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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 2

Earthquakes Sounders 031515 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Jennifer Buchanan/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Stationed at the bottom of the rankings last week, few believed that the San Jose Earthquakes could pose much of a threat to the top-ranked Seattle Sounders. That was until they went out and did it.

The Earthquakes pulled off the upset of the week by defeating the Sounders, 3-2, despite going down a man early in the second half.

In general, it was a rough week for last week’s top rated teams, as the LA Galaxy settled for a draw with the Portland Timbers, while Toronto FC were dominated by the Columbus Crew.

NYCFC also picked up a victory over a playoff contender in the New England Revolution, as David Villa led the expansion side to the club’s first win. Orlando City also joined NYCFC with their inaugural victory by defeating the Houston Dynamo last Friday night.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 1:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 2)

1. (2) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (1-0-1)

LA Galaxy

LAST WEEK: Tied with the Portland Timbers, 2-2, last Sunday

THIS WEEK: vs. Houston Dynamo on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Galaxy were just moments away from departing Saturday’s matchup with a loss, but Alan Gordon’s late equalizer saved the day for the reigning champions to earn a precious, albeit slightly fortunate, point.

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2. (1) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (1-1-0)

Seattle Sounders FC

LAST WEEK: 3-2 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday

THIS WEEK: BYE

OUTLOOK–  After putting on an impressive attacking display in their opening match, the Sounders failed to take advantage of an early goal and a man advantage in a loss to the Earthquakes. Questions now arise regarding the defense after being exploited by Chris Wondolowski and Innocent Emeghara.

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

CCSC-Primary

LAST WEEK: Defeated Toronto FC, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK: Bye

OUTLOOK– After settling for a defeat in the team’s opening game, the Crew roared back Saturday by dominating Toronto FC. With the first win in the back pocket, the Crew now have a week of rest to relax and reflect on Saturday’s result.

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4. (8) FC DALLAS (2-0-0)

DAL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Beat Sporting KC, 3-1, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: At Philadelphia Union on Friday

OUTLOOK– Blas Perez once again proved to be the difference for FC Dallas, as the striker now sits tied with Clint Dempsey for the league lead in goals. Riding an in-form Perez, FC Dallas look to continue their perfect start on the road against the Union.

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

DCU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Bye

THIS WEEK: At New York Red Bulls on Sunday

OUTLOOK– Head coach Ben Olsen could take plenty of positives from the season-opening performance against the Montreal Impact, but there were still plenty of kinks to work out on the attacking end.Coming off of a bye week, D.C. United has had two weeks to prepare for the team’s trip to Red Bull Arena to take on their fiercest rivals.

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6. (3) TORONTO FC (1-1-0)

TOR_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Lost to Columbus Crew, 2-0, Saturday

THIS WEEK: Bye

OUTLOOK– Some teams respond well to the adversity that comes with going down a man, but if last week’s performance was any indicator, Toronto FC is not one of those teams. TFC were torn apart by the Crew after going down to 10 men, ensuring a sour taste in the team’s mouth heading into a bye.

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

NE_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-0, to NYCFC last Sunday.

THIS WEEK: vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday.

OUTLOOK– Through the season’s opening two games, the Revs remain goalless, signaling a worrying start for the reigning Eastern Conference champions. A healthy Lee Nguyen and co. now have the added motivation of the club’s return to the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium for the club’s home opener.

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8. (12)  ORLANDO CITY (1-0-1)

OCSCprimary

LAST WEEK: Defeated Houston Dynamo, 1-0, last Friday

THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday

OUTLOOK– It was far from the prettiest goal ever scored, but Orlando City will be glad to escape Houston with a 1-0 victory and the club’s first MLS win. Orlando City have proven to be the dominant side in each of their two contests, but the Lions are now tasked with taking on a Whitecaps side coming off of an impressive, albeit low-scoring, win of their own.

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

NYCFC_Badge

LAST WEEK: Defeated New England Revolution, 2-0, on Sunday

THIS WEEK: At Colorado Rapids on Saturday

OUTLOOK– NYCFC put together a spectacular debut at Yankee Stadium by knocking off the New England Revolution on the back of David Villa. Despite Villa’s play, it is NYCFC’s defensive unit that have been most impressive, as the club is a deflected Kaka free kick from back-to-back clean sheets.

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10. (11)  NEW YORK RED BULLS (0-0-1)

NY_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK:  Bye

THIS WEEK: vs. D.C. United on Sunday

OUTLOOK– Last week’s bye was probably a welcome one for the Red Bulls, who are still in the process of acclimating a starting lineup full of new faces. An extra week of training is sure to help, but now it’s right into the fire with a matchup with rivals D.C. United.

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11. (9) REAL SALT LAKE (0-0-2)

RSL Logo

LAST WEEK: Tied with Philadelphia Union, 3-3, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: Bye

OUTLOOK– After being held scoreless in their opening matchup, Real Salt Lake put three on the board against the Union Saturday, but were forced to settle for the same result of a draw. With two vastly different performances on record this season, RSL now have a bye to get their attack and defense on the same page.

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12. (10) PORTLAND TIMBERS (0-0-2)

TimbersLogo

LAST WEEK: Tied LA Galaxy, 2-2, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Sporting KC on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Timbers have settled for a pair of draws thus far, although it’s hard not to think that Caleb Porter’s side deserved to have won both contests. Lacking the ability to truly take control of a game, the Timbers will need to do better in putting teams away going forward.

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13. (7)  SPORTING KANSAS CITY (0-1-1)

SportingKClogo

LAST WEEK: Defeated, 3-1, by FC Dallas last Saturday

THIS WEEK: At Portland Timbers on Saturday

OUTLOOK– Sporting KC have just one point through the team’s opening two games after being outclassed by Blas Perez and FC Dallas. The return of Matt Besler will be a major boost, though, as the team heads into a hostile Providence Park to take on the Timbers.

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

WhitecapsLogo

LAST WEEK: Defeated Chicago Fire, 1-0, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: at Orlando City on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Whitecaps recovered well from Week One’s loss to Toronto FC, as Octavio Rivero scored again to seal a late 1-0 victory over the Fire. Rivero appears to be living up to the hype, as the forward has given the Whitecaps a legitimate goalscoring threat to lead the attacking line.

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15. (16) PHILADELPHIA UNION (0-0-2)

UNI_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK: Tied with Real Salt Lake, 3-3, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. FC Dallas on Friday

OUTLOOK– The Philadelphia Union have settled for draws in consecutive weeks, but were just moments away from a victory before conceding a penalty. Much like the end of last season, the Union are struggling to close out games, something they will need to improve upon from here on out.

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

NewSanJoseLogo

LAST WEEK: Defeated the Seattle Sounders, 3-2, last Saturday

THIS WEEK: vs. Chicago Fire on Sunday

OUTLOOK– The Earthquakes put together a spectacular performance to knock off the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners and could easily be on four points heading into this week’s matchup with an old friend in Frank Yallop.

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

HOU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK:  Lost to Orlando City, 1-0, last Friday

THIS WEEK: vs. LA Galaxy on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Dynamo hung around with Orlando City on Friday, but a calamitous goal saw Owen Coyle’s side drop all three points. Despite the missteps in the loss, Tyler Deric has proven to be a capable keeper for the Dynamo through the opening weeks, highlighted by his save Friday on a Kaka free kick.

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

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK: Bye

THIS WEEK: at New England Revolution on Saturday

OUTLOOK– The Impact face a major debate this week, as the club heads into CONCACAF Champions League action on Wednesday. Having lost the team’s opening game, the Impact will need to prioritize either the continental competition or this weekend’s matchup with the struggling New England Revolution.

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

RapidsLogo

LAST WEEK: Bye

THIS WEEK: vs. New York City FC

OUTLOOK– The defense was the star of the show in the Rapids’ season opener, but now the team has questions on the attacking end. With Deshorn Brown on his way out, the attacking responsibility now falls on Gabriel Torres and rookie Dominique Badji.

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20. (19) CHICAGO FIRE (0-2-0)

Chicago-Fire-Main

LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday

THIS WEEK: at San Jose Earthquakes

OUTLOOK– The Fire have failed to it their stride, as the team’s series of new faces really haven’t made much of an impact to this point. Frank Yallop will hope that changes with the introduction of David Accam, who could give the Fire a legitimate threat up top.

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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.

Comments

  1. Every other power ranking I’ve seen has Dallas at No. 1, but I’m kinda glad this one isn’t…we have looked good but not that good, and the house of cards that the offense has built can easily come crashing down if the defense is hit with injuries like we have been in the past few seasons.

    Reply
  2. Red Bulls are going to be irrelevant quicker than I thought. NYC FC is off to a sound start and the addition of Lampard in a couple of months will be a boost to their midfield.

    Meanwhile, Red Bulls are dithering with scrap heap signings and releases.

    The only chance this franchise has is to sell to Cosmos and rebrand. Let’s hope that is in the works.

    Reply
  3. So the Quakes play two top 5 teams away, very well might i add and you have them @ above 5 other teams that have not one and have played at home? I think a bit to much East Coast bias from these staffers plays far to much of a role in these ranking. How about providing an analytically ranked list?

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  4. What’s up with all of the byes so early in the season? We have an even number of teams, just started the season and a FIFA break starts on Monday – why not a full 12 game weekend?

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  5. The rankings look good. Can’t believe how bad the Fire are. Red Bulls better get their act together. I’m liking the Crew. LA won’t look back.

    Pity the regular season didn’t men more.

    Reply
  6. Power rankings shouldn’t start until the teams have played, say, 10 games. The sample size here is too small. Think BCS rankings – they don’t start until the teams are well into the season.

    Reply
    • It’s the consensus rankings done by editorial staffers. The criteria for power rankings is supposed to be a combination of factors including record, form, quality of schedule, quality of play, and other things. For example, if a good team winds up losing a game in a match where a bogus red card turned the tide, voters may not be as quick to punish them for a loss. Conversely, if a team plays really well in a close loss on the road against a top team, they may gain more credit than a team that struggled in a tie against a weak team. Things like form factor in as well. A team on a hot streak will be ranked higher than a team in a slump even if the slumping team may have a point or two more than the hot team. There’s no perfect science to it really, but the hope is that having it be a consensus will balance out and provide a reasonable ranking.

      Reply
  7. The writeup on the Whitecaps is so positive, and then you drop them a spot after a win? Seems inconsistent. If you’re going to drop them after a win, explain why. There is justification for doing so (missed opportunities to score, creaky back line, too many yellow cards), but dropping a team after a win is unusual, so you have to explain your rationale!

    Reply
    • It’s because they were outplayed by the last team on this power rankings list in the game they won. Winning ugly isn’t very powerful. NYCFC jumped big with a win mostly because the Revs are getting credit for last season despite their play this year being so underwhelming.

      Reply
      • I completely get what you’re saying, DFF (although I thought it was a pretty evenly-played game, rather than the ‘Caps being completely outplayed). My beef was with the writer not explaining the rankings drop in the “Outlook,” but saying positive stuff instead. Drop them, fine, but explain it!

      • The writer of the recaps isn’t the person who determines the ranking, they’re just summarizing the team’s week, so the two things aren’t really related.

      • New England has started the season playing two tough road games, so they don’t automatically wind up 20th because they’re 0-2. Our voters believe they’re still better than their record shows, and time will tell if that’s merited or not.

    • Vancouver hardly looked impressive in beating Chicago, the worst team in the rankings, while some other teams did impress that may have been ranked behind them. In this case, NYCFC catapulted up the rankings. You don’t have to agree with the rankings by any means. It’s the aggregate rankings as voted by the SBI senior editors, so this isn’t a one-person’s opinion kind of thing, but more a consensus.

      Reply
      • I don’t disagree with the ranking so much as I think the writeup should have reflected the ranking. I get (as noted above) that they’re done by different people, but shouldn’t the proverbial left hand know what the right hand is doing?

  8. Re Philadelphia – I am not sure it is exactly the same trouble exhibited last season. Time will tell though. Two ties do not a trend or a season make! The trouble closing out the game was a ridiculous penalty call, rather than leaking goals from the run of play after dropping intensity. Granted allowing trouble in/near the box is a symptom of not defending better further up the field, and RSL’s enjoyed pretty dominant possession and some nice attacking sequences. I will be the first to admit that there were some pretty opportunistic goals on the Philly side – but Cristian Maidana served balls that ended up in dangerous places and Fernando Aristeguieta delivered results with two qualities not often seen on the Union – 1) hustle/hard work along with a nose for being in the right place at the right time in the box, and 2) finishing his chances authoritatively and pretty clinically.
    Credit to RSL – that free kick was so sick – pure quality – goal of the week for Morales? I didn’t see the first goal (late coming home from a darn wedding!).
    So maybe a tie was a fair result in RSL away, but the Union were dealt a questionable call for the PK that tied it.

    Reply

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