Colorado even stronger upfront

[MLS POWER RANKINGS] Colorado made a strong case for taking over the top spot by drilling D.C. United, 4-1, but No. 1 Real Salt Lake can’t lose its place by not playing, so it's status quo for the top two after Week 3 action. San Jose and New York also hold their places in third and fourth by tying at home. Columbus moved up by outclassing FC Dallas. Only three home teams won in eight games played, but none of them lost.

1. REAL SALT LAKE (2-0-0). A nice scheduling break gave RSL the weekend off to prepare for its Concacaf Champions League showdown in Costa Rica Tuesday. RSL gets right back to work this weekend at New England. Last week: 1.

2. COLORADO (3-0-0). The Rapids beefed up the one of the best frontlines in MLS by adding Irish striker Caleb Folan, and all he did Sunday night was score twice in a 4-1 thumping of D.C. United. Jamie Smith and Omar Cummings netted their second goals of the season. The champs are looking good but have yet to play any serious rivals to their crown. Last week: 2.

3. SAN JOSE (1-1-1). A home tie is a disappointment and the Quakes have yet to win at Buck Shaw Stadium in two games this season. They did rally twice after falling behind to tie (2-2) a Seattle team that finally clicked offensively, and Simon Dawkins – who scored the first goal – is already drawing notice for his speed and skills. Last week: 3.

4. NEW YORK (1-0-2). Dwayne De Rosario's debut produced a nice assist -- DeRo's slide-rule through ball that split open the Dynamo back line to send Dane Richards clear – yet still the Red Bulls tied, 1-1, despite pounding 24 shots to just nine for Houston. Bouna Counduol returned in goal and confusion between he and Rafa Marquez gave Houston its equalizer. Last week: 4.

5. NEW ENGLAND (1-0-2). In frigid conditions at Gillette Stadium, the Revs tied the expansion Timbers, 1-1, to set up a Wednesday meeting with the other expansion newbies, Vancouver, and a weekend visit of Real Salt Lake. Rookie Steven McCarthy scored with a bouncing shot after Sainey Nyassi had hit the crossbar. Franco Coria (left hamstring strain), Ousmane Dabo (right quadriceps strain), and Marko Perovic (left hamstring strain) all sat out; they’ll be needed for this week’s double-dip. Last week: 6.

6. LOS ANGELES (2-1-1). Leonardo, one of three Brazilians signed for last season after impressing while on trial, headed home a classic David Beckham – who played in the middle rather than on the right flank --- free kick to down Philadelphia, 1-0, at Home Depot Center. A red card to Chris Birchall left the Galaxy down a man in the 53rd minute and staunch defending by Omar Gonzalez and confident handling by Donovan Ricketts -- both making their season debuts after injury absences -- shut down the Union. Last week: 9.

7. CHICAGO (1-0-1). A weekend away from league action for the Fire is followed by a road swing to the Northwest to face Seattle (Saturday) and Portland (April 14). A 2-1 defeat of Colorado in the U.S. Open Cup last week was marked by an amazing goal from nearly 40 yards by rookie defender Jalil Anibaba. Last week: 7.

8. PHILADELPHIA (2-1-0). A 1-0 loss to the Galaxy at HDC is far from a disgrace, yet the Union held a man advantage for nearly 40 minutes and not only failed to equalize, it couldn’t put a single shot on goal. Sebastien Le Toux is nursing an ankle injury and a tepid midfield didn’t provide much service for Carlos Ruiz. Last week: 5.

9. SEATTLE (0-2-2). A sputtering attack came to life in the absence of Fredy Montero, sidelined because of wrist surgery, in a 2-2 tie at San Jose. Goals by Brad Evans and O’Brian White punctuated a strong offensive effort propelled by Steve Zakuani and Mauro Rosales, but a rickety defense could easily have conceded more goals. Last week: 10.

A road point in front of a hostile crowd would be great, except for a three-goal lead that dissipated in the wake of a furious Vancouver comeback. Teal Bunbury ignored the jeers of jilted Canadian fans to score twice, and a third goal by Kei Kamara should have been enough for three points. Last week: 8.

11. VANCOUVER (1-1-1).
The Fun House, aka Empire Field, reverberated again as the Whitecaps battled back from a 3-0 deficit to tie Sporting Kansas City, 3-3, with two stoppage-time goals by Camilo. A scintillating end-to-end move that involved five players triggered the comeback when Atiba Harris used his thigh to nudge a ball over the line in the 73rd minute. The ‘D’ looked shaky without Jay DeMerit, but what entertainment! Last week: 12.

12. HOUSTON (0-1-2). Another sharp game by Tally Hall helped the Dynamo extract a 1-1 tie from Red Bull Arena. In addition to making nine saves, Hall earned his first MLS assist with a long kick that Will Bruin nodded on for Cam Weaver to score. In the final minutes Hall twice thwarted Thierry Henry and also stoned Luke Rodgers. Dude is clutch. Last week: 13.

13. COLUMBUS (1-1-1). After failing to score in its home opener against New York (0-0) two weeks ago, the Crew got on top early and rather easily dispatched FC Dallas, 2-0, with the help of a FCD red card in the 33rd minute. Emmanuel Ekpo won a penalty kick early in the second half that Andres Mendoza converted but not until Eddie Gaven bent home a stoppage-time clincher could the Crew relax. Last week: 16.

14. TORONTO FC (1-1-1). Maicon Santos is all over the internet for dribbling instead of passing and then scuffing wide a potential winner from point-blank range in a 1-1 tie with Chivas USA. TFC rallied from conceding an ugly early goal with a superb Alan Gordon header from Jacob Peterson’s free kick, and ex-Red Bulls Tony Tchani and Danleigh Borman added some energy to a team that often looked ponderous in the past, even with DeRo. Last week: 15.

15. D.C. UNITED (1-2-0).
Smacked around by the defending champions, 4-1, D.C. rekindled memories of last year’s futility. A spectacular volleyed goal by Santino Quaranta couldn’t atone for an overrun defense; a minute after he scored, Colorado re-took the lead. For the second time this season Marc Burch saved with a goalline clearance. Charlie Davies sat out with a groin injury. Last week: 11.

16. FC DALLAS (0-2-1). Down to 10 men after Jackson went off with a second caution in the 33rd minute, a minute after getting the first yellow, FCD fell in Columbus, 2-0. Defender George John gave away a penalty kick early in the second half and FCD never recovered. The new-look attack has scored just one goal in three games. Last week: 14.

17. PORTLAND (0-2-1). Coach John Spencer got his first point against fellow Scotsman Steve Nicol via a 1-1 tie at New England. Jack Jewsbury lashed home an equalizer from a Jeremy Hall feed in the 38th minute and Kalif Alhassan hit the post with a free kick that could have won it. The second overall SuperDraft pick, Darlington Nagbe, came on for his MLS debut in the 66th minute. The Timbers have this weekend off as they prepare for their historic opener at Jeld-Wen Field a week from Thursday. Last week: 17.

18. CHIVAS USA (0-2-1). After losing twice at home, Chivas USA came away from one of the league’s noisier venues, BMO Field, with a 1-1 tie. Veteran Alejandro Moreno exploited a defensive mixup to score his first goal for the club in the third minute; Dan Kennedy, Andrew Boyens and Jorge Flores made their first appearances of the season. It’s a start, but the Crew comes calling this weekend. Last week: 18.

3 comments about "Colorado even stronger upfront".
  1. Phil Love, April 5, 2011 at 8:42 a.m.

    Schellas Hyndman's evil master strategy is working! FC Dallas has dropped into a deep lurking stalking position, poised sneak up on everyone after reaching the MLS Cup final last year. Playing guys in unfamiliar positions has been most effective in moving the team downward. Red cards 2 - Goals 1.

  2. David Sirias, April 5, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.

    Too early to panic in Dallas. But VAN and KC should be a blast to watch all year -- porous defense on side but top notch imported playmakers and dangerous looking strikers on the other, making each dangerous even for good teams Let's all wish RSL good luck tonight!

  3. Barry Thomas, April 5, 2011 at 11:34 a.m.

    RSL doesn't play and they stay #1? I thought this ranking was supposed to be based on who's hottest at the moment. I wonder if RSL never play another game all year, would they sustain their position through the summer?

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