SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Three

ImpactTFC (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

The Montreal Impact have slowly but surely erased any doubts about their validity as a transformed team and legitimate playoff-caliber squad.

The Impact beat Canadian rival Toronto FC to improve to 3-0, taking an early lead in the MLS Eastern Conference and serving notice that they are a force to be reckoned with.

It has been a strong start to the season to say the least. Some of the league’s strongest teams are off to slow starts in MLS play, like the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City, while some of the league’s weaker teams have benefited from weak schedules to enjoy surprising starts, like the Philadelphia Union and FC Dallas.

The MLS Power Rankings still come down to form and performance, and not purely results. If you’re expecting a ranking that looks similar to the actual MLS standings then you might want to look elsewhere. Why? Pretty simple. Not every team has played the same schedule, and not every result has told the story of the quality of each team’s play.

That is why a winless Seattle side remains ranked high on the list, while two-win FC Dallas still sits in the bottom half of the table. The coming weeks will tell the tale though, and show us whether Seattle’s results will start matching their form, and whether Dallas will start improving their quality of play as the competition gets tougher.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week Three:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week Three)

1. (Previous Rank- 3) MONTREAL IMPACT (3-0)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK-  Beat Toronto FC, 2-1, on Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Another win and another step toward being a legitimate powerhouse. Do I really think they’re the best team in the league? Not really, but there’s no denying they’ve had a strong start and are a far different team than they were last year. Alessandro Nesta has suffered his first injury of the season, which will provide the first true test to the Impact’s depth.

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2. (1)  LOS ANGELES GALAXY (1-0-1)

LA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Herediano, 4-0, last Wednesday (CONCACAF); tied Chivas USA, 1-1, last Sunday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Securing a place in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals was a major step, but dropping points to Chivas USA had to feel like a gut punch, particularly given the fact the Galaxy dominated the game. This weekend’s match against the Rapids will seriously test their depth, with Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez on international duty.

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3. (5) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-0)


WhitecapsLogo

LAST WEEK- Bye week.

THIS WEEK- at Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The week off probably came at a bad time for the surging Whitecaps, but they’ll be rested heading into a tough test on the road against a Houston Dynamo side coming off a tough loss.

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4. (4) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (0-1-1)

SEA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Tigres, 3-1, last Wedneday (CONCACAF); tied Portland Timbers, 1-1, last Sunday.

THIS WEEK- at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Sounders were riding high off their impressive Champions League quarterfinal triumph over Tigres, but suffered a big letdown by allowing a late goal in a draw against Portland that Seattle will have to feel like they should have won. Now the Sounders will have their depth tested during the international week as Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez depart for national team duty. They won’t get much sympathy from a San Jose side beset by injuries.

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5. (7)  SPORTING KANSAS CITY (1-1-1)

SportingKClogo

LAST WEEK- tied Chicago Fire, 0-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at New England Revolution on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Another disappointing showing for Sporting, and now they face the prospects of being hit hard by international call-ups, with Matt Besler and Graham Zusi called into USMNT camp. Sporting KC has depth though, and players like Lawrence Olumn, Ike Opara and C.J. Sapong should have the chance to step up. One bright spot for KC has been the play of Oriol Rosell, who has been solid since becoming a starter.

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6. (6) REAL SALT LAKE (1-1-1)

RSL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- tied Colorado Rapids, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at FC Dallas on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Thoroughly dominated the Rapids but were forced to settle for a draw after a defensive blunder by Chris Schuler. There is no denying that RSL has played well to start the season, but the past two weeks have seen them settle for disappointing results. Now they lose Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando to call-ups, making a trip to Texas to face FC Dallas a daunting task.

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7. (13)  PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-1)

UNI_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat New England Revolution, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- Bye week.

OUTLOOK- Jack McInerney keeps on finding the net, and while the Union aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard, the fact that their young striker continues to impress is an important sign. Where John Hackworth has to be pleased is with the play of his defense. Jeff Parke and Amobi Okugo are forming a strong partnership, and you don’t hear anybody saying they miss Carlos Valdes these days, which is no easy accomplishment.

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8. (8) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (1-1-1)

SJ_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- tied Columbus Crew, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Rookie Adam Jahn continues to impress and the Earthquakes find yet another way to pull off a comeback. Justin Morrow turned in a standout performance and was rewarded with a USMNT call-up. Now with Morrow and Victor Bernardez on international duty, the Earthquakes are even more short-handed and could be in trouble against a strong, though also short-handed, Seattle side.

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9. (2)  HOUSTON DYNAMO (1-1)

HOU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- lost to Santos Laguna, 3-0, last Wednesday (CONCACAF); lost to FC Dallas, 3-2, last Sunday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Vancouver on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Talk about a rough week. As if the Champions League loss to Santos Laguna wasn’t enough, then to suffer a last-minute defeat against Texas rival FC Dallas has to leave the Dynamo stunned. Houston returns home to BBVA Compass Stadium, where they have been unbeatable, but taking on an impressive Vancouver side without Brad Davis, who has been called up to the USMNT.

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10. (17) FC DALLAS (2-1)


DAL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Houston Dynamo, 3-2, last Sunday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- It’s tough to remember a 2-1 team being less impressive over the course of three weeks to start the season, but the fact remains Dallas has two wins and they showed some toughness in facing Houston’s two-goal rally and still mustering a game-winning reply. There are still questions to be asked of their defense, but we are seeing signs of the high-flying attack we expected when the year began.

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11. (12) NEW YORK RED BULLS (0-1-2)

NY_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied D.C. United, 0-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Montreal Impact on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- They didn’t score a goal, but the Red Bulls had to come away from their scoreless draw with D.C. United feeling good about how they dominated the match. Their passing was sharp and defense organized, but now they take on unbeaten Montreal, and they must win on the road without Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill (and potentially without Juninho). That one won’t be easy at all.

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12. (10) COLUMBUS CREW (1-1-1)

CLB_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- tied San Jose Earthquakes, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at D.C. United on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Crew continue to look like a team that could be in for a good season, but also a team that still quite isn’t hitting on all cylinders. This week’s test vs. D.C. United is a very important one because D.C. is one of the teams Columbus will likely have to edge out for a playoff spot this year. Missing Jairo Arrieta will hurt, but Federico Higuain has been sharp from day one and could be in for a big game against a tough D.C. defense.

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13. (9) D.C. UNITED (1-1-1)

DCU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied New York Red Bulls, 0-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Bill Hamid saved D.C. United’s skin yet again last weekend, and is in outstanding form, but the D.C. attack is looking toothless and there are starting to be serious questions raised about whether they have the firepower to be a real threat in the East. How they do agains the Crew will provide a good barometer of where the team really stands in the East.

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14. (11) PORTLAND TIMBERS (0-1-2)

TimbersLogo

LAST WEEK- tied Seattle Sounders, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- Bye week.

OUTLOOK- Another second-half rally and another well-earned draw after a shaky first half has the Timbers heading into their bye week feeling good even though they are still searching for their first victory. Jack Jewsbury enjoyed a successful return to the lineup and looked good playing alongside Will Johnson and Diego Chara. Diego Valeri continues to work hard but also continues to face plenty of attention from opposing defenses. Something to work on during the bye week will be to see whether Rodney Wallace can work his way into the starting lineup.

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15. (16) CHIVAS USA (1-1-1)

CHV_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied the Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-1, last Sunday.

THIS WEEK- at Chicago Fire on Sunday.

OUTLOOK- The Goats looked to make last week’s match vs. the Galaxy ugly and they succeeded, slowing down the Galaxy attack while orchestrating a great goal on the counter to tie things up. Having Joaquin Velasquez’s red card rescinded was a big step, but seeing Bobby Burling step up against the Galaxy had to give ‘El Chelis’ reason to smile.

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16. (15) TORONTO FC (1-2)

TOR_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to Montreal, 2-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- Bye week.

OUTLOOK- A week off could help the new faces in the TFC squad get better acclimated in Canada. It will also give head coach Ryan Nelsen some more time to figure out his starting lineup, particularly in the back, where competition is fierce for minutes.

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17. (14) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (1-1)

NE_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK-Beat Chicago Fire, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Sporting KC on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- After two games it’s early to make proclamations about teams, but this Revs team needs Saer Sene back. Jerry Bengtson can’t carry the attack on his own, even with the number of skilled midfielder on the roster. On the bright side, Andrew Farrell looks like the real deal.

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18. (18) CHICAGO FIRE (0-2-1)

CHI_primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied Sporting Kansas City, 0-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Chivas USA on Sunday.

OUTLOOK- Sean Johnson has been in good form early in the season, but the Fire attack continues to sputter, with zero goals in three matches. A visit from Chivas USA might help Chicago’s attack get going.

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19. (19) COLORADO RAPIDS (0-2-1)

RapidsLogo

LAST WEEK- Tied Real Salt Lake, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The loss of Matt Pickens to a broken forearm was a big blow, but Clint Irwin’s performance as a replacement was a reason for some optimism. That, coupled with Deshorn Brown’s impressive early form are two of the few bright spots to a dismal start of the season.

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39 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Three

  1. Chance says:

    Yay, let’s all tongue Seattle’s sack. They totally deserve to be in fourth after two awful performances at home.

    • Travis says:

      He includes the champions league game in which they defeated Tigres 3-1, I wouldn’t have them that high but stop the hate. I think they should be around 10 right now based off performance so far.

      Also why do some of my comments get stuck in waiting for moderation but this gets through? Seriously?

      • Old School says:

        Agreed.

      • Mike says:

        Let’s be real. The Champions League win was against Tigres B squad. That’s like me getting excited about Louisville beating Kentucky Tech. The name is all that comes in there but he’s right. Seattle should be much further down that list than where they are. 2 very lack luster results at home doesn’t make you one of the top 5 teams in MLS.

        • Travis says:

          So they should be punished for beating who was put in front of them? I disagree with that completely. Also some of that “B” squad were starters for them earlier this year and have just been cycled out for now. That squad still cost far more than the players Seattle used. I said they should be lower but to discount their feat in the CL is foolish, first MLS team to ever knock out an Mexican team in a home-away series, give credit where it is due

        • Cris says:

          Um… do you even know wtf you’re talking about? That B squad was poised to rip seattle a new one if it wasn’t for the sloppy red card (fully deserved by the way) your so called FULL B-Team would wipe their collective arses with any MLS squad period.

          But because of all the attention to Champs league, they have fallen a bit short to start the MLS season. They IMHO should be in around 6-8 in Power rankings for this last week. I’d put RSL, DC United and Philly ahead of them right now.

    • divers suck says:

      This Seattle fan agrees! They are tied in the cellar of MLS with Colorado and Chicago. This ranking should have them much, much lower. They’re playing like garbage!

  2. Shane says:

    While I do miss Carlos Valdes, Okugo and Parke are doing a fantastic job on the back line. And at one point during the match on Saturday I thought of next season when(hopefully) Valdes does return, what the defense will look like with a Valdes/Parke partnership with Okugo taking the reins over Brian Carroll at DM

  3. Old School says:

    Thank the soccer gods for NBCSN’s “MLS Breakaway”. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have seen Montreal play yet this year. That looks like a legit club. Nice to see a Canadian club with something worth watching.

    • scott47a says:

      I have actually seen all three of their games, thanks to that $50 I put down on MLS Live.
      I have to say they look very, very solid. They have some experience in the back and have completely locked people down. They played counter-attack against Seattle and Portland and it worked marvelously. They were ready to pounce when the other team made a mistake.
      Against Toronto they were much more attack-minded, but I don’t think I saw them ever lose their shape.
      Patrice Bernier is playing like an all-star.

  4. Brad says:

    Last place, huh? I will be seeing you at the bulldog soon, Ives. See you REAL soon. ;)

  5. fischy says:

    I guess results don’t matter that much — which is OK. If pts were the sole measure, we could just look at the standings. There would be no point to this. Still — 1 point in 2 (home!!) games and the Sounders are 4th?

    • Old School says:

      It’s subjective rankings, not a table based on points.

      • Chance says:

        No, but it seems to be, at least in the case of Seattle, a table that completely ignores results. If you aren’t taking results into consideration when making power rankings then why are you making power rankings? At that point you’re just ranking based on what? Potential? Past Performance? Results are extremely relevant and Ives seems to have ignored them completely for Seattle. It makes him look kind of silly.

        • Old School says:

          Again, they’re subjective including many variables and opinion based.

          If you want to see a “true rankings” system, go to MLSsoccer.com and look at the table.

          The outrage and confusion is comical.

      • RK says:

        Yet Montreal is first…

  6. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Agreed, Burling had a monster game against the gals.

  7. Big Chil says:

    Wait, the Chicago Fire haven’t score a goal in 3 games, while the Rapids have 2 and held a lead over RSL until late.

    I know we’re talking about the last 2 spots, but, come on. Besides, Rapids will start moving up now that we have some home games coming after away at LAG this weekend.

  8. boosted335 says:

    Its week four:
    FC Dallas may not be #4 in the power rankings as I predicted but ill take standings over rankings all day

  9. DasDude says:

    Chivas not ranked last. There is a GOD

    • Chris says:

      I know, at first I just assumed they wandered off from last place an got lost… ;-)
      certainly in unfamiliar territory (at least recently.)

  10. divers suck says:

    Ives, you might have added Obafemi Martins to the list of international call-ups for Seattle.

    • DREAM says:

      Ives, did you know that Seattle signed Obafemi Martins?

      Just wondering if you knew about it.

      Love,
      D

  11. Charles says:

    Seattle doesn’t have enough fire power to be in the 4 spot……until the bring in Oba, with Oba, 4th, sure maybe higher….but then you fail to mention that he is missing this weekend too ?

    Go Sounders, thanks for the great site and podcast.

  12. Fat B. says:

    Nothing like getting a fairly important road point from the alleged 4th best team here and dropping 3 spots in the rankings. But I suppose until the Timbers actually win a game, I’ll keep calm and hope for continued improvement.

    • Chris says:

      Hey don’t feel too bad, they haven’t won a game yet, but are ranked above Chivas (who have won, and drew the Galaxy a man down,) so at least you have that going for you.

  13. WAKA WAKA says:

    I think LA should be higher, Portland a little higher and Seattle is also too low. All those Canadian teams will be lower by the end of the year.

    • AzTeXan says:

      No man, you got it all wrong. Portland is high and Seattle is a little high and LA to much blow.

  14. The Imperative Voice says:

    I don’t know how Houston is ahead of Dallas because they beat us and owned about 80 of the 90 minutes. Maybe on potential after this team gets re-worked but it’s going to be a long spring until we can reconfigure the team, and it will be complicated by the fact many of the malfunctioning parts are MLS tenure guys under CBA. You can’t exactly drop Ching, Weaver, Boswell, etc.

    Barnes and Driver have played well and will fill in for Davis just fine. I don’t think midfield depth is our issue, it’s everyplace else (except GK). The defense is poorly conceptualized — sloppy athletic wing players who can’t defend flanking slow CBs who can defend but can’t win a footrace — and the forward line is paying for a few too many rote re-signings that did not assume Bruin could get hurt.

  15. DREAM says:

    Seattle is too low. It makes me sad. They should be higher… please? Can you just put them higher. Seattle is just so good! I mean, they have Ozzie Alonso! And they also signed a Nigerian… so… that makes them way better than Vancouver, right?

    Please, Ives. Seattle NEEDS a higher ranking. I just bought my Yedlin kit and I will be really sad if they don’t move up another spot. Its all I want for my birthday. EJ won’t retweet me.

    Please, Ives. Do it for the supporters at CenturyLink. They need you.

  16. TFC OZZ - Disgruntled TFC Fan says:

    You guys are too negative. I’m just happy to see Toronto FC not in last place for once!

  17. DUDEEROO says:

    RSL should have dropped because they only barely salvaged a tie against the C. Rapids.