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SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 1)

 Dempsey

Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

The Seattle Sounders used their opening game to make a major statement.

In their first game of the 2015 campaign, the Sounders unraveled the New England Revolution, 3-0, making short work of the defending Eastern Conference Champions. Led by goals from Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, the Sounders attack looked in midseason form.

The Sounders weren’t the only team to make a statement, as defending MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy swarmed the Chicago Fire en route to a comfortable 2-0 victory on opening night. Elsewhere, the new-look Toronto FC rode Jozy Altidore’s brace to a big time 3-1 victory over Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps.

It was not all smooth sailing for the league’s contenders, though, as the Columbus Crew fell to the Houston Dynamo, while a slew of other playoff hopefuls settled for draws.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 1:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 1)

1. (Last week- 3) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (1-0-0)

Seattle Sounders FC

LAST WEEK: 3-0 victory over New England Revolution

THIS WEEK: vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Saturday)

OUTLOOK– The Sounders sent an early message to the rest of the league by absolutely dismantling the New England Revolution to start the season. Led by Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey, the Sounders looked as fearsome as ever.
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2. (1) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (1-0-0)

LA Galaxy

LAST WEEK: Beat Chicago Fire, 2-0, last Friday

THIS WEEK: at Portland Timbers on Sunday.

OUTLOOK– The Galaxy took care of business to start the season with a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire. Far from a vintage performance in terms of finishing, but Robbie Keane and co. possessed the ball well and were never truly threatened by the Fire attack.

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3. (5) TORONTO FC (1-0-0)

TOR_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Beat Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK: at Columbus Crew on Saturday.

OUTLOOK– After conceding the opening goal, TFC took charge and demonstrated the quality that has many penciling the club in as a true contender. Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco both impressed in a solid victory over a fellow playoff contender in the Vancouver Whitecaps.

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4. (2) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (0-0-1)

NE_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Lost, 3-0, to Seattle last Sunday.

THIS WEEK: at New York City FC on Sunday.

OUTLOOK– It’s hard to knock the Revs too much due to the absence of Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen, but the defending Eastern Conference champions were absolutely overwhelmed by the Sounders attack. The Revs will need someone to step up in the absence of Jones and Nguyen, and that someone was not apparent in Saturday’s effort.

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5. (6) D.C. UNITED (1-0-0)

DCU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Beat Montreal Impact, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK: Bye

OUTLOOK– D.C. United definitely struggled at times, but got exactly what they needed in a hard-earned 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact. Ben Olsen will definitely need to work out a few of the kinks, but Jairo Arrieta was solid up front in his D.C. debut.

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6. (4) COLUMBUS CREW (0-0-1)

CCSC-Primary

LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

THIS WEEK: vs. Toronto FC on Saturday.

OUTLOOK– The Crew were kept at bay by Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric and failed to find the back of the net to start the season. Not an ideal start, but with 16 shots to the team’s credit, Saturday’s performance was far from a bad one.

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7. (7)  SPORTING KANSAS CITY (0-1-0)

SportingKClogo

LAST WEEK: Tied New York Red Bulls, 1-1, last Sunday.

THIS WEEK: at FC Dallas on Saturday.

OUTLOOK– Despite being down a man, the Sporting KC attack looked as lively as ever in the closing stages of Sunday’s matchup with the Red Bulls. Plenty of chances were produced as the game winded to a close, although a 1-1 draw with the Red Bulls was probably a fair result.

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8. (9) FC DALLAS (1-0-0)

DAL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Sporting KC on Saturday

OUTLOOK– Blas Perez’s flair for the dramatic led FC Dallas to a season-opening victory over the San Jose Earthquakes. Overall, a solid performance, but Oscar Pareja will expect his side to be more clinical in front of goal going forward.

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9. (8) REAL SALT LAKE (0-1-0)

RSL Logo

LAST WEEK: Tied with Portland Timbers, 0-0, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday

OUTLOOK– With Nick Rimando on the field, Real Salt Lake will always stand a chance. RSL lacked that true finishing touch, but Rimando kept them in the game to earn the scoreless draw.

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10. (10) PORTLAND TIMBERS (0-1-0)

TimbersLogo

LAST WEEK: Tied Real Salt Lake, 0-0, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. LA Galaxy on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Timbers appeared threatening throughout their matchup with RSL, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Luckily, the Timbers shouldn’t see goalkeeping performances like that every week, ensuring the goals will come at some point.

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11. (13)  NEW YORK RED BULLS (0-1-0)

NY_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Tied Sporting KC, 1-1, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: Bye

OUTLOOK– In an offseason filled with the introduction of new faces, it was an old one in Lloyd Sam that led the way for the Red Bulls. The newly constructed backline did look the part at times by limiting Sporting KC to just one goal.
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12. (11)  ORLANDO CITY (0-1-0)

OCSCprimary

LAST WEEK: Tied New York City FC, 1-1, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: at Houston Dynamo Friday

OUTLOOK– Kaka played hero for Orlando City to snatch a point from a performance that should be classified as a good one. Orlando City was aggressive and deserved the result that came with the Brazilian’s historic goal.

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13. (12) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (0-0-1)

WhitecapsLogo

LAST WEEK: Lost, 3-1, to Toronto FC last Saturday

THIS WEEK: at Chicago Fire on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Whitecaps ran into a buzzsaw in the form of TFC, but the defense still left a lot to be desired on the goals conceded. Octavio Rivero looks the real deal, however, despite his early game missteps.

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14. (16) HOUSTON DYNAMO (1-0-0)

HOU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK:  Beat Columbus Crew, 1-0, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Orlando City on Friday

OUTLOOK– The Dynamo kicked off the Owen Coyle era with all three points thanks to a Giles Barnes finish. Taking down the Crew is no small task and is a great building block for the Dynamo to start the season.

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15. (14) NEW YORK CITY FC (0-1-0)

NYCFC_Badge

LAST WEEK: Tied Orlando City, 1-1, last Sunday

THIS WEEK: vs. New England Revolution on Sunday

OUTLOOK– Mix Diskerud got NYCFC off to a positive start with a curling effort for the team’s first ever goal. NYCFC could have easily scurried out of Orlando with all three points if not for Kaka’s deflected finish, giving head coach Jason Kreis plenty of positives to build on going forward.

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16. (15) PHILADELPHIA UNION (0-1-0)

UNI_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Tied with Colorado Rapids, 0-0, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Philadelphia Union were up a man, but failed to find the back of the net. Part of that can be attributed to the hands of Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin, but the Union will have to be a little bit cleaner going forward.

———————–

17. (20) COLORADO RAPIDS (0-1-0)

RapidsLogo

LAST WEEK: Tied Philadelphia Union, 0-0, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: Bye

OUTLOOK– The Rapids did quite well to hold on to a point despite the dismissal of Bobby Burling. Although the team struggled to create much on the attacking end, the defense held up well, something that rarely occurred in 2014.

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18. (18) MONTREAL IMPACT (0-0-1)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to D.C. United last Saturday

THIS WEEK: Bye

OUTLOOK– Following last week’s CONCACAF Champions league heroics, the Impact were in for a letdown, and that’s exactly what they got Saturday in D.C.. The loss stings, but the injury to Justin Mapp will surely sting more as the Impact will have to replace their tricky winger for the foreseeable future.

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19. (17) CHICAGO FIRE (0-0-1)

Chicago-Fire-Main

LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-0, to LA Galaxy last Friday

THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The new-look Fire showed flashes of positivity, but were largely pinned back by a more dominant LA Galaxy side. Plenty of improvements to be made, and those improvements will certainly come against teams that aren’t quite as talented as the Galaxy.

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20. (19)  SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (0-0-1)

NewSanJoseLogo

LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to FC Dallas last Saturday

THIS WEEK: at Seattle Sounders on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Earthquakes were just moments way from earning a hard-earned point, but it was not to be due to a Blas Perez header. Not a terrible performance against a Western Conference contender, but the lack of composure in front of goal is worrying.

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What do you think of this week’s power rankings? Do you think any team is ranked too high? Any too low?

Share your thoughts below.

17 comments
    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      Not only that, but BOTH teams lost !

      Not just that game either.

      Like

  • Larry

    I don’t quite understand the ranking of Orlando. They drew at home which seems like NYC gets the better of that outcome. Yet they are ranked ahead of NYC and ahead of Houston who beat the Crew (ranked #4 going in). Seems like both Orlando and NYC should be well below Houston and NYC should be higher than Orlando.

    Like

    • Two Cents

      Yeah, I didn’t understand that. Plus, NYCFC was the better team overall from my perspective, regardless of home/away and the final score.

      Galaxy (I am a fan, so this is biased) is still the team to beat, so I also don’t get how Seattle (although they played well) gets the nod when they played a team missing its two best players and the heart of their midfield.

      Doesn’t matter though. Rankings are pointless (i.e. FIFA). They are interesting to argue about haha, but that’s as far as it goes. It all comes down to who wins when it counts.

      Like

      • John Mecado- Sounders fan

        @ Two Cents: I think that they might have the idea that the Sounders would have done more damage to the Fire then the 2-0 outcome the Galaxy came away with at home. Most people watching the highlights of both games would thinks that as well, but you are right; two very important players were missing from New England. Obviously one week into the season these are very tentative, but LA and Seattle are probably the top two teams this year again.

        Like

      • Catamount

        Perhaps. We’ll see if the Fire were really that bad or the Galaxy were that good. The Revs certainly threatened Seattle more than the Fire threatened the Galaxy.

        Like

  • Sergio of SF

    How can you put the Quakes last! They only lost by 1 and it was on an error. They created chances and I thought showed well overall. How can teams like the Fire and Montreal be ahead of them? Make no sense.

    Like

  • Soccerhorn

    Actually, you can criticize New England for their poor performance, with or without Jones and Nguyen. All teams miss players. The Galaxy started without Penedo, De La Garza, had two relative rookies starting in the midfield, and oh by the way no longer have a certain “Legend” in their starting 11. Seattle went without DeAndre Yedlin, a key factor in their success last year. And yet both those teams took care of business rather easily.

    If I was a Revs fan (I’m not), I would be worried that there’s not enough depth to cover the loss of Jones and Nguyen, and that if either of these two guys, when healthy, fail to replicate their incredible form from the end of last season, well… it’s a long way down in the Power Rankings from #3.

    Like

  • Jim

    From preaseason rankings: “Until dethroned, the LA Galaxy remain king.”

    1st Game: DOMINATE Fire w/ shutout win.

    Next rankings: Drop to #2 because, I guess, the opponent wasn’t good enough. Or you love Clint.

    I guess they should have beat them 8-0 to avoid being “dethroned”?

    Like

    • Patron Saint of Beers

      As long as LA routinely wins when it counts the most and Seattle routinely fades in the playoffs, LA has got to be the team until it is obvious. I hate LA but I’m of the mindset that unless you KO the champion, you can’t expect a decision in your favor.

      Like

  • Brain Guy

    Which has less overall significance: weekly MLS power rankings or mid-cycle FIFA rankings?

    Discuss.

    Like

  • Druid

    LA fans should just sit back and relax in knowing thier team is “da best evah” .. Why get so buthurt about a first week ranking ? It’s not as if you have something to prove like timbers fans

    Like

  • JD McCall

    Quakes should not be last. Breaking in a new goalie, half of the starting backline was out and the new DP at forward only made a very late cameo yet still came one play in second half stoppage time away from EARNING a road point against a very good Dallas team.

    Like

  • MLSfan

    These have been and always will be subjective rankings that Ives probably thinks of while taking a dump.

    Like

    • Tom E

      Then I guess Ryan Tomlich got stuck with the job of taking dictation from Ives in the can and then posting the rankings.

      Like

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