It was a week of big moves in the latest SBI MLS Power Rankings, with the red-hot Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union making major moves, and the San Jose Earthquakes being rewarded for handing FC Dallas its first loss of the season.
Toronto FC may have had its six-match winning streak snapped, but a road draw against the New York Red Bulls was enough to maintain a hold on the top spot. There was a change at the bottom though, with the Rapids slipping into the basement again after a two-loss week.
The Portland Timbers continued to slide after seeing their current winless run reach four games courtesy of a blowout loss to Montreal. The Houston Dynamo suffered a steep drop after a two-loss week.
Here are this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings:
SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 12)
1. (Last Week – 1) TORONTO FC (7-1-5)
LAST WEEK: Tied New York Red Bulls, 1-1, on Friday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Columbus Crew SC on Friday.
OUTLOOK: TFC saw its six-game winning streak snapped by a draw at Red Bull Arena, but the Canadians are still on top of the Supporters’ Shield standings and have only lost once in 13 games this season. They now conclude the Trillium Cup series at home against Columbus Crew. The two sides have split their first two matches of the year, but those were at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus.
2. (2) FC DALLAS (5-1-4)
THIS WEEK: at Chicago Fire on Thursday, vs. Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: Dallas lost their unbeaten record against San Jose last week. They fell down to third place in the Western Conference, but they have three games in hand over leaders Sporting Kansas City. They are still a little battered by injuries, but Mauro Diaz is getting closer to a return, which will give them a much needed attacking boost.
3. (3) NEW YORK CITY FC (6-3-2)
LAST WEEK: Beat Orlando City SC, 3-0, on Sunday .
THIS WEEK: at Atlanta United on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: NYCFC waltzed into Orlando City Stadium and handed the Lions their first loss in their new fortress. David Villa led the charge with a brace to end a little two game winless run. They now visit the most crowded stadium in MLS to face an Atlanta United team that thumped the Dynamo at home last week.
4. (4) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (6-3-4)
LAST WEEK: Beat Seattle, 3-0, on Wednesday, lost to Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota United on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: Sporting Kansas City experienced a typical MLS double game week. A resounding victory was backed up by a somewhat disappointing defeat. Taking care of Seattle at home was expected, but SKC was lifeless in Vancouver on Saturday night after the busy travel schedule. It’s a disappointment, for sure, but hardly out of the ordinary for a busy MLS week.
5. (9) CHICAGO FIRE (6-3-3)
LAST WEEK: Beat Colorado Rapids 3-0 on Wednesday, beat D.C. United 1-0 on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. FC Dallas on Thursday.
OUTLOOK: The Fire continue to blaze along at the top of the Eastern Conference with an impressive double win last week. Sure, they came against the hapless Rapids and a very lost-looking D.C. United team, but any six-point week should be lauded in MLS. They now take on FC Dallas at home with a chance to really put a stamp on their early season success.
6. (10) ATLANTA UNITED (4-4-3)
LAST WEEK: Beat Houston Dynamo, 4-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. New York City FC on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: Atlanta had been winless in three matches before welcoming a Houston team that doesn’t travel well to Bobby Dodd Stadium. Miguel Almiron experienced a much needed breakout game in that one by notching his first MLS hat trick. The young Paraguayan now has five goals in the year, which is tied for the team lead. They have to take on a strong NYCFC team this weekend in what should be one of the best matches in the league this week.
7. (6) ORLANDO CITY (6-4-2)
LAST WEEK: Tied San Jose Earthquakes, 1-1, on Wednesday, lost to New York City, 3-0, on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: at Minnesota United on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Lions were other classic victims of the double game week. A West Coast trip earned a key point, but they came home promptly suffered their first home loss of the season. They are winless in five games, but a trip to Minnesota isn’t a bad place to get back in the swing of things.
8. (13) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-4-4)
LAST WEEK: Tied Orlando City, 1-1, on Wednesday, beat FC Dallas, 1-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. LA Galaxy on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Earthquakes could not have asked for a better result heading into the California Clasico. They managed to escape Dallas with all three points after suffering a mildly disappointing home draw against Orlando City in midweek. They now shift their home to Stanford Stadium for a week to take on LA Galaxy with plenty of confidence on the heels of a win against one of the league’s best. Their season has gone from the fanbase calling for Dominic Kinnear’s head to being in fourth place in the West and only three points out of the lead.
9. (8) COLUMBUS CREW (6-6-1)
LAST WEEK: Lost to New England Revolution, 2-1, on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: at Toronto FC on Friday.
OUTLOOK: The Crew have cooled off from their early season form and have a rivalry match agaisnt Toronto coming up. It takes a lot to slow down the Reds these days and Columbus will need to be at their very best to get a win on Friday night.
10. (7) PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-4-3)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Montreal Impact, 4-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Timbers are coming into a tough stretch of games in awful form. After a start that placed them among the MLS elite, they have now failed to win four of their last five games and have critical match against their arch rivals. Thankfully for them, Seattle doesn’t look much better at the moment.
11. (5) HOUSTON DYNAMO (6-5-1)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Philadelphia Union, 2-0, on Wednesday, lost to Atlanta United, 4-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at FC Dallas on Sunday.
OUTLOOK: The Dynamo are a very different team at home than they are on the road. They proved that in spades last week by running into red-hot Philadelphia and getting Atlanta United back on track. They actually have a great chance at their first road win of the year this week in the Texas Derby. Dallas has a Thursday night tilt in Chicago with the Fire, which could weaken the team for this big rivalry match.
12. (15) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (5-5-1)
LAST WEEK: Beat Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. D.C. United on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Caps are on a nice little run here with four wins in their last six. They got the benefit of facing a Sporting Kansas City side that was weak from midweek action and now they welcome D.C. United in from across the continent. They used a rotated side in the Canadian Championship this week against Montreal, so expect a fairly strong team ready to earn another win agaisnt a very beatable opponent.
13. (18) PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-4)
LAST WEEK: Beat Houston Dynamo, 2-0, on Wednesday, beat Colorado Rapids, 2-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Don’t look now but the Union are on a four game win streak after going winless in their first eight games. Not only are they suddenly winning again, but they have only conceded on goal during the victorious run. They’ve outscored their opponents 10-1 and went on a four game shutout streak before conceding a goal agaisnt the Rapids last weekend.
14. (14) LA GALAXY (4-5-2)
LAST WEEK: Beat Minnesota United, 2-1, on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: at San Jose on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Galaxy are also feeling great heading into the California Clasico. They have their first two game win streak of the year and haven’t lost a game in four tries. Gio Dos Santos is starting to look alive once again and is combining with Romain Alessandrini to form a threatening attack in LA. Curt Onalfo’s seat is cooling off, but a poor showing this weekend in the Bay Area will start that fire once more.
15. (12) NEW YORK RED BULLS (5-6-2)
LAST WEEK: Tied Toronto FC, 1-1, last Friday..
THIS WEEK: vs. New England Revolution on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Red Bulls will take the 1-1 draw against possibly the best team in MLS on home soil. It snapped a three game losing streak that was just the latest trough in their roller coaster season. They will take on New England at home this week looking to start another uphill climb with a little bit of confidence after that result.
16. (16) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-4)
LAST WEEK: Beat the Columbus Crew, 2-1, on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: at New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Revs are the proud owners of a two-game win streak thanks to their home win over the Crew. They now face a tough trip to Red Bull Arena which starts back to back weekends in the New York area. They should enjoy this brief run of success, because back to back away games against the Red Bulls and a hot New York City side don’t bode well for their immediate future.
17. (11) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (3-5-4)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Sporting Kansas City, 3-0, on Wednesday, beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The Sounders were able to get their first win in five tries against Real Salt Lake after getting thumped in Kansas City. They are hoping that win jump starts a run of form that would include a win over their arch rivals from Portland.
18. (17) MINNESOTA UNITED (3-7-2)
LAST WEEK: Lost to LA Galaxy, 2-1, on Sunday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Orlando City SC on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Minnesota went on national television and slipped up agaisnt the Galaxy at home. Christian Ramirez, one of the brightest spots on this team, managed to score for both teams in the process. Their defense is getting better, but they face another quick attack this weekend against an Orlando team desperate to regain their winning ways. A win here could help encourage them during their upcoming road trip to Kansas City and Salt Lake.
19. (20) MONTREAL IMPACT (3-4-4)
LAST WEEK: Beat Portland Timbers, 4-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: Idle.
OUTLOOK: Montreal got the benefit of an early red card agaisnt the Timbers and ended up rolling over their visitors from Cascadia. Ignaccio Piatti had a big week for them with a pair of goals as he looks to have found his stride at last. They get a week to think about things before hosting the Red Bulls to open the month of June.
20. (19) D.C. UNITED (3-6-2)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Chicago Fire, 1-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: at Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: The poor run of form for D.C. continues as they haven’t scored a goal in their last three games. They now have to fly across the continent to face a Vancouver team that has played quite well of late. They might finally end their scoreless streak, but a win will be a tough ask on this trip.
21. (22) REAL SALT LAKE (3-8-2)
LAST WEEK: Beat New York City FC, 2-1, on Wednesday, lost to Seattle Sounders, 1-0, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Real Salt Lake will take the win over NYCFC in midweek and really can’t be too upset about losing in Seattle. They held out for much of the match and were in it right to the end. Still, they’ve lost four out of five and have to cool off a Philadelphia team that suddenly can’t give up goals, let alone lose a match.
22. (21) COLORADO RAPIDS (2-8-1)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Chicago Fire, 3-0, on Wednesday, lost to Philadelphia Union, 2-1, on Saturday.
THIS WEEK: vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
OUTLOOK: Colorado has lost seven of their last right games and now has to face Sporting Kansas City at home.If they are ever going to turn their season around, it’s over the next couple months. Six of their next seven games are at home. If they can’t put a few wins together during that stretch, it’s hard to imagine them winning much for the rest of the year.