SBI MLS Power Rankings

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 2

RSL goal (Getty Images)

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):


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.



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.



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.

  • jon

    C.Rapids need to be #1 until they lose.

    Says the RSL fan.

    Seriously, give the C.Rapids some respect. They are the defending champs.

    The Rocky Mountains is where “SOCCER” is played.

    BTW- lots of RSL fans supporting the C.Rapids this year. Unless we are playing them, that is……


  • GSScasual

    thats really strange….. i question your true support. as an RB fan, i would say RSL are the team for the #1 spot.. CCL, style of play, results, finishing… Colorado squeaked a Cup, and won 2 games in the season so far…. not too impressing.. they are good, dont get me wrong… but RSL are better.


  • This Guy

    Rapids below RBNY?
    They are the defending MLS Cup champions and unblemished. This should be a no-brainer but I get that Red Bull supporters need to be petted or they turn defensive.


  • sk in denver

    Style of play? You realize this is a “Power rankings” not a fashion show, it is silly to use that as a determining factor. Yes, the Rapids “squeaked a Cup” whatever that is, in comparison RSL did what, squeaked out a playoff loss? Yeah much more impressive


  • RK

    Funny, but I don’t think last year’s results are used to determine the rankings.


  • Chicago - Scott

    I’m not worried about the 2 goals that The Fire let up. They were two FLUKE goals. The first was on Johnson who just bobbled the ball to a wide open KC player and the second was off an errant back pass. The game EASILY could of been 4 or 5 to ZERO.


  • CJH15

    Yea, don’t know how “impressive” the NY draw is no matter how many people they were missing. The Crew have looked like junk in everything so far starting with the CCL loss against RSL.

    Colorado and RSL one/two in some order for sure. The rest? Who really knows right now.


  • Dr. Robert Dobalina


    both teams were without their top players, one team won the other got style points in a 0-0 draw. LAME! Colorado>New Jersey!


  • three11stu

    No way should Colorado be #1 in the rankings. Yeah, they are the defending Champs, but they won their Championship LAST YEAR. Now we are talking about this year. Both teams have played one game at home and one on the road. On the road, Col beat Chivas, one of the worst teams, 1-0. RSL beat San Jose, a pretty good team, 1-0. At home, Col beat Portland, a crappy expansion team, 3-1. And RSL beat LA, one of the best teams in the league, 4-1. Enough said.


  • Dr. Robert Dobalina

    what are the odds that 0 of the 3 Northwest teams don’t make the playoffs? personally I want to see all three duke it out for the last spot.


  • peanut gallery

    This isn’t the NCAA where a team starts on top of the rankings based on last-year’s performances. It’s based on an assessment of who is playing the best soccer as of the most recent games. Colorado are defending champs, but few believe they were the best team in MLS last year. They returned essentially the same lineup, so it will take more than 2 games to show that they are truly an elite MLS team. I think 3rd place is respect enough for this point in the season given the strong performances by RSL and NYRB.


  • Dave from Charlotte

    I might quibble that DCU should be a spot or two higher, but at the end of the day its about winning with what you got player wise and dealing with adversity…neither of which they were able to do last week. Also, I’m not sure depth-wise DC has it yet.

    If there A-team stays healthy, they’ll give the 1 and 2 spot in the East a run for its money.


  • Neruda

    The Galaxy match was a great tune-up for RSL. Valuable PT for some reserves has ReAL ready to play Saprissa. Let’s go RSL!


  • Neruda

    The rankings are accurate. Ives has RSL in the #1 slot based on A) League play after two games B) CCL play C) The fact that this team didn’t lose any parts (Findley move freed up salary) but rather added depth and signed core players.


  • KC fan

    “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”

    SKC was without these players due to injury or international call-ups: Cesar, Harrington, Thomas, Kamara

    That’s 3 defensive players. Once these guys are healthy, the defense won’t be as big a problem. Teams will have to worry about OUTSCORING KC to beat them, and a lot of teams just won’t have enough firepower. As far as missing Bravo this weekend, Vancouver will also be missing Hassli. Which team do you think will still be able to score without their DP forward? Right.


  • Taft

    This is odd. I suspect that you are a Rapids fan trying to make RSL fans look bad. While they are cheering on the Rapids to represent the Rocky Mountains, not one RSL fan believes that the Rapids are better than them. Especially considering that Colorado has beaten only Portland and Chivas (the bottom two teams in these rankings) while RSL dominated LA and squeaked out a win in rough conditions against San Jose. When the Rapids are tested by a good team, I will expect to see them fall down the rankings. But maybe they’ll surprise me. It wouldn’t surprise me, however, to see RSL atop these rankings all season long. They are head and shoulders above the rest of the league, and I think even Colorado fans know that.


  • Lee from NYC

    I would think style of play is a determining factor to power rankings. At least to me. I would rank one team higher because of their style over another if both had the same results.

    There’s winning 1-0 on a mistake and winning 1-0 in dominating fashion.

    Last but not least, to me anyway, it’s a lot harder to win with style like RSL has been.

    RSL is definitely #1 so far.

    Until they play RBNY. 😉


  • Champion Rapids

    Rapids fanatic here. Rapids should not be ranked above RSL right now. I want a strong result in the Open Cup (to show off our depth) and then a strong home result against DC United before we can talk about shaking RSL from that top spot.

    Rocky Mountain Cup is going to be judgment day, for both teams. If Rapids win (and that’s a MONUMENTAL “if”) then I can see them #1 in Power Rankings.


  • Champion Rapids

    Yeah. That part I don’t get. RBNY results and the soccer being played haven’t really impressed me all that much this season. But it’s Ives’ call.


  • Champion Rapids

    Yeah man, I think Rapids have actually shown some really great stuff in terms of style this year. They get criticized an awful lot, but if you really watch them it’s good stuff. Solid from front to back. Lots of pace and energy, and possibly the best passing game in the league (highest pass completion percentage last year, still looks good this year).

    I’m hoping they stay up there this year. Let’s hope for a great result in the Open Cup tomorrow and a great result against DC at the weekend.


  • Zacalie

    BS lots of RSL fans are supporting Colorado. The only way a true RSL fan “supports” the Rapids is by hoping that they come into our games feeling high and mighty so that the agony of defeat is that much greater. It’s hard to kick a whimpering puppy, after all.

    No chance Colorado deserves to be higher than RSL right now. Nobody was arguing that RSL deserved to be #1 based on their MLS cup win. I think that Colorado is getting more of the benefit of the doubt this year based on observation of how well RSL played last year after a “fluke” cup win. For some reason people think that Colorado is going to be able to continue that trend. Completely different situation.


  • Lee from NYC

    Missing 6 of your starters and still managing a tie away at a full strength rivals home. That’s what RBNY did.

    Don’t want to start fights, but I doubt the Rapids could have performed better than the RBNY B team.


  • sk in denver

    Style of play and performance are two very different things. Obviously dominating performances matter, but playing attractive or ugly soccer should not factor in.


  • Vince Clortho

    I think the RSL respect for Col. is that last RSL pulled out 2 late and squeaky draws against them. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in April when a match between these two completes a 3 games in 8 day stretch for RSL.

    Beat Saprissa and do what you can in the league…


  • Lee from NYC

    I disagree with you.

    I think style should be a determining factor. Along with performance, results, injuries, form, etc…

    If two teams win 1-0, wouldn’t you rate the more stylish team higher? If not, then… I guess we can agree to disagree. 🙂


  • Matt

    In regards to Rapids that is, RSL was doubted hardcore in 2010, so don’t doubt Rapids. The Rocky mountains are rocking this season.


  • Dominghosa

    The Crew need to be down the order more. They aren’t a very good team. Didn’t look good in preseason. They don’t look good now. They’re missing reliable strikers, center midfielders and fullbacks.
    Drawing a gutted NYRB at home is nothing to be proud about.


  • Matt

    I don’t think that the Crew are “full strength”, I bet not even 6 of their starters could start any of the top 9 teams.


  • Brit

    What happened to Houston? Don’t get me wrong I don’t think we’re THAT good, but Ives has been blogging/tweeting that we’re going to have a solid year (maybe even 2nd in the east) and I think we were around 7-8 on the first power ranking. The loss to Philly sucked and I get why we dropped but a draw in Seattle is a good result, even considering Seattle’s form. Is the SBI staff reconsidering their pre-season assessment?


  • Scott A

    Ha I don’t even like to be petted. But I do see one group of supporters getting defensive about the rankings 🙂


  • Dancy

    I’d put DC lower. They showed almost nothing against two very poor teams. They have played 20 minutes of decent soccer total so far this season.


  • USAHammerFan

    Keep in mind a solid year in MLS and being 7-8 is just fine…7-8 keeps you 2-3 spots into the playoffs.


  • beckster

    I’m just thrilled to see DCU in the middle of the pack as opposed to where we spent last year that it really doesn’t matter up or down 1 or 2.


  • Raff

    Don’t agree with the Union rankings. Two 1-0 victories hardly show quality on a team’s part. And DC’s rankings should be switched with the Rev’s. The Revolution didn’t win that game, the ref did!


  • Rico

    Yes, SKC gets no love here. The 2 starting central defenders were out, so the fullbacks were shifted inside. Even with those players out, they mounted a strong comeback in the game of the week. SKC is legit.

    New England is not that good. They should be #13 at best.


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