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SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week One)

Amado Guevara 1 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                   Photo by ISIphotos.com

Week one of the MLS season is in the books and while there weren't too many outrageous surprises, there were certainly some interesting developments.

You had the expansion Seattle Sounders dominating in their debut, you had the defending champions needing a late equalizer to salvage a season-opening draw, and you had Toronto FC posting an impressive road win, something that almost never happens.

The Eastern Conference enjoyed a victory over the West for the week, posting a 2-1-2 record against the West despite playing all five games on the road. Seattle managed the only victory for the West.

The biggest loser in the rankings from our pre-season rankings to week one is New York, which looked abysmal vs. Seattle. Yes, help is on the way, and no, we don't see New York finishing near the bottom by season's end, but right now the team is a mess and Juan Carlos Osorio will have to work some magic (again) to keep the ship from sinking early.

With all this in mind, here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week One (Keep in mind that last week's rankings were how we saw the league shaking out by season's end. This week's rankings are more a measure of where teams stand right now, based on their performances to date and our ranking of their form):

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 1)

1. Chicago Fire (1-0)

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Last Week: Beat FC Dallas, 3-1, last Saturday.

This Week: at D.C. United on Saturday (7:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: No Blanco and Rolfe? No problem. The Fire overcame a Kenny Cooper blast with three unanswered and showed off their impressive depth. Arch-rival D.C. awaits.

2.  Columbus Crew (0-0-1)

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Last Week: Tied Houston, 1-1, last Saturday.

This Week: vs. Toronto FC on Saturday (4pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Champs showed good poise in scoring late equalizer to grab a point on the road. The Crew defense will face a much tougher test vs. a revamped TFC attack.

3. Real Salt Lake (0-0)

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Last Week: Bye week

This Week:  At Seattle on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: RSL will be in for a very tough start to the season with a visit to Qwest Field against a team coming off a big opening victory. Will Jamison Olave be able to keep up with countryman Fredy Montero?

4. Toronto FC (1-0)

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Last Week: Beat Kansas City Wizards, 3-2, last Saturday.

This Week: at Columbus Crew on Saturday (4pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Started two rookies and kept big-name signing Pablo Vitti on the bench and TFC still managed a rare road win. Beating Columbus at Crew Stadium without Amado Guevara is another challenge altogether.

5. New England Revolution (1-0)

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Last Week: Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, last Saturday.

This Week: at New York Red Bulls on Saturday (7:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel)

Outlook: Started two rookie defenders on the road and still found a way to win. Revs still aren't full-strength and should find a stiff test from a Red Bulls team eager to erase the memories of week one.

6. Seattle Sounders (1-0)

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Last Week: Beat New York Red Bulls, 3-0, on Thursday.

This Week: vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Expansion side couldn't have asked for a better start. Offense and defense both looked sharp, but a tougher test awaits this week against an RSL team making its season debut.

7. Houston Dynamo (0-0-1)

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Last Week: Tied Columbus Crew, 1-1, last Saturday.

This Week: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: The Dynamo looked poised for an opening-week win only to give up a late equalizer. Now Houston must travel to San Jose for a match that is always emotional for a club that was founded after moving the club from San Jose to Houston and renaming it.

8. Chivas USA (1-0)

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Last Week: Beat Colorado Rapids, 2-1, last Saturday.

This Week: at FC Dallas on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura).

Outlook: Zach Thornton's blunder aside, the Goats looked pretty sharp in week one and could get off to a 2-0 start with a win against a beatable FC Dallas squad.

9. Kansas City Wizards (0-1)

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Last Week: Lost to Toronto FC, 3-2, last Saturday.

This Week: at Colorado Rapids on Saturday (9:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Wizards defense was torn apart by Toronto FC, though it was the KC midfield that really lost the battle on Saturday. KC has the chance to regroup against a Colorado team that looked far from impressive in its opener.

10. D.C. United (0-0-1)

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Last Week: Tied Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-2, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. Chicago Fire on Saturday (7:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: With several starters sidelined by injury (including goalkeeper Louis Crayton), D.C. still played well enough to win and will feel cheated after some questionable calls went against them. There is no sympathy as a strong Chicago squad is up next on the schedule.

11. Los Angeles Galaxy (0-0-1)

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Last Week: Tied D.C. United, 2-2, on Sunday

This Week: Bye Week

Outlook: Conspiracy theorists are already working on the "MLS is helping LA get points so they will be in the race when Beckham comes back" theory. The fact that the Galaxy has a bye week just when Landon Donovan is away with the U.S. national team will only add to that theory.

12. Colorado Rapids (0-1)

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Last Week: Lost to Chivas USA, 2-1, last Saturday

This Week: vs. Kansas City on Saturday (9:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Rapids got off to a good start vs. Chivas USA, then fell apart a bit. The defense just doesn't look good enough to be a legitimate competitor, and the midfield will certainly need to play better if Colorado is going to do much this year.

13. San Jose Earthquakes (0-1)

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Last Week: Lost to New England Revolution, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Houston Dynamo (10:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Earthquakes fans probably walked away from Saturday's loss feeling their team outplayed New England. Not so fast. The Revs came in short-handed and played a solid, disciplined game. San Jose did create plenty of chances but A) you should create chances against a defense starting two rookies and B) chances don't mean anything when you can't finish them. Things won't get any easier against Houston.

14. FC Dallas (0-1)

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Last Week: Lost to Chicago Fire, 3-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Chivas USA on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura)

Outlook: The score of Dallas' loss to Chicago was a bit misleading because the match was much more closely played than that. Of course, Chicago was playing without two of its best in Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Chris Rolfe, who were limited to late cameos. The FC Dallas defense had question marks coming in, and those question marks remain. Kenny Cooper will always find goals, but FCD didn't look that much like a playoff team on Saturday.

15. New York Red Bulls (0-1)

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Last Week: Lost to the Seattle Sounders, 3-0, on Thursday.

This Week: vs. New England on Saturday (7:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel)

Outlook: The only consolation that can come from the embarrassing loss to Seattle is that New York will never use that starting lineup again. The Red Bulls are in dire need of their reinforcements to show up and they may only get one in Khano Smith, who faces his old New England teammates. They aren't likely to finish at the bottom of the rankings, but right now this is where they deserve to be.

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What do you think of the rankings? Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I believe Amado Guevara is out this week with WC qualifying. I hope the officials took note of all his diving and time wasting at KC.

    Reply
  2. Ives I am not disagreeing with your ranks. They are pretty accurate. I just don’t buy the conspiracy theories.

    Konoha

    1. you are right there was no handball but Gordon was clearly taken down just prior so it evens out.

    2. Donovan was not offsides. He was clearly onside when the ball was hit to him and DC just blew their coverage. Now if you want to talk about Gomez being offside when he got his PK call…

    3. Ref should have stopped the game can’t argue that. Didn’t have much bearing on the outcome though. That’s all on Soehn for not subbing his injured guys out.

    4. LA isn’t great but you can be sure they won’t be the worst team in the league when all is said and done. Can’t really say the same about DC.

    Reply
  3. Anyone can offer a power rank with other critera, that’s fine. But Ives is the man and the Fire is #1 for now and if another um crew can dethrone them so be it. FC D had been beating a higher ranked squad in recent matches, and that was not the case this time. The Fire is top contender. I look forward to the challenges thru the season, bring it.

    Dallas – I hope your keeper heals up, I respect him as a competitor.

    Reply
  4. i think what the red bull should do is bring in some of those wierd kids they have walking around the city in slow motion and doing freeze poses for “marketing purposes” and let them loose at half time at giants stadium on the field so they can freeze pose and slow motion walk and fake charge all they want thay way the visiting new england fans will really know we mean business, man our Front office is simply brilliant.

    Reply
  5. Watching LA I thought that they were sub par and in fact were extremely lucky to come out with a point against DC.

    As for Houston and Columbus, I thought Houston was a much better team on the night and I think that Columbus ranked second is way off.

    Reply
  6. I would put Seattle closer to the top. I watched at least one half from each of the games, and they move the ball around much faster than any other team.

    Reply
  7. Chicago was without 2 of their best, but Dallas was without team MVP Pablo Richetti from last year in the center midfield, and was missing our starting right back in Marcelo Saragosa. I think you aren’t giving enough credit to Dallas. We were awful during the first half, but he did record something like 20 shots, with two off the post, and at least another two narrowly missing.

    Reply

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