The first week of the 2014 season for Major League Soccer has finished. It’s been digested. It’s been thought and discussed at great length. But we’re not finished. After having a chance to view almost all of the teams in the league in league play and/or international competition, here are our initial power rankings.
1: Vancouver Whitecaps (Win 4-1 over NYRB)
Patrick - It’s a bloated ranking but one they fully deserve… at least for the week.
Jake – Calling this result anything but definitive would be a mistake. Take into account that NYRB were without Henry and Olave and maybe it’s seen a little different. Still, a very convincing result.
2: Real Salt Lake (Win 1-0 over LA)
Patrick - Without Nick Rimando’s heroics we’re probably in the 4-7 range.
Jake – That, and finally some luck bouncing RSL’s way. Away to SJ this weekend should be interesting.
3: Sporting KC (Loss 1-0 to SEA)
Patrick - Even with the loss this is one of the best teams in the league. Their game against Cruz Azul last night showed that.
Jake – We all know these guys are for real. Very full schedule this year will show what they’re really made of.
4: Houston Dynamo (Win 4-0 over NER)
Patrick - Also a bloated ranking, but a week that deserves recognition.
Jake – Hard to argue with the results.
5: LA Galaxy (Loss 0-1 to RSL)
Patrick - Loads of talent that was in preseason form. Keane and Donovan won’t be so kind to the opposing team the rest of the year.
Jake – A ball or two bounce a little differently and all the sudden LA is number 1. The game against Xolos last night showed how talented they really are.
6: Columbus Crew (Win 3-0 over DC)
Patrick - Winning against DC should’t garner much high praise, but they did look good in doing it.
Jake – Hey, it’s week one. They beat a team that they should beat, and they did it well.
7: Seattle Sounders (Win 1-0 over SKC)
Patrick - They weren’t very convincing in the win, but you don’t get points for style.
Jake – Scrappy. That’s how I would describe their win. That game was flat out boring. They will need to be better against TFC this weekend to get points.
8: Portland Timbers (Draw 1-1 with PHI)
Patrick - I was surprised, like many, with how they struggled. They’re better than this ranking, though.
Jake – This will change and fast. Portland should have shown better against the Union, or maybe the Union are that good all of the sudden? Guess we’ll see.
9: Philadelphia Union (Draw 1-1 with PTFC)
Patrick - On the flip side of Portland, this was a shocking result. Looked good out of the gates.
Jake – Well, who saw that draw coming? They have NER at home this Saturday and will be tested yet again.
10: New York Red Bulls (Loss 1-4 to VAN)
Patrick – Getting throttled on the carpet pitch shouldn’t be reason for concern. No Olave or Henry out there makes them hard to really judge.
Jake – Yeah, this shouldn’t last. But, take into account that they may be resting players often if they aren’t going to play Henry and Olave on turf this season. (TFC, DC, NER, SEA, VAN)
11: FC Dallas (Win 3-2 over MTL)
Patrick - I was surprised to see them pull off the win. This team is going to be one of the hardest to read in 2014.
Jake – Dallas are at SKC this week. A result this weekend will give us an idea of where this team is really at. This could be a really good Dallas team if they are able to pull it all together.
12: Chivas USA (Win 3-2 over Chicago)
Patrick - Opened with an entertaining game. They have some good pieces but lack overall talent.
Jake – This was a great game. Chicago looked really good as well but you can tell Chivas will be able to put some wins together this year.
13: Toronto FC (BYE)
Patrick - I want to put them higher just because of Bradley but that would be wrong. They deserve to be lower middle for now.
Jake – Potential? Yes. Let’s see them pull it together on the field.
14: Montreal Impact (Loss 2-3 to FCD)
Patrick - Remember when this team was really good? It looks like the tailspin of 2013 might have followed them into 2014.
Jake – There’s a lot of potential in Montreal, or maybe we just want there to be, but this year should give us an idea.
15: Colorado Rapids (BYE)
Patrick – Pablo Mastroeni as “coach” is going to be really fun to watch. I mean fun in that I hope it turns out horribly.
Jake – Rocky Mountain Cup anyone?
16: New England Revolution (Loss 0-4 to HOU)
Patrick - This is probably a bit harsh but it wouldn’t be fair to put them above many other teams.
Jake – This is a bit harsh, but hey, it’s a power ranking. These things aren’t supposed to be fair. They got smoked by Houston. Did not look good at all. Let’s see what they’ve got against PHI this weekend.
17: San Jose Quakes (BYE)
Patrick - Similarly harsh, but their live and die by the cross game is a scary prospect. We saw the high of it in 2012, and the low of it in 2013.
Jake – Same old SJ. Watching them play in CCL this week they were very predictable. Shut down the crosses and they have little else.
18: Chicago Fire (Loss 2-3 to Chivas)
Patrick - Losing to Chivas USA isn’t as embarrassing as it once was, but it still is embarrassing.
Jake – I would actually put these guys higher based on potential, but they fell apart defensively on the goals they gave up. Gotta fix that.
19: DC United (Loss 0-3 to CBUS)
Patrick - Getting beat soundly at home is the absolute worst way to start a “turnaround” year.
Jake – Feels like they’ll make another run at the USOC this year.