MLS is Back

Expert predictions: 2024 MLS Eastern Conference & Western Conference standings


MLS is Back, folks.

To forecast how the 2024 Eastern Conference and Western Conference standings could finish, we asked the experts for our Season Preview Guide. Overall, 17 people voted spanning MLS Season Pass talent and contributors. From there, we took an average of their predictions (methodology!).

Reminder: The top nine teams per conference make the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and seeds/spots are locked in on Decision Day. This year, that's Oct. 19.

Did the experts get it right? Should your team be higher or lower? We'll find out starting with Matchday 1 on Feb. 21 – when Inter Miami CF host Real Salt Lake to ignite the new season (8 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

Eastern Conference
  1. Columbus Crew
  2. FC Cincinnati
  3. Orlando City SC
  4. Atlanta United
  5. Inter Miami CF
  6. Philadelphia Union
  7. New England Revolution
  8. Nashville SC
  9. New York Red Bulls
  10. New York City FC
  11. Chicago Fire FC
  12. CF Montréal
  13. Charlotte FC
  14. D.C. United
  15. Toronto FC

Columbus Crew, after winning MLS Cup 2023, enter on top. They are followed by Hell is Real rival FC Cincinnati, the reigning Supporters' Shield champions.

Lionel Messi and Inter Miami CF are projected to finish fifth, while the New York Red Bulls are the forecasted postseason cut-off.

Will busy offseasons at New York City FC and Chicago Fire FC result in a surprise or two?

Western Conference
  1. Seattle Sounders FC
  2. LAFC
  3. Sporting Kansas City
  4. FC Dallas
  5. St. Louis CITY SC
  6. Houston Dynamo FC
  7. LA Galaxy
  8. Real Salt Lake
  9. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  10. Portland Timbers
  11. Colorado Rapids
  12. Minnesota United FC
  13. San Jose Earthquakes
  14. Austin FC

Seattle Sounders FC and LAFC remain, in this exercise, the Western Conference's premier teams. Meanwhile, St. Louis CITY SC would slide to fifth place after a historic debut in 2023.

The LA Galaxy would return to the postseason, but the Portland Timbers miss out for a third consecutive year.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC earn the final postseason berth, and perhaps the Colorado Rapids' remade roster can surprise pundits.