Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 1 MLS Power Rankings

1. Portland Timbers (1-0-0) - The reigning champs get to stay at number one until someone knocks them off.
2. FC Dallas (1-0-0) - Mauro Díaz tallied two assists as FCD dispatched the Union with a 2-0 shutout. New striker Maximiliano Urruti opened his FCD account with his first goal. This is perhaps the league's most complete team. Don't sleep on them to win the Shield they narrowly missed out on last year.
3. Toronto FC (1-0-0) - Overhauled the defense this offseason and it paid off with a 2-0 shutout win against the reigning Supporter's Shield Winners. If Jozy Altidore can get/stay healthy and add to the offense, Toronto could be a force in the East.
4. LA Galaxy (1-0-0) - Did anyone have Mike Magee as the most valuable offseason addition in LA? Two goals and an assist as a substitute in a 4-1 come-from-behind win. Not too shabby.
5. Montreal Impact (1-0-0) - Knocked off their Canadian rivals without Didier Drogba or Johan Veneers. Can the Impact take that CCL magic from a year ago and become a serious contender in MLS?
6. Columbus Crew (0-1-0) - Played a pretty solid game against the Timbers on the road and they return almost everyone from last year's MLS Cup Runner-Ups. The Crew will score a lot of goals and should be a fun team to watch.
7. New York Red Bulls (0-1-0) - The Red Bulls couldn't solve Toronto FC, but their midfield group is still going to be one of the league's best.
8. Vancouver Whitecaps (0-1-0) - Disappointing opener against a Drogba-less Montreal. The Caps are better than they showed on Sunday.
9. New England Revolution (0-0-1) - Jermaine Jones is gone, can New England avoid getting overrun in the midfield?
10. Sporting Kansas City (1-0-0) - Won without Benny Feilhaber against Seattle, but playing well early has never been an issue. The question for SKC is can they avoid their midseason swoon?

11. San Jose Earthquakes (1-0-0) - Once again, the Quakes are going to be my sleeper team and they're off to a good start thanks to solid performances by Wondo and David Bingham.
12. Orlando City SC (0-0-1) - Showed a lot of moxie coming back the way they did against RSL without Kaká, but they'll have to be able to put it all together for 90 minutes if they want to be a playoff team in the East.
13. Seattle Sounders (0-1-0) - An Oniel Fisher red card didn't help their chances in a 1-0 defeat to Sporting KC. However, the Jordan Morris era is officially underway.
14. New York City FC (1-0-0) - Won a high-scoring shootout with Chicago despite no goals by David Villa, Mix Diskerud finished with a goal and an assist in what could end up being a crucial season for him in terms of his National Team future.
15. Houston Dynamo (0-0-1) - New additions Cristian Maidana and Andrew Wenger both scored, but the defense struggled in a 3-3 draw with New England.
16. Real Salt Lake (0-0-1) - Had three points in hand against Orlando City, and despite having one of the best keepers in the league, conceded twice after the 93rd minute. On the bright side, Joao Plata appears to have rediscovered his scoring touch.
17. DC United (0-1-0) - Started strong, then fizzled big time against the Galaxy. No Bill Hamid hurts, plus there are question marks on both sides of the ball right now.
18. Chicago Fire (0-1-0) - Scored three goals! (HOORAY)... but gave up four (GROAN)... The defense has to be better in Chicago if they hope to compete this year.
19. Philadelphia Union (0-1-0) - Added a lot of talent in the draft and overhauled their roster, but it's going to take time for this group to learn to play well together. At least it looks like they finally have their goalie in Andre Blake.
20. Colorado Rapids (0-1-0) -  Lots of new faces, similar results. Still, I'm excited about the addition of Albanian striker Shkëlzen Gashi and curious about what Jermaine Jones will do with this group once he's finally able to play again.

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