By Ridge Mahoney
The second-year Montreal Impact claimed the top spot in the Power Rankings with its third straight win of 2013.
The Impact beat fellow Canadian club Toronto FC, 2-1, to run its record to a perfect nine points after three games. It had opened the season by stunning the Sounders, 1-0, in Seattle, and stayed on the West Coast to beat Portland, 2-1, before topping TFC in its home opener.
Victories for Philly and FC Dallas raised their records to 2-1-0. No other team has more than one win and five teams remain winless: the Sounders, Red Bulls, Timbers, Rapids and Fire.
A CCL hangover affected all three of the MLS quarterfinalists, and all three conceded goals in the final minutes. Houston had the toughest task, traveling to Dallas after losing to Santos Laguna in Mexico, and lost to FCD on a late and controversial goal, 3-2. The Galaxy and Seattle led, 1-0, at home yet were unable to punch in a second goal, and succumbed to late equalizers.
Week 3 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
Rank TEAM (W-L-T) Last week
1. MONTREAL (3-0-0) 2.
2. VANCOUVER (2-0-0) 3.
3. LOS ANGELES (1-0-1) 1.
4. D.C UNITED (1-1-1) 7.
5. HOUSTON (1-1-0) 4.
6. PHILADELPHIA (2-1-0) 12.
7. FC DALLAS (2-1-0) 16.
8. SAN JOSE (1-1-1) 11.
9. NEW ENGLAND (1-1-0) 5.
10. REAL SALT LAKE (1-1-1) 8.
11. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (1-1-1) 9.
12. TORONTO FC (1-2-0) 6.
13. CHIVAS USA (1-1-1) 14
14. COLUMBUS (1-1-1) 13.
15. SEATTLE (0-1-1) 10.
16. NEW YORK (0-1-2) 15.
17. PORTLAND (0-1-2) 17.
18. COLORADO (0-2-1) 18.
19. CHICAGO (0-2-1) 19.
(Vancouver did not play in week 3.)
THE BEST. The departure of centerback Alessandro Nesta, sidelined in the 11th minute by an adductor injury, failed to stem Montreal’s momentum. Patrice Bernier and Marco di Vaio got their first goals of the season and 37,896 fans at Olympic Stadium celebrated a third straight victory.
The Galaxy dropped two places by tying archrival Chivas USA, 1-1, despite playing a man up for the final 50 minutes and scoring through Jack McBean in the 83rd minute. United survived a fierce onslaught – outshot 24-4 – with seven Bill Hamid saves, including a desperation swat of a ball that might have crossed the goal-line, to secure a 0-0 tie at Red Bull Arena.
Houston rallied from a 2-0 deficit with goals by Andrew Driver and Brad Davis but were beaten in the final minutes. Jack McInerney scored the fourth goal of his career against the Revs on the rebound of his own shot in the Union’s 1-0 victory.
THE MIDDLE. An apparent handball by Kenny Cooper enabled him to set up the 90th minute goal by which FC Dallas posted a 3-2 home victory over Houston. A close offside decision denied FCD a goal that would have increased its lead to 3-0 after George John and Andrew Jacobson had scored.
The Quakes got a point in their 2013 road debut as defender Justin Morrow scored for a 1-1 tie in Columbus. New England lost on the road, 1-0, to the Union, and plays its home opener this weekend. SKC and RSL failed to win at home, tying Chicago (0-0) and Colorado (1-1), respectively. TFC lost to the top-ranked Impact, 2-1, though Robbie Earnshaw scored his third MLS goal in as many games. About 5,000 fans made the trip and this weekend can stay at home for the first game of the year at BMO Field.
Chivas USA overcame centerback Joaquín Velázquez's 40th-minute dismissal with a goal by MLS debutant Carlos Alvarez in the 89th minute to tie the Galaxy, 1-1. Crew defender Glauber nailed a diving header off a Federico Higuain free kick midway through the second half but five minutes later the Crew conceded an equalizer to San Jose.
THE REST. The Sounders jumped on top of Portland when Eddie Johnson scored in the 13th minute and brought on new signing Obafemi Martins with 20 minutes to go, then fell asleep in stoppage time. The Red Bulls pounded away at D.C. United without reward in their home opener, and with two points in three games are tied with the Timbers, for which Rodney Wallace floated free to head home a great serve from defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste.
Backup Rapids keeper Clint Irwin replaced starter Matt Pickens, forced out of the game with a broken forearm in the seventh minute, and came up with a few key saves in a 1-1 tie at RSL. Pickens will be out three to four months. Strong games by goalie Sean Johnson and midfielder Daniel Paladini, seeing his first action of the season, helped the Fire gain a 0-0 tie at SKC.