By Ridge Mahoney
Montreal and Canadian rival Vancouver are the league's only 2-0-0 teams after two weeks of play. Houston, Seattle and Los Angeles sat out league play and will resume action this weekend after they compete in the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals.
Week 2 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
Rank TEAM (record) Last week
1. LOS ANGELES (1-0-0) 1.
2. MONTREAL (2-0-0) 4.
3. VANCOUVER (2-0-0) 7.
4. HOUSTON (1-0-0) 5.
5. NEW ENGLAND (1-0-0) NR*.
6. TORONTO FC (1-1-0) 15.
7. D.C UNITED (1-1-0) 12.
8. REAL SALT LAKE (1-1-0) 3.
9. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (1-1-0) 2.
10. SEATTLE (0-1-0) 10.
11. SAN JOSE (1-1-0) 14.
12. PHILADELPHIA (1-1-0) 17.
13. COLUMBUS (1-1-0) 6.
14. CHIVAS USA (1-1-0) 18.
15. NEW YORK (0-1-1) 8.
16. FC DALLAS (1-1-0) 9.
17. PORTLAND (0-1-1) 11.
18. COLORADO (0-2-0) 16.
19. CHICAGO (0-2-0) 13.
(*New England did not play in Week 1.)
THE BEST. The Galaxy and Houston took breaks from league play as they prepare for the second legs of their Concacaf quarterfinal series this week. Montreal stayed on the West Coast after upsetting Seattle last week and toppled the Timbers, 2-1. With the victory the Impact equaled their two league road wins of 2012 and produced an early Goal of the Year candidate via Hassoun Camara’s spectacular overhead kick.
Vancouver matched the 2-0 start of its eastern Canada rival by beating the Crew, 2-1; goals by Kenny Miller and Daigo Kobayashi kept the ‘Caps record perfect. The Revs dropped Chicago in the Fire’s home opener, with a goal by Jerry Bengtson (off a great Kelyn Rowe assist) and enough saves from Matt Reis to re-establish his credentials as the No. 1 keeper. Separating the 1-1 teams is like trying to sort out a hornet’s nest caught in a hurricane, but TFC’s home win over SKC, 2-1, after a solid effort while losing in Vancouver wins the tightest of photo finishes. Robbie Earnshaw’s energetic play and two goals may explain why president Kevin Payne isn’t all that crazy about Danny Koevermans.
THE MIDDLE. Lionard Pajoy’s goal on the hour earned United a 1-0 defeat of RSL in the opener at RFK, where D.C. United hasn’t lost in the last 18 games. After holding out for 80 minutes in Houston before losing, 2-0, last week, United gritted out an important win that pushed it just head of RSL, a 2-0 winner in San Jose before heading east. Road losses are the way of the world in pro soccer, yet on the Rogers Centre turf SKC didn’t much resemble last year’s conference champion. Seattle sat out the weekend.
Injury-riddled San Jose summoned up enough of the old mojo to stun the Red Bulls, 2-1, with a late equalizer by rookie sub Adam Jahn and a stoppage-time Chris Wondolowski re-taken PK. The usual. Philly put aside its own troubles to knock off the reeling Rapids, 2-1, after snowstorms forced a one-day postponement of Colorado’s home opener. Antoine Hoppenot fought off several challenges to set up Jack McInerney’s winner in the 79th minute.
The Crew’s loss in Vancouver leaves it with only a victory against Chivas USA, which rose up off the mat to thump FC Dallas, 3-1, at Home Depot Center. Juan Agudelo hit a brilliant equalizer and Oswaldo Minda cashed in a terrible defensive error to slot the winner.
THE REST. The Red Bulls traveled west again after blowing a 3-1 lead last week in Portland to tie, 3-3, and Sunday fell apart after taking a 1-0 lead against the Quakes with an Eric Alexander goal. David Ferreira’s typically fine goal faded as FCD succumbed to Chivas USA, and the Timbers are still looking for answers after Montreal neutralized Diego Valeri and conceded just the one goal to Ryan Johnson. Despite a Jamie Smith goal, the Rapids lost a home opener for the first time in a decade.
Chicago’s shutout loss at home to the Revs left them as the league’s only goalless and pointless team. A renovated midfield can take some of the blame but right now there’s bad karma: Arne Friedrich has gone back to Germany for treatment on his ailing hamstring and heavy pre-game snow cut the home-opener attendance to 13,242.