Noah Davis
Wednesday March 25th, 2009

With the first stage of the MLS season in the books, it's time for our weekly dose of quick takes, plotlines to watch and Power Rankings.

In the season's opening game, the expansion Seattle Sounders blitzed the New York Red Bulls 3-0 on the strength of two tallies and an assist from Colombian Fredy Montero. It was an impressive win for the new team and an early-season reward for the dedicated fan base that transformed Qwest Field into a nightmare for the visiting team. Gotham's finest looked completely off-balance all night, as though they never awoke from the cross-country flight. It won't always be this easy for Sigi Schmid's club (and Juan Carlos Osorio is too good a coach for the Red Bulls to continue to be this bad), but with the eyes of North American soccer on the Northwest, Seattle rose to the occasion.

Of a possible 21 points available during Week 1, home teams managed to win a mere eight, finishing 2-3-2. It could have been worse, as late comebacks by Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy salvaged a win and a tie, respectively. Only Seattle managed to hold serve in any authoritative way, with San Jose, FC Dallas and Kansas City failing in convincing fashion. It's far too early to call this a trend, but it's worth watching as the season progresses.

After receiving a Week 1 bye, Real Salt Lake opens its 2009 campaign in Seattle. In its final exhibition match, Jámison Olave, Yura Movsisyan and Javier Morales tallied as RSL defeated the USL's Austin Aztex 3-1, but the competition will increase immensely when it takes on the young season's darlings. Jason Kreis has instilled a culture of winning at Rio Tinto and the first game will go a long way to demonstrating how far the MLS All-Star Game hosts can go in their '09 season. Elsewhere, Toronto goes to Columbus in the week's marquee matchup.

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