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MLS power rankings ahead of the 2023 regular season

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Whether you’re tuning into Major League Soccer for the first time in 2023 with the new Apple TV deal or a seasoned veteran of soccer, there’s still a need to circle your key fixture dates of the biggest clashes. Here are the top 10 teams in our MLS preseason rankings ahead of any ball being kicked in the league.

MLS preseason rankings 2023


As the reigning champions, Los Angeles tops our MLS preseason rankings in 2023.

Winning the MLS Cup means they are unquestionably among the best MLS teams currently. To date, Steve Cherundolo has won 25 of his 40 games in charge. With the likes of Kellyn Acosta, Ryan Hollingshead, Carlos Vela, and Giorgio Chiellini all at the club – this is undoubtedly a top franchise, even if Gareth Bale has retired.

2. Philadelphia Union

If it wasn’t for the aforementioned Welshman, Philadelphia Union would have been topping this list. Yet, until the dying embers of the MLS Cup final, Philadelphia was on course to lift the trophy and most likely to top all of these lists instead of sitting in the second spot.

Philadelphia was joint-top on points in the overall MLS table, and while ranked second behind LAFC, they finished with a superior goal difference to the eventual champions. The firepower of Daniel Gazdag and the steady hands of Andre Blake ensure they remain a top team going into the 2023 season.


3. Austin FC

You don’t have to be from Austin, Texas to appreciate one of the best MLS kits. The green and black uniform is incredibly appealing to newer audiences looking for an exciting energetic color scheme.

Luckily, the football follows suit with the high-octane approach to the game. Josh Wolff has taken to the head coach role like a duck to water, having fostered the best out of Sebastián Driussi, a forward who had struggled in front of goal before joining the Texas franchise.

With some more exciting incoming transfers like Gyasi Zardes, Adam Lundqvist, and youngster Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Austin FC could easily retain its second-place finish in the Western Conference and potentially do better.

4. Nashville SC

The praise for Hany Mukhtar might seem never-ending yet is totally warranted given he scored 23 goals in the 2022 season. In turn, that elevated Nashville SC’s stature and results as the German scored at almost every juncture.

Gary Smith is still at the helm having joined the franchise in April 2017 as the team played in the USL competition. Keeping a somewhat grounded and consistent approach at the club the English manager has allowed the club to stride toward success.


5. New York City FC

Ronny Deila won the MLS Cup with New York City in 2021. However, he left the club at the start of the 2022 season and Nick Cushing took the reigns as his predecessor left the City group to explore other options.

Their MLS power rankings for the 2023 spot are based largely because they have managed to retain a good portion of those who won the title two years ago. Keaton Parks, Maxime Chanot, and Thiago Andrade were all key components of that title-winning team.

This team, however, still tasted victory last season as it hoisted the Campeones Cup in front of 24,000+ spectators, with a 2-0 victory over Atlas.

6. Inter Miami

If MLS power rankings for 2023 were awarded just for owners, then Inter Miami would rank very highly with David Beckham pulling the strings.

The on-field performances have come a long way since the club’s inception in 2020. Last year, the club finished as high as sixth in the Eastern Conference and has only improved with the incomings. Josef Martinez joins the club, leaving his legendary status at Atlanta United.

7. FC Dallas

Originally named the Dallas Burn, FC Dallas is a legacy team stemming back to the first Major League Soccer season in 1996. It’s not their past that’s taking them forward however, it’s their dedication to the future.

With by far one of the best youth development programs in the US, FC Dallas needs only to remind the world it fostered Weston McKennie to validate its credentials. Dallas is now home to Jesus Ferreira, one of the most exciting and emerging USMNT players. Keeping to the young team policy, Dallas has attracted top prospects from far and wide this offseason with Amet Korca joining from HNK Gorica, along with Jose Mulato and Geovane Jesus coming in from South America.

8. Orlando City

The 2022 US Open Cup winners are not to be taken lightly. While Arsenal was heavily linked with Facundo Torres, the Uruguayan international player is still with Orlando City. 17 direct goal contributions in the 34 regular season league games last season ensured he became critical to stupendous form at Exploria Stadium.

The purple-clad team has made smart additions to the club as it prepares for a fixture-heavy season with participation not just in MLS but also in the Leagues Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League, and the US Open Cup. Felipe Martins might be 32 years old but is a shrewd free signing given his wealth of experience in the league — this is now his sixth MLS team.

9. Montreal Impact

Montreal Impact by all accounts should be a top team again this season. However, the managerial change brings with it a lot of uncertainty. Wilfried Nancy managed to turn round the club after Thierry Henry had struggled to bring in a positive change at the club. Nancy invigorated attractive football, getting them to the runners-up spot in the Eastern Conference.

The man who comes to replace him, Hernan Losada had a false start in Major League Soccer as his D.C. United team underperformed. While the Montreal roster on paper has more proven players than D.C., it’s this reason why they aren’t sitting higher up the list.

10. D.C. United

The MLS preseason rankings 2023 for D.C. United are based more on the potential of the team, rather than their performance last season.

Any team managed by Wayne Rooney and having a roster including talents like Christian Benteke, Mateusz Klich and Ravel Morrison must be considered a top club within the league.

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