clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Latest offseason MLS power rankings

Columbus, Portland and the Red Bulls remain at the top of the latest MLS power rankings.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

1. Columbus Crew SC

Key acquisitions: FB Corey Ashe

Key departures: F Jack McInerney, D Chris Klute, M Kevan George

Although the Crew failed to win the MLS Cup Final, they hold a slight advantage over the Timbers for the number one spot in the power rankings. The defense is stout, led by the best full-back tandem in the league, and Kei Kamara heads a dynamic attack. The only reason they fell to Portland three weeks ago was because they lost out in the fluke goal battle.

2. Portland Timbers

Key acquisitions: D Chris Klute

Key departures: LB Jorge Villafaña, CM Will Johnson, F Maximiliano Urruti

The Timbers would be number-one, but the departures of three regulars, including starting left-back Jorge Villafaña, sinks them down a spot. The Argentine defender, now of Santos Laguna, was crucial to the MLS Cup victory, and Johnson was a capable reserve center midfielder. Urruti was Fanendo Adi's main backup at striker, and provided a change of pace at the position.

3. New York Red Bulls

Key acquisitions: (none)

Key departures: CB Damien Perrinelle

The Supporters' Shield winners haven't seen much action this offseason aside from former starting center-back Damien Perrinelle's option being declined, and don't seem to be in the hunt for many big name players. That might be the best thing for them, as their current roster is, on paper, among the best in MLS.

4. FC Dallas

Key acquisitions: F Maxi Urruti (Re-entry draft)

Key departures: F David Texeira, F Blas Perez, CM Michel, GK Dan Kennedy, CB Walker Zimmerman

FC Dallas will continue to crack the top five as long as Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz stay in Texas. That seems unlikely, though, with Castillo garnering interest from a series of European clubs, including the Premier League's Swansea City. They still need a forward as well, because Maxi Urruti frankly won't cut it as a starter.

5. Vancouver Whitecaps

Key acquisitions: (none)

Key departures: CM Mauro Rosales, RB Steven Beitashour

The Whitecaps' young talent spurred them into the Western Conference semifinals, and they have retained all of it so far. The problem is, starting right-back Steven Beitashour should never have been traded, and they will have to replace center-mid Mauro Rosales with a younger pass-first attacking midfielder.

6. Los Angeles Galaxy

Key acquisitions: GK Dan Kennedy

Key departures: CB Omar Gonzalez, F Alan Gordon, GK Donovan Ricketts

Without question, the LA Galaxy have the most pure talent on the roster than anyone in the league. Now all they have to do is figure out how to use it efficiently. Omar Gonzalez's transfer means they will be in the market for a defender.

7. Toronto FC

Key acquisitions: RB Steven Beitashour, CM Will Johnson, D Drew Moor

Key departures: GK Joe Bendik, GK Chris Konopka, M Jackson

Toronto FC have arguably the most fearsome attack in MLS, with MVP Sebastian Giovinco and US national teamers Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley spearheading it. Jonathan Osorio and Benoit Cheyrou help Bradley in the midfield as well. One of the main problems was defense, and they appear to have solved that issue by picking up talented right-back Steven Beitashour from Vancouver and veteran defender Drew Moor from Colorado. Now all they have to do is find a formation that works.

8. Montreal Impact

Key acquisitions: (none)

Key departures: M Justin Mapp, M Dilly Duka

The fact that Didier Drogba plays for the Impact makes them a lock for the top ten, but they are more than just him. Ignacio Piatti can be a speedy force down the wing and center-back Laurent Ciman was MLS defender of the year. Don't overlook the Impact.

9. Seattle Sounders

Key acquisitions: (none)

Key departures: F Chad Barrett, M/F Lamar Neagle, M Marco Pappa, M Andy Rose

The Sounders lost their attacking depth when Barrett's option was declined and Neagle was traded to D.C. United; they weakened the starting lineup as well after Pappa got traded to the Rapids. While they certainly have work to do, the talent that almost got them to the Western Conference final is still there. As long as Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins stay in the lineup as much as possible and goalkeeper Stefan Frei keeps up his stellar play, Seattle could stay perennial MLS Cup contenders.

10. DC United

Key acquisitions: M/F Lamar Neagle

Key departures: M Chris Pontius, CM Perry Kitchen

While it may be concerning for DC United fans that star CDM Perry Kitchen is out of contract, the two sides are currently working out a deal, although it may be a long way off. Lamar Neagle could be a nice project for them, as he is still developing into a consistent starter and United could be able to turn him into one. Midfielder Chris Pontius was traded to Philadelphia for cash.

11. Sporting Kansas City

Key acquisitions: M Justin Mapp

Key departures: M Soni Mustivar, M Paulo Nagamura

SKC's exit from the playoffs was just a matter of inches, and they definitely could have competed for a finals berth had they won that incredible PK shootout against the Timbers back in late October. They acquired Justin Mapp in free-agency, and if he stays healthy, the former Impact midfielder could be a nice addition. The core remains, with Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer and Graham Zusi still at Sporting Park.

12. New England Revolution

Key acquisitions: (none)

Key departures: CM Jermaine Jones, D Kevin Alston, GK Trevor Spangenberg

The Revs are currently spending their time trying to re-sign Jermaine Jones, the USMNT regular and star center-mid. Aside from that, not much has gone on up in Foxborough. Backup goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg and defender Kevin Alston left, possibly opening the door for better depth.

13. Houston Dynamo

Key acquisitions: CM Cristian Maidana, M Andrew Wenger

Key departures: CB Jermaine Taylor, CM Luis Garrido, CB AJ Cochran

The Dynamo re-signed a series of starters–GK Tyler Deric, F Will Bruin, CM Ricardo Clark, M/F Giles Barnes, FB Sheanon Williams, M/D Boniek Garcia–and traded for playmaking midfielder Cristian Maidana and backup winger Andrew Wenger. While there is still work to do, the Dynamo look like they could possibly be a playoff team in 2016.

14. Orlando City SC

Key acquisitions: GK Joe Bendik

Key departures: GK Tally Hall, FB Corey Ashe, M Tony Cascio

Orlando did what many expansion teams couldn't in 2015: come close to making the playoffs. They had an off-chance to squeeze in on Decision Day, and were in the race all year. Cyle Larin was light years ahead of anybody else in the Rookie of the Year race and Kakà doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so what made them good last year will presumably make them good next year as well. Now they need support for the stars.

15. San Jose Earthquakes

Key acquisitions: (none)

Key departures: CM Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, D Jordan Stewart

It's been a fairly uneventful offseason for Dominic Kinnear's side. They let go of defender Jordan Stewart, who made 11 appearances last year, as well as four other players. The key for next year is to get better service to Chris Wondolowski and Quincy Amarikwa, the starting forwards.

16. Real Salt Lake

Key acquisitions: (none)

Key departures: D Elias Vasquez, M Luis Gil, M Luis Silva

RSL, like Orlando, hung in the playoff race for a while, but were unable to get in. Salt Lake will be focused on getting younger next season, as many of their important contributors from last year, including starting GK Nick Rimando, CM Kyle Beckerman, CM Javier Morales, and F Joao Plata, are over 30 years of age.

17. Philadelphia Union

Key acquisitions: CM Chris Pontius

Key departures: M Cristian Maidana, M Andrew Wenger, F Connor Casey, GK Zac MacMath, M Fred

The rebuild is on for the Union. Philly traded Maidana, who was second in assists last year, to the Dynamo, and also got rid of 15 other players, acquiring just one, Pontius, in the process. They clearly have the funds to go pick up some talent, but for right now, the roster is pretty weak.

18. New York City FC

Key acquisitions: D Ethan White

Key departures: D Jeb Brovsky, D Shay Facey, M Ned Grabavoy

NYCFC went 1-3 on 35-year old DPs this year. David Villa, a World Cup winner with Spain in 2010, played well and started the entire season; Andrea Pirlo, a winner of two UEFA Champions League titles and the 2006 World Cup, didn't have much of an impact; and Frank Lampard, a Premier League legend, did less than Pirlo. Now it's time to get younger without loaning players in.

19. Chicago Fire

Key acquisitions: (none)

Key departures: D Adailton, GK Jon Busch, F Jason Johnson, F Mike Magee, D Jeff Larentowicz

The Fire, after hiring a new coach, let go of some familiar faces such as goalkeeper Jon Busch and former MVP Mike Magee. They will now build around guys like Harry Shipp and David Accam.

20. Colorado Rapids

Key acquisitions: M Michael Azira, M Marco Pappa, GK Zac MacMath

Key departures: D Drew Moor, M Vicente Sanchez, M Nick LaBrocca

Out with the old, in with the new. That seems to be the Rapids' motto this offseason, as they let go of Moor, LaBrocca and Sanchez, all over 30, and brought in the former Sounders' midfielders Azira and Pappa and 24-year old keeper MacMath. They will look to fix a roster that managed just 37 points, good for 10th in the Western Conference.

Who do you think is the best and worst in MLS? Tell me your opinions in the comments section.