MLS Power Rankings: Champs Crew pick up where they left off

Columbus Crew open their season with a win over Atlanta United (0:56)

Cucho Hernandez scores the lone goal for the Crew as they start their season with a win. (0:56)

It's Monday, the first week of MLS action is in the books, which means it's time for ESPN's Power Rankings.

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Our Power Rankings are derived from a combination of key season statistics (points per game, goal differential, expected goal (xG) differential), recent performance and the Opta computer ratings, as well as the observations of our writers.

Who's climbing the table? Who's in free fall? We've ranked all 29 clubs in the league after Opening Weekend. Let's dive in.

Columbus Crew logo

1. Columbus Crew

Previous ranking: N/A

The weather in Columbus was gross, but the Crew had themselves a hell of a day. They got their MLS Cup rings and beat Atlanta with a very impressive defensive performance against a good attacking team. If the Crew's defense is going to be even remotely as good as their attack this season, good luck to anyone else in the league.

LAFC logo


Previous ranking: N/A

No team had as much turnover from last season as the Black and Gold, so you'd think they'd be one of the league's slow starters. That wasn't the case as they took down Seattle to kick off the campaign. There's going to be a lot of work for Steve Cherundolo & Co. to do, as expected, but we saw the top-end talent that can carry them through in the meantime.

Philadelphia Union logo

3. Philadelphia Union

Previous ranking: N/A

The Union became the first team in 2024 to challenge VAR to a duel after it disallowed two goals. Add a late shot off the bar and Philly definitely left their contest with Chicago feeling more like they lost two points than won one.

FC Cincinnati logo

4. FC Cincinnati

Previous ranking: N/A

Cincy felt the absence of Álvaro Barreal in its scoreless draw with Toronto. It will be worth watching how the Orange and Blue sort out the wing-back spots going forward considering how much excellent flank play contributed to them winning the Supporters' Shield in 2023.

Inter Miami CF logo

5. Inter Miami CF

Previous ranking: N/A

Four points from a two-match week that included a cross-country flight? Inter have nothing to complain about after beating RSL and sneaking a draw in L.A.

Orlando City logo

6. Orlando City

Previous ranking: N/A

It was a weird match for the Lions, who had Pedro Gallese to thank for his heroics in goal that earned a draw, but who also should have walked away with a win. Coming off the Concacaf Champions Cup midweek, it was a solid showing, and they got a point from Montréal.

FC Dallas logo

7. FC Dallas

Previous ranking: N/A

Asier Illarramendi's goal was a beauty and then Dante Sealy capped off his successful transition to wing-back with a stoppage-time winner over San Jose. With Petar Musa's paperwork finally done and both Jesús Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal making their way back from injury, reinforcements should be on their way soon too.

Dante Sealy's stoppage-time winner wins it for FC Dallas

Dante Sealy finds the back of the net in stopage time to give FC Dallas the 2-1 win over the Earthquakes.

New York Red Bulls logo

8. New York Red Bulls

Previous ranking: N/A

RBNY will have to find a way to get their forwards closer to goal, but they hit the post three times and should have walked away with a win in Nashville, so it was a hopeful start to the season.

Nashville SC logo

9. Nashville SC

Previous ranking: N/A

The Coyotes were as listless going forward as you'd expect with Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge out, but their defense was equally as predictable in a scoreless draw with RBNY.

Minnesota United logo

10. Minnesota United

Previous ranking: N/A

If the Loons can walk into Austin and cruise to victory then just imagine what they could do with a permanent head coach.

Charlotte FC logo

11. Charlotte FC

Previous ranking: N/A

Charlotte has not built a reputation for being especially well prepared or organized, but it proved to be both in Dean Smith's first match in charge. It was an encouraging start and the 1-0 win over NYCFC is exactly what the Crown fans deserve.

Seattle Sounders logo

12. Seattle Sounders

Previous ranking: N/A

Losing in L.A. was not the start that the Sounders were hoping for, but Pedro de la Vega gave them every reason to believe that bringing the Argentine in was money well spent, and they probably won't be without four starters in too many games going forward.

Mateusz Bogusz scores a sensational goal to double LAFC's lead

Mateusz Bogusz curls home a goal from distance to give LAFC a 2-0 lead over the Sounders.

Atlanta United FC logo

13. Atlanta United FC

Previous ranking: N/A

The Five Stripes were mostly impotent in their loss to Columbus, but there's no reason to worry. First of all, the Crew are very good, but second of all, Atlanta got the ball to Thiago Almada a lot. If they can continue to get their young star the ball in dangerous, central positions as they did in the opener, then chances are going to come.

Houston Dynamo logo

14. Houston Dynamo

Previous ranking: N/A

It's always tough coming off a midweek Concacaf Champions Cup match, and the Dynamo looked understandably beat, but they managed a point, which is pretty good for this tough start to the season when they're balancing continental play. Plus, Gabriel Segal scored on his debut and debut goals are always fun.

Portland Timbers logo

15. Portland Timbers

Previous ranking: N/A

The Timbers were not able to keep up the four-goals-per-30-minutes pace they began the season with, but it was a terrific 4-1 win over Colorado nonetheless. If the first game is any indication, this could be a big year for Eryk Williamson.

Sporting Kansas City logo

16. Sporting Kansas City

Previous ranking: N/A

It wasn't the prettiest performance by SKC, but Erik Thommy won a battle against the whole Houston defense, and they're already one-third of the way to their point total from the first 10 matches last season, so things are looking up.

Real Salt Lake logo

17. Real Salt Lake

Previous ranking: N/A

RSL probably deserved something out of their second half against Miami, but the shaky first half was enough to sink them anyway. That they bounced back to draw in St. Louis was very impressive, and they've now put together three-of-four good halves in two difficult road matches to start the season. While one point from the opening week won't impress, there's a lot to like from Pablo Mastroeni's team already.

D.C. United logo

18. D.C. United

Previous ranking: N/A

Playing for more than an hour up a man means we didn't really learn a lot about D.C. in its win over New England, but an entire game of throwing alley-oops to Christian Benteke is both very effective and very fun.

St. Louis City SC logo

19. St. Louis City SC

Previous ranking: N/A

St. Louis ran teams out of the building to start last season because it had a clear, defined way of playing. That's what made it so weird to see City be so unorganized against RSL, but that will probably come together before long. Plus, Samuel Adeniran's goal was awesome and St. Louis walked away with a draw.

LA Galaxy logo

20. LA Galaxy

Previous ranking: N/A

The Galaxy attack looked dangerous, as expected, and they probably should have scored a couple more goals, but a saved penalty and near misses limited them to one. Add a replacement-ref red card and you have a would-be win turned into a 1-1 draw with Miami.

Lionel Messi levels game for Inter Miami in 92nd minute

Lionel Messi scores off Jordi Alba's pass to level the match at 1-1 vs. the LA Galaxy.

Vancouver Whitecaps logo

21. Vancouver Whitecaps

Previous ranking: N/A

A season-opening bye is such a bummer.

New England Revolution logo

22. New England Revolution

Previous ranking: N/A

It's too bad Giacomo Vrioni's 25th-minute red card doomed the Revs to a loss in D.C. because Carles Gil's gorgeous goal deserved to matter.

New York City FC logo

23. New York City FC

Previous ranking: N/A

An attack that couldn't create, conceding on a set piece and general ineptitude away from home? NYCFC looked a lot like their 2023 selves in their loss to Charlotte.

CF Montreal logo

24. CF Montréal

Previous ranking: N/A

A draw in Orlando is a good result for any team, let alone one coming off a rough offseason under a new manager. It was a promising start for the Laurent Courtois era.

Chicago Fire logo

25. Chicago Fire

Previous ranking: N/A

Brian Gutierrez's goal was an absolute banger and the Fire left from Philly with a point. Talk about a productive opener from a team desperate to take a step forward this season.

San Jose Earthquakes logo

26. San Jose Earthquakes

Previous ranking: N/A

A loss to Dallas? Not good. The continued rumors of Daniel leaving? Also not good.

Toronto FC logo

27.Toronto FC

Previous ranking: N/A

At no point in the Reds' 90 minutes at Cincy did they shoot themselves in the foot. That may not seem like a lot, but this is a team that finished dead last in the league last season playing away to the Shield-holders. Getting out of their own way is a big step forward.

Austin FC logo

28. Austin FC

Previous ranking: N/A

No boss began this season with a hotter seat than Josh Wolff and a pretty thorough home loss to a managerless Minnesota won't do much to take the pressure off.

Colorado Rapids logo

29. Colorado Rapids

Previous ranking: N/A

What was worse: being three goals down before the half-hour mark of their season or conceding four goals against three shots on target? It wasn't a good day for the Rapids in Portland.