07-03-2018 MLS Power Rankings
USA Today/Brad Rempel

POWER RANKINGS: MLS Week 18 Roundup

FRISCO - With three games in nine days, it’s a stretch in which everyone affiliated with FC Dallas is grinding. If you want to talk about a show, there will be one at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday,  July 4th. FC Dallas (9-2-5, 32 points) hosts MLS' top club, Atlanta United FC (11-3-4, 37 points),  in a match presented by CoServ. Come for the match. Stay for the postgame fireworks. You won’t be disappointed. This is the only meeting of the year between the two clubs.

It will be a quick-turn for Dallas, though, as the club leaves for Utah on Friday for a road match against Real Salt Lake (7-8-2, 23 points) on Saturday, July 7 at 9PM in a game you can see on TXA21. Dallas and Real Salt Lake played to a 1-1 draw in the 2018 MLS season opener at Toyota Stadium on March 3.

Here’s where all three teams landed in the latest MLS power rankings roundup.

MLS Soccer.com

1. Atlanta United FC (+1) - Atlanta are back atop the Power Rankings with a "don't call it a rivalry" blowout win over Orlando City. With a two-game week on the road ahead, is this a moment where Tata Martino starts rotating his lineup in order to be fresh for the business end of the season?
2. New York Red Bulls (+1)
3. Sporting Kansas City (-1)
4. Portland Timbers (+1)
5. LAFC (+1)  
7. FC Dallas (+1) - Dallas picked up a gritty win over Minnesota, and with the projected and actual transfers out of the club, Oscar Pareja went back to playing the kids. Will that lead to more success or a few bumps over the coming months?
17. Real Salt Lake (-1) - We learned this week that Mike Petke really wants Damir Kreilach on the field, and the road still is not their friend. The good news? They have two home games this week, where RSL have been good. The bad news? They'll be playing Sporting KC and FC Dallas.

ESPNFC

1. Atlanta United (no change) - While the competition it faced makes restraint necessary, Atlanta's 4-0 victory over Orlando on Saturday looked like the kind of irresistible performance that merits the status of "clear Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup favorite."
2. New York Red Bulls (+1)
3. Sporting Kansas City (-1)
4. LAFC (+2)
5. FC Dallas (no change) - FCD's bounce-back performance against Minnesota was characterized by a young, homegrown-heavy lineup -- and the lack of Mauro Diaz. There might be a transition coming with Diaz reportedly on his way out, but it looks like Oscar Pareja has ideas.
18. Real Salt Lake (-3) - RSL's terrible road form continued in Columbus, where the Utah club fell behind early and could only cut a two-goal deficit in half. RSL had more of the ball and plenty of shots but couldn't make those numbers count.

Soccer America

1. Portland Timbers (+1) 
2. Atlanta United (no change) - Another four-goal barrage turned the Southern Clasico into a cakewalk but the biggest number was the crowd: 71,932. Miguel Almiron scored two goals and dinged another shot off the crossbar that Ezequiel Barco tidied up to tally. 
3. New York Red Bulls (no change)
4. Sporting Kansas City (-3)
5. FC Dallas (no change) - Five Homegrown starters – which ties a club record –helped earn three road points, as did a Roland Lamah goal in the 59th minute. Less than two minutes into his substitute appearance, Santiago Mosquera served up a corner kick from which Lamah scored.
14. Real Salt Lake (-1) - A goal by Albert Rusnak wasn’t enough to erase a 2-0 deficit. Kyle Beckerman set a league record by playing his 300th game for the same team. 

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