Instead of doing a traditional Power Rankings format, this season I write an MLS Progress Report roughly every month to assess each club’s progress. Power Rankings can often be reactionary and the reasons more moving teams up and down and by however many spots can be more arbitrary. With this format, hopefully it does the progress (or lack thereof) of the 28 MLS clubs justice.
These grades are relative to their respective club’s expectations and their overall performances so far. This does not include CONCACAF Champions League performances. Only the 2022 MLS season is taken into account for these letter grades. Let’s get started with the 3rd edition of this season’s MLS Progress Report, taking into account all games this season from May 1 to May 29.
Check out the previous Progress Reports here:
The clubs are ordered from lowest average grade to highest.
San Jose Earthquakes (13th West)
Previous Grades: F, D-
Latest Grade: C
Although losing to LAFC is nothing to be ashamed of, the San Jose Earthquakes defense has been porous since their 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids in early May. Their inability to keep goals out cost them crucial points against Vancouver and Kansas City and nearly did so against Portland, which is unfortunate given the attack’s progress and Herculean goal scoring efforts led by Jeremy Ebobisse.
DC United (13th East)
Previous Grades: C+, D
Latest Grade: D
Losing to both New York teams and drawing the other games against Eastern Conference opposition in May will not help DC United climb out of the near bottom of the standings. A few good players don’t make a great roster, but with Bill Hamid in goal and attacking options including Ola Kamara, Michael Estrade, and Edison Flores (though he is linked with a move to Atlas), this season has to be disappointing for DC United fans.
Sporting Kansas City (14th/Last West)
Previous Grades: D+, D+
Latest and Average Grade: D+
I’m not trolling by giving Sporting Kansas City their third D+ in a row. As much as I want to commend their scrappiness and Johnny Russell is getting more help from players such as Cameron Duke, getting points here and there isn’t going to cut it. The 7-2 loss to Portland didn’t help matters either. Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido are recovering from knee surgery and their presence is missed, as is Graham Zusi who usually leads the backline.
Toronto FC (12th East)
Previous Grades: D-, C+
Latest Grade: D
Toronto FC started this past month losing four matches in a row, consisting of a home-and-away matchup against FC Cincinnati, their Western Canadian neighbors Vancouver, and a solid Orlando side. Only managing a draw against DC United and a win against the worst Eastern Conference team Chicago Fire doesn’t do much for confidence. Lorenzo Insigne can turn around their fortunes, but they might need more transfers to help including from those already at the club.
Vancouver Whitecaps (12th West)
Previous Grades: 2 F’s
Latest Grade: A
After losing 3 games in a row to close out April, the Vancouver Whitecaps won 3 and drew 1 of the next 5 with just a loss to Charlotte slowing down this turn around. Without their best player Ryan Gauld, the Whitecaps now find themselves 4 points away from the playoffs. They are clearly not the worst team in MLS anymore and they are back to being scrappy and needing to be on the Western Conference’s radar.