Well week 3 saw most of the matches end in draws, but some teams stood out in earning a draw, while others just looked to be counting their blessings. The only winners this weekend were Colorado 4-1 over D.C. United, the LA Galaxy 1-0 over the Philadelphia Union, and the Columbus Crew with their 2-0 win over FC Dallas. So how did this weekends action impact my Power Rankings?
18. Portland Timbers - even
Now I know getting a draw on the road should impress me, but the reality is that in a weekend full of draws the Timbers were the least impressive team doing so. They stay at the bottom of the rankings will be extended to next week as they won't see action again until April 14th when they have their home opener against Chicago, perhaps they will find home a better place than the road, it has worked for their expansion brothers Vancouver.
17. Chivas USA - even
Like Portland they got a road draw, more impressive was doing so at BMO field where Toronto is usually a very tough team to get a result against. However the departure of Dwayne De Rosario from Toronto leaves them much less of a threat even at home. Chivas will host the Columbus Crew next Saturday, and they will need to do something big to impress me enough to move them up the rankings.
more after the jump:
16. Toronto FC - down 1
Getting a draw at home isn't enough to move this team up, but without De Ro or Barrett, I see them struggling everywhere for a while so they move down. It may have been a needed move to dump the attitude but getting two decent player for one of the best in the league is a long term move, and next up is a long road trip to San Jose for a match on Saturday.
15. D.C. United - down 4
Moving them down this much might seem a bit harsh, but reality is they looked this bad against Colorado on Saturday and after everyone jumped on their bandwagon with Charlie Davies I kept thinking there are still some issues with this team. Now I know they were missing bodies on Sunday, but without enough depth to even put up a real fight for more than 45 minutes, they will be struggling all season long. I think they are still in rebuilding mode but much further along in that process than some, they could be a good side by the All Star break. They will need some help when they host LA on Saturday.
14. FC Dallas - down 5
I am sorry but losing, Dax, Atibia, Jeff, and Heath has cost this team a lot more than many expected. Yes, they have some great young talent, but so far nobody has stepped up as the goal scorer and without those experienced players on the pitch this team looks very unorganized. I have to believe that Daniel Hernandez and David Ferreria will need to really step up to take charge of both the midfield and team before they get much better. They will have a really rough weekend if they don't perform well on Friday night at home in their MLS Cup rematch against Colorado.
13. Columbus Crew - plus 3
Their win of FC Dallas on Friday night wasn't impressive to me, they should have scored more goals, as they missed several great chances. A win however is a win, and when you are in rebuild mode like the Crew are there will be good nights and bad nights. Good nights are easier when the opposition makes mistakes and ends up down a man, now they will have to hope that rebuilding side Chivas makes mistakes this weekend at the Home Depot Center if they want another good result.
12. Houston Dynamo - plus 2
Well I am going to be honest, Houston got lucky at New York to get a draw against a very talented group of players. Lucky they have Talley Hall, that kid is the real deal in goal and will help Houston survive some tough matches. I am also going to say that Houston knows how to play as a team, and were better at that aspect of the game than were New York. I also will say that Cam Weaver is going to get some real chances this year, and I think he will make the best of them, as Brian Ching is looking very desperate to find a way to score. He is a legend in MLS but he doesn't look very dangerous so far this year. Next up is a Sunday match at home against Vancouver, should be an interesting match up.
11. Vancouver Whitecaps - plus 1
Even without their DP Eric Haslli, they found a way to score goals, granted they waited until very late (2 stoppage time goals) to get the 3-3 draw with Sporting KC, but it was fairly impressive. This is a team that clearly feeds off their home crowd, something you expect from an expansion side, and they have some interesting players on offense but they will need to find a way to play better defense and control possession or it could be a long season when they are on the road. This week they get a bit of both, Wednesday they will host New England, and then on Sunday they will be in Houston to face the Dynamo, we will know a lot more about the Whitecaps by next week.
10. Chicago Fire - even
If you don't play and the number of teams above you and below you stays the same, well it keeps you in the same spot. I think the Fire will benefit from the early weekend off, they have a lot of new faces and this should give them plenty of time to prepare for their trip on Saturday to Seattle to face the Sounders.
9. Seattle Sounders - plus 4
I think I may have moved the Sounders too much too quick but they did look good against San Jose on Saturday night, I thought they were the better team in the match but they are lucky to have gotten the draw. Some horrible missed calls on both sides of the ball, kept this match a draw. I did think they looked much more creative on the offensive side than they had previously, but I thought their midfield would control larger portions of the match. Still a draw on the road against a quality side is a great result. Now they get to face the Fire, which is kinda like getting a grab bag at the fair, you never know what you will get. Should be a fun match to watch early on Saturday.
8. Sporting Kansas City - even
Scoring 3 goals on the road should move a team up in the rankings, but giving back 3 goals, including two in stoppage time should move a team down. In the end you get the 3-3 draw but when you start with 10 on the road and you can't keep a 3-0 lead you are going to have some real issues. No team has scored more goals than SKC's 8, and no team has given up more than their 8. Seven more road matches in front of them, they need to learn how to play defense and close out matches. Perhaps no team needed a weekend off more than KC, they will head to Columbus on the 16th until then, I expect some tough practice sessions.
7. New England Revolution - down 1
Well there are still more question marks than answers for me when it comes to New England, they earned a 1-1 draw against Portland so they still haven't lost yet this season but they were the first team to give a point to the expansion Timbers. Next up is a very busy week as they will head all the way to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps on Wednesday, and then head all the way back home to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday, oh we will know a lot more about the Rev's by Sunday.
6. San Jose Earthquakes - down 1
It was nice to see someone other than Wondolowski score goals for the Quakes, and I have a feeling one might have to include Simon Dawkins in any talk about newcomer of the year if he can stay healthy and continues to play like he has the last couple weeks. I thought they played a solid match against Seattle, and while getting 3 points at home are vital to success in MLS, they did come from behind twice to get the draw. Next up will be Toronto FC on Saturday in a match they should be able to the full 3 points.
5. Philadelphia Union - down 1
Going into the Home Depot Center and leaving with a 1-0 loss to the Galaxy is nothing to hang your head about if you are a second year team. That being said I expected a bit more from the Union on offense and I think that they will need get back to utilizing Sebastien Le Toux in a more meaningful way in order to get their offense going. Next up is a huge test as they will play host to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night on ESPN2.
4. Los Angeles Galaxy - up 3
A win is a win and enough to move up the Galaxy up back into the top 4, doing so on grit and determination while not looking like what people expect from the Galaxy. It was a goal from Leonardo who had the easy part of finishing the great delivery by David Beckham, and that was the only goal of their 1-0 win over Philly. I still think there are some issues getting adjusted to Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Barrett and whoever up top, but once they do it will likely lead to a team that is really good. Next up a trip to RFK to face DC United.
3. New York Red Bulls - even
One has to wonder if a good team got even better when they signed Dwayne De Rosario, sure he made what looked like a great pass within two minutes of coming on the pitch, sure it lead to Dane Richards getting a goal (one has to credit horrible defense from Houston on the play, cause Dane is fast but he was 5 yards behind their defense). I think they are by far the class of the Eastern Conference, and perhaps the team to beat in all of MLS, but with another guy who wants the ball at this feet all the time it will be interesting to see who the leadership on the pitch will be. I do wonder who will be doing the defensive work in the midfield, cause most of the guys they are going to lineup in the midfield are very offensive minded. A trip to Philly on Saturday is next up.
2. Colorado Rapids - even
A decisive 4-1 win over DC United in a very impressive match, they really stepped up in the second half and showed that they were no fluke in winning MLS Cup last year. Now conditions were far from perfect as it was cold and windy, in fact so bad that Omar Cummings had to break out his 2010 MLS Cup mittens. The truth of how good Colorado is will be told in the next 10 days, as they head to Dallas for a MLS Cup rematch on Friday night and then next Wednesday they will head to Rio Tinto Stadium for a face off against Real Salt Lake, oh my.
1. Real Salt Lake - even
It was hard given the Rapids 4-1 thrashing of DC United to not move them up, but the reality of beating LA 4-1 or beating DC 4-1 is enough to keep the idle Real Salt Lake at the top of my power rankings. RSL was wise enough in requesting this weekend off in anticipation of advancing in Champions League and the extra time allowed them to get in practice for what may be the 2nd biggest match in the team's history (behind the 2009 MLS Cup). Now no matter the result in Costa Rica on Tuesday, RSL will be back in MLS action as they head to New England for a Saturday night match. I have to believe that you will see a number of RSL's normal starters getting some rest in that New England match, but man the RSL bench is mighty deep.
OK, there you go. My version of the MLS Power Rankings after week 3 of the season, we still have most teams playing less than 10% of their total matches so there are a lot of things that could change in quick order in the weeks to come.
OFF MY SOAPBOX