POWER RANKINGS: MLS Week 19 Roundup

FRISCO — Six points over the course of three games in nine days sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? That’s what FC Dallas accomplished this past week. That’s an accomplishment anyone associated with the club would have taken entering the stretch considering it featured two road games and a July 4th matchup against a good Atlanta United club.

But given that FC Dallas’ most recent match resulted in a 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on July 7, those two victories are overshadowed by a shutout on the road. Despite that loss, Dallas still sits in first place in MLS’ Western Conference.

The best thing about the MLS regular season? There’s another match on the horizon? FC Dallas (10-3-5, 35 points) hosts the Chicago Fire (6-8-5, 23 points) on Saturday at Toyota Stadium.

Chicago has just two road wins in 2018 and lost 4-3 on Wednesday to the Philadelphia Union after giving up the game-winning goal in the 95th minute.

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

MLS Soccer

1. Atlanta United FC (no change)
2. Portland Timbers (+2)  
3. LAFC (+2)
4. New York Red Bulls (-2)
5. New York City FC (+1)
7. FC Dallas (no change) - It was a mixed double-game week for Dallas, who got a huge comeback against Atlanta, spearheaded by Tesho Akindele but struggled against RSL. They've already signed a new left back, but will Dallas be looking to make any more significant moves this summer to put them over the top?
13. Chicago Fire (-2) - Speaking of double-game weeks, the Fire are also on one this coming week, and if they can get points against both Philly and Dallas, their playoff position will be considerably better. Luck hasn't seemed to be on their side very often this year, however.

ESPNFC

1. Atlanta United (no change)
2. LAFC (+2)
3. New York Red Bulls (-1)
4. Portland Timbers (+2)
5. FC Dallas (no change) - A big swing in emotions for FC Dallas in the last week as the club adjusts to life without Mauro Diaz. Midweek saw FCD beat Atlanta United, while the weekend delivered a dispiriting 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake in Utah.
16. Chicago Fire (-1) - Fire, who have now slipped below the red line in the race for the Eastern Conference playoffs. A leaky defense has a lot to do with Chicago's mediocre 2018.

Soccer America

1. Portland Timbers (no change)
2. FC Dallas (+3) - Two goals off the bench just two minutes apart by Tesho Akindele provided a stunning defeat of the league’s points leader. That effort took its toll in Utah, where head coach Oscar Pareja fielded another lineup stacked with Homegrown players. 
3. Atlanta United (+1)
4. LAFC (+3)
5. New England Revolution (+1)
15. Chicago Fire (-3) - Goals by Nemanja Nikolic and Tony Tchani fell short for the Fire, which has conceded 19 goals in the last 10 games. It last posted a shutout May 9 (Montreal, 1-0). 

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