MLS Power Rankings: Crew SC and Dynamo move up

With FC Dallas idle because of its Concacaf Champions League commitments, Columbus and Houston continued their winning ways to ascend the Power Rankings into second and fifth, respectively.

At the other end of the rankings, three teams -- D.C. United, Vancouver, and Minnesota United -- won their first games of the season to rise of the bottom tier. Three teams – Montreal, Philadelphia and Real Salt Lake – remain winless.
 
Week 5 Results:
March 31
Toronto FC 0, Sporting Kansas City 0. Highlights
Seattle 0, Atlanta United 0. Highlights
April 1
New York City FC 2, San Jose 1. Highlights
Columbus 2, Orlando City 0. Highlights
Chicago 2, Montreal 2. Highlights
D.C. United 2, Philadelphia 1. Highlights
Houston 4, N.Y. Red Bulls 1. Highlights
Minnesota United 4, Real Salt Lake 2. Highlights
Vancouver 4, L.A. Galaxy 2. Highlights
April 2
Portland 1, New England 1. Highlights
 
Only MLS results are factored into the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record in parentheses and rank last week.
 
1. FC DALLAS (2-0-1), 1. With its league match against Colorado postponed to accommodate a Concacaf Championship League semifinal series against Pachuca, FCD spent several days in Mexico acclimating to altitude and weather. It plays the second leg Tuesday holding a 2-1 lead.

2. COLUMBUS (3-1-1), 5. Fueled by Justin Meram, Crew SC won its third straight game. Meram scored twice to up his take in 2017 to three goals and two assists. Strong games in central midfield by Wil Trapp and Artur, whose ball over the top set up the first goal for Meram, helped take pressure of Federico Higuain, who played through a sprained ankle and assisted on the clinching goal.

3. NEW YORK CITY FC (2-1-1), 6. After falling behind early, NYCFC came back to win with goals by Jack Harrison and substitute Thomas McNamara. Left back Roland Matarrita helped set up the first goal and then made the play of the game by stealing a ball in midfield and running onto a ball that he cut back for McNamara to tuck away.

4. PORTLAND (3-1-1), 4. A spectacular volley by Diego Valeri – his fifth goal in five games – staked the Timbers to a 1-0 lead and the possibility of an eighth straight home win, but they failed to net a second goal and settled for the point when keeper Jake Gleeson fumbled a shot he should have held. Homegrown Player Michael Farfan made his debut at Providence Park and led all players with eight tackles won.

5. HOUSTON (3-1-0), 11. A hat trick by Erick “Cubo” Torres moved him atop the league scoring charts with six goals and powered the Dynamo to its third straight win. Houston has outscored the opposition, 9-3, at BBVA Compass Stadium.

6. TORONTO FC (1-0-3), 2. Backup keeper Alex Bono stepped into the nets after starter Clint Irwin suffered a knee injury and made three saves but TFC failed to score in its home opener. A Sebastian Giovinco free kick nicked the top of the crossbar near the hour mark. Bono got some help from left back Raheem Edwards; the TFC II graduate marked his first pro start with a vital clearance in the final minutes.

7. SPORTING KC (1-0-3), 7. Hamstring tightness sidelined Benny Feilhaber, and the SKC defense held TFC to just two shots on goal while posting its third 0-0 scoreline of the season.

8. SEATTLE (1-1-2), 8. A makeshift centerback pairing of Tony Alfaro and Jordy Delem held up well, Cristian Roldan narrowly missed on two good chances, and substitute Clint Dempsey bounced a header off the post as the depleted Sounders managed to take a point at home.

9. NEW YORK RED BULLS (2-2-1), 3. The only good news is that Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the day after the team announced he’d signed a new contract. The Red Bulls conceded an equalizer a minute after taking the lead and have been outscored, 7-2, in their last two road games.

10. COLORADO (1-1-1), 10.  Game against FCD postponed until October, so head coach Pablo Mastroeni has some time to test out newcomers Mohammed Saied and Josh Gatt, traded by Minnesota United with Sam Cronin and Marc Burch going in the other direction.

11. ATLANTA (2-1-1), 13. The high-flying, high-scoring expansion team turned in a solid defensive showing to get a point. Centerbacks Leonardo Gonzalez Pirez and Michael Parkhurst led the way as AUSC limited the Sounders to just one shot on goal, though a corner kick struck the post shortly after Dempsey’s header hit woodwork.

12. ORLANDO CITY (2-1-0), 9. The Lions fell behind early and despite piling up a 14-6 advantage in shots never caught up in their first away game of the season. OCSC’s offside trap caught Ola Kamara three times but was breached on the first goal by Meram.

13. CHICAGO (1-1-2), 14. In the 17th minute of his MLS debut Bastian Schweinsteiger headed home a David Accam to give both him and the Fire a great start, but only with a stoppage-time equalizer by Luis Solignac did Chicago get a point. First-round draft pick Daniel Johnson debuted as a replacement for an injured Michael de Leeuw in the 79th minute.

14. NEW ENGLAND (1-2-1), 16. The Revs kept plugging away after falling behind early in a tough venue and equalized in the 86th minute when Lee Nguyen banged in the rebound of saved Teal Bunbury shot. Rookie Jordan Smith got his first pro start in place of centerback Benjamin Angoua and stood up well to Fanendo Adi.

15. SAN JOSE (2-2-0), 12. A bad giveaway by midfielder Tommy Thompson opened the gate for NYCFC to score the winner. Marcos Urena scored his first Quakes goal in the sixth minute but Harrison’s blast got through the gloves of keeper David Bingham just four minutes later and the Quakes couldn’t recover after Thompson lost the ball in his own half of the field.

16. MONTREAL (0-1-3), 17. A road point is normally a good result, yet the Impact failed to hold a 2-1 lead provided by Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla’s goal – a day after his 18th birthday -- in the 90th minute set up by MLS assist leader Patrice Bernier’s fourth of the season.  Montreal had also equalized with a Matteo Mancosu goal in the 61st minute. It plays its fourth road game of the first five Saturday at StubHub Center.

17. D.C. UNITED (1-2-1), 20. The first goals and first triumph of the season lifted the mood at RFK Stadium. Jose Guillermo Ortiz broke the drought in the 18th minute, Luciano Acosta converted a PK, and United rode the goalkeeping of Bill Hamid (seven saves) to the land of victory.

18. MINNESOTA UNITED (1-3-1), 21. Stung by an early goal from one of their former players, the Loons rallied to roll over RSL for their first MLS win. Kevin Molino matched an early goal by Luke Mulholland and then bagged two assists as MNUFC took command. Cristian Ramirez scored the second and third goals and a tally by Johan Venegas polished off a memorable night in Minneapolis.

19. VANCOUVER (1-2-1), 22. Cometh the hour, cometh Matias Laba. Scorer of just two goals in his first 112 MLS appearances, he matched that total with a shot from distance and header from a rebound to break open a 2-2 game as Vancouver grabbed its first victory of 2017. Goals by Cristian Techera and Fredy Montero set the stage for Laba’s big night.

20. L.A. GALAXY (1-3-0), 15. A sliding clearance by Ashley Cole saved a goal, and Roman Alessandrini forced an own goal with a powerful shot before scoring another to provide a 2-1 halftime lead. But not much else went right for the Galaxy, which suffered from lax defending and couple of bad errors by keeper Clement Diop.

21. PHILADELPHIA (0-2-2), 18. The winless streak extending back to last season is 11 games. Defender Richie Marquez endured a rough game; he departed at halftime with a head injury after committing a foul that yielded a penalty kick. C.J. Sapong came off the bench to score his third goal in as many appearances but Philly’s struggles continue.

22. REAL SALT LAKE (0-3-2), 19. A scuffed kick by the normally stellar Nick Rimando led to a goal that typified the game for RSL, which struck early through Mulholland but scrambled after an injury removed centerback Aaron Maund in the 10th minute. New head coach Mike Petke takes over team well-stocked with attacking talent and experience but with a few questions in other areas.
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