MLS Power Rankings: Dallas looks strong again
MLS Power Rankings: March 27
Maxi Urruti and FC Dallas won the Supporters' Sheild and the U.S. Open Cup last season and are off to a strong start in 2017 as well. See how the rest of Major League Soccer is ranked behind Dallas, as ranked by Dan Santaromita.
1. FC Dallas (2-0-1, 7 points)
Any time you can open a season with a win at the LA Galaxy, things are off to a good start. On top of starting the MLS schedule with three games unbeaten, Dallas won the first leg of its CONCACAF Champions League semifinal against Mexican club Pachuca. Kellyn Acosta (pictured) is turning into one of the league's best two-way midfielders, and he's only 21.
2. Toronto FC (1-0-2, 5 points)
This is a familiar start for Toronto. Three games on the road to start the season and no losses. In MLS, that's an impressive start. After starting last season with eight games on the road while BMO Field was being renovated, Toronto was able to hold its on with a 3-3-2 record. This Friday the team opens its home schedule after a solid season-opening three-game road trip.
3. Portland Timbers (3-1, 9 points)
After winning the first three matches of the season, Portland lost on the road to Columbus this past weekend. The Timbers picked up a road win at LA and have 12 goals in four matches. On the downside, the Timbers have allowed six goals. Portland looks like one of the most fun teams to watch so far.
4. Seattle Sounders (1-1-1, 4 points)
The defending champs failed to pick up a win in two road matches to start (a 2-1 loss at Houston and a 2-2 draw at Montreal), but snapped the New York Red Bulls' 18-match unbeaten streak in regular season matches with a 3-1 win in Seattle's home opener. Two former Fire players, Harry Shipp and Joevin Jones (both pictured), had impressive games.
5. New York Red Bulls (2-1-1, 7 points)
After two solid wins to start the season, a 2-1 win in Atlanta's debut in Georgia and a 1-0 win against Colorado, the Red Bulls have struggled in the last two. The Red Bulls lost 3-1 at Seattle and played to a scoreless draw at home against a struggling Real Salt Lake team. Last season, the Red Bulls started 1-6 and figured things out so this team is ahead of the curve.
6. New York City FC (1-1-1, 4 points)
It's been a mixed start for NYCFC. The season opener was a dominant performance, but ultimately a loss at Orlando. Then a resounding 4-0 win against D.C. in the home opener. The most recent result was a 1-1 home draw against Montreal.
7. Orlando City (2-0, 6 points)
This ranking is a big conservative for a few reasons. The season-opening win against New York City FC, a 1-0 score, came with the Lions scoring on their only shot on goal and enduring 14 shots, seven on target, and a more than two-to-one possession advantage for the visitors. Orlando looks better, but let's see them do this for longer, especially with Kaka hurt, before thinking they are one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
8. Atlanta United (2-1, 6 points)
The expansion team has lived up to the hype so far. Josef Martinez looks like an MVP candidate and Miguel Almiron looks like one of the better playmakers in the league. The only negative is that the two wins weren't against impressive teams. Minnesota, which Atlanta beat 5-2 on the road, has looked overmatched so far. The other win was against the Fire and was boosted by an early red card to Fire defender Johan Kappelhof.
9. Sporting Kansas City (1-0-2, 5 points)
There were no goals in Sporting's first two matches, but the goal drought ended in a 2-1 win against San Jose. It's a solid start, result wise, for KC. Graham Zusi's (pictured) move to right back is going to be something to watch this season, for both club and country.
10. LA Galaxy (1-2, 3 points)
The Galaxy got off to a poor start with two home losses. At least the losses were to two of the best teams in the league in Dallas and Portland. LA, which has a largely retooled team this season, bounced back with a 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake.
11. Houston Dynamo (2-1, 6 points)
Houston appears to be high on the fun to watch rankings so far. The Honduran pair of Alberth Elis (1 goal, 1 assist, pictured) and Romell Quioto (3 goals) appear to be very good additions and have helped Cubo Torres (3 goals) refind his scoring form. Defense may be another story, but this team appears to be much improved from a year ago.
12. San Jose Earthquakes (2-1, 6 points)
The Quakes picked up a pair of home wins before losing 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City. The second goal, which made it 2-0 KC in the 89th minute, is something to behold. A shot which was going wide managed to squeeze through David Bingham's (pictured) legs and roll into the goal. Yikes.
13. Columbus Crew (2-1-1, 7 points)
Since a lackluster home draw against the Fire and a loss at Houston, the Crew have rattled off back-to-back wins, including a back-and-forth 3-2 win against Portland. Ola Kamara already has three goals and is continuing his strong play from 2016.
14. Montreal Impact (0-1-2, 2 points)
Montreal doesn't have a win yet, but has had a difficult opening schedule with two road games and the only home match coming against defending champ Seattle. The Impact may not be as strong as last season, but this team still should be in the playoff mix.
15. Colorado Rapids (1-1-1, 4 points)
The Rapids are getting docked for being the only team not to hammer Minnesota so far. Minnesota, which has given up at least five goals in each of its three other matches, was able to leave Dick's Sporting Goods Park with a 2-2 draw. Not a good result for the Rapids.
16. Chicago Fire (1-1-1, 4 points)
The Fire's 4-0 loss in Atlanta is a bit of a red flag, but Johan Kappelhof's 11th minute red card certainly played a part in the final score. Now it's time to see how Bastian Schweinsteiger can help the team improve.
17. Philadelphia Union (0-1-2, 2 points)
The Union may take a step back this season. The best result so far is a scoreless draw at Vancouver, which lost its two other matches. Philadelphia is among a group of several teams that appears destined to battle for the last spot or two in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
18. New England Revolution (1-2, 3 points)
The Revolution bounced back from a pair of one-goal losses to Colorado and Dallas by pounding Minnesota 5-2 on Saturday. It would be more impressive to score five goals if that wasn't the third time in four games Minnesota had given up that many.
19. Real Salt Lake (0-2-2, 2 points)
After getting just one point in the first three matches, RSL fired coach Jeff Cassar. It was the first coaching change of the season and signals a shift within the club. Cassar was an assistant under Jason Kreis from 2007-2013 during the team's strong run that included an MLS Cup title.
20. Vancouver Whitecaps (0-2-1, 1 point)
The Whitecaps had a solid start to 2017 by getting past the New York Red Bulls in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, but the start to MLS play hasn't been as positive. Vancouver has failed to score in two home matches.
21. D.C. United (0-2-1, 1 point)
D.C. is goalless in three matches so they find themselves towards the bottom of the league. Potentially as concerning is the fact that United has allowed six goals in the past two matches. This was a team that looked solid and balanced on paper, but early results haven't shown much.
22. Minnesota United (0-3-1, 1 point)
Minnesota's start has been nothing short of a disaster. At least they have a point after playing to a 2-2 draw at Colorado, but the defense could be historically bad. The Loons have given up 18 goals in four matches. No other team has given up more than six so far. Ouch.