The more things change, the more they stay the same.

MLS Power Rankings 2018 – Week 30

Atlanta United (63 points) and the New York Red Bulls (59 points) are still 1 & 2 in a race since Week 24 and their paths finally intersect Sunday, 1pm at Red Bull Arena.  Since Week 14, both teams have won 11 of 18 matches and have four games remaining.  If the Red Bulls are able to beat Atlanta this weekend, they will pull within one point of the Supporter’s Shield race and clinch a 1st round bye in the MLS Playoffs.  FC Dallas and LAFC still have a glimmer of hope if their Eastern conference foes start dropping points, but they’ll have to win-out to stand a chance.

Here is how the league rounds out after 30 weeks (change from Week 29 in parentheses):

  1. Atlanta United (no change)
  2. RBNY (no change)
  3. FC Dallas (+2)
  4. LAFC (+2)
  5. Sporting KC (-1)
  6. Philly Union (+3)
  7. Columbus Crew (no change)
  8. Seattle Sounders (-5)
  9. Montreal Impact (-1)
  10. DC United (+1)
  11. Real Salt Lake (-1)
  12. NYCFC (+1)
  13. Portland Timbers (-1)
  14. LA Galaxy (+4)
  15. NE Revs (no change)
  16. Toronto FC (-2)
  17. Vancouver Whitecaps (-1)
  18. Minnesota United (+1)
  19. Houston Dynamo (-2)
  20. Chicago Fire (no change)
  21. Colorado Rapids (no change)
  22. SJ Earthquakes (+1)
  23. Orlando City (-1)

The Philadelphia Union has been screaming up the rankings, moving from 22nd in Week 8, to their highest place this week at 6th place.  This week alone, they beat strong Western Conference sides, Sporting KC and Seattle Sounders.  The Red Bulls will have to travel to Chester for their penultimate game of the regular season, so let’s hope they cool off in the next few weeks.

The Red Bulls are within one point of matching their all-time point total from 2015 (60), but they have run into a difficult Atlanta side that has a league-high 65 goals.  In their only meeting of the season in May, the Red Bulls went to Mercedes-Benz stadium and won 3-1.  All goals were scored before Greg Garza’s 71st minute red card.  But this time around, RBNY will be without Bradley-Wright Phillips who will face suspension for yellow card accumulation.  It won’t be easy, but if the Red Bulls want to hold the Shield for the 3rd time in six years, they will need all three points without their top goalscorer.

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