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MLS Power Rankings: Week 1

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2013

MLS Power Rankings: Week 1

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    The MLS season began this weekend with plenty of fireworks and surprises.

    Mike Magee was the standout performer of the week as he scored a hat-trick in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 4-0 home win over the Chicago Fire. 

    While Magee provided fans with the most exciting individual display of the weekend, the best overall game of the weekend came in Portland as the Timbers and Red Bulls played to a 3-3 draw. 

    The most disappointing result of the weekend came in Seattle as the Sounders fell to Montreal at home. 

    Find out where all of these teams landed in the first regular-season edition of the MLS power rankings. 

Criteria

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    Every week, our MLS experts will rank each team from 1 to 19.

    Each team will be given a point total for the specific ranking they are given.

    For example, the team that is ranked No. 1 is given 19 points while the last place team receives just one point. 

    The votes will be compiled each week, and the team with the highest point total will be placed on top of the power rankings. 

    Meet Our Voters

    Joe Tansey—World Football Featured Columnist

    Eduardo Mendez—MLS Featured Columnist

    Alan Hainkel—MLS Featured Columnist

    John D. Halloran—MLS and United States National Team Featured Columnist

19. Chivas USA

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    Points: 5

    Last Week's Ranking: 18

    Week 1 Result: Lost to Columbus, 3-0. 

    Chivas USA opened the season on a sour note at home by losing to the Crew by three goals. 

    The Goats kept the game close until the final few minutes when the Crew opened the floodgates with two late goals. 

    Possibly the most embarrassing thing about the loss to the Crew is the lack of support they received.

    The crowd at the Home Depot Center was reported to be over 7,000 but that is a generous figure compared to the pictures from the match. 

    Eduardo: Not sure what was worse, the product on the field, the announced crowd of 7,121 or the fact that Chivas USA fudged its numbers? 

18. Toronto FC

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    Points: 9

    Last Week's Ranking: 19 

    Week 1 Result: Loss to Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-0. 

    The Ryan Nelsen era at TFC began with a loss on the road to Vancouver.

    While the Reds may not have come out on top, there were plenty of positives to take out of their defeat.

    Rookie midfielder Kyle Bekker had a strong first outing for the Reds, and his performance is sure to improve as the season develops. 

17. Colorado Rapids

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    Points: 16

    Last Week's Ranking: 16

    Week 1 Result: Loss to FC Dallas, 1-0. 

    With the injured Matt Pickens out of the lineup, Rapids backup keeper Steward Ceus gave fans of the team an image to forget. 

    Ceus' 11th minute howler created a chance for FC Dallas' Jackson to go in on goal and score the only goal of the game. 

    Pickens has been dealing with a swollen muscle in his right knee, and Rapids fans will be hoping that their first-choice keeper heals quickly. 

T-14. New England Revolution

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    Points: 20 

    Last Week's Ranking: 17

    Week 1 Result: Did Not Play 

    The Revolution were off this week and they will open their season on Saturday against Chicago. 

    Jay Heaps' team will play their first two games on the road before they finally get a chance to play in front of their own fans at Gillette Stadium on March 23. 

T-14. Philadelphia Union

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    Points: 20 

    Last Week's Ranking: 13

    Week 1 Result: Loss to Sporting Kansas City, 3-1.

    Everything was going right in the first half for the Union as they opened up a one-goal lead on Sporting Kansas City at home.

    After Sebastian Le Toux scored the first goal of the MLS season, the Union slumped over and gave up three goals to their visitors. 

    The three goals scored by Sporting on Saturday brought about the defending problems that haunted the Union during the 2012 season. 

    Joe: The Union had a great start...and then Sporting Kansas City decided to show up. 

T-14. Chicago Fire

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    Points: 20 

    Last Week's Ranking: 8

    Week 1 Result: Loss to Los Angeles Galaxy, 4-0. 

    The Fire were trounced by the defending champions at the Home Depot Center on Sunday. 

    Without Arne Friedrich and Logan Pause, the Fire could not pack a punch, and they suffered the worst defeat of the opening weekend in MLS. 

    The Fire will have to rebound from the deflating loss on Saturday when they host New England in their home opener at Toyota Park. 

13. San Jose Earthquakes

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    Points: 36

    Last Week's Ranking: 3

    Week 1 Result: Loss to Real Salt Lake, 2-0.

    The biggest drop in this week's power rankings comes in the form of the San Jose Earthquakes, who unexpectedly fell at home on Sunday night. 

    In 2012, the Earthquakes lost just one game at home all season. 

    Frank Yallop and company will look to redeem themselves in front of the crowd at Buck Shaw Stadium on Sunday against the New York Red Bulls. 

12. DC United

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    Points: 37

    Last Week's Ranking: 4

    Week 1 Result: Loss to Houston Dynamo, 2-0.

    DC United returned to the site of their 2012 playoff elimination and left with the same result.

    An 80th minute own goal by James Riley undid United on Saturday night before they gave up a second goal nine minutes later. 

    Ben Olsen's team will be without Dwayne De Rosario for one more game as the Canadian international serves the final game of his two game suspension for headbutting San Jose's Danny Cruz in the preseason (via MLSSoccer.com). 

11. Seattle Sounders

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    Points: 38

    Last Week's Ranking: 6

    Week 1 Result: Loss to Montreal Impact, 1-0. 

    The Sounders boast one of the best home field advantages in all of MLS, but they were unable to take advantage of that on Saturday against Montreal. 

    Sigi Schmid's team could not find the back of the net on Saturday and they dropped their opening day record to 3-2. 

    Seattle had eight shots on target with their best chance coming in the 65th minute when Brad Evans' shot beat the keeper and hit the right post. 

10. Vancouver Whitecaps

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    Points: 40

    Last Week's Ranking: 14

    Week 1 Result: Win over Toronto FC, 1-0. 

    The Whitecaps opened the season with a win over their Canadian rival Toronto FC at BC Place. 

    Gershon Koffie put the Whitecaps ahead in the 59th minute and they never looked back.

    Despite the win, Martin Rennie's team could not escape the injury bug as defender Jay DeMerit was forced off the pitch after eight minutes.

9. FC Dallas

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    Points: 42

    Last Week's Ranking: 12

    Week 1 Result: Win over Colorado Rapids, 1-0. 

    FC Dallas benefited from an absolute howler by Rapids keeper Steward Ceus in the 11th minute. 

    Jackson scored the first and only goal of the match to give FC Dallas a full three points. 

    Schellas Hyndman and company will now carry the momentum that they gained from their opening day victory into their visit to the Home Depot Center against Chivas USA on Sunday. 

8. Columbus Crew

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    Points: 49

    Last Week's Ranking: 10

    Week 1 Result: Win over Chivas USA, 3-0. 

    Federico Higuain's second season with the Crew got off to a hot start on Saturday as he scored the opening goal of his team's victory at the Home Depot Center.

    Higuain scored a stellar goal in the 51st minute to open the scoring for the Crew.

    Josh Williams and Dominic Oduro added a goal each in the waning moments of the second half to add to the misery of Chivas USA.

    The Crew will spend a second straight week on the road next week as they visit BC Place to play Vancouver on Saturday. 

7. Montreal Impact

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    Points: 49

    Last Week's Ranking: 15

    Week 1 Result: Win over Seattle Sounders, 1-0. 

    Montreal delivered the most shocking result of the weekend as they went into Seattle and came away with a 1-0 victory over the Sounders. 

    Davy Arnaud's 35th minute goal powered the Impact to the victory that showed us all that Montreal are out to improve on their seventh place finish in the Eastern Conference last season. 

    The win on Saturday gave the Impact their second win in two games against the Sounders. 

    Joe: Montreal definitely made an Impact on the league in the first week. 

6. New York Red Bulls

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    Points: 50

    Last Week's Ranking: 9

    Week 1 Result: Draw with Portland Timbers, 3-3. 

    The Red Bulls were able to take advantage of the mistakes made by the Portland defense on Sunday night to get out to a two-goal lead at halftime.

    However, the Red Bulls were overpowered in the second half, and they were lucky to come out of Jeld-Wen Field with a point. 

    The West Coast swing of the Red Bulls schedule continues on Sunday when they play San Jose at Buck Shaw Stadium. 

5. Portland Timbers

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    Points: 51

    Last Week's Ranking: 11

    Week 1 Result: Draw with New York Red Bulls, 3-3. 

    The Timbers recovered from Mikael Silvestre's implosion on defense in the first half by scoring two second half goals to earn a draw with the Red Bulls. 

    Caleb Porter's team unloaded a continuous attack on goal in the second half which resulted in a Darlington Nagbe goal and an own goal by Jamison Olave. 

    In front of their home fans at Jeld-Wen Field, the Timbers should have come away with the full three points.

    Regardless of the result, Timbers fans must proud of the product that their team put out on the pitch to start the season. 

    Eduardo: The Timbers had the best MLS debut from Diego Valeri and the worst from Mikael Silvestre. 

T-3. Real Salt Lake

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    Points: 68

    Last Week's Ranking: 7

    Week 1 Result: Win over San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0. 

    Alvaro Saborio's second half double gave RSL a crucial road win at San Jose on Sunday night. 

    In his 300th appearance in MLS, Kyle Beckerman provided Saborio with an assist on his second goal. 

    Saborio should be a player to watch when Costa Rica takes on the United States in World Cup Qualifying on March 22. 

    Eduardo: Saborio took Chris Wondolowski to designated player school on Sunday night by actually finishing his chances. 

T-3. Houston Dynamo

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    Points: 68

    Last Week's Ranking: 1

    Week 1 Result: Win over D.C. United, 2-0.

    Despite defeating D.C. at home on Saturday night in front of a national audience, the Dynamo lost their spot on top of the rankings. 

    Ricardo Clark was the star of the game for the Dynamo as he scored in the 89th minute.

    Clark also forced the own goal that was scored by D.C.'s James Riley in the 81st minute that gave the Dynamo the lead. 

    Since the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium last season, the Dynamo have not lost at home. 

2. Sporting Kansas City

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    Points: 69

    Last Week's Ranking: 5

    Week 1 Result: Win over Philadelphia Union, 3-1.

    Sporting Kansas City did not wake up until the end of the first half on Saturday against the Union. 

    Once the Sporting starting 11 woke up, they outclassed the Union at PPL Park.

    Graham Zusi was a part of all three Sporting goals as he scored the equalizer in the 41st minute and provided assists on the second half goals that were scored by Oriol Rosell and Claudio Bieler, who had an impressive performance in his debut. 

    Joe: Graham Zusi is continuing to develop into a star in MLS, he should be a consistent member of the USMNT from now on. 

1. Los Angeles Galaxy

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    Points: 76

    Last Week's Ranking: 2

    Week 1 Result: Win over Chicago Fire, 4-0.

    No Beckham. No Donovan. No Problem. 

    Mike Magee powered the Galaxy to the biggest victory of the weekend as the midfielder scored a hat-trick to open the season. 

    Magee opened the scoring in the 38th minute with a volleyed shot, and he scored again in the 68th and 74th minutes. 

    Robbie Keane got in on the scoring in the 80th minute when he delivered the fourth Galaxy goal on a corner kick. 

    Joe: Jurgen Klinsmann meet Mike Magee. 

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