Before this past weekend’s action, two sides were unbeaten in MLS play. Only one remains now: Real Salt Lake.
RSL toppled the Colorado Rapids to remain unbeaten through five games — an impressive mark to start the campaign. Orlando City, which remained unblemished heading into Week 5, wasn’t so lucky as a Tranquillo Barnetta free kick sealed a late victory for the Philadelphia Union.
Contenders like Sporting Kansas City and the Montreal Impact held form with a pair of 2-0 victories, while the Columbus Crew continued to sputter with another loss. Towards the bottom of the rankings, D.C. United impressed in earning the club’s first win of the season: a 4-0 thrashing of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s Power Rankings:
SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 6)
1. (Last week-1) REAL SALT LAKE (3-0-2)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Colorado Rapids, 1-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday
OUTLOOK– It took a Rapids blunder, but RSL got the job done yet again on Saturday. Joao Plata remains as dangerous as ever, while Nick Rimando looked as good as usual in goal for a still unbeaten RSL team. The league’s last team without a loss, RSL has certainly looked much better than expected to start the season due to a stout defense and vicious front three.
2. (4) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-0)
LAST WEEK: Defeated New York Red Bulls, 2-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Colorado Rapids on Wednesday; at FC Dallas on Sunday
OUTLOOK– A true bounce-back performance for Sporting KC. Goalkeeper Tim Melia led the way as Sporting KC returned to the win column following the club’s first defeat of the season. Sporting KC proved opportunistic and vicious, sealing its fourth win of the season while moving atop the Western Conference.
3. (2) FC DALLAS (3-1-2)
LAST WEEK: Tied San Jose Earthquakes, 2-2, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: At Portland Timbers on Wednesday; vs. Sporting Kansas City on Sunday
OUTLOOK– Not a vintage FC Dallas performance as the presence of Mauro Diaz was sorely missed. A penalty kick and an own goal led the way while the team’s defense looked as sloppy as it has all season. A difficult slate of games awaits with clashes against the Timbers and Sporting KC that will prove as a major test for an FC Dallas team with title ambitions.
4. (6) MONTREAL IMPACT (3-2-0)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Columbus Crew, 2-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Chicago Fire on Saturday
OUTLOOK– The Impact returned to the win column with a pair of headed finishes against the Crew. It was an overall impressive performance from the Impact, who all but limited a still dangerous Crew attack. Didier Drogba now joins the team full time, and things could get better in a hurry now that the Ivorian star is involved.
5. (5) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (2-1-1)
LAST WEEK: Tied Portland Timbers, 1-1, on Sunday
THIS WEEK: at Houston Dynamo on Friday
OUTLOOK– Even with a positive result on Sunday, the Galaxy could have a crisis on their hands. Nigel de Jong looks set for some sort of suspension, while an injury to Robbie Rogers further diminishes the club’s lineup. With the team’s DPs already playing sparingly to start the season, the Galaxy will have to rely heavily on role players throughout the next several weeks.
6. (9) PHILADELPHIA UNION (3-2-0)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Orlando City, 2-1, on Friday
THIS WEEK: at Seattle Sounders on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Barnetta’s mesmerizing free kick was a worthy winner against a previously unbeaten Orlando City side. Still, it would be remiss not mention the heroics of Andre Blake once again. The Jamaican goalkeeper has arguably been the league’s best through six weeks, and the Union will be looking to ride his hot hand to success throughout 2016.
7. (8) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (2-1-2)
LAST WEEK: Tied FC Dallas, 2-2, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. New York Red Bulls on Wednesday; at Portland Timbers on Saturday
OUTLOOK– A weird, weird game against FC Dallas produced a point for the Earthquakes. Two defensive blunders led to a conceded penalty kick and an own goal against Dom Kinnear’s side. While the back line faltered, the performance of Quincy Amarikwa was a major positive as the forward provided two assists in the tie.
8. (3) ORLANDO CITY (2-1-2)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-1, to Philadelphia Union on Friday
THIS WEEK: vs. New England Revolution on Sunday
OUTLOOK– Orlando City’s first loss of the season was a bit of a heartbreaker as Barnetta bent in a free kick to seal the Union’s victory. Playing without four starters, including Cyle Larin and Brek Shea, it was far from a disappointing performance from a team that still remains among the top sides in the East.
9. (10) PORTLAND TIMBERS (1-2-2)
LAST WEEK: Tied LA Galaxy, 1-1, on Sunday
THIS WEEK: vs. FC Dallas on Wednesday; vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday
OUTLOOK– The city of Portland will remain on high alert as the club awaits more official news on Darlington Nagbe’s status. The start to the season has been a difficult one for the reigning champions, but the loss of Nagbe could prove to be a killer blow. Assuming Nagbe’s absence, a tough double-game week follows in clashes with a pair of teams looking to assert themselves as playoff contenders.
10. (12) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (1-1-3)
LAST WEEK: Tied Toronto FC, 1-1, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Orlando City on Sunday
OUTLOOK– A wonderful finish from Kelyn Rowe aside, and the Revs were once again a bit wasteful in front of goal. The Revs continue to pepper opposing goalkeepers, but just aren’t scoring enough goals to show for it. Still, the team is unbeaten in three home matches this season, but Jay Heaps’ side could easily turn the two draws earned into wins with just a bit more crispness on the attacking side.
11. (13) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (1-3-1)
LAST WEEK: Tied Houston Dynamo, 1-1, on Sunday
THIS WEEK: vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Saved by a star performance from Chad Marshall, the Sounders probably deserved a draw against the Dynamo on Sunday. Marshall was spectacular in marshaling the defense, while his late goal rescued a needed point for the Sounders. Concerns remain, though. Jordan Morris was never truly a part of the action from a lone striker position, and the Sounders will need more out of the talented rookie to start turning draws like Sunday’s into impressive wins.
12. (11) HOUSTON DYNAMO (1-2-2)
LAST WEEK: Tied Seattle Sounders, 1-1, on Sunday
THIS WEEK: vs. LA Galaxy on Friday
OUTLOOK– It’s been an up-and-down year for the Dynamo, to say the least. Wildly inconsistent through the season’s first month or so, it remains to be seen if the Dynamo are closer to world-beaters or contender fodder. Late-game lapses like Sunday’s move them somewhere towards the latter for the time being.
13. (7) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-3-1)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 4-0, to D.C. United on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday
OUTLOOK– What in the world happened to the Whitecaps on Saturday? Facing a previously winless D.C. United team, the Whitecaps never showed up and were promptly demolished, 4-0, by one of the league’s bottom teams. An inexplicable performance from everyone but David Ousted ahead of a tough matchup with RSL.
14. (14) COLORADO RAPIDS (2-2-1)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 1-0, to Real Salt Lake on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Sporting KC on Wednesday; vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday
OUTLOOK– RSL proved too hot for the Rapids in what turned out to be the latter’s first loss since Week 1. Given the team’s general performance, the gaffe that led to the game’s lone goal proved especially damning in an otherwise solid performance. Since the Tim Howard announcement, Zac MacMath just hasn’t looked like the same goalkeeper, and the Rapids will be hoping he can re-find his form to keep the team in contention through a difficult double-game week.
15. (15) TORONTO FC (1-2-2)
LAST WEEK: Tied New England Revolution, 1-1, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: At D.C. United on Saturday
OUTLOOK– With the team’s massive season-opening road trip rolling on, TFC did well to collect a point against the Revs. Earning points on the road is always a tough ask, and while Saturday’s efforts were far from bad, they did serve as a reminder of how many points have been squandered. TFC could easily have several wins at this point and will be hoping to add a few before returning to BMO Field after three more games.
16. (20) D.C. UNITED (1-2-3)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Vancouver Whitecaps, 4-0, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Toronto FC on Saturday
OUTLOOK– D.C. United couldn’t have picked a better way to earn their first win of the season. With Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio leading the charge, D.C. cruised past a tough Whitecaps team. The attacking unit finally showed some fight and Ben Olsen will be hoping to see more of the same next time out against an always difficult Toronto FC.
17. (19) CHICAGO FIRE (1-1-3)
LAST WEEK: Tied New York City FC, 0-0, on Sunday
THIS WEEK: vs. Montreal Impact
OUTLOOK– The Fire have quietly put together three straight shutouts, and have only allowed one goal since their opening day shootout loss. Matt Lampson was spectacular in goal, while the defense stepped up once again to lead the way. If the attack can ever find its feet, the Fire could cause some problems for some of the league’s tougher teams.
18. (16) NEW YORK CITY FC (1-1-3)
LAST WEEK: Tied Chicago Fire, 0-0, on Sunday
THIS WEEK: at Columbus Crew on Saturday
OUTLOOK– With the team’s four-game home stretch now complete, NYCFC collected just one total point throughout their month-long stay at Yankee Stadium. Disappointing as that is, NYCFC put forth as good of a performance as they had all season in the draw with the Fire. The attack was swarming all match, while the defense never felt truly threatened in what Patrick Vieira will hope is a sign of things to come.
19. (17) NEW YORK RED BULLS (1-4-0)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-0, to Sporting KC on Friday
THIS WEEK: vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday; vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday
OUTLOOK– The Red Bulls were undone by Tim Melia and Sporting KC for the team’s fourth loss in five games. Given a chance to climb back into the game via a penalty kick, Melia stonewalled Bradley Wright-Phillips, keeping the Red Bulls at bay yet again. Now five games into the season, the Red Bulls have nearly half as many losses as they did all of last year.
20. (18) COLUMBUS CREW (0-3-2)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-0, to Montreal Impact on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. New York City FC on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Another week, another hapless performance from the Crew. Facing a talented Impact team, the Crew were once again saddled with defeat as the team’s winless run continues. Through five games, the Crew have never looked half as good as they did last year, and it’s nearly time to start wondering what is really going on with the reigning Eastern Conference contenders. Early season slumps are far from atypical, but the performances of the last five games have been concerning to say the least.
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.
Red Bulls season could be over after this week. Two difficult away matches. If they fall to 1-6,…Mama Mia!
Bottom line is that the LEAGUE improved and Red Bulls essentially are unchanged.
Does anyone else think it is funny how the hair from a fan/media member behind Joao Plata lines up perfectly in the picture above and makes him look like he has a Kid N’ Play haircut?
That may be the most relevant aspect of this article!
I lost interest in this. This is not supposed to be based purely on trailing 5-game worth of results. That’s what standings are for (you can view them on cumulative basis or last X number of games). Level of play and opponents has to be taken into account. If someone wants to tell me that in a survey of the other 18 MLS coaches majority of them would rather face Columbus (or Red Bulls) tomorrow as opposed to let’s say Chicago in a 1-game play-off, I would gladly take the other side of that bet.
Uh.. what? There really is no need to comment if you’ve lost interest.
Still early in the season, not much to go on yet. I would absolutely take a game against Colorado instead of Columbus, but let’s face it – the Crew haven’t made it happen yet. Doesn’t help that they’ve only had one home game, but no wins = no power.
Its ok that you don’t understand power rankings. You cant just ignore results, this isnt the college football playoff selection committee. When done right Power rankings are a very delicate balance between how the team has looked and played lately and over the entire season. These Power Rankings make a lot of sense.