The 20th season of Major League Soccer has finally come to a close, and the Portland Timbers reach the top of the Stoppage Time’s MLS Power Rankings after a historic 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew. The Chicago Fire hit the bottom of the rankings after managing just 30 points in 34 league contests, while outgoing title holders Los Angeles Galaxy finish in the middle of the power rankings.
Let’s take a look at the end of season MLS Power Rankings here on The Stoppage Time.
1. Portland Timbers
A 15-11-8 season (53 points) saw Caleb Porter‘s Portland Timbers placed third in the MLS Western Conference. They started the postseason with a 7-6 penalty shootout win over Sporting Kansas City after a 2-2 draw. In the MLS Western Conference Semifinals, a scoreless draw at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps was followed up with a 2-0 shutout win on the road. Against FC Dallas in the MLS Western Conference Finals, a 3-1 victory at home was followed up by a 2-2 draw on the road. Two goals in seven minutes, including the fastest goal in MLS Cup Final history (27 seconds) was all the Timbers needed to defeat the Columbus Crew at MAPFRE Stadium and win the city’s first piece of league silverware.
2. Columbus Crew
Gregg Berhalter‘s Columbus Crew finished the regular season with a record of 15-11-8 (53 points), good enough for second place in the MLS Eastern Conference. The postseason began with the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Montreal Impact. After falling 2-1 on the road, the Crew were able to prevail 3-1 in extra time in the second leg. Against the New York Red Bulls, a 2-0 victory at home was followed up by a 1-0 victory on the road. Kei Kamara scored in the 18th minute of the Crew’s 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers in MLS Cup 2015.
3. FC Dallas
With the best record in the MLS Western Conference at 18-10-6 (60 points), it seemed like Oscar Pareja‘s FC Dallas would be on their way to finally getting over their MLS Cup drought. But it would be their brush with Cascadia that would be their downfall. In the Western Conference Semifinals, both the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas traded 2-1 home victories, but after extra time failed to separate the clubs, Dallas would have to prevail on penalties 4-2. Against the Portland Timbers, a 3-1 defeat on the road and a 2-2 draw meant that their wait to lift the MLS Cup would continue.
4. New York Red Bulls
Another team whose MLS Cup wait would go on was Jesse Marsch‘s New York Red Bulls, led by Englishman Bradley Wright-Phillips Also finishing 18-10-6 (60 points), they won the MLS Supporters Shield on a superior goal differential. In the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals, they defeated D.C. United on back-to-back 1-0 victories. In the MLS Eastern Conference Finals, a 2-0 loss on the road to the Columbus Crew was too much for them to overcome, despite winning the second leg 1-0.
5. Seattle Sounders
Sigi Schmid‘s Seattle Sounders ended the regular season 15-13-6 (51 points), good enough for fourth place in the MLS Western Conference. Their most defining win came in the Knockout Round, where they defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2, their first win over the Galaxy in the MLS Cup Playoffs. After a 2-1 win over FC Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals, they lost the second leg 2-1 before being eliminated on penalties 4-2.
6. Montreal Impact
Following a coaching change, Mauro Biello‘s Montreal Impact, led by former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, ended the regular season 15-13-6 (51 points) to go with a third place finish in the MLS Eastern Conference. They shut out Toronto FC 3-0 in the Knockout Round at home but were outmuscled by the Columbus Crew in the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals. A 2-1 win at home was followed up with a 3-1 loss on the road.
7. Vancouver Whitecaps
The champions of Canada, Carl Robinson‘s Vancouver Whitecaps ended the regular season with a record of 16-13-5 (53 points) and a second place finish in the MLS Western Conference. However, their postseason was short-lived, as they fell to the Portland Timbers following a scoreless draw away and a 2-0 loss at home to fall on aggregate by the same scoreline.
8. D.C. United
Ben Olsen‘s D.C. United ended the regular season with a record of 15-13-6 (51 points), good enough for fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference. Despite a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in the Knockout Round, they were felled by the New York Red Bulls on back-to-back 1-0 scorelines to go out in the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals.
9. Sporting Kansas City
U.S. Open Cup champions Sporting Kansas City and manager Peter Vermes finished the regular season with a 14-11-9 record (51 points). However, Sporting would go out in the cruelest of fashions: on penalties. They were drawn 2-2 through 120 minutes before falling 7-6 in the shootout. The silver lining, however, is this: the team Sporting lost to on penalties…were the Portland Timbers.
10. Los Angeles Galaxy
Outgoing champions Los Angeles Galaxy, managed by Bruce Arena, came up empty-handed this year despite all the hype with Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos. The Galaxy finished 14-11-9 (51 points), good enough for fifth place in the MLS Western Conference. Fittingly, it was the Seattle Sounders, Los Angeles’ rising nemesis, that read the last rites in their 3-2 defeat in the Knockout Round.
11. New England Revolution
Jay Heaps‘ New England Revolution ended the 2015 MLS regular season with a record of 14-12-8 (50 points), good enough for fifth place in the MLS Eastern Conference. A 2-1 defeat on the road to D.C. United in the Knockout Round would see the Revolution’s wait to finally lift the MLS Cup extend for yet another year.
12. Toronto FC
Despite winning the Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award, Sebastian Giovinco could not lead Greg Vanney‘s Toronto FC to a decent playoff run. Toronto ended the regular season with a 15-15-4 record (49 points) and would go on to lose to archrivals Montreal Impact 3-0 on the road in the Knockout Round.
13. San Jose Earthquakes
Arguably the best team not to make the MLS Cup Playoffs field are Dominic Kinnear‘s San Jose Earthquakes, who ended the regular season with a record of 13-13-8 (47 points). Notable victories for the Quakes include their 3-1 and 1-0 wins over the Los Angeles Galaxy at home (June 27, Aug. 28) and an Aug. 19 5-0 rout of Sporting Kansas City.
14. Orlando City
For an inaugural year, Adrian Heath‘s Orlando City did remarkably well, with a record of 12-14-8 (44 points), good for seventh place in the MLS Eastern Conference. Noteworthy wins include a 4-0 rout of the Los Angeles Galaxy at home on May 17, a 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City at home, and a 5-2 smashing of the New York Red Bulls away.
15. Houston Dynamo
Owen Coyle‘s Houston Dynamo ended the regular season with a record of 11-14-9 (42 points), good enough for eighth place in the MLS Western Conference. Notable victories include a 3-0 shutout win at home on Apr. 11 against Montreal, a 3-1 win over Portland on May 16 at home and a 4-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls on June 5, also at home.
16. Real Salt Lake
Jeff Cassar‘s Real Salt Lake ended the regular season with an 11-15-8 record (41 points), good enough for ninth place in the MLS Western Conference. Notable victories for RSL include a 2-0 win at home on Aug. 22 against Seattle, a 3-0 shutout win on Sept. 19 against LA and a 3-1 win on the road against the Houston Dynamo on Sept. 12.
17. New York City FC
Jason Kreis‘ only year at New York City FC was bad enough that he would be sacked at the end of the year and replaced with Patrick Vieira. NYCFC, led by former Juventus star Andrea Pirlo, David Villa and former Chelsea man Frank Lampard, ended their inaugural year with a record of 10-17-7 (37 points), good enough for eighth in the MLS Eastern Conference. Notable wins include a 3-1 win at home against Montreal on June 13, a 5-3 shootout win over Orlando City on July 26 at home and a 2-1 win on the road on Sept. 26 against the Vancouver Whitecaps, their last victory of the season.
18. Philadelphia Union
Jim Curtin‘s Philadelphia Union ended the 2015 campaign with a 10-17-7 record (37 points), good enough for ninth place in the MLS Eastern Conference. Notable victories include a 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers on July 11 at home, a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on June 24 at home and a 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew on June 3, also at home.
19. Colorado Rapids
At the bottom of the MLS Western Conference are Pablo Mastroeni‘s Colorado Rapids, who ended the year with a 8-15-10 record (37 points). Noteworthy wins include a 4-0 shutout win over FC Dallas on the road on Apr. 10, a 1-0 shutout win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 23 at home, and a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on the road on July 18.
20. Chicago Fire
The Chicago Fire end the year at the bottom of our MLS Power Rankings after going through a managerial sacking (so long, Frank Yallop) and a 8-20-6 record (30 points), the worst in the league. Notable wins include a 3-2 win over Toronto on Apr. 4 at home, a 2-0 win over the FC Dallas on Aug. 2 at home and a 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 26, also at home.
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