There was no movement among the top five teams – none of which lost – yet Montreal and Philly moved up while the Rapids dropped. Vancouver and Columbus also fell a few notches and the Red Bulls’ fourth loss of season dumped them in the basement.
Six teams play midweek games and there’s a full slate of 10 matches on the weekend so significant movement is likely. The double-dip teams are Colorado, SKC, San Jose, Portland, FC Dallas, and the Red Bulls.
The MLS Power Rankings are based solely on MLS regular-season results. A team’s current rank is followed by its record and ranking last week.
1. REAL SALT LAKE (3-0-2), 1. A defensive miscue exploited by Joao Plata, who so far this season is melding determination with his incredible skill, produced the only goal as RSL maintained its status as the league’s only unbeaten team. Five saves by Nick Rimando and a howitzer-header clearance by Aaron Maund helped RSL post its first shutout of 2016.
2. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-0), 2. A great game – I mean, a really great game – by keeper Tim Melia stoned the Red Bulls as SKC recorded its third clean sheet. Melia repelled a Bradley Wright-Phillips penalty kick and pulled off several other dramatic saves as SKC won on the road for the second time this season. Dom Dwyer scored from a throw-in and Benny Feilhaber polished off a classic counterattack.
3. FC DALLAS (3-1-2), 3. Twice FCD had to respond to San Jose goals conceded when it reacted too slowly to crisp ball movement. Tesho Akindele hit the first equalizer from the penalty spot and a hard cross by Fabian Castillo ricocheted off an opponent’s head into the net. Credit is due for bouncing back from a shock deficit in the third minute but very casually defending enabled the Quakes to score their second goal.
4. ORLANDO CITY SC (2-1-2), 4. A crushing, last-minute loss at Philly doesn’t detract from another spirited performance attained with Cyle Larin sidelined. Adrian Winter equalized near the end of the first half and nearly did it again in the final minutes with a fierce blast that was tipped onto the post. Still, the badly scuffed clearance by Rafael Ramos that gifted Philly its first goal shouldn’t happen and one of several careless fouls in the final minutes yielded the decisive free kick.
5. LA GALAXY (2-1-2), 5. A typically entertaining game against Timbers will instead forever be remembered for Nigel de Jong’s heinous, over-the-ball destruction of Darlington Nagbe. Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane sat out with injuries, Robbie Rogers left early with a hip contusion, and Gio dos Santos didn’t do much in his first appearance since the season opener. A cross whipped in by Sebastian Lletget wound up in the net off the head of Portland defender Nat Borchers to give the Galaxy a point.
6. MONTREAL (3-2-0), 8. Hassoun Camara upstaged his Crew SC namesake by heading in a corner kick for the winning goal. Ignacio Piatti ran the show, taking four shots and setting up the same number for Lucas Ontivero, who delivered the corner kick Camara put away. Kyle Bekker converted another great serve by Amboise Oyongo to clinch the victory.
7. PHILADELPHIA (3-2-0), 9. If not for a superb last-minute save by Andre Blake, the incredibly precise and elegantly struck free kick by Tranquillo Barnetta that kissed the crossbar and dropped just over the goal line would not have been the winner. Philly took the lead when C.J. Sapong pounced on a poor clearance to score his third goal of the season.
8. TORONTO FC (1-2-2), 7. Sebastian Giovinco’s equalizer earned TFC its fifth point in five consecutive road matches as Jozy Altidore made his first start of the season. TFC switched to a 4-4-2 formation with those two DPs up top and while they didn’t link up often, Altidore set up the goal by collecting a long ball and pushing it to the Italian.
9. COLORADO (2-2-1), 6. Misplays on a long ball by keeper Zac MacMath and defender Axel Sjoberg provided RSL with a gift goal the Rapids couldn’t match. Shkelzen Gashi nearly scored but a goal-line clearance repelled his shot. He and Luis Solignac took a combined nine shots of Colorado’s 14.
10. SAN JOSE (2-1-2), 10. The Quakes will rue blowing a pair of one-goal leads taken on a great strike by Alberto Quintero, his first in MLS, and yet another goal by Chris Wondolowski (his 113rd). Quincy Amarikwa assisted on both and crazy as it sounds, he’s delivering performances that earn All-Star votes. Defender Victor Bernardez drilled a header into his own net to deprive San Jose of a victory.
11. PORTLAND (1-2-2), 12. The Timbers’ took just four shots but almost pulled out a victory at StubHub Center. Nat Borchers’ own goal cancelled out Fanendo Adi’s fourth of the season. Left back Chris Klute played his first game for the Timbers; he’s been sidelined by a torn meniscus and has the big shoes of Jorge Villafana to fill for the defending champion.
12. CHICAGO (1-1-3), 13. Keeper Matt Lampson rescued his teammates so many times they should outfit him with a cape. A superhero showing (eight saves) fended off NYCFC and the Fire needed every one, since it put exactly zero shots on goal.
13. D.C. UNITED (1-2-3), 15. The reuniting of former RSL teammates Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio should at times rekindle their halcyon days and so it was on Saturday. Each of them scored two goals while tearing apart a defense that had posted consecutive shutouts against Houston and the Galaxy.
14. VANCOUVER (2-3-1), 11. Good teams occasionally suffer bad defeats and that certainly occurred at RFK, but the ‘Caps defense -- aside from David Ousted – looked terrible. The roof collapsed after Masato Kudo and Blas Perez failed to put away chances in the first half and the ‘Caps were blown out despite nine saves by Ousted.
15. NEW ENGLAND (1-1-4), 14. You won’t see a sweeter header than the one Kelyn Rowe nailed into the top far corner from a Je-Vaughn Watson cross for his first goal of the season, but a ball over the top flummoxed the back line to produce an equalizer. Just before the goal, Teal Bunbury went down in the box and appealed for a penalty kick to no avail, and rightly so. The Revs are unbeaten in three home games but have won just once.
16. HOUSTON (1-2-2), 16. The new-look Dynamo is still incorporating newcomers Cristian Maidana and Andrew Wenger but the attack clicked often enough that goalscorer Gilles Barnes and Will Bruin combined took nine of Houston’s 16 shots. On the equalizer, both keeper Joe Wills and defender Raul Rodriguez could have done better with a victory just seconds away.
17. SEATTLE (1-3-1), 18. Another lackluster showing by Jordan Morris, who played alone up top in a 4-2-3-1 formation, was rescued by his replacement. Veteran Herculez Gomez added enough oomph to the Sounders attack that it forged a stoppage-time chance that Chad Marshall, whose defensive work kept Seattle in the game, poked into the net.
18. NEW YORK CITY FC (1-1-3), 20. Blanked at home for the second time in four home games, NYCFC has scored three goals while garnering just three points after opening the season with a 4-3 victory in Chicago. David Villa’s effort and artistry landed five of his seven shots on frame without reward.
19. COLUMBUS (0-3-2), 17. The 2015 MLS Cup finalist is the only winless team in MLS yet the loss in Montreal was its fourth road game of the season and third in a row. Still, in the absence of Didier Drogba Crew SC couldn’t slow down the Impact attack, which piled up an 18-10 shot advantage. Three missed Columbus chances in the first half kept the game goalless until Harrison Afful lost the mark on Camara.
20. NY RED BULLS (1-4-0), 19. It’s unfortunate that the Red Bulls ran into the absolute best of Melia, but they can’t blame him for giving up a goal directly off a throw-in. That’s on Chris Duvall, victimized by Dwyer’s spin move, and a rickety defense that leads MLS in goals allowed with 11.