Houston Dynamo, Atlanta United the biggest movers — Goal’s Week 1 MLS Power Rankings

Mar 8, 2017 03:50:36

FC Dallas remains in first place, with Houston and Atlanta the biggest movers ahead of Week 2 in MLS.

Week 1 of the 2017 MLS season is in the books, and while it's still very early in the competition, we can start to see flashes of what each team will offer for the rest of the campaign.

Opening week is usually disjointed and sloppy as players shake off the rust, and there was certainly an abundance of that on display. But there were also some good performances, some bad performances, and a record number of games as the 22-team circuit kicked off.

(Our preseason MLS power rankings were voted on by Goal's editors and writers. Comments written by Rudi Schuller.)

1. FC DALLAS

Max Urruti Cristian Colman FC Dallas

LAST WEEK: 1
CHANGE: —

Dallas remains on top after a convincing 2-1 victory in LA. If Kellyn Acosta has added goals to his considerable bag of tricks, then this team just got a whole lot scarier.

2. TORONTO FC

Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC vs. Real Salt Lake

LAST WEEK: 3
CHANGE: +1

TFC showed some rust in Week 1, but looked the better side and grabbed a point in a place (Rio Tinto Stadium) that had previously been a house of horrors for the Reds.

3. NEW YORK RED BULLS

Bradley Wright-Phillips Jesse Marsch New York Red Bulls

LAST WEEK: 5
CHANGE: +2

New York allowed the new kids from Atlanta a moment to shine before calmly and professionally securing all three points. A great bounce-back from the disappointment of the CONCACAF Champions League earlier in the week.

4. SEATTLE SOUNDERS

Clint Dempsey Osvaldo Alonso Seattle Sounders

LAST WEEK: 2
CHANGE: -2

MLS Cup hangover? Probably not, but a shock defeat in Houston is not the way the Sounders wanted to kick things off after the magical ending to 2016.

5. COLORADO RAPIDS

Eric Miller Zac MacMath Colorado Rapids

LAST WEEK: 6
CHANGE: +2

The Rapids are who we thought they were — a team that's going to be tough to break down. There's nothing spectacular about this Colorado side, but that's just fine with them.

6. NEW YORK CITY FC

David Villa New York City FC

LAST WEEK: 4
CHANGE: -2

Patrick Vieira's side still struggles at the back, and when the attack fails all it takes is one moment to drop all three points. That moment this week was when Orlando City's Cyle Larin was allowed to freely attack the back post on a routine cross, giving his side a 1-0 win.

7. PORTLAND TIMBERS

Diego Valeri Sebastian Blanco Portland Timbers

LAST WEEK: 11
CHANGE: +4

The Timbers were probably made to look better than they are in their blowout win over the expansion Loons, but there's no denying what a good opening-day thrashing can do for a team's psyche.

8. D.C. UNITED

Julian Buscher D.C. United

LAST WEEK: 10
CHANGE: +2

Ben Olsen's side didn't really show much in a scoreless draw with Sporting KC, but the team benefits from other teams around it dropping down the power rankings table.

9. SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Graham Zusi Nick DeLeon Sporting Kansas City DC United

LAST WEEK: 9
CHANGE: —

When you open the season with a draw on the road, you take the point and move on.

10. LA GALAXY

Jelle Van Damme LA Galaxy

LAST WEEK: 7
CHANGE: -3

The reshaped Galaxy were second-best all over the field against Dallas, and Curt Onalfo has a challenge on his hands to get this new-look side firing on all cylinders.

11. MONTREAL IMPACT

Hernan Bernardello Laurent Ciman Montreal Impact

LAST WEEK: 8
CHANGE: -3

There's something about Avaya Stadium that makes Canadian-based Eastern Conference teams lay an egg there. The Impact will hope that their flat, lifeless performance in San Jose was just a blip.

12. PHILADELPHIA UNION

Andrew Jacobson Chris Pontius Vancouver Whitecaps Philadelphia Union

LAST WEEK: 12
CHANGE: —

While spectators were probably bored to tears, Jim Curtin and Co. seemed content to claim a point at BC Place in Sunday's dull 0-0 draw with the Whitecaps.

13. HOUSTON DYNAMO

Erick Torres Houston Dynamo MLS 030417

LAST WEEK: 20
CHANGE: +7

Many expected Houston to be improved after last year's debacle of a campaign, but if you predicted that the Dynamo would take out the defending champs to start the season — thanks in part to a Cubo Torres goal — you should probably buy a lottery ticket right away.

14. REAL SALT LAKE

Nick Rimando Real Salt Lake

LAST WEEK: 14
CHANGE: —

RSL played a much more conservative game at home against TFC than would be expected in previous years, but managed to keep both Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore off the scoresheet. Nick Rimando was the hero yet again, but how long can he be expected to keep it up?

15. ORLANDO CITY

Cyle Larin Orlando City

LAST WEEK: 17
CHANGE: +2

The 1-0 victory to open Orlando City Stadium was bittersweet given the news that Kaka will be missing several weeks due to injury. The Lions won on the day, but can they cope without their talisman during the upcoming stretch?

16. COLUMBUS CREW

Nemanja Nikolic Jonathan Mensah Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire

LAST WEEK: 15
CHANGE: -1

The Crew let their lead slip by allowing a pretty preventable David Accam goal, and in the process dropped two points on home soil to a beatable team. Are the ghosts of 2016 sticking around?

17. ATLANTA UNITED

Yamil Asad Atlanta United

LAST WEEK: 13
CHANGE: -4

A thrilling attack was let down by an expansion team-level defense against the Red Bulls. Tata Martino has put together an exciting squad that will take part in more high-scoring games than it will likely desire.

18. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Anibal Godoy San Jose Earthquakes

LAST WEEK: 21
CHANGE: +3

Thoroughly dominated a vaunted Montreal side to grab an unexpected victory, but we need to see more before we place this team any higher.

19. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Kei Kamara New England Revolution

LAST WEEK: 16
CHANGE: -3

The Revs couldn't crack a stingy Rapids defense, but not many teams in MLS can. Still, this club needs to do something to convince us that it's on a better track than last year's derailed season.

20. CHICAGO FIRE

David Accam Nemanja Nikolic Chicago Fire

LAST WEEK: 19
CHANGE: -1

A draw that was pretty much gifted to them wasn't enough to keep the Fire from a slight drop in this week's rankings. It was a nice finish by Accam, though.

21. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

Alphonso Davies Keegan Rosenberry Vancouver Whitecaps Philadelphia Union

LAST WEEK: 18
CHANGE: -3

The Whitecaps looked listless in their sleep-inducing 0-0 opening-weekend draw with Philadelphia, with the only reason for fans to cheer coming in the form of teenage winger Alphonso Davies.

22. MINNESOTA UNITED

John Alvbage Fanendo Adi Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United

LAST WEEK: 22
CHANGE: —

The 5-1 final score at Portland was perhaps harsh on the Loons, but no team that drops its first-ever game by four goals is going to be higher than last place on any sane rankings chart.

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