake, even though they go into one of the most hotly-contested groups of MLS is Back in Orlando this month.

Freddy Juarez’s side struggled for goals in the opening two games of the regular season, only finding the back of the net once, but they came away from those two games with two draws, and two points.

RSL have only conceded once so far in 2020, and that defence will be key if they are to make it out of a group that has the free-flowing Sporting KC and Minnesota United in it. They also have to play Colorado Rapids, with all three teams having won both of their matches in the league back in March.

Group Matches: Group C – vs. Colorado Rapids (July 12, 10:30pm ET), vs. Minnesota United (July 17, 10:30pm ET), vs. Sporting KC (July 22, 9am ET)

16: Houston Dynamo (+1)

Tab Ramos has only been in charge since the start of the season in Houston, and he did not have much time to sprinkle his magic on the Houston Dynamo prior to the suspension of the league, as the franchise only managed a single goal.

That came in a 1-1 draw with the Galaxy, who they will face again in Orlando this month, in their final fixture of the group stage.  However, they were then steamrolled by Sporting Kansas City, who scored four times on the second weekend of the regular-season campaign.

Coming into this tournament in Orlando, the Dynamo will not be expected to do much, as arguably the worst team in Group D, which features the aforementioned Galaxy, city rivals LAFC and the Portland Timbers, but making it out of the group will give the squad a lot of confidence ahead of the condensed regular-season that is expected to follow.

Group Matches: Group D – vs. Los Angeles FC (July 13, 8pm ET), vs. Portland Timbers (July 18, 8pm ET), vs. LA Galaxy (July 23, 8pm ET)