The second round of fixtures in MLS is Back have come and gone. Here are our Power Rankings with just one more group game remaining for most teams.
There were some excellent performances from Matchday Two in the MLS is Back Tournament. Los Angeles FC scored six in El Trafico, Toronto FC looked excellent, while four teams maintained a 100% record in tournament play.
With one more game to go in the group stages, bar both the Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps, who have two matches left, all of which come over the next five days., it is time to survey the MLS landscape.
We know the bottom two teams are, with both Nashville and FC Dallas not in Orlando, but who occupies the other 24 places? Here are the MLS Multiplex Power Rankings.
26 – Nashville SC (=)
Nashville SC became the second team to withdraw from the MLS is Back mini-tournament after nine players tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
25 – FC Dallas (=)
The first team to withdraw from the tournament were FC Dallas, who had 11 positive tests for COVID-19, ten of those coming from members of their playing squad, with one member of their technical staff also testing positive.
24 – Inter Miami CF (-1)
A fourth consecutive defeat to start the 2020 season for Inter Miami, in what is their first in the league as an expansion side, but all is not lost for one of the newest teams in MLS, as they continue to put in some good performances.
Their second defeat of the MLS is Back tournament came at the hands of Philadelphia Union, who performed well throughout the match. An early goal from Kai Wagner, plus a second-half strike from Kacper Przybylko condemned Inter Miami to another loss.
There is still a slight chance of qualification for the expansion side, though, as they have a basement battle with New York City FC to round out Group A, with the winner having a chance of making it through as one of the wild-card teams.
Remaining Group Matches: Group A – vs. New York City FC (July 20, 9 am ET)
23 – FC Cincinnati (+1)
After four matches in 2020, FC Cincinnati have finally got their first points on the board, and what a scalp they took, as they downed 2018 MLS Cup champions Atlanta United by a single goal to stay alive in MLS is Back.
They held the advantage after just 26 minutes, after Atlanta’s Jake Mulraney was sent off for a second bookable offence, but were unable to press that advantage home until the 75th minute, when their No.1 selection in the MLS SuperDraft, Frankie Amaya, scored the winner from outside the area.
The Orange and Blue will now face New York Red Bulls in a crunch decider on July 22, with the winner qualifying for the knockout stages. A draw could see both teams through with the 3rd place side into the last 16 as a wild-card side but FCC make their way up the rankings this week.
Remaining Group Matches: Group E – vs. NY Red Bulls (July 22, 8 pm ET)
22 – Vancouver Whitecaps (=)
It would have been an important point for the Vancouver Whitecaps, but they lost out to a 98th-minute winner against the San Jose Earthquakes in what was their first match of the MLS is Back Tournament.
It was the most end-to-end game of the tournament so far, with the Whitecaps taking a two-goal lead in the first quarter of the match. Ali Adnan and an own goal from Judson gave them a commanding position in the game, but unfortunately, they let it slip.
Although they scored a third to go 3-1 up, through Cristian Dajome, the Whitecaps conceded three in the final 25 minutes. Goals from Chris Wondolowski, Oswaldo Alanis and Shea Salinas gave the ‘Quakes the win. The defeat sees Vancouver sit bottom of Group B, but they have two group games left, starting with Seattle, who have a point to prove.
Remaining Group Matches: Group B – vs. Seattle Sounders (July 19, 10:30 pm ET), vs. Chicago Fire (July 23, 9 am ET)
21 – Montreal Impact (-2)
Two games, two defeats now for the Montreal Impact, who managed to lose to Canadian rivals Toronto FC despite scoring three times in their second game in Group B, leaving themselves needing results to go their way elsewhere if they are to qualify as a wild-card team.
They scored twice in the first half, through Romell Quioto and a Saphir Taider penalty kick, but conceded three to go in a goal down at the break, after the opener from Riche Laryea and a double from Ayo Akinola.
The TFC striker sealed his hat-trick in the second half to condemn Montreal to a second defeat in Orlando. The Impact did score in stoppage time to make it 4-3, but they sit bottom of Group B and will need a victory over D.C. United, along with other results going their way, to have any chance of qualification to the knockout stages.
Remaining Group Matches: Group C – vs. D.C. United (July 21, 10:30 pm ET)