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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 3


 Photo by Bill Barrett/

Trying to pin down the MLS hierarchy through two weeks was already a difficult task. With an upset-filled Week 3 in the books, matters now are all the more complicated.

In a reminder of the league's parity-driven nature, several bottom-dwellers from last week's SBI MLS Power Rankings picked up their first wins of the season to shake up the table. No triumph was more notable than No. 18 Chivas USA knocking Real Salt Lake out of the top slot via a 1-0 win — on the road, no less.

As a result, we have a new No. 1 team in this week's ranking: the Seattle Sounders, who defeated the previously unbeaten Houston Dynamo on Friday. And after becoming the league's first club to reach three wins with a dramatic triumph over FC Dallas, Sporting Kansas City has surged to a second-place tie with Salt Lake.

Here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings (as voted on by SBI staff):


1. (2) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (2-0-0, 6 points)


Last week: Beat Houston, 2-0, on Friday.

This week: Vs. San Jose, 10 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The partnership of Fredy Montero and David Estrada continues to produce for Seattle, which jumped to an early two-goal lead against Houston and never looked back. And a revamped back line featuring Marc Burch, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Zach Scott sure looked steady.

T-2. (Last week – 1) REAL SALT LAKE (2-1-0, 6 points)


Last week: Lost to Chivas USA, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: At Portland, 10 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Salt Lake fell victim to the formula that has taken down many a heavy favorite, surrendering an ugly set-piece goal against Chivas and failing to equalize against a disciplined back line. On the plus side, Nat Borchers dressed and Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio put in 45-minute shifts as Salt Lake took another step toward full health.

T-2. (4) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (3-0-0, 9 points)


Last week: Beat Dallas, 2-1, on Sunday.

This week: At Chivas USA, 9 p.m., Sunday.

Outlook: Kei Kamara made amends for his penalty kick miss when he poked home the late winner against Dallas and made Kansas City the league's only three-win team. The victories over a disorganized D.C. side, 10-man New England and a Dallas squad without Brek Shea or David Ferreira haven't been terribly impressive, but 3-0 is still 3-0.

4. (3) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (1-1-0, 3 points)


Last week: Idle.

This week: Vs. New England, 11 p.m., Saturday, NBC Sports.

Outlook: With the Champions League behind them, the Galaxy will come off a much-needed bye week with their eyes turned solely to league play. Striker Robbie Keane will want to pick up right where he left off after he recorded a brace against D.C. United in Los Angeles' most recent match.

5. (5) HOUSTON DYNAMO (2-1-0, 6 points)


Last week: Lost to Seattle, 2-0, on Friday.

This week: Idle.

Outlook: Houston couldn't continue its winning ways on the road to start 2012 in Seattle, where two early goals doomed the Dynamo. After the upcoming bye week, Houston will have four more away games before the much-hyped opening of BBVA Compass Stadium finally arrives.

6. (8) FC DALLAS (1-1-1, 4 points)


Last week: Lost to Kansas City, 2-1, on Sunday.

This week: At D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., Friday, NBC Sports.

Outlook: A last-gasp loss at Kansas City kept Dallas from claiming what would have been a nice result on the road without the services of 2010 MVP David Ferreira or 2011 MVP finalist Brek Shea. Dallas fans will hope George John's return to the starting lineup will be the beginning of a return to form for the centerback, who is coming off an unsuccessful loan spell with West Ham.

7. (9) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-0-1, 7 points)


Last week: Tied D.C. United, 0-0, on Saturday.

This week: At Philadelphia, 4 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Vancouver didn't look particularly threatening this past weekend, failing to register a single shot on goal despite hosting a winless D.C. United side. Speaking of winless, the Whitecaps' favorable schedule to start 2012 continues with a trip to 0-3 Philadelphia, during which all eyes will be on former Union striker Sebastien Le Toux.

8. (11) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (2-1-0, 6 points)


Last week: Beat Toronto, 3-0, on Saturday.

This week: At Seattle, 10 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: San Jose fans have been pleased to see Chris Wondolowski pick up right where he left off in 2011, notching a brace in Saturday's win at Toronto to bring his early-season goal total to three. If San Jose really wants to make a statement about its improvement from last season, picking up a result at CenturyLink Field on Saturday would certainly do it.

9. (6) COLORADO RAPIDS (2-1-0, 6 points)


Last week: Lost to New York, 4-1, on Sunday.

This week: Vs. Chicago, 7 p.m., Sunday, Galavision.

Outlook: With Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz out of the lineup, Colorado's midfield looked out of sorts from the opening kickoff in a loss to New York on Sunday. On the other hand, Conor Casey's return to training last week means the Rapids could soon reunite the hulking striker with Omar Cummings up top.

10. (10) CHICAGO FIRE (1-0-1, 4 points)


Last week: Beat Philadelphia, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: At Colorado, 7 p.m., Sunday, Galavision.

Outlook: Out to prove his breakout 2011 campaign was no fluke, Dominic Oduro scored his second goal in as many games to give Chicago a 1-0 win over Philadelphia on Saturday. While the Fire remain undefeated, Sunday's trip to Colorado will be the most difficult task yet for coach Frank Klopas and Co.

11. (13) NEW YORK RED BULLS (1-2-0, 3 points)


Last week: Beat Colorado, 4-1, on Sunday.

This week: Vs. Montreal, 4 p.m., Saturday, TSN.

Outlook: Who needs Luke Rodgers? Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper found quite the rapport up top against Colorado, each notching a brace as New York breezed to a 4-1 win. The return of centerback Wilman Conde from injury and midfielder Rafa Marquez from suspension were promising developments for New York, which hosts expansion Montreal on Saturday.

12. (7) PORTLAND TIMBERS (1-1-1, 4 points)


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

This week: Vs. Salt Lake, 10 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: After getting a draw at Dallas in the first match of a two-game road swing, Portland fell Saturday to winless New England. A return this weekend to Jelf-Wen Field will be most welcome. For coach John Spencer, finding the right combination of players to work with prolific poacher Kris Boyd will key.

13. (17) COLUMBUS CREW (1-1-0, 3 points)


Last week: Beat Montreal, 2-0, on Saturday.

This week: At Toronto, 2 p.m., Saturday, TSN.

Outlook: Columbus seemed to put its early bye week to good use, coming out of it looking like a far more cohesive unit than the team that fell to Colorado in Week 1. It has to be encouraging for the Crew that their goals were struck by their two pivotal new attacking pieces: playmaker Milovan Mirosevic and striker Olman Vargas.

14. (18) CHIVAS USA (1-2-0, 3 points)


Last week: Beat Salt Lake, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: Vs. Kansas City, 9 p.m., Sunday.

Outlook: Chivas didn't seem to stand much of a chance Saturday. After all, how could they expect to get a win on the road against undefeated Salt Lake when they couldn't even manage a single goal in two home games to start the year? But rookie striker Casey Townsend grabbed a scrappy goal, and Chivas walked away with a 1-0 win, the shock result of the season thus far.

15. (19) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (1-2-0, 3 points)


Last week: Beat Portland, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: At Los Angeles, 11 p.m., Saturday, NBC Sports.

Outlook: With an early goal from Saer Sene and a solid performance from the makeshift centerback pairing of A.J. Soares and Shalrie Joseph, New England came back from two road losses to start the year and notched a win over a formidable Portland side in its home opener. Saturday's trip to a rested Los Angeles team, however, is daunting.

16. (15) D.C. UNITED (0-2-1, 1 point)


Last week: Tied Vancouver, 0-0, on Saturday.

This week: Vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m., Friday, NBC Sports.

Outlook: United's attack still hasn't found any sort of rhythm in this young campaign, scoring just a single goal in three games. But coach Ben Olsen did seem to find the right centerback combination in Saturday's scoreless draw with Vancouver, as Emiliano Dudar and Brandon McDonald helped hold a talented Whitecaps attack to no shots on goal.

17. (12) TORONTO FC (0-2-0, 0 points)


Last week: Lost to San Jose, 3-0, on Saturday.

This week: Vs. Columbus, 2 p.m., Saturday, TSN.

Outlook: It's looking more and more like Toronto's stunning aggregate win over Los Angeles in Champions League play was more of a fluke than a sign that coach Aron Winter's side has turned the corner. It's safe to say a 3-0 loss at home to San Jose isn't the kind of result Toronto wanted going into Wednesday's CCL match against Santos Laguna.

18. (16) MONTREAL IMPACT (0-2-1, 1 point)

Logo Impact MLS

Last week: Lost to Columbus, 2-0, on Saturday.

This week: At New York, 4 p.m., Saturday, TSN.

Outlook: Jeb Brovsky's early red card didn't leave Montreal with much hope of getting a result in Columbus on Saturday. Impact fans, though, did get an extended look at the forward partnership of Bernardo Corradi and Justin Braun when Corradi came on to play the entire second half.

19. (14) PHILADELPHIA UNION (0-3-0, 0 points)


Last week: Lost to Chicago, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: Vs. Vancouver, 4 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: If Sebastien Le Toux comes back to Philadelphia and leads the visiting Whitecaps to victory at PPL Park, an already ugly situation for the Union will only become messier. Although U.S. under-23 national team returnees Freddy Adu and Amobi Okugo could be rested Saturday, right back Sheanon Williams should be back in the fold after not getting on the field in Olympic qualifying.


  1. Actually we’ll see what happens in the next month, as SKC’s next five games are all against Western teams, including back-to-back weeks against LA and RSL.

  2. This early in the season, Seattle is ranked based on where it ended up last year (2nd in points) and its current record of 2-0-0. How can you advocate Seattle further down when they haven’t lost yet? SKC has had a fantastic start, but needs to play against teams with winning records to improve in the rankings faster.

    Most of all, it’s early in the season. These rankings don’t really mean much until more games have been played against more opponents.

  3. “I don’t think there’s another team in the league that’s playing to the level that they’re playing at right now,” coach (Schellas) Hyndman said after FC Dallas was handed its first loss.

  4. These rankings are only arbitrary, but let me get this straight. RSL loses to an “inferior” Chivas team on a set piece. SKC give up a set piece in the first half, yet comes back to beat a team from the “superior” Western division. Yet RSL is ranked higher than SKC? Can’t wait to see what happens if SKC beats Chivas Sunday…

  5. At the time Toronto was rated high so i think that is part of that win, but with Houston we had 3 players on our backline, 1 winger, and 1 forward who aren’t supposed to be starters (including our captain). Thats a lot out. Grant it, at this point 1 has become a starter (Estrada) and the backline is showing to be a decent backup.

  6. I am an RSL fanboy.

    They should be punished in the power rankings for this, although the loss doesn’t provide some glimpse into a fatal flaw RSL has. It was just one of those games.

  7. I don’t get Seattle at the top at all. They’ve played two home matches and earned two wins. The Houston win was ugly and although they had some good fortune, it was well deserved. But that and a home win against TFC gets you #1? Weird.

  8. The Houston win was an aberration. Sounders had 4 major players out and still won. They would drop many points with a backline of Burch, Ianni, Hurtado and Scott, and with Levesque on the wing. Sigi stole those three points.

  9. It will be interesting to see how SKC does when they play some of the better teams in the league. At this point, I’m not yet sure they are for real. Same can be said for Vancouver.

    I thought the biggest disappointments of the weekend had to be the RSL-Chivas result and the NE-Portland result. Injury to insult, Mosquera goes down for Portland in that match. The RSL-Portland match up this weekend will be a good one to watch, as both teams will be angry. That would have been a great match to televise nationally.

    Can’t wait to see what the “top” teams in the league look like once they get players back healthy and/or from international duty. Dallas will be fun to watch, as will Seattle and RSL.

  10. The Whitecaps can’t score at home against a weakened (call ups and injury) DC United and they move up two spots, while DCU grabs a point on the road and drops one spot?

    Uh, OK…

  11. I don’t think power ratings should measure where teams will be once they get everyone back. They should measure teams where they are currently with the players that they’re currently playing with. May just be a semantic difference in how we approach the rankings.

  12. I don’t know if you watched the RSL-Chivas game, but the Goats capitalized on an error by Nick Rimando, and then they hunkered down and played some of the best defense I’ve seen by an MLS team. Check out the highlights if you don’t believe me. And as noted by Neruda, RSL still isn’t at full strength. Full disclosure: I’m a Galaxy supporter, not an RSL fanboy.

  13. Time will tell but this ranking takes into consideration the fact that RSL is still not starting four core players who are recovering from injury.

    Expect RSL to play Sabo and Javi more against Portland to get the win against a tough team at home.

  14. If the Union end up earning a 4th loss Saturday, I’m throwing a snowball at Santa…or something.

    Just kidding, but will I be squeezing the heck out of the steering wheel on the way home if the Union go down again.

  15. I disagree. If you lose to Chivas of all teams, you don’t deserve to be 2nd this early in the season. Yes, they have talent, but talent and 3 bucks will buy you a cup of coffee.

  16. This is a much more honest and accurate depiction of MLS clubs’ POWER right now, compared to’s rankings. SKC is a very good team, there’s no denying that, but the eastern conference is weak. They’re giants among midgets. Even with a loss to the Goats, RSL could handily beat any team in the league right now. Seattle deserves their second place ranking as well.


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