MLS Week 8 Power Rankings: LAFC and Galaxy keep rolling amid rash of upsets

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Katharine Lotze
Los Angeles FC demolished the Seattle Sounders while the city's other team made it five straight wins in a week that saw several shock results

There were surprises galore in MLS week 8, but one constant remained: Los Angeles-based teams kept on winning.

Both Los Angeles FC and the LA Galaxy delivered big wins against top competition to solidify their standing as the top two teams in Major League Soccer. LAFC's thrashing of the previously-unbeaten Seattle Sounders cemented its status as the league's top dog, while the Galaxy fended off the Houston Dynamo to run their league-best winning streak to five matches.

The rest of the league's week 8 slate was filled with surprises, from San Jose's thrashing of Sporting Kansas City to New York City FC's shutout win on the road against D.C. United. The various surprise results helped shake things up in the latest Goal MLS Power Rankings, particularly at the bottom.

Here are Goal's MLS Power Rankings after week 8 action:

  1. #1 Los Angeles FC (7-1-1)

    LAFC dominated the Seattle Sounders in a 4-1 win on Sunday that showcased the team's impressive midfield. Carlos Vela continues his MVP-level heroics, but Mark-Anthony Kaye and Eduard Atuesta are playing at a Best-XI level. Bob Bradley's side should face a tougher challenge from the Sounders when the sides meet again at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
  2. #2 LA Galaxy (6-1-0)

    A hard-earned 2-1 win against the Houston Dynamo came courtesy of some impressive midfield play, led by Jonathan dos Santos, and another strong showing by Diego Polenta, who is starting to look like the defender the Galaxy were hoping for when they signed him. Rookie Julian Araujo was another bright spot, impressing in his first Galaxy start.
  3. #3 Seattle Sounders (5-1-1)

    The absences of Raul Ruidiaz and Will Bruin didn't help Seattle's attack, but the real issue was Roman Torres simply not being good enough in place of Chad Marshall. The Panamanian veteran looked a step off the pace and had a hand in multiple LAFC goals. It was a performance that should leave the Sounders wary about their depth in central defense.
  4. #4 Toronto FC (4-1-1)

    Alejandro Pozuelo delivered a masterful performance, but the win over Minnesota United was bittersweet because of the injury suffered by Jozy Altidore and because of the continued issues with the TFC defense. Allowing three goals at home isn't something Greg Vanney can be happy about, and he will need to tighten things up ahead of their next match, against Portland.
  5. #5 FC Dallas (5-2-1)

    Luchi Gonzalez's men went into Mercedes-Benz Stadium and grabbed an impressive road win, sparked by a deadly counterattack and the poise of young forward Jesus Ferreira. Michael Barrios was the maestro, setting up both FCD goals, but Ferreira's finish on the opening goal helped set the tone for the win.
  6. #6 D.C. United (4-2-2)

    It was an uncharacteristically flat performance from the D.C. attack, which managed just three shots on goal against NYCFC in Sunday's loss. Ben Olsen's side created chances, but simply didn't do enough with them. Things only get tougher this week, with a pair of road games against Columbus and Minnesota United.
  7. #7 Houston Dynamo (4-1-1)

    It was a night to forget for Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza, who had a shocker against his former team, the LA Galaxy. He wasn't the only one to blame for Friday's loss though. The Dynamo attack continues to be overly reliant on Alberth Elis, who did his part against the Galaxy, but found little support from the rest of the attack. LA was the first tough test of the season for the Dynamo, but more are on the way, with matches against Columbus, FC Dallas and Seattle up next.
  8. #8 Philadelphia Union (4-3-1)

    Jim Curtin deserves some credit for putting a squad together capable of an emphatic win against Montreal despite having to replace several starters before and during the match. Jamiro Monteiro impressed in the playmaker role while veteran Aurelien Collin stepped in and performed admirably in central defense. The injury to Andre Blake is a cause for concern given the lack of experience among his back-ups.
  9. #9 Columbus Crew (4-3-1)

    It was a surprisingly poor performance from the Crew defense, which surrendered three goals on a day when the Crew held a considerable possession edge but couldn't deal with Portland's counterattack. The Timbers were much more efficient with their finishing, while the Crew didn't do much to test Portland's normally shaky defense.
  10. #10 Sporting Kansas City (2-2-3)

    it was a match to forget for Sporting KC, which failed to convert chances and watched San Jose punish the SKC defense every chance it could to build an early lead. To make matters worse, Sporting KC has also lost Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza and Rodney Wallace to injuries, which will test the team's deep bench as it tries to snap a three-match winless slide.
  11. #11 Orlando City (3-3-2)

    The Lions dominated possession and out-shot Vancouver 16-6, but still needed a late goal to eke out a 1-0 victory. James O'Connor won't complain too much, but he knows his attack needs to be more efficient if Orlando City is going to beat better opponents. Up next is a road trip to Yankee Stadium, and an NYCFC side riding high after its first win of the season.
  12. #12 Real Salt Lake (3-4-1)

    Mike Petke had to be thrilled at seeing his team deliver a complete performance on the road for the first time since last year's playoff upset of LAFC. Albert Rusnak was outstanding, but even more encouraging was the play of RSL's defense, which allowed Cincinnati just one shot on goal. Of course, RSL can't really dwell on the win too long, with a trip to take on the red-hot LA Galaxy up next.
  13. #13 Montreal Impact (3-3-2)

    The Impact watched their streak of three straight shutouts ended in brutal fashion, with Philadelphia making surprisingly easy work of the Montreal defense. Remi Garde's men had done well to avoid mistakes in recent weeks, but they were punished for their errors by Philadelphia. A road trip to New England on Wednesday offers Montreal a good chance to rebound.
  14. #14 Minnesota United (3-3-1)

    Seven goals allowed in two matches should have Adrian Heath scratching his eyes out after what looked early on like a defense that had improved. The 4-3 loss to Toronto FC was particularly painful because the Loons did enough to earn at least a point. Now Minnesota has to prepare to face three of the league's most dangerous attacks in the LA Galaxy, D.C. United and Seattle.
  15. #15 Chicago Fire (2-2-3)

    Nico Gaitan enjoyed his first big performance for the Fire, and his creativity clearly opens things up for other players like Aleksandar Katai and Djorje Mihailovic to be more effective. The Fire are suddenly riding a four-match unbeaten streak, but now face a daunting three-game road trip, including Wednesday's visit to Yankee Stadium to take on NYCFC.
  16. #16 San Jose Earthquakes (2-5-0)

    The Earthquakes are very much a feast-or-famine team, capable of blowing teams away, but also capable of falling apart defensively. Nick Lima rebounded well from his recent benching to deliver a strong performance, while Danny Hoesen's two-goal effort should help him keep hold of the starting striker job. A very tough week awaits, with road trips to take on Seattle and FC Dallas.
  17. #17 FC Cincinnati (2-4-2)

    Reality is setting in for the expansion team, which was dominated at home by an RSL side notorious for struggling on the road. Kendall Waston struggled against RSL, and the rest of the Cincinnati defense couldn't pick up the slack to deal with RSL's midfield overrunning Cincinnati's defensive midfielders. The team's surprising start may have inflated expectations a bit, but it's tough to see things getting much better as FCC prepares for a three-match road stretch. 
  18. #18 New England Revolution (2-5-1)

    Brad Friedel will look at the positives from Saturday's 1-0 win against the New York Red Bulls, such as his team's defensive improvement, but the overall lack of chances created is still a cause for concern, particularly at home. A home date with Montreal on Wednesday should offer the Revs a chance to create some goals.
  19. #19 New York City FC (1-1-5)

    Brazilan forward Heber certainly looked the part in Sunday's win against D.C. United, scoring a goal and setting up another. If he can keep playing that well the NYCFC attack suddenly becomes a handful for anybody, considering how much freedom that can give Maxi Moralez and Alexandru Mitrita. Dome Torrent's men have a good chance to really turn things around this week with a pair of home matches against the Chicago Fire and Orlando Ctiy.

     

  20. #20 Atlanta United (1-3-2)

    A reigning champion shouldn't spend too much time harping on moral victories, but if there was a silver lining to take away from Saturday's loss to FC Dallas it was the reality that Atlanta United played well enough to win, and played some of its best soccer of the season. Ezequiel Barco put in another good shift as he continues to improve in 2019. In more good news for the Five Stripes, lowly Colorado is coming to town next in what should be a comfortable win for Atlanta.
  21. #21 Vancouver Whitecaps (1-5-2)

    Last Wednesday's win against Los Angeles FC was the morale booster the Whitecaps needed, and even though they dropped a 1-0 decision to Orlando City, Marc Dos Santos can feel good about how his team is coming together. The big issue his team continues to deal with is an inability to finish chances, which cost Vancouver a clear chance at three points at Orlando City.
  22. #22 Portland Timbers ((1-5-1)

    If a team ever needed a win, it was the Timbers, who handed their former coach Caleb Porter a surprising 3-1 loss on Saturday. Larrys Mabiala had a strong showing to ease the recent suffering he and the Timbers defense have endured, while Jeremy Ebobisse continues to make the case he is the forward the Timbers should build around.
  23. #23 New York Red Bulls (1-4-2)

    Though Luis Robles might raise his hand and take the blame for Saturday's loss to New England, the real issue for the Red Bulls was once again an attack that was just too inconsistent. The Red Bulls actually generated twice as many shots on goal as the Revs, but couldn't convert those chances, leaving it to the team's defense to try and save the day again. The result is a team that's slumping and about to lose Kaku to a long suspension.
  24. #24 Colorado Rapids (0-6-2)

    The Rapids continue to play some of the worst defense in MLS, and Saturday's 4-1 loss to Chicago continued that trend. Anthony Hudson's shuffling of his back four has yet to yield a group capable of limiting the goal deluge, and it's getting to a point now where Hudson has to be in jeopardy of being fired.