MLS Power Rankings: Galaxy thumps RSL to take top spot

The Galaxy overpowered previous No. 1 Real Salt Lake, 5-2, to end RSL’s last unbeaten start to the 2016 season and also knock it off the top perch in the Soccer America Power Rankings.

Colorado moved into third place by adding to Seattle’s woes and Toronto prevailed in Montreal to crack the top five. Sporting Kansas City’s slide continued with a loss in San Jose and the Revs were rolled at RFK.

Rivals New York City FC and the Red Bulls traded places in the bottom two slots.

MLS Results: Week 8
April 23
Philadelphia 2, New York City FC 0. Highlights
Montreal 0, Toronto FC 2. Highlights
Columbus 1, Houston 0. Highlights
D.C. United 3, New England 0  Highlights
LA Galaxy 5, Real Salt Lake 2. Highlights
Colorado 3, Seattle 1. Highlights
Vancouver 3, FC Dallas 0. Highlights
April 24
San Jose 1, Sporting KC 0 Highlights
NY Red Bulls 3, Orlando City SC 2 Highlights
(Chicago and Portland did not play.) 

The MLS Power Rankings are based only on MLS results and include a team’s record in parentheses (W-L-T) and rank last week.

1. LA GALAXY (4-1-2), 3. A rout of RSL makes it two straight wins without Nigel de Jong. First-year Ghanaian Emmanuel Boateng had a goal and two assists. Each getting a goal and an assist were Mike Magee, Giovani dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes, and Steven Gerrard bagged a stoppage-time goal after failing to convert a penalty kick in the sixth minute.

2. REAL SALT LAKE (4-1-2), 1. A sharp start at StubHub Center -- Nick Rimando repelled Gerrard’s PK and  Juan Martinez  scored 10 minutes later -- quickly disintegrated as the Galaxy landed 12 of 17 shots on goal. Yura Movsisyan drew a PK converted by Javier Morales.

3. COLORADO (5-2-1), 5. The Rapids rolled to their fourth straight home victory with goals by Jermaine Jones, Luis Solignac and  Kevin Doyle  despite a penalty kick squandered by  Shelkzen Gashi. Eight different players registered a goal or an assist.

4. FC DALLAS (5-2-2), 2. Maybe FCD is a big ragged -- no other team has played nine league matches -- and it can blame this loss -- which stopped a six-game unbeaten streak --  on an own goal by Maynor Figueroa that opened the scoring, a few missed chances and a couple of excellent saves by the opposing keeper. Mauro Diaz made his first appearance in nearly a month and played 19 minutes.

5. TORONTO FC (3-2-2), 6. Just one more game on the road for TFC, which has won two straight and conceded only three goals in the last five games. Sebastian Giovinco  was as atomic as always and scored both goals but rugged defensive work throughout the lineup neutralized the Impact for much of the match. Jozy Altidore won a PK converted by Giovinco for the first goal.

6. MONTREAL (4-3-0), 4. A sell-out crowd of 20,801 at Stade Saputo saw the first start of 2016 for Didier Drogba; he took six of the Impact’s 11 shots and got one on goal, which was one-half of the team total. (His header on frame went right to the keeper.) A late tackle by Victor Cabrera tripped Altidore to set up the PK.

7. PHILADELPHIA (4-3-0), 8. The Union improved its home record to 3-0-0 with goals by two players long associated with other teams: C.J. Sapong (Kansas City) and Chris Pontius (D.C. United). Sapong led Philly with nine goals last season, his first with the club: Pontius, acquired last winter in a trade, tops the chart so far in 2016 with four.

8. SAN JOSE (4-2-2), 10.  Chris Wondolowski  took over the league scoring lead by nailing his seventh of the season from the penalty spot; keeper David Bingham joined the leaders with his third shutout that included, as usual, a couple of sparkling stops. Defender Andres Imperiale got away with a penalty-area tackle that looked like a stone-cold PK as the Quakes stayed unbeaten (4-0-1) at home.

9. PORTLAND (2-3-2), 9. The Timbers sat out the weekend but get an early jump on Week 9 by playing at New England on Wednesday, then fly back across the country to host TFC Sunday. Nice scheduling.

10. ORLANDO CITY SC (2-3-3), 7. Again missing an injured Kaka, the Lions got another goal from Cyle Larin, who also misfired on a close-range header and drew a foul that in most dimensions would have been a penalty kick. Defensively, the left side looked very weak as the Red Bulls stampeded their way to three goals in 10 minutes and 25 shots overall.

11. CHICAGO (1-2-3), 12. After a week off, the Fire hosts D.C. United Saturday.

12. SPORTING KC (4-4-0), 11. SKC lost on a penalty kick called five minutes after a clear foul on Dom Dwyer in the box wasn’t called. An excellent save foiled Dwyer on another occasion and the decisive PK arose when keeper Tim Melia dove into the feet of Simon Dawkins and didn’t get the ball.

13. D.C UNITED (2-3-3), 14. Head coach Ben Olsen served a one-game suspension for stepping onto the field to kick away a stray ball last week, and United eased his angst by producing 14 shots and earning a third shutout for keeper Travis Worra. A  Lamar Neagle  penalty kick opened the scoring and an elegant chip by Luciano Acosta sealed the deal for a very desperate team.

14. VANCOUVER (2-4-1), 15. Well, that’s more like it, at least on the scoreboard. Goals by Jordan Harvey and Kekuta Manneh 12 minutes apart in the second half expanded a lead taken on an own goal in the first half. However, the ‘Caps were overrun in the first 30 minutes and again needed some heroics from goalie David Ousted to stay even.

15. COLUMBUS (2-3-2), 17. After failing to win any of its first five games, Crew SC has won two straight. It controlled most of the play against a Houston team down to 10 men and without its starting keeper after Kei Kamara converted a PK whistled for denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity when Gonzalo Higuain was fouled.

16. NEW ENGLAND (1-2-5), 13. In the words of head coach Jay Heaps, “We didn’t react real well” to an injury suffered by Chris Tierney and falling behind on a penalty kick after starting the game strongly. The Revs have been blanked three times in six games after scoring three in the season opener. They have back-to-back home games with week against Portland and Orlando City.

17. SEATTLE (2-4-1), 16. Rookie Jordan Morris scored and nobody else did as the Sounders’ modest three-game unbeaten streak ended. Captain  Brad Evans  argued for an offside call on the Rapids' third goal and departed with two quick cautions for dissent. Six saves by Stefan Frei weren't enough.

18. HOUSTON (1-4-2), 18. An early red card to goalie Tyler Deric eviscerated any game plan devised by head coach Owen Coyle, who shifted to a 4-1-4-1 formation and deployed Collen Warner, Sheanon Williams,  Agus  and Deric for the first time in 2016. The depleted Dynamo mustered just four shots on goal.

19. NY RED BULLS (2-6-0), 20. Poor starts to the season by Sasha Kljestan, Mike Grella, and Bradley Wright-Phillips were rectified as NYRB snapped a four-game losing streak. Grella and BWP accounted for all the goals and both Grella and Kljestan were credited for assists as the Red Bulls broke open a 1-0 game by scoring in the 65th,  69th and 75th minutes. Is the patient cured?

20. NEW YORK CITY (1-3-3), 19. Winless since its season opener, NYCFC never recovered by conceding the game’s first goal just a minute after a David Villa shot came back off the crossbar. Keeper Josh Saunders came up with a big save in the early minutes, and Ronald Matarrita provided some good service but when one player, Villa, is taking 10 of a team’s 13 shots, the team isn’t doing enough.

1 comment about "MLS Power Rankings: Galaxy thumps RSL to take top spot".
  1. Michael Armbruster, April 26, 2016 at 9:58 a.m.

    Its great to have a competitive team in Colorado this year!!!

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