MLS live standings and team rankings

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How do the MLS standings work?

During the Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season, teams are ranked by their points in the league standings, which also lists various stats related to their performance. The league table normally includes the following columns:

  • Pld: Games played

  • W: Games won

  • D/T: Games drawn/tied

  • L: Games lost

  • GF/GS: Goals for/scored

  • GA/GC: Goals against/conceded

  • GD: Goal difference

  • Pts: Points

Teams earn three points for winning a match, one point for a tie or draw, and no points for losing a game.

Soccer_MLS_CF Montreal midfielder Ismael Kone
© David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The best MLS sportsbooks


MLS standings structure

Teams are ranked in both their individual conference standings and overall MLS standings, which serve different purposes. Conference standings determine the Eastern and Western Conference regular season champions for that season, as well as which seven teams from each conference will progress to the MLS Cup playoffs. The conference regular season champions automatically progress to the conference semi-finals, while the six teams in second to seventh compete for the other three spots in that round.

The overall MLS standings (which includes every MLS team across both conferences) decide which team wins the Supporters’ Shield for having the best regular season record that year, and therefore also earns qualification for the CONCACAF Champions League.

Unlike in major European soccer leagues, teams cannot be relegated from MLS, so there is no demotion for finishing at or near the bottom of either the conference or overall standings.

What are MLS power rankings?

Throughout the MLS season, various soccer websites and publications will list power rankings. Unlike the MLS league standings, which ranks teams according to how many points they have earned, power rankings list teams according to their recent form.

As a result, they can be useful for identifying which teams near the bottom of the standings are in the process of improving their results, and which teams near the top have undergone a slump in form. This is important as while a team may be at or near the top of their conference and therefore considered favorites for their upcoming matches, their position in the standings could be largely due to results earned in the earlier stages of the season.

The MLS website also provides useful team rankings for various stats, including which teams have won the most games, scored or conceded the most goals, and got the most yellow and red cards. While referring to the MLS standings is important for betting on the league, it is just as necessary to be aware of the underlying metrics that have led a team to their current position.

MLS standings FAQs

What is the MLS Supporters’ Shield?
What happens if two MLS teams have the same number of points?
How many MLS teams qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League?

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