MLS Power Rankings: Top three teams hold their spots

Good results for the top three kept them in their places and another puzzling defeat for FC Dallas dropped it a couple of notches. The Galaxy held off SKC while a man down to earn a point thanks to a superb chip by Giovani dos Santos.

Defending champion Portland crossed the country to get a midweek point at New England and prevailed at home against Toronto FC, which completed its eight-game road swing to start the season. Sporting Kansas City posted its first two ties of the season, which extends a winless streak to five games.

Jordan Morris got his third goal in as many games to rescue a late win for the Sounders. Both New York teams won, with the Red Bulls’ demolition of FCD turning out to the shock of the week.

Week 9 Results:
April 27
New York City FC 1, Montreal 1. Highlights
Vancouver 1, Sporting Kansas City 1. Highlights
New England 1, Portland 1. Highlights
April 29
New York Red Bulls 4, FC Dallas 0. Highlights
April 30
Real Salt Lake 2, Houston 1. Highlights
Montreal 2, Colorado 2. Highlights
Seattle 1, Columbus 0. Highlights
Chicago 1, D.C. United 1. Highlights
Philadelphia 1, San Jose 1. Highlights
New England 2, Orlando City SC 2. Highlights
New York City FC 3, Vancouver 2. Highlights
May 1
Portland 2, Toronto FC 1. Highlights
Sporting Kansas City 1, LA Galaxy 1. Highlights
Only league results are factored into the Power Rankings, which include team records in parentheses and rank last week.

1. LA GALAXY (4-1-3), 1. A wonderful goal -- his fourth in three games -- by Giovani dos Santos equaled the steal, dribble and pass by which Gyazi Zardes sent him in alone to chip keeper Tim Melia. Dropped into a 10-man hole by Ashley Cole, cautioned twice within a minute for time-wasting and a reckless foul, the Galaxy held on. It leads the league in fewest shots attempted by opponents (76) and tops the charts in goal difference (10). It has racked up 12 points in the last six games (3-0-3).

2. REAL SALT LAKE (5-1-2), 2. RSL bounced back from its first loss of the season by coming back to down Houston, 2-1. In his second start at forward of 2016 Jordan Allen equalized in the 62nd minute and eight minutes later a driving run by Yura Movsisyan to the near post polished off a nice feed from Demar Phillips set up by Allen’s ball. Nick Rimando added to his legend by saving a fierce shot with his face. Is RSL, now 4-0-0 at home, poised to restore dominance at Rio Tinto?

3.COLORADO (5-2-2), 3. The Rapids (also perfect in four home games) strengthened their road cred (1-2-2 record) by rallying twice to gain a point in Montreal. Jermaine Jones went the full 90 and set in motion the sequence on their first goal, serviced by Mekiel Williams and tucked away by DP Shkelzen Gashi. Gashi’s free kick produced the second goal, tapped in by Bobby Burling.

4. TORONTO FC (3-3-2), 5. Thus the away octet to open 2016 ends in a spirited if losing display at Providence Park despite an equalizer by former Timbers’ icon Will Johnson. Sharp saves repelled a thunderous shot by Michael Bradley and a few other excellent chances. In those eight road games, only seven goals were conceded. TFC plays its next four games at the bigger, newer BMO Field, and could be atop the conference when that run is done.

5. MONTREAL (4-3-2), 6. The Impact couldn’t hold leads provided by a great free kick by Didier Drogba and a low drive just inside the post from Maxim Tissot. The week had started well with a point at Yankee Stadium courtesy of Dominic Oduro’s bold near-post header of a Drogba free kick in the 91st minute. But during a run of three games in eight days -- including two at Stade Saputo -- the Impact managed just two points.

6. FC DALLAS (5-3-2), 4. How to explain losses in three of its last four road games by combined scores of 12-0? Especially considering FCD has won its other two away matches. FCD was average offensively, and only two of 12 shots hit the target. It crumbled in its own defensive third. A clever Red Bulls free kick burned the FCD defense to open the scoring, and keeper Jesse Gonzalez gave away the second goal when caught trying to clear a ball outside his penalty area.

7. SAN JOSE (4-3-2), 8. The return of Simon Dawkins to San Jose, for which he scored 14 goals in 2011 and 2012, has been a bit rocky, but he gave a glimpse of those days by evading several tacklers to bang home a dramatic equalizer in the 83rd minute for a 1-1 tie at Philadelphia. The Quakes pressed on after midfielder Anibal Godoy was shown a second, and very avoidable, caution in the 59th minute to get just their second away point in four games. The quest continues Saturday in Seattle.

8. PORTLAND (3-3-3), 9. The class of Diego Valeri and goalkeeping of Jake Gleeson lit up a sunny day at Providence Park; Valeri set up Fanendo Adi’s opening goal and netted the second with a superb free kick. Gleeson used his hands and legs to fend off several blasts to keep TFC at bay. Darlington Nagbe returned to the starting lineup at New England; Jack Barmby’s mishit wound up in the net and a late equalizer deprived the Timbers of a six-point week.

9. PHILADELPHIA (4-3-1), 7. The Union remained unbeaten (3-0-1) at home but had been perfect until the final minutes. Holding a 1-0 lead thanks to a fourth Union goal by Chris Pontius and playing 11 against 10, Philly faltered, and couldn’t muster a second goal to reclaim a victory already halfway into its pocket.

10. ORLANDO CITY SC (2-2-4), 10. After a long, excruciating wait -- the 33rd of his 33 MLS appearances -- Carlos Rivas finally bagged his first league goal, and he did it in the 90th minute to earn the Lions a point. Kevin Molino scored his third goal of 2016 while equalling the seven starts he made last season prior to a torn ACL that sidelined him.

11. D.C. UNITED (2-3-4), 13. Ex-Fire attacker Patrick Nyarko celebrated his return by heading in Luciano Acosta’s chip after a short corner kick opened up the Chicago defense. United has yet to win on the road but it did rally in wind and rain to get this point, its third in four away contests.

12. CHICAGO (1-2-4), 11. A neat finish of an Arturo Alvarez cross by rookie Jonathan Campbell gave the Fire a 1-0 lead it couldn’t hold. Chicago has taken the fewest shots (67) by far of any MLS team and Campbell’s was the only one on target of eight attempted.

13. SPORTING KC (4-4-2), 12. The first two ties of the season stopped a three-game losing streak but both results perhaps should have been victories, given that SKC played with a combined man advantage of about an hour. In Vancouver, Diego Rubio equalized with his first MLS goal but a man advantage for 40 minutes wasn’t exploited, nor was a 20-minute edge against the Galaxy. Brad Davis popped up on the “off” wing and cut inside to bend a spectacular left-footed shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead SKC couldn’t hold.

14. SEATTLE (3-4-1), 17. Rookie Jordan Morris isn’t scoring elegant goals but his third in the last three games rescued a 1-0 victory in the 88th minute. Stefan Frei nearly gave a goal away with an errant pass but atoned with a few sharp saves that earned him a second shutout. The Sounders are 3-0-0 against the Eastern Conference but have yet to win in the West, and play their next three against conference foes currently in the playoff tier: San Jose, FC Dallas and Colorado.

15. VANCOUVER (3-5-2), 14. The road woes continued at Yankee Stadium with a fourth loss in five away matches despite Octavio Rivero pouncing on a goalkeeping gaffe to score just 36 seconds after the opening kickoff. The ‘Caps scored again to tie the game when Christian Bolanos snapped up the rebound of his saved penalty kick, but 10 minutes later the ‘Caps conceded their 15th goal in 10 games. Against SKC, a defensive lapse yielded an equalizer that cancelled out a splendid volley by Bolanos of a Cristian Techera corner kick.

16.COLUMBUS (2-4-2), 15. A gifted chance that Federico Higuain hit feebly right to the goalkeeper epitomized Crew SC’s fourth defeat of the season. His other shot on frame required an unorthodox kick save to keep out of the net. Keeper Steve Clark did his part by saving seven shots, but on the last one of a point-blank chance, nobody cleared the rebound.

17. NY RED BULLS (3-6-0), 19. The Red Bulls romped after a clever free-kick move set up Lloyd Sam to break a 0-0 deadlock in the 37th minute. Sacha Kljestan, whose delicate chip yielded that goal, pounced on goalkeeper error to notch the second goal. Felipe set up Mike Grella for the third and tallied the fourth himself. Also of note: first shutout of the season for Robles, who registered nine in his Goalkeeper of the Year season.

18. NEW YORK CITY FC (2-3-4), 20. Top scorer David Villa struck twice within six minutes on crisp, first-time finishes to overturn a 1-0 deficit and Steven Mendoza threaded a shot through traffic for the winner. NYCFC gave away a goal in the first minute when keeper Josh Saunders lost the ball off his feet but eventually took advantage of a foe fatigued by a midweek game and long travel to post its first home win of 2016. Three days earlier, a stoppage-time Montreal goal had matched one by R.J. Allen to extend the frustration at home.

19. NEW ENGLAND (1-2-7), 16. Well, the Revs are still unbeaten at Gillette Stadium, but home ties three days apart leaves the mark at 1-0-4. The Revs let another victory slip away when Orlando City scored in the 90th minute after goals by Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo produced one-goal leads. Femi Hollinger-Janzen made his first Revs’ start to replace an injured Charlie Davies, who had suffered a groin injury against Portland, which gave the Revs a tie with an own goal in the 89th minute.

20. HOUSTON (1-5-2), 18. Back-to-back point-blank saves by Joe Willis in the opening minutes at RSL enabled Houston to take a 1-0 lead with a Leonel Miranda goal, but goals conceded eight minutes apart extended a winless streak to six games.


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