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2012 MLS Power Rankings: Week 1

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IMarch 13, 2012

2012 MLS Power Rankings: Week 1

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    Ladies and gentlemen, readers on Bleacher Report: Week 1 of the 2012 Major League Soccer season is in the books. We've had numerous player transactions and preseason matches since the preseason power rankings, and as promised, they will be reflected in this week's power rankings.

    Real Salt Lake rise to the top as the No. 1 team on this list, while the brand-new Montreal Impact remain at the bottom.

    Let's take a look at this week's MLS power rankings.

19. Montreal Impact

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    2012 is destined to be a tough year for Jesse Marsch's Montreal Impact, and it was rammed down their throats at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. by the Whitecaps to the tune of 2-0.

    The home opener for Marsch's Impact is scheduled for March 17 at Stade Olympique against the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by RDS and TSN.

18. New England Revolution

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    New coach, same old Revs.

    In spite of hope coming in the form of Jay Heaps, the New England Revolution were back to their losing ways once again, dropping a 1-0 decision to the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.

    It's just the first week, but it seems apparent that New England are in a rebuilding year.

    Up next for the Revs is a match with Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Kickoff is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

17. Chivas USA

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    Robin Fraser's Chivas USA opened the 2012 season at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. against the Houston Dynamo. The match almost looked certain to be a scoreless draw, but a late winner from the Dynamo consigned Chivas to a 1-0 defeat at Victoria Street.

    The Goats continue their home stand on Mar. 17 when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KDOC-TV and KWHY-TV.

16. Toronto FC

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    Aron Winter's Toronto FC were away from league play this weekend, but they did have CONCACAF Champions League action to address against the Los Angeles Galaxy at Rogers Centre.

    In the first leg of the quarterfinals, Ryan Johnson opened the scoring in the 11th minute and Luis Silva notched home a second in the 17th, but Toronto were unable to hold on and were consigned to a 2-2 draw.

    The second leg is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Home Depot Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET and will be televised by Rogers SportsNet One.

    If the Reds prevail, chances are that the season opener against the Seattle Sounders is a preview of the semifinals. Kickoff at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash. is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 10 p.m. ET and will be televised by Rogers SportsNet One.

15. D.C. United

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    It's been a tough week for the MLS Eastern Conference, and Ben Olson's D.C. United were just another victim of one-sided futility against the West, as they fell to Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

    United will have to rebound quickly, as they face a Los Angeles Galaxy team in need of a result. Kickoff at the Home Depot Center is scheduled for Mar. 18 at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised by Galavision.

14. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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    One of the top bits of news these last few weeks for Martin Rennie's Vancouver Whitecaps was the acquisition of Sebastien Le Toux from the Philadelphia Union.

    Well folks, Le Toux got back to work again, recording the first goal of the MLS season in the fourth minute of play as part of a 2-0 shutout at BC Place Stadium. Camilo also got on the scoresheet in the 54th minute.

    The Whitecaps are primed to build on this result when they face Chivas USA on Mar. 17. Kickoff at the Home Depot Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Rogers SportsNet Pacific and Rogers SportsNet West.

13. Red Bull New York

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    At least they got the honor of being on the Peacock's Sports Network.

    But it is nothing but scant consolation for Hans Backe's New York Red Bulls, who dropped their season opener after getting shredded early to the tune of 2-1 by FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Tex.

    Kenny Cooper scored in the 78th minute for New York, but it was not enough.

    Could it get worse? Perhaps, especially with their next opponent being the top dog in our power rankings in Real Salt Lake. Kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 10 p.m. ET and will be televised by MSG+.

12. Columbus Crew

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    The hope for Robert Warzycha's Columbus Crew was that they would get a massive result against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. to open the season.

    Turns out, the massive result was nothing more than a 2-0 defeat on the road to the Rapids.

    A much more positive outcome will need to be had when they resume play on Mar. 24 against the Montreal Impact at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Sports Ohio.

11. Chicago Fire

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    Frank Klopas's Chicago Fire were off this week.

    The Fire open their season on the road against the Montreal Impact on Mar. 17 at Stade Olympique. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET.

10. Philadelphia Union

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    Peter Nowak's Philadelphia Union were paying the price for offloading Sebastien Le Toux and electing to invest in their youth when they took on the Portland Timbers at the New Fortress, Jeld-Wen Field, on Monday night.

    Gabriel Gomez recorded the only goal for the Union, who were hammered 3-1. Up next for the Union is a match with the Colorado Rapids at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Kickoff is scheduled for Mar. 18 at 4 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC Sports.

9. San Jose Earthquakes

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    Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes got off on the right foot, with Chris Wondolowski's 15th-minute goal all the difference in their 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution at Buck Shaw Stadium.

    Up next for the Quakes is a match with the Houston Dynamo at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif. Kickoff is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

8. Los Angeles Galaxy

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    It's only one game, but Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy may be looking at a year of mediocrity after dropping their season opener 3-1 to Real Salt Lake. Edson Buddle recorded the only goal of the match for LA in the 71st minute.

    L.A.'s next league contest will be on Mar. 18 against D.C. United. Kickoff at the Home Depot Center is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by KDOC-TV and Galavision.

    In CONCACAF Champions League play, the Galaxy drew 2-2 with Toronto FC in the first leg of the quarterfinals. Mike Magee scored in the 29th minute for L.A. and Landon Donovan equalized in the 88th.

    The second leg is scheduled for Wednesday at the HDC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

7. Houston Dynamo

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    Dominic Kinnear's Houston Dynamo opened up the season against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center. Andre Hainault left it late for the visitors, recording a 92nd-minute game-winner in their 1-0 victory over the Goats.

    The result will be sure to boost the morale of the MLS Cup runners-up as they continue their long road trip on Mar. 17 against the San Jose Earthquakes at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif. Kickoff is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 4 p.m. CT/5 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Sports Houston Plus.

6. Portland Timbers

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    Monday night was proof of why it is very difficult for opponents to get a positive result at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore. John Spencer's Portland Timbers flexed their muscles in a comprehensive 3-1 victory before a capacity crowd.

    Andrew Baptiste equalized in the 54th minute, new signing Kris Boyd made it 2-1 in the 66th minute and Kalif Alhassan slammed the door shut in the 76th minute.

    Up next for the Timbers is a match with FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by ROOT SPORTS.

5. Colorado Rapids

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    Oscar Pareja's Colorado Rapids had all cylinders firing in their 2-0 victory over the Columbus Crew at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

    Drew Moor opened the scoring in the 44th minute and Quincy Amarikwa made it 2-0 in the 89th minute of play.

    The Rapids will look to build on their slate of results when they face the Philadelphia Union on Mar. 18 at PPL Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT/4 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC Sports.

4. Sporting Kansas City

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    Peter Vermes's Sporting Kansas City opened 2012 with authority, establishing themselves as a team to beat in the East by way of a 1-0 victory over D.C. United at RFK Stadium.

    Like Houston, they left it late thanks to C.J. Sapong in the 93rd minute of play.

    Sporting return to action on Mar. 17 against the New England Revolution at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KSMO-TV.

3. FC Dallas

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    Schellas Hyndman's FC Dallas smiled for the NBC cameras en route to a no-nonsense 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls at FC Dallas Stadium.

    Zach Loyd opened the scoring in the 11th minute and Ricardo Villar scored the game-winner in the 61st minute of play.

    Dallas host the high-flying Portland Timbers next. Kickoff is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by the Fox Sports Southwest Plus.

2. Seattle Sounders FC

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    Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders were off this week in league play but they did have CONCACAF Champions League business to sort out.

    In the first leg of the quarterfinals against Santos Laguna at CenturyLink Field, Seattle powered their way to a 2-1 victory. David Estrada opened the scoring in the 12th minute of play and Brad Evans scored the game-winner in the 63rd minute.

    The second leg of the quarterfinals will be in Torreon, Mexico. Kickoff at the Estadio Corona is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

    If the Wednesday proceedings fall a certain way, the league opener against Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field could be a preview of the semis. Kickoff is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by KONG 6/16.

1. Real Salt Lake

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    You want statement victories? Look no further than Jason Kreis's Real Salt Lake, who rallied from a goal down to record a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center to move up to No. 1 in our power rankings.

    Sean Franklin's own goal in the 73rd minute set the stage for the rally. Javier Morales came off the bench to score in the 80th minute and Fabian Espindola's speed proved all the difference in the 85th minute, slicing past Juninho for the clincher.

    It's too early to anoint Real Salt Lake as the champions of the West, but results like this are a sign that there could be a new sheriff in town.

    Up next for high-flying RSL are the New York Red Bulls. Kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 8 p.m. MT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by ABC4.

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