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Soccer America Power Rankings
by Ridge Mahoney, March 24th, 2014 4:28PM

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[MLS: Week 3] A tie with the Galaxy in its home opener dropped previous leader Real Salt Lake down a notch in Soccer America's weekly MLS Power Rankings. Idle Houston moved up from the second spot, and Toronto FC, FC Dallas and Seattle also climbed a notch by posting victories. Columbus maintained its status as one of only three unbeaten and untied teams by handing Philadelphia its first loss.

MLS WEEK 3: Results
Sunday, March 23 (Report)
Montreal 0 Seattle 2.
Chicago 1 New York 1.
Saturday, March 22 (Report)
FC Dallas 3 Chivas USA 1.
Sporting KC 1 San Jose 0.
Columbus 2 Philadelphia 1.
Colorado 2 Portland 0.
Toronto FC 1 D.C. United 0.
Real Salt Lake 1 LA Galaxy 1
New England 0 Vancouver 0.

1. HOUSTON (2-0-0), 2. The Dynamo moved into the top spot by default during a week off yet had already impressed by beating New England and Montreal by combined scores of 5-0, three of them scored by Will Bruin. It plays its first road match of 2014 this week at Vancouver

2. REAL SALT LAKE (1-0-2), 1. A chippy home opener yielded a 1-1 tie with the Galaxy. Alvaro Saborio’s goal in the 19th minute was set up by Joao Plata, who narrowly missed with a subsequent chance and then was forced off with a strained hamstring. Plata was one of several players to leave this battle limping. Defender Chris Schuler, who replaced Aaron Mauand (hamstring), couldn’t deal with Robbie Keane’s run and crisp finish that tied the game. Five other players were also left off the game-day roster because of injuries.

3. VANCOUVER (1-0-2), 3. After scoring five goals in their first two games, the Caps went on the road and posted a 0-0 tie at New England. A sharp save in the fifth minute by David Ousted on a close-range header set the tone for a good defensive effort -- Johnny Leveron replaced Jay DeMerit at centerback -- despite windy conditions. Though the ‘Caps didn’t attack often, Kenny Miller managed two shots that forced good saves.

4. TORONTO (2-0-0), 5. For the first time in many moons the buzz about BMO Field is bubbly: a fan ran onto the field in the final minutes waving a TFC scarf. A minimalist (1-0) defeat of D.C. United gave TFC its first 2-0-0 start in team history. Gilberto made his first appearance of the season and fired the shot that rebounded for Jermain Defoe to notch his third goal in two games. Screened by Michael Bradley, centerbacks Doniel Henry and Steve Caldwell are looking solid, and keeper Julio Cesar celebrated the goal by jumping just high enough to show up on a replay camera.

5. FC DALLAS (2-0-1), 6. For the second time in three games FCD put up a three-spot and Mauro Diaz’s influence is clear. He helped create the first two goals for Fabian Castillo and Je-Vaughn Watson and with a driving run won a free kick in the 86th  minute that Michel put in the net via a deflection. Diaz also sent Blas Perez through to lob a shot over the crossbar. In a rough game injuries forced out Adam Moffat and his replacement, Andrew Jacobson.

6. SEATTLE (2-1-0), 7. Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins and Gonzalo Pineda were too much for the Impact in a 2-0 win at Montreal. Neagle’s header off the bar from a Pineda free kick bounced into the net off keeper Troy Perkins for the first goal and Martins struck early in the second half from a Kenny Cooper cross. In between the goals, Neagle hit the post. Missing a suspended Clint Dempsey and injured Brad Evans, the Sounders looked dangerous in attack and Djimi Traore led a resilient defense.

7. PHILADELPHIA (1-1-1), 4. Leo Fernandes’ entry in the 55th minute at Columbus livened up the attack; he scored seven minutes after coming on as a sub with one of his five attempts at goal. But despite permitting just two shots on goal, one of them a blast from distance, both of them went in and the Union lost, 2-1.

8. LOS ANGELES (0-1-1), 9. Robbie Keane equalized to cancel out Saborio’s opener and a rather grim game ended, 1-1. Brian Perk filled in for Jaime Penedo and thwarted former Galaxy midfielder Ned Grabavoy’s low drive that could have restored RSL’s lead. With its CCL commitments out of the way and game three with RSL not on the docket until July, the Galaxy takes another weekend off. Next up is Chivas USA April 6.

9. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (1-1-1), 11. The defending champion did well to bounce back from a 5-1 CCL drubbing by Cruz Azul in Mexico City to edge the Quakes, 1-0, on a Dom Dwyer penalty kick. The back line allowed just one shot on goal and SKC, playing its fifth match in 15 days, earned its second league shutout of the season. Former Quake Ike Opara stabbed a rebound off the base of the post to end a crazy sequence started by a shot cleared off the goal line and Sal Zizzo’s follow-up that richoeted off upright into Opara's path.

10. COLORADO (1-0-1), 12. The Rapids raked the Portland back line with a pair of incisive passes that produced goalkeeper fouls and penalty kicks by which they gave head coach Pablo Mastroeni his first victory, 2-0 Vicente Sanchez and Deshorn Brown, on a rebound, did the honors. Rookie keeper John Berner saved the few shots that came his way and got some help from centerback Marvell Wynne, who cleared a shot off the goal line.

11. COLUMBUS (2-0-0), 13. Bernardo Anor scored with a header and long-range blast to provide a 2-0 lead before Giancarlo Gonzalez’s poorly headed clearance gave the Union its chance to cut the lead in half. Keeper Steve Clark came up big a couple of times and is looking like a good acquisition.

12. PORTLAND (0-2-1), 8. The Timbers bemoaned their luck after keeper Donovan Ricketts and replacement Andrew Weber gave away penalty kicks for challenges in a 2-0 loss at Colorado. Weber saved the second one but couldn’t smother the rebound. Former Sounder Steve Zakuani got his first start for the Timbers and produced one of the team’s three shots on goal in his 65-minute stint.

13. CHIVAS USA (1-1-1), 10. A bright start to the season and a good hour at FC Dallas fell apart in a 3-1 defeat. Mauro Rosales’ workrate and trickery created a few openings and Erick Torres tucked away his third goal in as many games, but FCD’s speed in the attacking half of the field couldn’t be suppressed. Coach Wilmer Cabrera is looking at a lot of players as he plots the path forward.

14. NEW YORK (0-1-2), 14. The Red Bulls fell behind early at Chicago and after Dax McCarty scored during a scramble off a corner kick, Luis Robles came up with the saves necessary to record a 1-1 tie. Jonny Steele caused some problems on the left flank and Thierry Henry had a few good looks, but Tim Cahill was held without a shot except for a defensive header that Robles was forced to repel.

15. CHICAGO (0-1-2), 16. Leading, 1-0, on Jeff Larentowicz’s header from Harry Shipp’s corner kick in the sixth minute, the Fire was unable to break into the win column and tied New York, 1-1, in its home opener. Mike Magee roused himself after a sluggish start and DP Juan Luis Anangono drew two fouls after coming on as a sub but the Fire couldn’t regain the lead.

16. SAN JOSE (0-1-1), 15. The Quakes were adamant that Steven Lenhart didn’t intentionally handle a ball against SKC, but the penalty kick was awarded and converted to decide a tight game, 1-0. They lost their eighth straight game in Kansas City and managed only one shot on goal, though Chris Wondolowski lashed a great opportunity narrowly wide in the 71st minute. Keeper Jon Busch was again spectacular.

17. NEW ENGLAND (0-2-1),18. Centerback Jose Goncalves came back into the lineup for the home opener against Vancouver and though the Revs got a shutout they were also blanked themselves. Starting together for the first time this season were Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe and Saer Sene. They buzzed the Whitecaps goal often but not very efficiently; only three of their 17 shots were on target. The Revs have yet to score a goal this season. The Revs and Goncalves say they’ve put aside his contract issues that prompted his absence from the 1-0 loss at Philly in Week 2.

18. MONTREAL (0-3-0), 17. Perkins' embarrassing own goal -- he batted a rebound off the crossbar into his own net -- gave the Sounders a 1-0 lead, and though Perkins robbed Martins with a spectacular save a few minutes later, the Impact couldn’t catch up despite launching 25 shots (six on goal). Marco Di Vaio and Andres Romero finished up their three-game suspensions and injuries have left holes in several areas, as the record shows.

19. D.C. UNITED (0-2-0), 19. Many teams will probably end up second-best in Toronto this season, yet only some major saves by Bill Hamid – who was rated as “amazing” by Defoe – limited the damage to 1-0. United’s push for an equalizer in the final 15 minutes yielded chances for Eddie Johnson and Fabian Espindola that weren’t put away.

 



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