MLS Power Rankings: Showtime in LA
MLS Power Rankings: April 26
The Los Angeles Galaxy have been one of the most talented teams in Major League Soccer for several years and the 2016 version seems to be putting it all together. A pair of dominating performances has vaulted the Galaxy to the top of CSN Chicago's MLS Power Rankings, as ranked by Dan Santaromita.
1. Los Angeles Galaxy (4-1-2, 14 points)
The Galaxy put on a show at home on Saturday in a 5-2 win, which is nothing new. However, doing it against the last unbeaten team in the league, Real Salt Lake, and without Robbie Keane was a statement. The Galaxy have scored nine goals in the past two matches when adding in the 4-1 win at Houston last week, which is more than six MLS teams have all season.
2. Real Salt Lake (4-1-2, 14 points)
Losing on the road to the Galaxy is no shame and RSL accomplished too much through its first six games to drop too far in the rankings. Joao Plata, the team's leading scorer, missed the game in LA, but isn't expected to be out long. A healthy RSL is one of the best teams in the league.
3. Toronto FC (3-2-2, 11 points)
Toronto picked up an impressive 2-0 win at Montreal on Saturday. TFC is now 3-2-2 without playing a home game. Montreal has the best record in the Eastern Conference, but Toronto still has the most talent and a whole bunch of home games coming. The revamped defense is the real deal, too. Toronto has allowed the fewest goals in the league (5).
4. FC Dallas (5-2-2, 17 points)
When FC Dallas loses, it’s been ugly. Dallas has only two losses this season, but the score in those two games was a combined 8-0. Saturday's 3-0 loss at Vancouver snapped a six-game unbeaten run for FCD. Still, that's probably more a sign of how much parity is in MLS than a reason for concern going forward.
5. Colorado Rapids (5-2-1, 16 points)
The Rapids are one of the most improved teams so far this season, but maybe that shouldn't be surprising. Jermaine Jones, who already has two goals and an assist in two matches, is a difference maker in MLS and Designated Player Shkelzen Gashi has proven to be a solid addition. Plus, Tim Howard is joining in the summer.
6. San Jose Earthquakes (4-2-2, 14 points)
Chris Wondolowski leads the league in goals (7) and his penalty kick on Sunday gave the 'Quakes a 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City. San Jose has played five matches at home so far and taken advantage with a 4-0-1 mark at second-year home Avaya Stadium.
7. Sporting Kansas City (4-4, 12 points)
Three losses in a row have been a sharp drop for a team that looked so strong to start the season. The streak could get worse, too, with a tough game at Vancouver on Wednesday coming with just two off days after the 1-0 loss in San Jose on Sunday.
8. Montreal Impact (4-3, 12 points)
Drogba's back. After Didier sparked the Impact's turnaround victory in Toyota Park just over a week ago, he started his first match of 2016 against Toronto on Saturday. He played all 90 minutes and tallied six shots, but the Impact lost 2-0 at home to Canadian rival Toronto FC. It looks like those two teams will be vying for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
9. Portland Timbers (2-3-2, 8 points)
It has been a rocky start for the defending champs, but the 3-1 win against San Jose at Providence Park ended a five-match winless streak. On the downside, Portland does not yet have a shutout and is tied for second most goals conceded in the league with 14.
10. Seattle Sounders (2-4-1, 7 points)
Four losses in seven matches is a surprisingly poor start to the season for the Sounders, but at least Jordan Morris is scoring goals now. The rookie had the only Seattle goal in the 3-1 loss at Colorado on Saturday and has scored in two straight matches.
11. Philadelphia Union (4-3, 12 points)
The Union are 3-0 at home and 4-1 against the Eastern Conference this season. Considering how low the preseason expectations were for this team, they will have to prove they can sustain this level of play throughout the year, but look around the rest of the conference and Philly certainly looks like a playoff team.
12. Columbus Crew (2-3-2, 8 points)
The Crew finally woke up with back-to-back wins after going winless through the first five matches of the season. The crazy part is those two wins were all it took to take Columbus from last place in the league to above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference.
13. Vancouver Whitecaps (3-4-1, 10 points)
After going scoreless for three straight matches, the Whitecaps broke out with a 3-0 win against league-leading FC Dallas on Saturday. Vancouver faces slumping Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday at BC Place, which could be a big result for the Canadian team.
14. Orlando City (2-2-3, 9 points)
No matter how good Cyle Larin has been (four goals and an assist in six games), Orlando's season will probably be determined by how much Kaka can play. The Brazilian star dominated his season debut a few weeks ago, but the Lions lost at a struggling New York Red Bulls on Sunday without him.
16. Chicago Fire (1-2-3, 6 points)
The Fire have played the fewest matches in Major League Soccer and have scored the fewest number of goals (6). The defense appears to be notably better than last year, but the loss to Montreal showed the difference between top teams in MLS and where the Fire currently sit. This team needs difference makers on offense, but a playoff spot is within reach in the Eastern Conference.
17. New York City FC (1-3-3, 6 points)
Things aren't pretty for the blue team in New York right now. Coach Patrick Vieira seemed to have the team moving in a positive direction after the first few games, but since beating the Fire in the first game of the season, NYCFC is winless in six matches.
18. New England Revolution (1-2-5, 8 points)
The Revs' only win this season is against the New York Red Bulls, which have six losses already. There is offensive firepower on this team, but for whatever reason it hasn't fully clicked early in 2016.
19. New York Red Bulls (2-6, 6 points)
Watching the Red Bulls try to score against Orlando for the first hour of that match on Sunday was almost comical. Whatever they tried, the ball just wouldn't go in. Then the dam broke and New York scored three goals in 11 minutes for the 3-2 win. Was that the breakthrough?
20. Houston Dynamo (1-4-2, 5 points)
Owen Coyle's tenure leading the Dynamo could be in trouble after a poor start to 2016. The Dynamo lost at home to the LA Galaxy, a team not known for road dominance, 4-1 on April 15 and then dropped a 1-0 game at Columbus after an early red card to goalkeeper Tyler Deric.