MLS Power Rankings: Orlando City leaps into first place

Another victory at Orlando City Stadium edged the Lions atop Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings with their league-high sixth win of the season.

Previous leader FC Dallas dropped a notch despite rallying twice to tie Portland, 2-2, at home. The Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City, a 3-0 winner over Real Salt Lake, retained their places in the top four.

Toronto FC, the New York teams, and D.C. United moved up by winning impressively. Sliding in the other direction were Houston, Atlanta, and Columbus, and near the bottom, the Galaxy and Union played out a dour 0-0 tie that neatly encapsulated their current situations.
MLS Results, Week 9
April 28

Toronto FC 2, Houston 0. Highlights
April 29
Orlando City 2, Colorado. Highlights
FC Dallas 2, Portland 2. Highlights
Sporting KC 3, Real Salt Lake 0. Highlights
NY Red Bulls 2, Chicago 1. Highlights
Columbus 2, New York City FC 3. Highlights
Montreal 1, Vancouver 2. Highlights
Minnesota United 0, San Jose 1. Highlights
LA Galaxy 0, Philadelphia 0. Highlights
Seattle 3, New England 3. Highlights
April 30
Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 3. Highlights
Only MLS results are factored into the Power Rankings, which includes the team’s record in parentheses and rank last week.
1. ORLANDO CITY (6-1-0), 2. They may not be the best in MLS but with four straight wins the Lions could be the sharpest. Kaka scored in stoppage time to mark his return after sitting out nearly two months, but a searing strike by Carlos Rivas punctuated the decision by head coach Jason Kreis to use both of them as subs near the hour mark. (Rivas had started the first six games, you see.) For once, OCSC didn’t need heroics from keeper Joe Bendik as it outshot the feeble Rapids, 14-3.

2. FC DALLAS (4-0-3), 1. With his first goal since last August, Tesho Akindele scored FCD’s second equalizer of the game and preserved the unbeaten mark. FCD needed his goal since it had fallen behind again 10 minutes after Max Urruti scored against his former team. Those are the first two goals conceded at home by FCD this season, but of more concern to head coach Oscar Pareja is a flat first half and defensive breakdowns with the score, 1-1.

3. SPORTING KC (4-1-3), 3. A strike of great quality by Benny Feilhaber highlighted another solid victory by SKC, which is 3-0-1 at home and may have rectified the proclivity for defensive hiccups that have plagued it the past few seasons. It has conceded three goals in eight games. Goals by Dom Dwyer and newcomer Gerso Fernandes were just reward for a night of sharp finishing: the goalscoring trio put seven of their nine combined shots on target.

4. PORTLAND (5-2-2), 4. Stepping in for the injured Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco scored his first Timbers goal and Fanendo Adi also netted as Portland got its first road tie of the season against a very good team. At 2-1-1 away from home, memories of last season’s 0-11-6 debacle are beginning to fade. (For perspective, the 2015 MLS Cup winners were 7-8-2 on the road.)

5. TORONTO FC (3-1-4), 7. The beast that Jozy Altidore can be broke loose at BMO Field. He finished off a low feed from Raheem Edwards, who is steadily moving into the top tier of MLS left backs, at the end of a sweeping move, and chested down a return ball from Sebastian Giovinco to smash home his fifth goal of 2017. Props to the back line, which nailed down its first shutout since stalwart defender Drew Moor left the team due to an irregular heartbeat.

6. NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-3-1), 10. A nice finish by left back Kemar Lawrence earned the Red Bulls a win and three-game sweep of home games. Rather than going high and skying his shot, which he’d done previously, Lawrence fired low inside the far post to regain a lead NYRB had lost after Bradley Wright-Phillips tapped in a feed from Daniel Royer for his 73rd MLS regular season goal.

7. NEW YORK CITY FC (4-3-1), 12. Two goals by Jack Harrison and the first MLS score by Yangel Herrera brought NYCFC a see-saw victory in Columbus after it frittered away Harrison’s early opener. A dozen minutes after Herrera had headed home an equalizer in the 64th, he forced a turnover near the Crew SC penalty area and fed Harrison for the winner. David Villa sat out with an illness and sub Andrea Pirlo stayed on the bench.

8. SEATTLE (2-2-4), 8. After a big win in L.A., who’d have expected the Sounders to come out flat at home and be lit up for three goals – the first one a real howler from Stefan Frei -- by the Revs? Kudos for the comeback and goals by Nicolas Lodeiro, Will Bruin and Osvaldo Alonso -- and the quality assists on the first two by Joevin Jones -- yet they need consistent efforts at home like the one that dispatched the Red Bulls, 3-1, in Week 3.

9. HOUSTON (4-3-1), 5. A third straight road loss pegs the Dynamo as a team that will contend for a playoff spot but may be desperately dependent on home results. Its vaunted attack seldom threatened, despite a 19-10 shot advantage, and only a one-v-one opportunity that Alex couldn’t put away truly threatened the TFC goal.

10. D.C. UNITED (3-3-2), 14. Big games from Luciano Acosta and Bill Hamid enabled the Original United to show the new kids how it’s done. Acosta and veteran Sebastian Le Toux tacked on goals that separated the teams after an own goal tied the score, and Hamid – aided by seven blocks and 26 clearances -– nailed down a win that included six saves. Another good game by Jared Jeffrey included a steal in his own half he released to Acosta for a killer ball to Le Toux and goal No. 3.

11. ATLANTA UNITED (3-3-2), 6. A dream start, i.e., Kenwyne Jones powering home a header in the ninth minute, ended in frustrating fashion. A team that can conjure up 26 shots is occasionally going to get dinged on the counter and as experience seeps in AUSC should be less prone to such lapses. Still, the finishing must be better, especially after scoring early.

12. CHICAGO (3-3-2), 11. As scripted perhaps, the return to Red Bull Arena of Dax McCarty presented a nifty dribble and pass that set up the Fire’s goal by Nemanja Nikolic. Chicago was in the game most of the way, but Bastian Schweinsteiger misfired on all three of his shots and the Red Bulls were just better defensively.

13. COLUMBUS (4-4-1), 9. Blowing leads at home is no way to get back into the playoff picture and after winning three in a row Crew SC has lost three of the last four. Federico Higuain blasted home an equalizer and Ola Kamara exploited an error to open up a 2-1 lead early in the second half, but rather than manage the lead, Crew SC could not hold the ball and conceded twice. A couple of late flurries did not produce a tying goal.

14. SAN JOSE (3-3-3), 17. The Quakes snapped a six-game winless run with a goal by defender Florian Jungwirth, whose energy and leadership have not wavered though his play has been up-and-down. Cordell Cato rattled a shot off the crossbar early in the match and a goal-line clearance by defender Kofi Sarkodie, making his first start for San Jose since last October, preserved a vital three-pointer.

15. VANCOUVER (3-4-1), 18. The veteran known as A.J. empowered the Whitecaps to their first road win of 2017 following three straight away defeats. Andrew Jacobson volleyed a partial clearance in the 29th minute to tie the game, and his diagonal ball set up Cristian Techera to cut past a defender and drill home the winner. ‘Caps have nine points in the last five games.

16. NEW ENGLAND (2-3-4), 15.  It’s a sign of the struggles in New England when the Revs can’t win on a great night for Juan Agudelo, scorer of two goals that apparently had built an insurmountable 3-0 lead. He’s scored 12 goals in the last 17 games for New England. The verdict from head coach Jay Heaps? “We stopped playing in the last 20 minutes, and it cost us,” he said.

17. MONTREAL (1-3-4), 13. As brilliant as he can be, Ignacio Piatti is also prone to the occasional clunker, and the Impact could not overcome one of his off nights as well as an early injury that knocked Mateo Mancosu out of action. Montreal lost the momentum generated when a deflected shot by Marco Donadel hit the net in the ninth minute. It plays three of the next four at home, so by the end of the month it could be in the playoff tier.

18. MINNESOTA UNITED (2-5-2), 16. The Loons held a fair share of possession (48.1 percent) but managed just eight shots and keeper Bobby Shuttleworth (five saves) was much busier than his counterpart. In his seventh appearance as a sub, No. 1 draft pick Abu Danladi looked lively and led the team with two shots in his 26 minutes.

19. REAL SALT LAKE (2-5-2), 19. RSL worked hard but after falling behind early just didn’t produce enough quality to crack open the SKC defense; only of its 14 shots came from inside the penalty area. After winning its first two games under head coach Mike Petke, RSL has lost to Atlanta United and SKC by combined scores of 6-1, and up next is FC Dallas.

20. PHILADELPHIA (0-4-4), 21. Well, half of its points this season have been accrued from 0-0 ties, and the Union has scored fewer goals (eight) than any team except Colorado. Haris Medunjanin forced a good save with a nice slalom and low shot, and Andre Blake came up big a few times.

21. L.A. GALAXY (2-5-1), 20. The tough times continued at StubHub Center, where Joao Pedro hit both posts with the same shot and the few bright moments for Giovani dos Santos produced little of consequence. The Galaxy has scored one goal in the last three games and the home record has dipped to 1-3-1.

22. COLORADO (1-5-1), 22. Three shots, two of them launched by subs, was all the Rapids could muster as they were blanked for the second consecutive game. Four saves by Zac MacMath, who probably goes back to the bench next weekend with Tim Howard coming off a three-game suspension, kept the game closer than it really was.
2 comments about "MLS Power Rankings: Orlando City leaps into first place".
  1. Mark Buckley, May 2, 2017 at 7:45 a.m.

    Can't stand when DC is on FS1, having to listen to Alexi is agony. Last year during a DC United game on FS1 he said, "The MLS has passed DC United by." Sunday he announced in his pregame analysis "DC United is a mediocre team." I am a DC United fan, but in a league where parity rules, DC while not at the top has been in the playoffs 3 out of 4 seasons under Been Olsen. If DC is mediocre then there are a few other mediocre teams in the league.

    Score of the game: DC United 3 Atlanta 1

    Screw you Alexi

  2. Kevin Leahy, May 2, 2017 at 10 a.m.

    He doesn't like D.C. because Jaimie Moreno use to toy with him.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications