There’s lots of movement in the Power Rankings this week.
Admittedly, these wild fluctuations in the standings are to be expected as the Preseason rankings were a bit of an educated guess. As you can see from some of the numbers, I got it wrong with some teams. As the season goes on, we’ll see how wrong I was!
28 (↓ 1) – FC Cincinnati – Two weeks in and Cincinnati looks to be a contender for a 4th consecutive Wooden Spoon.
27 (↓ 12) – Vancouver Whitecaps – After a 4-0 drubbing, the Caps had a respectable showing at home against NYCFC with a 0-0 draw. Goal production seems to be an issue – Cavallini doesn’t seem to be the answer.
26 (↑ 2) – Charlotte FC – the team certainly has impressive support with almost 75k at their inaugural home match. The first-year side has a lot of work to do to.
Also, here’s a pretty cool story from the Galaxy’s Sasha Kljestan:
My wife and I visited this young man back in 2010 at Children’s Hospital LA. Today I ran into his parents in our hotel lobby in Charlotte. His name is Chris Hegardt and he’s a rookie midfielder for @CharlotteFC. I gave him a jersey once, hopefully he will give me his tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/NhXiVIAGzp— Sacha Kljestan (@SachaKljestan) March 4, 2022
25 (↓ 12) – CF Montreal – Perhaps a CONCACAF Championship League hangover is to blame for a slow start for le Club de Foot. It’s early days, but CFM’s play in MLS looks a bit “comme ci comme ca”.
24 (↓ 3) – Inter Miami – This team has not looked great so far this season. Giving up 5 goals on 6 shots, to Austin FC, is a huge problem. Phil Neville needs some defensive reinforcements.
23 (↓ 5) – Toronto FC – Lewis Morgan hat-trick in half an hour? Almost 3 goals against Dallas, if not for VAR? TFC’s defensive woes are going to continue with the converted full backs learning on the fly. Let’s preach patience and maintain a positive attitude, or it might get pretty ugly.
22 (- ) – Houston Dynamo – This team is currently “Meh”. The Héctor Herrera signing will make a difference, but the team will drift towards the bottom of the table until the summer.
21 (↑ 4) – FC Dallas – Another underwhelming team from Texas. Arriola and Martinez have made a bit of a splash, but Dallas needs to start scoring more goals to be successful.
20 (↑ 2) – San Jose – After losing to the Red Bulls, the Quakes showed some impressive resilience by scoring two goals with 10 men in the last 10 minutes of the game to earn a draw against Columbus at home. There are some intriguing things happening in Northern California.
It was a crazy game to watch. Here are the highlights:
19 (↓ 11) – Sporting KC – SKC is underachieving right now – I thought they would have been 2-0 by now. They lost to a middling Atlanta team, and beat and average Houston team. The good thing for Kansas City is that the season is 34 games long.
18 (↑ 1) – Atlanta United – Of course Dom Dywer scored – why not?. However, the problem seems to be with Josef Martinez. He’s not moving well off of the ball and is struggling to be relevant. Martinez’s heath will be important to this team’s fortunes for the rest of the season.
17 (↓ 15) – Seattle Sounders – Let me reiterate my “Sine Wave” theory. The Sounders will rebound at some point. However, I find it funny that Seattle has all these goal-scoring threats and zero goals so far.
16 (↓ 2) - Real Salt Lake – RSL beat Seattle 1-0 in Albert Rusnak’s “triumphant” return. They drew against Houston It’s hard to decide what this team will be like this year, as Damir Kreilach will have to carry the goal scoring load for this team.
15 (↑ 1) - Austin FC – All aboard the ATX hype train! Why are they not at the top of the Power Rankings? They played Cincinnati and Miami, that’s why. While a +9 goal differential is impressive, Austin is playing Portland and Seattle in the next two weeks. They’re just “Alright, Alright, Alright” for now.
14 (↑ 9) – Chicago Fire – Is this the untimely end of the Chicago Tire Fire moniker? 2 Draws and zero goals may indicate Przybylko and Shaqiri need to make a difference soon, or the Fire will plummet back down the rankings.
13 (↑ 4) – DC United – Well then – DC is 2-0. However, it was against Charlotte and Cincinnati. DCU is playing Chicago and Toronto in the next two weeks, so they may be 4-0 by the next edition of the Power Rankings.
12 (↓ 2) – NYCFC – Despite doing well in the CONCACAF Champions League, NYCFC has yet to score a goal in MLS. Taty needs to score some goals to change the team’s fortunes.
11(↓ 9) – Portland Timbers – Two draws against two teams in the top 10, so it’s hard to rank them any higher. Also, Yimmi Chara has TWO bicycle kick goals already this season? (Yes, it counts as a bicycle – you try and do it!)
Here’s his first one, as it’s more impressive:
10 (↑ 1) – Minnesota United – Having two draws against good teams like Philadelphia and Nashville makes a slow start seem a bit more bearable. Their match against Nashville this past weekend was delayed by lightning and finished in a downpour. The pitch was almost as bad as BMO field.
9 (↓ 8) – Philadelphia Union – Philly looked good against Minnesota and Montreal. However, they need to score more goals to win games and get results. The question is if Michael Uhre will make a difference.
8 (↓ 2) – Colorado Rapids – The Rapids have too good of a starting 11 to have only one win. They fell victim to the Vela hat-trick in week 1 and didn’t recover. With a favourable schedule coming up in the next few weeks, Colorado will accumulate wins. Also, how do you lose to Communicaciones in a snowstorm? Ugh.
7 (↑ 3) – LA Galaxy – The Galaxy played party poopers in Charlotte by winning 1-0. Did we really expect La Galaxia to lose? With two wins to start the season, including one against defending MLS Cup Champions NYCFC, the Galaxy look like a strong team. We’ll see how things go as they play Seattle, Orlando, Portland and LAFC in the coming weeks.
6 (↓ 2) – New England – One win (albeit not too convincing one) against FC Dallas, and one draw against Portland, moves the Revs slightly down the Power Rankings table. However, they play in the East and get to play Inter Miami and Charlotte twice in the next few weeks.
5 (↑ 7) – Columbus Crew – The Crew looked great against Vancouver, and were excellent against San Jose for 85 minutes. I keep forgetting to put Lucas Zelarayán on my fantasy team. I would recommend doing that, as he’s off to a great start this season.
4 (↑ 7) – Orlando City – Orlando has not conceded a goal yet, and has gotten a result away from home. This team has some young, talented players. Don’t be surprised if they are around the top of the table at the end of the season. Their biggest test of the season so far will be against the Galaxy on March 19th.
3(↑ 13) - New York Red Bulls – Lots of goals and 2 wins mean the Red Bulls move up in the Power Rankings. With such a small sample size, this team could go either way. However, with the addition of Lewis Morgan and the anticipated debut of Ashley Fletcher, the Red Bulls just might hang around longer that anyone thought.
2 (↑ 18) – LAFC – Whoops – I underestimated how good LAFC could be. A healthy Carlos Vela in a contract year is deadly. It seems this team’s fortunes are going to hinge upon Vela’s health. He came off at halftime in Portland, so we’ll see how well he’ll do
1 (↑ 5) – Nashville – Hany Mukhtar – he’s good, but we already know that. What sets Nashville apart from other teams is the supporting cast. Their defense is their strength, even without Alastair Johnston. Nashville will win a bunch of games by one goal, and be around the top of the table all year.