The MLSIsBack tournament saw many upsets, and was overall a very exciting time for American soccer. In this article, we will look through the most impressive teams in the tournament, and put together a Top 10 for the restart of the MLS Regular Season.
10. Toronto FC
Toronto got off to a reasonably good start in the MLSIsBack tournament, climbing to an undefeated spot as Group C's number one. However, a 3-1 loss against NYCFC leaves them with the 10 spot in these rankings.
9. New York City FC
Despite a rough start in Group A (Albeit one of the harder groups in the tournament) NYCFC were just able to grab a third place finish and a ticket to the round of 16. They defeated Toronto FC in the first round, but fell in the next to a strong Portland team, placing them in the number 9 spot.
8. Columbus Crew SC
Many had high hopes for the Columbus Crew coming in to the tournament. Throughout Group E play they more than matched those expectations; with three wins in three games they were easily crowned champions of their group. All withstanding, they lost a close game to Minnesota, and crashed out of the tournament far before where many predicted.
7. San Jose Earthquakes
The west California outfit had a great start, led by veteran goal scorer Chris Wondolowski. They cruised through the group stage, finishing first in Group B. The first round of the playoffs saw them follow in a similar light, demolishing Real Salt Lake 5-2. Despite this good form, a strong Minnesota United team dismantled the Earthquakes 4-1, and put them at the number 7 spot.
6. Sporting Kansas City
Another group winner, Sporting Kansas City beat out competition from Minnesota United to win Group D. Led by wonderkid Gianluca Busia, they finished with 6 points, and advanced to the playoffs to face the Vancouver Whitecaps. A close victory on penalties took them to the Quarterfinals, where they faced an in-form Philadelphia Union side. They conceded three quick goals, and crashed out, leaving them at position number 6.
5. Minnesota United
Another club from Group D, Minnesota United played with passion and power. Finishing second (1 point behind Sporting KC), they defeated Columbus and San Jose to pave their way to the Semi-final. Unfortunately for them, they fell short against the home team in Orlando City. Their incredible run leaves them at 5th in these rankings.
4. Orlando City SC
Home team Orlando City started out the tournament well, winning Group A (albeit on goal difference) and advancing automatically to the playoffs. They defeated both Montreal and LAFC in close games to play against Minnesota United in the semi-finals. The run continued as they advanced with a 3-1 win and faced Portland in the final. Unfortunately, the lack of silverware, and the poor form before the tournament leaves them with the number 4 spot.
3. Philadelphia Union
Finishing just behind Orlando City in Group A on goal difference, the Union played a young squad a lot of potential. They breezed past New England and Sporting KC in the first rounds, and advanced to the semi-finals to play against the Portland Timbers. In that match they were unable to break down Portland's packed defense, and (without the help of the officials) exited the tournament. With good play, they come in at number 3.
2. Los Angeles FC
LAFC's form before the MLSIsBack tournament was very good, but that was with their marquee player in Carlos Vela. Vela-less in Orlando, they finished second in Group F, and faced a tough challenge in last season's MLS Champions Seattle. Despite the quality of opponent, they brushed them aside with a 4-1 win. They then advanced to the quarter-final to face Orlando. They got an unfortunate loss on penalties, and exited the bubble. Due to their good run of matches, their pre-tournament form, and their success despite the loss of Carlos Vela, they come in at second.
1. Portland Timbers
That's right, the number one spot belongs to the winner of the MLSIsBack tournament. The Group E champions took on FC Cincinnati in the first round. They squeaked by on penalties, but that was the last sign that they could be beaten. They beat NYCFC 3-1, and then the Philadelphia Union (with some calls going in their favor) 2-1 to advance to the finals. Another 2-1 win saw them secure this season's first piece of silverware, and the top spot in these power rankings.