MLS Power Rankings: FC Dallas stays on top

Top-ranked FC Dallas shook off the disappointment of elimination from the Concacaf Champions League by beating Minnesota United, 2-0, and big wins for Portland, Sporting Kansas City, and Orlando City moved them into the top four of Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings. Losses sent New York City FC, Columbus, and Colorado tumbling in the other direction.

Week 6 Results:
April 7
L.A. Galaxy 2 Montreal 0. Highlights
April 8
D.C. United 2 New York City FC 1. Highlights.
Toronto FC 2 Atlanta United 2. Highlights
New England 2 Houston 0. Highlights
FC Dallas 2 Minnesota United 0. Highlights
Chicago 1 Columbus 0. Highlights
Philadelphia 1 Portland 3. Highlights
Real Salt Lake, 3 Vancouver 0. Highlights
San Jose 1 Seattle 1. Highlights
April 9
Orlando City 1 NY Red Bulls 0. Highlights
Sporting KC 3 Colorado 1. Highlights
Only MLS results are factored into the Power Rankings, which include a team’s record and ranking last week.
1. FC DALLAS (3-0-1), 1. The first FCD goal for Javier Morales paced a 2-0 defeat of Minnesota United five days after a last-second Pachuca goal knocked it out of the Concacaf Champions League semifinals. Michael Barrios, the team leader in goals with nine last season, tallied his first of 2017. Several excellent saves by Jesse Gonzalez earned him his second shutout in as many appearances.

2. PORTLAND (4-1-1), 4. The Timbers rallied to win in Philly with a Darlington Nagbe equalizer, Roy Miller’s first MLS goal in his 130th appearance, and Fanendo Adi’s franchise record 46th tally. Diego Valeri earned an assist on Miller’s goal with a sweet free kick and set up three other opportunities. And how about this game for teenage left back Michael Farfan: seven tackles, four clearances, four recoveries, one block, one interception. He lost the ball on a few dribbles but otherwise got it done.

3. SPORTING KC (2-0-3), 7. It was a day of firsts at Children’s Mercy Park as SKC stayed unbeaten. Scorer of two playoff goals in his eight MLS seasons, Seth Sinovic netted his first regular-season goal in the 158th appearance. Sinovic also drove a low ball across the goalmouth that Dom Dwyer banged home for his first goal of the season, and the excellent work of Gerso since his offseason arrival bore fruit with, yes, his inaugural MLS goal as SKC went coast-to-coast on a counter. Only a stoppage time penalty kick denied SKC its fourth shutout in five games.
4. ORLANDO CITY (3-1-0), 12. Add to the list of players stepping up in the absence of Kaka midfielders Will Johnson and Servando Carrasco, centerback Jonathan Spector and keeper Joe Bendik. Carrasco headed home Johnson’s corner kick for the winner, and just a second MLS goal in his 115th appearance. Spector (three interceptions, five clearances, two blocked shots) and Bendik (two tough saves) led the defensive effort that produced a second shutout in the last three games.

5. HOUSTON (3-2-0), 5. Officially credited with just one shot on goal – a rising shot by Ricardo Clark – the Dynamo failed to score for the first time this season. Erick “Cubo” Torres failed to convert a breakaway and the goals were conceded on a rebound and a catch-able cross that keeper Tyler Deric instead punched right to an opponent.

6. TORONTO FC (1-0-4), 6. Well, the first MLS start for Chris Mavinga didn’t go so well. The French defender lasted just 51 minutes, by which time Hector Villalba had scorched him twice to open the scoring and then equalize. (Keeper Alex Bono embarrassingly fanned on the first goal.) Victor Valdez earned secondary assists on both TFC goals, and a devilishly clever flick by Jozy Altidore set up the first goal of the year for Sebastian Giovinco. After tying twice at home, TFC goes back on the road this weekend to Columbus.

7. SEATTLE (1-1-3), 8. A delicate yet deadly first-time Nicolas Lodeiro hit of a blocked free kick earned the Sounders a late 1-0 lead they fizzled away in the final minutes. Keeper Stefan Frei didn’t have much to do, but an acrobatic save denied Marco Urena a spectacular goal. Seattle’s third tie definitely is a case of two road points lost, and they take their first trip to Cascadia-land this week against Vancouver.

8. COLUMBUS (3-2-1), 2. Subs Adam Jahn and Niko Hansen put shots on target in their limited time but otherwise only Ola Kamara directed a shot on goal as Crew SC endured its first shutout of the season. Good chances were wasted by Alex Crognale and others. Zach Steffen came up with four saves and Nicolai Naess cleared a deflected shot off the goal line in the 81st minute.

9. CHICAGO (2-1-2), 13. A great through ball from Dax McCarty sent Nemanja Nikolic clear to score the only goal as the Fire played just well to defeat a stubborn conference foe that held the edge in passing accuracy (86 percent-79 percent) and possession (54.6 percent-46.4 percent). A good save turned away a free kick from Bastian Schweinsteiger, who fired another shot high and was one of several players whose passing in the final third was erratic.

10. ATLANTA UNITED (2-1-2), 11. Another road point and another battling display keep AUFC in the playoff tier. Hector Villalba scored his second and third goals of the season, after which AUFC held off TFC to stay unbeaten (1-0-2) away from home despite a red card that removed Yamil Asad in the 75th minute. Alec Kann is turning out to be the Zac MacMath of 2017; the man soon to be understudy to Brad Guzan, presumably, set a career high of seven saves.

11. NEW YORK CITY FC (2-2-1), 3.  Only Felix Brilliant knows what he was thinking when his dawdling allowed Lloyd Sam to pounce on a ball at Brilliant’s feet and bag the opener. Then NYCFC failed to clear a looping rebound that led to the winner. A late goal by David Villa, set up by sub Tommy McNamara, and some good moments from Maxi Moralez could not atone for those defensive flubs and handed keeper Sean Johnson a loss he did not deserve.

12. NEW ENGLAND (2-2-1), 14. A right back occasionally in the past, Kelyn Rowe lined up at left back as the Revs held off the high-powered Dynamo attack. Cody Cropper stoned Torres on a breakaway and turned away a fierce drive off the foot of Clark to log his first MLS shutout. Kei Kamara and Juan Agudelo scored 20 minutes apart in the second half as the Revs won their sixth straight home game dating back to last season.

13. D.C. UNITED (2-2-1), 17. Sam capitalized on NYCFC’s mistake and Luciano Acosta cleaned up the rebound of his shot that was saved; still, United needed an excellent double stop from Bill Hamid and some vital interventions by centerback Bobby Boswell to get a second straight victory.

14. SAN JOSE (2-2-1), 15. The jury is still out on several of Quakes’ newcomers, but not so Costa Rican forward Marco Urena. His energy and sense of space are difficult to track. Only a tremendous save repelled his athletic volley of a Chris Wondolowski flick and in the 90th minute he ran down a ball on the wing and centered it for Wondo to equalize.

15. NY RED BULLS (2-3-1), 9. The Red Bulls completed 77 percent of their passes and held 61.1 percent of possession while failing to score. Bradley Wright-Phillips put three of his five shots on target and on set plays Sacha Kljestan dropped balls into good spots for Aurelien Collin, who bounced one header on frame and narrowly missed the target on two others. Luis Robles stoned Cyle Larin one-v-one after Sal Zizzo foolishly tried to win an innocuous ball 50 yards from his goal.

16. L.A. GALAXY (2-3-0), 20. Another strong game for Romain Alessandrini included his third MLS goal, and Jermaine Jones stormed upfield to score the clinching goal after his altercation with Marco Donadel earned the latter a red card. Alessandrini hit the target with three of his six shots and is carrying a big load as Gyasi Zardes, whose short pass released Jones on his scoring run, gets back into shape.  Keeper Clement Diop needed to make just two saves as he registered his first MLS shutout a week after conceding four goals in Vancouver.

17. MONTREAL (0-2-3), 16.  The Impact picked up its third red card in five games when Donadel used his elbow to fend off Jones, who went down holding his face. Both goals were a bit tainted -- keeper Evan Bush either slipped or lost sight of the ball on the first goal and a sliding block by Kyle Fisher deflected the second -- but Montreal looked a bit jaded during its fourth away game. Five of the next seven games are at Stade Saputo.

18. COLORADO (1-2-1), 10. A five-game run of victories against SKC ended emphatically. The Rapids, playing for the first time in three weeks because of the FIFA international break and a game against FCD postponed until October, started sluggishly and were punished by conceding a goal in the sixth minute. They threatened twice near the end of the first half but were blanked until Conor Doyle converted a penalty kick in stoppage time.

19. REAL SALT LAKE (1-3-2), 22. After a scoreless half played as snowfall intensified, RSL knocked the orange ball into the net three times for its first victory of the season in the debut of head coach Mike Petke. A goal and two assists by midfielder Albert Rusnak, who opened the scoring in the 54th minute and then set up chances converted by Yura Movsisyan and Luke Mulholland lifted RSL into the win column. Keeper Nick Rimando earned his all-time record 131st shutout.

20. MINNESOTA UNITED (1-4-1), 18. The Loons lost but were not overwhelmed. Sharp saves denied Johan Venegas, Sam Cronin and sub Abu Danladi and while the defense broke apart a few times, FCD can do that to just about any team. There are few signs of cohesion and chemistry. More will be known by the end of May; they are in Texas again this weekend to visit Houston, then play five of the next six at home.

21. VANCOUVER (1-3-1), 19. After a decent first half, a whiteout wiped out the Whitecaps. Playing a third game in eight days, the ‘Caps came out in a 3-5-2 formation and took 14 shots but couldn’t cope with a snow-covered field and Rusnak in the second half. They need to find answers quickly: the Cascadia Cup campaign starts Friday at home against Seattle and continues next week in Portland.

22. PHILADELPHIA (0-3-2), 21. The players left the field with boos ringing in their ears after squandering an early lead provided by a Richie Marquez goal. He headed home from a corner kick but on the winning goal lost the mark on Miller, who headed the ball off Marquez’s forehead into the net. Fabinho’s giveaway in the final seconds yielded the third goal. The Union has back-to-back home games against NYCFC and Montreal to figure it out.
3 comments about "MLS Power Rankings: FC Dallas stays on top".
  1. Joan Dobrzynski, April 11, 2017 at midnight

    Under Colorado, it was Kevin Doyle not Connor.

  2. Scott Johnson, April 11, 2017 at 12:29 a.m.

    MARCO Farfan for the Timbers, not Michael.

  3. David Bell, April 11, 2017 at 9:59 a.m.

    A little surprising to see Chicago leapfrog Atlanta since the Fire got boatraced by United head to head... I guess Schweinsteiger is worth a spot or two in the power rankings?

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