MLS Power Rankings: FC Dallas takes over on top

FC Dallas posted another impressive victory to preserve its perfect record and move past the Galaxy atop the MLS Power Rankings. The San Jose Earthquakes moved into fourth place by topping Chicago, 2-1, in the grand opening of Avaya Stadium.

MLS Week 3, Results
SUNDAY, MARCH 22
NY Red Bulls 2 D.C. United 0. Highlights
San Jose 2 Chicago 1. Highlights
SATURDAY, MARCH 21
Orlando City 0 Vancouver 1. Highlights
Sporting KC 0 Portland 0. Highlights
LA Galaxy 1 Houston 1. Highlights
New England 0 Montreal 0. Highlights
Colorado 0 New York City 0. Highlights
Philadelphia 0 FC Dallas 2. Highlights

 1.   FC DALLAS (3-0-0), 2. Frustrated by his team’s stagnant attack in the first half against Philly, head coach Oscar Pareja brought Ryan Hollingshead off the bench. His energy livened up FCD’s attack and helped exploit a man advantage by which Tesho Akindele and Hollingshead scored the goals in a 2-0 victory. It’s early days, yet already FCD has a plus-five goal difference.

2. LA GALAXY (1-0-2), 1. A third-minute Robbie Keane goal was matched by Houston and thereafter the Galaxy’s vaunted attack was stymied in a 1-1 tie. Robbie Rogers was caught ball-watching on a corner kick as Houston equalized, and some sharp goalkeeping fended off the attacking corps. Finnish newcomer Mika Vayrynen nailed a shot on goal from distance to strengthen his case for a starting midfield spot.

3.   NEW YORK CITY (1-0-2), 4. Another strong game for ex-Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders earned NYCFC its second straight shutout: 0-0 at Colorado. Saunders stopped seven of the 21 shots launched at him and NYCFC wasn’t able to finish any of the few good chances it created.

4.   SAN JOSE (2-0-1), 6. The Quakes opened up their spectacular new Avaya Stadium by scoring a couple of scrappy goals off set plays to beat Chicago, 2-1. Defender Clarence Goodson, starting his first game suffering a serious toe injury last summer, assisted on Fatai Alashe’s goal and took the shot that rebounded for Ty Harden to bag his first MLS goal. Improvement noted.

5.   NY RED BULLS (1-0-1), 12. The Red Bulls took another step in moving past the Mike Petke era by downing D.C. United, 2-0, in their home opener. Their superior play squelched D.C. for most of the match, and goals by Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam provided a fair scoreline.

6.   D.C UNITED (1-1-0), 3. A skied penalty kick by Chris Pontius in the final minutes of the loss to New York typified United’s struggles while losing to New York. A long ball over the top misplayed by centerbacks Steve Birnbaum and Bobby Boswell led to the first goal and keeper Bill Hamid was beaten near-post on the second. All in all not good enough.

7.   TORONTO FC (1-1-0), 7. After a week off, TFC heads to RSL without U.S. internationals Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore. A year ago, TFC lost, 3-0, at Rio Tinto Stadium.

8.   SEATTLE (1-1-0), 8. The Sounders also took the week off after being embarrassed by San Jose, 3-2, in front of their home fans. They won’t have internationals Clint Dempsey nor Marco Pappa for an intriguing Western Conference match at FC Dallas. They play Mexican club Tijuana Tuesday in a friendly.

9.   HOUSTON (1-1-1), 9.  Ricardo Clark (chest) and DaMarcus Beasley (left hamstring) were forced by injuries out of the Galaxy game, but the equalizer scored by Nathan Sturgis held up thanks to a stellar display by keeper Tyler Deric.

10. VANCOUVER (2-1-0), 10. Goals off diving headers are seldom glanced across the goalmouth inside the far post, yet that’s exactly how Octavio Rivero scored his third goal in as many MLS games. And he did it in stoppage time, on the road, to earn his team a 1-0 victory against Orlando City. Diego Rodriguez debuted impressively; he teamed up with centerback Kendall Waston for 15 clearances, three interceptions, two blocked shots, and zero goals allowed.

11. REAL SALT LAKE (0-0-2), 9. RSL comes back from a week off to face Toronto FC without Luis Gil, Nick Rimando, Alvaro Saborio and Elias Vasquez, who will be on international duty. In its two games, RSL has pitched a shutout in Portland (0-0) and conceded three goals at home to Philadelphia (3-3). It needed a late, controversial penalty kick to tie the Union.

12. COLUMBUS (1-1-0), 11. Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter took the week off from league play to evaluate his roster and perhaps what to do in midfield after Mohammed Saeid’s successful stint in relief of suspended Tony Tchani in a 2-0 defeat of TFC March 14. Tchani probably comes back to face the Red Bulls Saturday but Saeid definitely raised his stock.

13. ORLANDO CITY SC (1-1-1), 5. Yes, the 1-0 home loss to Vancouver came from a gut-punch goal in stoppage time following a 64-36 percent edge in possession, but it was Lions’ keeper Donovan Ricketts who made the biggest save of the game. Only one of OCSC’s 12 shots hit the target and a boisterous home crowd of 31,072 departed in stunned silence.

14. PORTLAND (0-0-3), 14. The Timbers posted their second shutout in the first three games of 2015 by tying Sporting Kansas City, 0-0, on the road. They also have ties in all of those games but without the guile of Diego Valeri and grit of Will Johnson, both injured, points are all that matter. Liam Ridgewell is trying to match centerback partner Nat Borchers in the facial foliage department as they solidify their partnership.

15. COLORADO (0-0-2), 15. The Rapids are unbeaten and unscored upon but also have yet to score after tying New York City FC, 0-0, in their home opener. They threatened on numerous occasions while launching 21 shots and defensively relied on Clint Irwin’s saves and a vital Sam Cronin clearance to get another shutout.

16. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (0-1-2), 18. Two near-miss headers by centerback Ike Opara were among the opportunities squandered in a 0-0 tie with Portland at Sporting Park. Marcel De Jong hit several impressive balls from the left side and Jimmy Medranda knifed through the Timbers on the dribble without reward. Keeper Luis Marin recorded three saves and his second shutout.

17. MONTREAL (0-1-1), 19. In a rough 0-0 tie at New England, Cameron Porter and Dominic Oduro both had to come out of the game with injuries. The Impact plays its league home opener this weekend against Orlando; it has looked sharp while tying Pachuca, 1-1, and beating Alajuelense, 2-0, in Concacaf play. It will not have defender Laurent Ciman; he’s been called up to represent Belgium and won’t be easily replaced.

18. NEW ENGLAND (0-2-1), 17. The Revs are still goalless after three games and against Montreal were unable to exploit more than 30 minutes of playing 11 against 10. A goal-bound shot by Andrew Farrell hit substitute Charlie Davies on the leg. So it goes.

19. PHILADELPHIA (0-1-2), 16. After a few early chances went unclaimed, a wild elbow by Zach Pfeffer left the Union with 10 men and FCD took advantage in the second half. A giveaway by Fabinho, who replaced an injured Sheanon Williams midway through the first half, opened the door for FCD to score its first goal. Philly has yet to score in its two home matches this season.

20. CHICAGO (0-3-0), 20. Ex-Quakes head coach Frank Yallop absorbed a third straight loss on his return to San Jose. Harry Shipp’s goal polished off a nice move and in his debut, forward David Accam threatened a few times. Sean Johnson gave up a cushy rebound on the winning goal.

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