Major League Soccer Power Rankings: Real Salt Lake on Top

Kevin Koczwara@kkoczwaraContributor IIIMarch 19, 2012

Jason Kreis has Real Salt Lake looking good again this year.
Jason Kreis has Real Salt Lake looking good again this year.Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Major League Soccer has kicked off its season. Two weeks of games have come and gone, so it's time to start the early ranking period and put teams in their places. Players have settled in and teams have set the foundations of their rosters, and not too much has changed from last year.

1.Real Salt Lake (2-0-0, 6 pts.) The Royals are plugging away again. Jason Kreis has the deepest team in all of Major League Soccer.

2.Sporting Kansas City (2-0-0, 6 pts.) Kansas City got a break against New England on Saturday, but there was never any doubt Sporting was going to score. Kansas City may run away with the Eastern Conference if it keeps playing this way.

3.Seattle Sounders (1-0-0, 3 pts.) The Sounders may have only played one game so far, but in their 3-1 win over Toronto, they looked rejuvenated and ready to play after being embarrassed in Mexico. 

4. Colorado Rapids (2-0-0, 6 pts.) Colorado showed it can hold a lead against a very attack-minded Union side. The Rapids don't have a secret recipe for success, they just play their rough and tumble games and earn points.

5. Vancouver Whitecaps (2-0-0, 6 pts.) With its first away win in its short history, Martin Rennie has the Whitecaps looking dangerous and he seems to have solved the problem of having too many forwards on the roster.

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6. Houston Dynamo (2-0-0, 6 pts.) No slump for the Dynamo after losing last season's MLS Cup to Los Angeles. Houston has two shutouts, 1-0 wins, in two games against San Jose and Chivas. 

Martin Rennie (right) has Vancouver looking like a whole new team this year.
Martin Rennie (right) has Vancouver looking like a whole new team this year.Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

7. Portland Timbers (1-0-1, 4 pts.) An amazing home opener win over Philadelphia was the Timbers high, but a solid, 1-1, draw with a good FC Dallas team was the kind of point the Timbers weren't getting last season. Now the Timbers need Darlington Nagbe to keep scoring and live up to the hype.

8. FC Dallas (1-0-1, 4 pts.) A draw with Portland was unfortunate for the Hoops, as they took the lead in the 22nd minute when Blas Perez scored. A home draw with a solid Portland team isn't bad, especially after coming off an impressive 2-1 win over New York in the season opener.

9. San Jose Earthquakes (1-1-0, 3 pts.) The Quakes go where Chris Wondolowski goes. 'Wondo scored in the season opener against New England and San Jose won. Houston kept the two-time MLS leading goalscorer away from goal and San Jose lost. It's no coincidence.

10. Los Angeles Galaxy (1-1-0, 3 pts.) Bruce Arena's team needs some time to gel. His top center back is out for a prolonged period and Arena's team is full of players who didn't have much of an offseason. The Galaxy should get rolling once everyone is on the same page.

11. Toronto FC (0-1-0, 0 pts.) League form isn't as important as CONCACAF Champions League form for Toronto right now. The loss to Seattle was a sore way to start the season, but a big showing against Mexican side Santos Laguna is more important.

12. Montreal Impact (0-1-1, 1 pts.) A record crowd of 58,912 at Olympic Stadium saw the Impact get its first point in its brief MLS history—just two games—with a 1-1 draw with Chicago. Montreal has a solid core of players and should do well in front of its home crowd if it keeps showing up like it did for the team's first home game in the MLS.  

13. Chicago Fire (0-1-1, 1 pts.) The Fire have a new sponsor and high hopes this season, but if the team gets off to another slow start like last year, the team could find itself too far behind in the playoff hunt again.

14. D.C. United (0-2-0, 0 pts.) Ben Olsen has a better roster than last year, but his team doesn't look like it's showing the kind of attitude it needs to win tough games. It's not a good sign in D.C. where hopes were high.

15. Columbus Crew (0-1-0, 0 pts.) The Crew always seem to turn things around. This season, though, Columbus has plenty of bonding to do before it gets back to its winning ways. 

16. New York Red Bulls (0-2-0, 0 pts.) Hans Backe is back and the defensive woes continue for the Red Bulls. The loss to Salt Lake, in Week 2, wasn't pretty for Red Bulls fans, and there are plenty of questions about who will play alongside Thierry Henry.

17. Chivas USA (0-0-2, 0 pts.) Chivas is still looking for its first goal. The defense has tightened up a bit —only allowing two goals in two games—but losing to Vancouver was tough to swallow.

18. Philadelphia Union (0-0-2, 0 pts.) Two prime-time games and two prime-time losses for the Union, first to Portland in the season opener and then to Colorado, despite the Union having a man advantage for more than 36 minutes. The biggest issue, though, is what's going on with manager Peter Nowak and his team.

19. New England Revolution (0-0-2, 0 pts.) Jay Heaps first two games as a head coach haven't gone as planned. Against San Jose in week one, the Revolution struggled to find a way past the Quakes tight defense. In week two, New England was unfortunate when Stephen McCarthy was sent off in the 14th minute, which turned out to be a poor decision from the referee. And the Revs couldn't hold their ground with 10 men against a potent Sporting attack. New England is still searching for its first goal of the season.