After its thumping of the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night, it's no surprise that Real Salt Lake maintains its stronghold on the top of the SBI MLS Power Rankings.
Aside from Salt Lake's victory, some other results stood out and had an impact on this week's rankings. New England, San Jose and Chicago all rode victories to jump at least four places and into the top 10, while Toronto FC climbed out of the cellar with its win over Portland.
Coming in at No. 5 is the Philadelphia Union, which is 2-0 and faces now-No. 4 Los Angeles in a matchup that will surely have an impact on the top tier of the SBI table next week.
Here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings (as voted on by SBI staff):
SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 2)
1. (Last week – 1) REAL SALT LAKE (2-0-0)
Last week: Beat Los Angeles, 4-1, on Saturday.
This week: Idle.
Outlook: Is there any doubt which team deserves the top spot after RSL's rout of the Galaxy at Rio Tinto? Granted, the Galaxy was without Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez, Greg Berhalter and Donovan Ricketts, but RSL didn't have key starters Alvaro Saborio and Will Johnson, either. Javier Morales was the star of the show, and RSL looks to ride its momentum into its CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg at Saprissa next Tuesday.
2. (3) NEW YORK RED BULLS (1-0-1)
Last week: Tied Columbus, 0-0, on Saturday.
This week: vs. Houston, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: No Thierry Henry, Juan Agudelo, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Dane Richards, Bouna Coundoul and Greg Sutton. No problem. The Red Bulls withstood a massive hit to their roster to score an impressive road point at Crew Stadium, style points not withstanding. Results like that only build confidence for the bevy of reserves that saw an up-tick in minutes.
3. (4) COLORADO RAPIDS (2-0-0)
Last week: Beat Chivas USA, 1-0, on Saturday.
This week: vs. D.C. United, Sunday, 7 p.m., Galavision
Outlook: When Omar Cummings and Conor Casey were either off or unavailable in the past, the Rapids tended to be vulnerable. After Saturday's performance, it's clear that Colorado is more than just a two-man team. With Cummings (and Sanna Nyassi) on international duty and Conor Casey not 100 percent fit, the Rapids never looked likely to lose to Chivas. Quincy Amarikwa and Caleb Folan got the job done up top, the defense held and the defending champs are on a roll.
4. (2) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (1-1-1)
Last week: Lost to Real Salt Lake, 4-1, on Saturday.
This week: vs. Philadelphia Union, Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
Outlook: L.A. is sorely missing Gonzalez and Berhalter and will gladly welcome back Donovan's play-making ability against the Union this weekend, when Carlos Ruiz makes his return to the Home Depot Center. Juan Pablo Angel's first Galaxy goal was a brief silver lining in Saturday's otherwise dismal performance.
5. (7) PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-0-0)
Last week: Beat Vancouver, 1-0, on Saturday.
This week: at Los Angeles, Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
Outlook: Consecutive 1-0 victories to open the season have the Union atop the Eastern Conference standings, though a real test of the team's defensive will comes at the Home Depot Center this weekend. It was a bit surprising that Philadephia couldn't do more against a Whitecaps defense that was without Jay DeMerit; however, Carlos Ruiz looks like he still has some game in his tank after all, and Sebastien Le Toux's pass to set up Ruiz' goal was sublime.
6. (10) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (1-1-0)
Last week: Beat FC Dallas, 2-0, on Saturday.
This week: vs. Seattle, Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
Outlook: Now that's the Golden Boot-winning Chris Wondolowski we remember from last year. Wondo's two top-class finishes carried the Quakes to an impressive win at Pizza Hut Park and erased the memories of his misses the week before.
7. (11) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (1-0-1)
Last week: Beat D.C., 2-1, on Sunday.
This week: vs. Portland, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: Regardless if the team benefited from the officiating, a result is a result. Zack Schilawski may have used his arm to trap the ball leading up to his opening goal, and the early penalty call may have been questionable, but credit Zack Schilawski and Shalrie Joseph for delivering and putting D.C. in an early hole. The porous Revolution defense of 2010 is no longer as vulnerable.
8. (13) CHICAGO FIRE (1-0-1)
Last week: Beat Sporting Kansas City, 3-2, on Saturday.
This week: Idle.
Outlook: Make that two games in a row that Gaston Puerari has drawn a red card on an opposing player. So far the Fire's new faces are getting the job done, as the strike tandem of Puerari and Diego Chaves has to be considered an early success story. It's worrisome that the team yielded two goals to a 10-man Kansas City side, but the result is all that matters, especially for a team searching for a strong foundation.
9. (5) FC DALLAS (0-1-1)
Last week: Lost to San Jose, 2-0, on Saturday.
This week: at Columbus, Friday, 7 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel
Outlook: FCD has stumbled out of the gates a bit, with some of the new parts in Schellas Hyndman's machine still getting acclimated to their new roles. Fabian Castillo's debut had to leave supporters with hope and promise, and things look up with a match against the Crew on the horizon.
10. (6) D.C. UNITED (1-1-0)
Last week: Lost to New England, 2-1, on Saturday.
This week: at Colorado, Sunday, 7 p.m., Galavision.
Outlook: A couple of early referee decisions went against United, which couldn't recover on the road. On the plus side, Chris Korb looked pretty comfortable in his first MLS start, and Charlie Davies scored from the penalty spot yet again as he continues to lead the league in scoring. D.C. will have to dig deep to defend Casey and Cummings without rookie Perry Kitchen (U-20s) and Dejan Jakovic (red card) available in central defense.
11. (9) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (0-2-1)
Last week: Tied Houston, 1-1, on Friday.
This week: at San Jose, Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
Outlook: The Sounders needed to rescue that point against the Dynamo, and they have Steve Zakuani to thank. For a team that created so many chances and shots, though, a one-goal output is really unacceptable and the team's finishing issue has reared its ugly head again. The Sounders' tough schedule to open the season continues with a match at Buck Shaw Stadium.
12. (8) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (1-1-0)
Last week: Lost to Chicago, 3-2, on Saturday.
This week: at Vancouver, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: After two weeks, this much is clear about SKC games: They're sure to be entertaining. After back-to-back 3-2 matches, Kansas City takes its act to the Pacific Northwest to face the Whitecaps with some re-assessing to do. Yes, the team is scoring goals, and yes, Teal Bunbury looked solid in his return from injury. But Marco Pappa's goal exposed the team's biggest weakness — central defense — and Omar Bravo won't be available for selection after being red carded against the Fire.
13. (12) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (1-1-0)
Last week: Lost to Philadephia, 1-0, on Saturday.
This week: vs. Sporting Kansas City, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: There's definitely a bright side to the Whitecaps' loss to the Union. The team was without its starting centerback tandem from opening day and managed to hold down a pretty solid attack, even doing so with 10 men after Eric Hassli picked up two foolish yellow cards. While Hassli won't be available this week, neither will SKC's red-carded DP Omar Bravo — both of whom scored braces in their league debuts. What a difference a week makes.
14. (14) HOUSTON DYNAMO (0-1-1)
Last week: Tied Seattle, 1-1, on Friday.
This week: at New York, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: The Dynamo can send all thank-you notes Tally Hall's way after securing the first point of the season. The first-year starter was stellar in fending off the Sounders' advances, but the Dynamo had better tighten things up in the back ahead of its matchup against New York, which should be at full strength — including a reportedly fit Henry.
15. (16) COLUMBUS CREW (0-1-1)
Last week: Tied New York, 0-0, on Saturday
This week: vs. FC Dallas, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel
Outlook: The Crew is on the board with a point, but it's hard to get excited about a scoreless draw against a Red Bulls team fielding a makeshift attack, makeshift central defense and a third-string goalkeeper. At least Robbie Rogers started.
16. (18) TORONTO FC (1-1-0)
Last week: Beat Portland, 2-0, on Saturday
This week: vs. Chivas USA, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Outlook: Javier Martina's brace brought some hope to a team sorely needing some. Even though the victory over the Timbers wasn't the most complete performance ever, it's a solid building block as the Reds head into their matchup with downtrodden Chivas.
17. (15) CHIVAS USA (0-2-0)
Last week: Lost to Colorado, 1-0, on Saturday.
This week: at Toronto FC, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Outlook: Bleak. There have been few positive to take from Chivas' beginning of the season, and Blair Gavin having to leave the loss to the Rapids added injury to insult. The Goats' match this week against Toronto is an opportunity for Robin Fraser to right his ship, but he might have to consider a different tactical approach in order to do so.
18. (17) PORTLAND TIMBERS (0-2-0)
Last week: Lost at Toronto, 2-0, on Saturday.
This week: at New England, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: The Timbers' "vaunted" attack is another shaky performance away from ending up on the side of a milk carton. While BMO Field isn't the easiest of places to go in and get a result, Timbers fans had to expect better against a TFC defense that yielded four goals to Vancouver. Going into New England and walking away with at least a point is pretty much a must.