MLS Power Rankings: Week 2
None of the top five teams from last week's Major League Soccer Power Rankings won in Week 2. Four of them came painfully close but had to settle for ties, while one lost a close game.
Salt Lake, Kansas City and New York lost leads in the dying minutes of their games to draw. Portland was inches away from winning but also tied. Seattle ran into an energized Toronto team and fell short in its comeback attempt.
Meanwhile, Houston, Philadelphia and Dallas have quietly had positive starts. Chivas has also begun well, defeating Chicago the first week and holding on to tie Vancouver on Sunday despite going down a man in the opening quarter of an hour.
Here's a look at the MLS Power Rankings after two weeks of play:
MLS Power Rankings — Week 2
1. Houston Dynamo (2-0-0)
Last week: 6
Will Bruin's deflected shot was a lucky way to beat the lowly Montreal Impact at home. Dominic Kinnear's team usually seems to get the bounces it needs, especially at home. Through a pair of games, Houston has outscored 2013 playoff teams New England and Montreal 5-0.
2. Philadelphia Union (1-0-1)
Last week: 8
After a good opening draw in Portland, Philadelphia took three points against a talented (but struggling) Revolution. Fans might have a case for being cautiously optimistic after those two results.
3. Real Salt Lake (1-0-1)
Last week: 1
The team should be disappointed with losing a two-goal halftime lead and having to settle for a draw, but four road points out of the first two games is a good start. Nick Rimando again came up big, but RSL fell victim to San Jose's stoppage-time heroics.
4. Sporting Kansas City (0-1-1)
Last week: 2
Even with the Champions League coming up, Peter Vermes selected a strong lineup to face FC Dallas. It wasn't enough, but it probably should have been, to get a win at home after a dominant performance.
5. Portland Timbers (0-0-2)
Last week: 3
Chance after chance narrowly missed the Chicago Fire's goal, and even a furious assault in the last five minutes against 10 men wasn't enough to win. Two draws at home -- thanks to two Gata Fernandez equalizers -- should frustrate the Timbers, but they have been very close to winning twice.
6. New York Red Bulls (0-1-1)
Last week: 5
Jámison Olave once again fell victim to his own size when referee Alan Kelly blew his whistle and awarded Colorado a questionable penalty to tie the game on Saturday. Before that, the Red Bulls had trouble breaking down the Rapids but seemed to be on their way to victory after a nice finish from DP-turned-cameraman Thierry Henry.
7. Seattle Sounders (1-1-0)
Last week: 4
The Sounders played better soccer in their second game than their first (which they won), but they should still be able to get more out of the talent on that squad. Clint Dempsey had an interesting game, scoring a goal but also getting involved in a couple altercations away from the ball.
8. L.A. Galaxy (0-1-0)
Last week: 7
The Galaxy took the weekend off after a tough first leg against Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League. Next week will be tough, with the return leg in Mexico on Tuesday and a game in Salt Lake on Saturday.
9. FC Dallas (1-0-1)
Last week: 10
Dallas has two good results to kick off the season, taking a point off the defending champion after winning at home the first week. Kansas City had an eye on the Champions League, but it still put out a strong lineup and had more chances to score.
10. Colorado Rapids (0-0-1)
Last week: 11
Pablo Mastroeni will be one of the most closely watched coaches this season after a strange offseason in that department for Colorado. The Rapids showed well in their first game under him, and he has clearly embraced the team's youth by starting 19-year-old Dillon Serna in New York.
11. Toronto FC (1-0-0)
Last week: 15
Things are looking up for Toronto FC, which was expected after the money it spent in the offseason. Jermain Defoe scored two good goals, and Michael Bradley's partnership with Jonathan Osorio was admirable against a numbers-up Sounders midfield.
12. Chivas USA (1-0-1)
Last week: 16
Chivas showed shades of 2013 with Agustín Pelletieri's 13th-minute red card against Vancouver, but the Goats proved their determination to put those days behind them. Erick Torres put them up 1-0 after Pelletieri was sent off, and Mauro Rosales played well for a second straight week for his new team in a draw.
13. Columbus Crew (1-0-0)
Last week: 13
Next week, Columbus opens its home schedule against the Philadelphia Union. The Crew had a full week to prepare for the matchup with the week off, so it will be interesting to see how Gregg Berhalter's preparation pays off against a strong (so far) Union team.
14. Vancouver Whitecaps (1-0-1)
Last week: 12
After such a positive start in the first week against the Red Bulls, Vancouver needed to follow it up with a strong performance away to Chivas. Instead, it took nearly an hour before the Whitecaps threatened 10-man Chivas, clawing back a point through Kekuta Manneh after going down 1-0 despite their numerical superiority.
15. New England Revolution (0-2-0)
Last week: 9
The youthful Revolution roster is having a tough time to begin the 2014 season. Without Kelyn Rowe, New England struggled to get anything going in the attacking third against Philadelphia except a close-range effort from Diego Fagundez that was well saved.
16. San Jose Earthquakes (0-0-1)
Last week: 14
It's late fortune has to run out eventually, but the Earthquakes found more stoppage-time magic against RSL on Saturday through Victor Bernardez. However, that shouldn't mask the fact that the away side dominated and led 3-1 at halftime.
17. Chicago Fire (0-1-1)
Last week: 17
The Fire were not the best team in Portland, but a point in that environment is always welcome, regardless of the circumstances. The most vital moment was Quincy Amarikwa drawing a penalty by outsmarting veteran defender Norberto Paparatto.
18. Montreal Impact (0-2-0)
Last week: 18
Another close game went the opponent's way, and the Impact missed Marco di Vaio's presence in attack. They did get Patrice Bernier back, though, and if they can get a full-strength lineup on the field soon, results could change course quickly.
19. D.C. United (0-1-0)
Last week: 19
After a heavy loss in the first week, the last thing D.C. probably wanted was a week to itself. Two bottom teams from last year face off next week, as United travels to Toronto to play a revamped team in its home opener.