Philadelphia is the new No. 1 as New England continues its freefall

Philadelphia is the new No. 1 as New England continues its freefall

After a thrillingly dramatic Los Angeles derby, in which the LA Galaxy knocked LAFC off their perch atop Major League Soccer, we have a new team on top of the order.

Not only are the Philadelphia Union unbeaten in 2022, since their opening-day draw against Minnesota United FC, they’ve won five in a row. With their closest competition falling short on Saturday out west, and no one emerging as genuine challengers in the Eastern Conference, the Union are the new benchmark for success in the league at this early stage in the season.

With Week 6 in the books, Austin Lindberg and Caitlin Murray look at the results, break down where all 28 teams stand after a wild weekend of action and bring you the latest edition of Power Rankings.

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10739

Previous ranking: 2

Next MLS match: April 16 at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Saturday’s win over Columbus was the Union’s fifth straight. They haven’t conceded in 418 minutes, dating back to March 5. No one in the league can boast a better goals-against record. Only three teams have been more prolific in front of goal. Months after sending Kacper Przybylko to Chicago and losing Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie to Europe, Philly is already back at the top of the league. — Lindberg

18966

Previous ranking: 1

Next MLS match: April 17 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Black and Gold will feel aggrieved to lose their spot atop the order, after a pair of very tight (and very controversial) offside decisions chalked off two goals in the 2-1 defeat at the Galaxy on Saturday’s edition of El Trafico. Rubbing salt in LAFC’s wounds is the story told by expected goals: 2.02 for Steve Cherundolo’s side vs. 1.01 for the hosts. — Lindberg

18986

Previous ranking: 4

Next MLS match: April 16 at San Jose Earthquakes, 3:30 p.m. ET

After winning 2-1 in Kansas City on Saturday night, Nashville now has 10 points from six games in 2022, all of which have come on the road while its new home of Geodis Park is completed. Imagine what Hany Mukhtar & Co. will do once their schedule becomes home-game heavy beginning in May. — Lindberg

187

Previous ranking: 8

Next MLS match: April 16 at Chicago Fire, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The expected-goals figures suggest that the Galaxy were lucky to come away with a narrow win over LAFC on Saturday, and haven’t looked particularly convincing in any of their wins their season, but they’ll take the points any way they can get them. With Javier Hernandez leading MLS in goals and Raheem Edwards registering more assists than anyone else in the league, there should be plenty more points to come for the MLS original club. — Lindberg

185

Previous ranking: 9

Next MLS match: April 16 at New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Jesus Ferreira netted a brace, playing the full 90 minutes in Dallas’ 3-1 win over Colorado on Saturday. The last time he started for FCD, he bagged a hat trick. The United States men’s international is heating up, and Dallas looks dangerous (and exciting) in attack. — Lindberg

184

Previous ranking: 3

Next MLS match: April 16 at Minnesota United, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Colorado nearly doubled up Dallas in possession, it did double the hosts’ chances created and more than doubled the shots category, yet the Rapids’ lack of cutting edge let them down in this one. It’s a small sample size, but Colorado has only scored more than one goal on two occasions this season, and that profligacy is becoming a concern. — Lindberg

183

Previous ranking: 5

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Orlando City, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Take out the seven goals they scored against Western Conference weaklings Vancouver and San Jose, and the Crew have three goals from four games after being shut out in their 1-0 loss in Philadelphia. Only three teams in MLS are underperforming relative to their xG to a greater degree than Columbus. — Lindberg

4771

Previous ranking: 7

Next MLS match: April 17 at New York City FC, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Whether Damir Kreilach was fouled by Jayden Nelson in the build-up to the latter’s equalizer is up for debate, but what isn’t up for debate is that RSL have gone off the boil. After winning three straight Seattle, New England and Nashville, Salt Lake has dropped points to Sporting KC, Colorado and now Toronto after their 2-2 draw on Saturday in Utah. — Lindberg

190

Previous ranking: 6

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. FC Dallas, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The Red Bulls played arguably their best half of the season first, followed by perhaps their worst after the break. That second-half collapse was crystallized by a terrible mistake from goalkeeper Carlos Coronel, but if New York had made more of the first half it spent in control, it wouldn’t have mattered. — Murray

20906

Previous ranking: 15

Next MLS match: April 16 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

No team has scored more goals in MLS this season than Austin, but its average of a goal a game over its past four — including a 1-0 win over Minnesota on Sunday night — is probably more indicative of what the second-year club will look like this season. — Lindberg

9723

Previous ranking: 16

Next MLS match: April 16 at Houston Dynamo, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The Timbers’ 3-1 win in Vancouver on Saturday wasn’t the prettiest they’ll record this season (they were out-chanced 13-3), but wins on the road are hugely valuable in MLS, and this marked Portland’s first of 2022. — Lindberg

9726

Previous ranking: 12

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Inter Miami, 10 p.m. ET

After beating New York City FC in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, the Sounders had the weekend off as they prepare for Wednesday’s return leg. — Lindberg

182

Previous ranking: 13

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. LA Galaxy, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A soft second yellow to 18-year-old Brian Gutierrez for an unnecessary foul torpedoed any chance for the Fire to salvage points in Orlando, but it was always going to be tough on the road without Xherdan Shaqiri and captain Rafael Czichos, two of Chicago’s best players. Leaving with a narrow 1-0 loss after the Fire’s 10-man defense looked solid isn’t the worst result, even if it does end a season-long unbeaten streak. — Murray

17362

Previous ranking: 10

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Sunday’s 1-0 loss in Austin was the first time Minnesota was shut out this season, but five goals from six games has the Loons dead last in goals scored in MLS — and chance-creation and xG statistics are average or worse. That’s not a good sign for a team whose three DPs and lone U22-initiative player are all attackers. — Lindberg

18418

Previous ranking: 11

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. FC Cincinnati, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+

All that separated Charlotte and Atlanta was Brad Guzan‘s inability to stop Jordy Alcivar‘s Olimpico, and that feels right for a team whose past four games have been decided by one goal or fewer and whose goal differential is exactly zero after six games played. — Lindberg

6077

Previous ranking: 18

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Portland Timbers, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Houston fans probably have reason enough to feel aggrieved by this middling place in the order, but take Saturday’s thrilling 4-3 win over San Jose as an example of what the Dynamo are. While the Quakes have a part to play in this, no doubt, seven goals in a game that expected fewer than three suggests a defense that’s less than solid and an attack that’s not always going to be this exciting or effective. But we can hope, right? — Lindberg

12011

Previous ranking: 19

Next MLS match: April 16 at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Up until a red card to Brian Gutierrez gave Orlando the upper hand against 10-man Chicago just before halftime, the Lions couldn’t take control of the match at home. After going up a man, chances on goal became plentiful for Orlando but Ercan Kara and Alexandre Pato were wasteful. Orlando got a win it should’ve, butit doesn’t look like a team that can figure it out in less favorable circumstances. — Murray

9720

Previous ranking: 21

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A 2-1 comeback win on the road in New Jersey is something to feel good about, sure, but if not for back-to-back goal-line clearances by Kei Kamara and an error on the second goal conceded by the Red Bulls, the result could’ve gone very differently. It was just not convincing from Montreal. — Murray

7318

Previous ranking: 20

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Maybe all Bob Bradley needed was some time. After taking one point from its first three matches, Toronto has won two of three, and in its comeback 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, took a valuable road point from a team built to grind down opponents. — Lindberg

17606

Previous ranking: 17

Next MLS match: April 17 vs. Real Salt Lake, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN+

It really isn’t fair for NYCFC to lose three places while sitting idle in between their CONCACAF Champions League semifinals against Seattle, but with just four points from the first six weeks of the 2022 season, it’s beginning to feel like the MLS Cup champions are beginning to dig themselves a hole that will be difficult to climb out of. — Lindberg

21300

Previous ranking: 26

Next MLS match: April 16 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Since suffering a heartbreaking 96th-minute defeat to rival Atlanta, Charlotte has won three of four (the only loss coming against league leading Philadelphia), culminating with Saturday’s 1-0 win over those very same Five Stripes at home in front of 32,000 fans. — Lindberg

189

Previous ranking: 14

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Charlotte FC, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Just when it seemed like the Revs’ skid couldn’t get any worse, they lost to Inter Miami of all teams. New England dropped its fourth straight match in league play, a dubious all-time record for Bruce Arena in his MLS managerial career. Simply put: the Revs have officially run out of excuses. — Murray

193

Previous ranking: 23

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Austin FC, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Without a game to play over the weekend, D.C. sat tight in our standings. — Lindberg

186

Previous ranking: 22

Next MLS match: April 17 at LAFC, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

After losing to Nashville 2-1 at home, Sporting have now completed 20% of their season, and are averaging 0.86 points per game. If they continue at that pace, it would be their lowest mark since 1999. — Lindberg

20232

Previous ranking: 28

Next MLS match: April 16 at Seattle Sounders, 10 p.m. ET

Miami managed to find a lead for the first time this year, and it saw it through to beat the Revs 3-2. It was perhaps not the most sustainable way to win — Leonardo Campana can’t score a hat trick every week to make up for conceding two goals — but it is a chance for Miami to harness something the team hasn’t had yet this year: momentum. — Murray

9727

Previous ranking: 25

Next MLS match: April at CF Montreal, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Vancouver deserved more from its 3-2 loss to Portland on Saturday. The ‘Caps out-chanced their guests by a better-than four-to-one ratio, they out-shot them by more than three to one and they nearly doubled up the Timbers in xG. — Lindberg

18267

Previous ranking: 27

Next MLS match: April 16 at Atlanta United, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Cincy stays put while it took a weekend off. — Lindberg

191

Previous ranking: 24

Next MLS match: April 16 vs. Nashville SC, 3:30 p.m. ET

Would Quakes fans trade their team’s endless excitement for a win? San Jose is winless through six, despite its frantic efforts to come back in Saturday night’s 4-3 loss in Houston, the longest stretch without victory to start a season in the club’s history. — Lindberg

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