Week 3 Power Rankings:
1. Seattle (3-0-0)- The Sounders continue to roll on the road at hostile BMO Field, even without wunderkind Fredy Montero. As Freddie Ljungberg returns to form, this team could get even more dangerous. The only question is whether they have the defensive depth to weather injuries.
2. Chivas USA (3-0-0)- The Goats are somehow managing to win games with an injury list that looks like a starting lineup. They didn’t look overpowering against Columbus, but winning 3 of 3 is impressive for this league. Perhaps most importantly, they managed to score with Kljestan effectively taken out of the game.
3. Chicago (2-0-1)- As usual, the Fire are the early season class of the East. Winning a 10-on-11 contest shows that this team has the resilience that last year’s lacked. There is impressive offensive depth, with Rolfe and Blanco on the bench, but can the defense hold up over the course of the season?
4. New England (2-0-1)- Nipping at the heels of Chicago in the East. Having to come from behind at home to beat Dallas is worrying, but you can’t argue with the results. The next contests (DC and RSL) will be better tests of what this team can do.
5. Colorado (2-1-0)- So they can beat LA and Kansas City. The big test for them will be at Columbus next week. The Crew will be at home and fighting desperately to regain a shred of respect. Colorado’s road win over LA was impressive, but most teams won’t give up the easy goals that the Rapids managed to poach.
6. Real Salt Lake (1-1-0)- Two ends of the spectrum from RSL. Will this be like last season where they dominate at home and flounder on the road? Benefited from some huge errors by Columbus, but still managed to beat the defending champs 4-1 (does that mean anything right now, though?). Can Findley and Movsisyan keep it up?
7. Toronto FC (1-1-1)- Showed some flashes in the windy home loss to Seattle. When will TFC find a consistent goal-scoring threat? If the Reds can’t beat Dallas next week, John Carver will be in hot water up north.
8. DC United (1-0-2)- Less than impressive in a game where they had a man advantage at home against Houston. Couldn’t create very much on offense until the end. Circle the Eagles’ tie with RSL next week as the most potentially enlightening game of the week, as both are in a good position in the standings.
9. Kansas City (1-2-0)- Maybe the Wizards found the right defensive combination against San Jose? 2-0 over the Quakes is impressive, but they’re still one of the worst defensive teams in the East. Can they be the first to keep Seattle out of the W column next week?
10. San Jose (1-2-0)- How can they score so little when they have so many experienced playmakers? The Quakes can redeem an ugly road loss to KC at home against Chicago next week. Paging Bobby Convey.
11. Houston (0-2-1)- The class of the winless ranks of MLS. There’s plenty of fight in this team, they just haven’t been getting the bounces thus far. The Dynamo no longer have a consistent midfield presence with D-Ro gone. Cameron and Mullan are good at times, but neither is much of a revelation.
12. Columbus (0-2-2)- Showed some fight with 10 men against Chivas, but the injuries are mounting and this team doesn’t have the same confidence that it did last year. Could Sigi Schmid have been the difference maker? Even Guillermo Barros Schelotto looks off. A home win against Colorado would be huge next week.
13. Los Angeles (0-1-1)- The talent is there, but it is horribly inconsistent. Omar Gonzalez’s roller coaster performance perfectly exemplify this. Can a 35 year-old 2.Bundesliga defender really improve the backline? Does anyone really miss David Beckham?
14. New York (0-1-2)- The only consolation for The Red Bulls is that they aren’t the worst team in MLS. However, Houston would seem to be ripe for a road upset.
15. FC Dallas (0-0-3)- There is no consolation for Dallas. They let a 1-0 lead slip away at New England and now have to travel to Toronto. Off-season improvements look like a waste at this point.