With the international break wrapped up, MLS resumed with plenty of surprises over the weekend.
The league’s lone remaining unblemished side, Sporting Kansas City, suffered its first defeat of the season at the hands of a shorthanded Real Salt Lake. On the other side, the slumping Seattle Sounders found their first win in a defeat of the Montreal Impact.
Teams like FC Dallas and Orlando City SC continued to roll on, while the New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew still face questions following their most recent results.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings:
SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 5)
1. (6) REAL SALT LAKE (2-0-2)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Sporting KC, 2-1, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday
OUTLOOK– A heck of a win for a shorthanded RSL team. Taking on the league’s last unblemished team, a squad missing much of its spine dazzled against a top level opponent. Through four weeks, RSL have looked dynamic, and when all pieces are back in place, it appears that the club is set to contend out West.
2. (2) FC DALLAS (3-1-1)
LAST WEEK: Tied Columbus Crew, 1-1, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday
OUTLOOK– A rock-solid performance from Chris Seitz helped lead the way as FC Dallas earned a point against the reigning Eastern Conference champions. The FC Dallas attack looked as lively as ever in swarming the Crew goal, but the team struggled to place shots on target. The inaccuracy is of little concern, though, as FC Dallas will take the point to the top of the early season table.
3. (7) ORLANDO CITY (2-0-2)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Portland Timbers, 4-1, on Sunday
THIS WEEK: at Philadelphia Union on Friday
OUTLOOK– With Kaka back in the lineup, Orlando City looked flat out unstoppable. The Brazilian star was all over the field on Sunday night, leading the Lions to a 4-1 thrashing of the defending MLS Cup champions. With Kaka back in the fold, Orlando City looks ready to take on all comers in the Eastern Conference.
4. (Last week-1) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (3-1-0)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-1, to Real Salt Lake on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at New York Red Bulls on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Playing without Matt Besler, Sporting KC saw their perfect start come to a screeching halt against a shorthanded Real Salt Lake team. The team’s run was bound to end at some point, but with Benny Feilhaber now integrated back into the lineup, Sporting KC should be expected to continue on an upward trajectory despite the blip against RSL.
5. (4) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (2-1-1)
LAST WEEK: Tied Vancouver Whitecaps, 0-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday
OUTLOOK– Picking up a point on the road is generally a positive, but the Galaxy will be disappointed to not leave with more from a clash with the 10-man Whitecaps. Without Robbie Keane in the lineup, the Galaxy were unable to put much on frame, and the team as a whole will have to be a bit more decisive in front of goal moving forward.
6. (3) MONTREAL IMPACT (2-2-0)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday
OUTLOOK– The Impact have now lost two in a row and have undone some of the goodwill they established with their early-season dominance. Still, the issues present on Saturday are entirely fixable. With Didier Drogba still waiting in the wings, the Impact’s lack of precision in front of net shouldn’t last long.
7. (10) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-2-1)
LAST WEEK: Tied LA Galaxy, 0-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at D.C. United on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Given Matias Laba’s dismissal, a tie was a fair result for the Whitecaps. Down to 10 men early, the Caps were on their back foot throughout, save for a few looks on goal. Still, the draw extends the team’s unbeaten run to three, a solid achievement given the difficult start to the season.
8. (9) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (2-1-1)
LAST WEEK: Tied D.C. United, 1-1, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at FC Dallas on Saturday
OUTLOOK– A late Adam Jahn goal rescued a point, but the Earthquakes would have expected more from a clash with D.C. United. The Earthquakes always have a flair for the dramatic, but the club will need to pick up wins in games like Saturday’s to compete in the deep Western Conference.
9. (8) PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-2-0)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to Chicago Fire on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Orlando City on Friday
OUTLOOK– After shining for several weeks, the Union crashed back down to Earth in a shutout loss to the Fire. Warren Creavalle’s dismissal spelled doomsday, while Andre Blake continued to shine in net. To this point, it remains to be seen just how legit the Union are, but they’ll have a chance at a bounceback game against Orlando City on Friday.
10. (5) PORTLAND TIMBERS (1-2-1)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 4-1, to Orlando City on Sunday
THIS WEEK: at LA Galaxy on Sunday
OUTLOOK– A bad, bad game from the reigning champions. The Timbers were thoroughly destroyed by a flat out better Orlando City team, who battered them to a 4-1 scoreline. Through the opening month, the Timbers have failed to show off any championship mojo, and the team will have to improve their road form starting on Sunday against the Galaxy.
11. (11) HOUSTON DYNAMO (1-2-1)
LAST WEEK: BYE
THIS WEEK: vs. Seattle Sounders on Sunday
OUTLOOK– The Dynamo have had an extra week off to let the disappointing defeat to the Whitecaps marinate a bit. Undone by David Ousted, the Dynamo were unlucky and unfortunate not to find the back of the net. Now with fresh legs, the team will have to return to doing just that in a clash with the Sounders.
12. (15) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (1-1-3)
LAST WEEK: Defeated New York Red Bulls, 1-0, on Friday
THIS WEEK: vs. Toronto FC on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Was the win controversial? Certainly, but the Revs will surely take it. Now in the win column after settling for a few too many ties, the Revs are back in the discussion in the East. The perception changes a bit on the heels of the victory, as the Revs hope they can consistently find their finishing boots as the season goes on.
13. (17) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (1-3-0)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Montreal Impact, 1-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Houston Dynamo on Sunday
OUTLOOK– The Sounders have finally found a victory, and an impressive one at that. Knocking off the Impact is no easy feat, and the Sounders will feel a lot better following three straight losses. There are still questions and plenty of work to be done, but the Sounders will be hoping last week’s result can be the start of an upswing in results.
14. (18) COLORADO RAPIDS (2-1-1)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Toronto FC, 1-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday
OUTLOOK– A solid win for the Rapids, who benefited from a slightly controversial finish to topple 10-man Toronto FC. The Rapids have quietly amassed seven points from four games, despite scoring just three goals. The team faces another test on Saturday, but the Rapids will be hoping Marco Pappa can continue to pull the strings in leading the club on the attacking end.
15. (12) TORONTO FC (1-2-1)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday
THIS WEEK: At New England Revolution on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Another week, another frustrating defeat for TFC. For the second game running, TFC will feel hard done by a slightly controversial call. The Canadian club has shown an inability to really play to the whistle, but its the club’s struggles in front of goal that will need to be remedied as the season wears on.
16. (14) NEW YORK CITY FC (1-1-2)
LAST WEEK: BYE
THIS WEEK: vs. Chicago Fire on Sunday
OUTLOOK– Following a bye week, NYCFC will now have another chance to right some wrongs at Yankee Stadium. Through the first few games, the second-year club has struggled in their home stadium. Now, the team standing in their path — the Fire — is the only one its defeated this season.
17. (13) NEW YORK RED BULLS (1-3-0)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to the New England Revolution on Friday
THIS WEEK: vs. Sporting KC on Saturday
OUTLOOK– The Red Bulls settled for defeat yet again, even if it was of the controversial variety. Jesse Marsch’s side will feel wronged by the manner in which the goal was scored, but the Red Bulls’ inability to score themselves was the major concern. Things remain just off for the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners, although there is plenty of time to correct the inconsistencies.
18. (16) COLUMBUS CREW (0-2-2)
LAST WEEK: Tied FC Dallas, 1-1, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Montreal Impact on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Another point for the Crew, who remain winless through four games. A draw with FC Dallas is nothing to feel ashamed about, although the struggles of Kei Kamara remain a concern for a team still in need of a kickstart.
19. (19) CHICAGO FIRE (1-1-2)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Philadelphia Union, 1-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. New York City FC
OUTLOOK– An impressive win for the Fire, who did well to knock off a surging Union team. Rookie Jonathan Campbell continues to impress while the back line as a whole has looked solid to start the season. It’s still early days, but the Fire’s first win should serve as a major boost for a team looking to make a push.
20. (20) D.C. UNITED (0-2-3)
LAST WEEK: Tied San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday
OUTLOOK– D.C. United earns yet another draw, their third of the young season. To date, the team still hasn’t really ever looked like a winning one. Even with the point, D.C. United is still in the danger zone as the club falls further and further out of the race early.
What do you think of the SBI MLS Power Rankings? Which teams do you see being ranked too highly? Who didn’t get enough respect?
Share your thoughts below.