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MLS Power Rankings, Week 1: Lots Of Movement Up And Down The Ladder

The Colorado Rapids are our newest entry into our Top Tier, with the Seattle Sounders losing all their top tier support.

Colorado Rapids have something else to cheer for: They are now among the four teams in SB Nation Soccer's MLS Power Rankings. (Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images)
Colorado Rapids have something else to cheer for: They are now among the four teams in SB Nation Soccer's MLS Power Rankings. (Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images)
Getty Images

With the season now underway, our Power Rankings are at least based on actual results. As should probably be expected, there was no shortage of teams moving both up and down.

The Colorado Rapids did the most to help their standing, moving into the top tier where they join the trio of Real Salt Lake, the New York Red Bulls and the LA Galaxy. The Rapids, who were viewed with a bit of skepticism despite being the reigning MLS Cup champions, now sit at a solid 88 percent of the possible vote total. 

The Seattle Sounders, perhaps predictably, took the biggest hit. Their two losses were enough to eliminate all support for their top-tier status, which a week ago sat at a solid nine votes. Now they are considered a third-tier team by five of our 18 voters.

This week, rather than explain the various tiers myself, I've turned it over to some of our voters who chime in with their thoughts on why they moved teams around.

Playing For The Shield

Real Salt Lake

100% (54 out of 54 points)

New York Red Bulls

100% (54 out of 54 points)

Los Angeles Galaxy

98% (53 out of 54 points)

Colorado Rapids

88% (48 out of 54 points)

Colorado really impressed me on Saturday. They had that swagger that a champion has. Understandably they let off the gas in the second half, but Colorado was completely in control and you don’t see that terribly often in MLS matches. Also, I moved DC United tentatively into the playoff positions. While I’m not 100 percent sold on them, it’s impossible to ignore what Dax McCarty and Charlie Davies could mean to them this season.

- Daniel Robertson, Big D Soccer

Enjoy The Playoffs

FC Dallas

68% (37 out of 54 points)

Sporting Kansas City

59% (32 out of 54 points)

Seattle Sounders

57% (31 out of 54 points)

DC United

53% (29 out of 54 points)

Philadelphia Union

50% (27 out of 54 points)

While I don't think there's enough new information this early in the season to alter my opinion of most teams in the league, an exception has to be made for Seattle and Vancouver; the Sounders were already at the periphery of Supporters' Shield contenders before the season and the loss of a key player like Blaise Nkufo and zero points from their first two games makes that look a tall order. Vancouver meanwhile has something of an unkown quantity in Eric Hassli, but if his play against Toronto is indicative of what we can expect from him going forward then the Whitecaps have to be considered slightly more than long-shot contenders for a playoff spot.

-Aaron Campeau, SB Nation Soccer


I lowered Seattle from One to Two as they just faced two other Tier One teams. They didn't score, couldn't stop the counter, and just showed that at best, at this time, they aren't a team that can beat the best. They still only gave up two goals against those two top teams, and managed to get off five or more shots on goal in each game. Plenty of signs that Seattle Sounders will be good, just not great, not yet.

-Dave Clark, Sounder at Heart

Still Something To Prove

San Jose Earthquakes

40% (22 out of 54 points)

Houston Dynamo

37% (20 out of 54 points)

Chicago Fire

33% (18 out of 54 points)

Vancouver Whitecaps

22% (12 out of 54 points)

Chivas USA

20% (11 out of 54 points)

Vancouver had some intriguing pieces at the beginning of the season. They had an experienced and accomplished central defender like Jay DeMerit and proven MLS midfielders like John Thorrington and Shea Salinas. The question was whether they'd score enough games to keep away from the cellar of the Western Conference and four goals, led by Eric Hassli's brace, was a definite statement that they just might have a competent attack.

-Ryan Rosenblatt, SB Nation Soccer

At Least There's No Relegation

New England Revolution

11% (6 out of 54 points)

Portland Timbers

12% (7 out of 54 points)

Columbus Crew

11% (6 out of 54 points)

Toronto FC

5% (3 out of 54 points)

I dropped the Crew and Timbers to the bottom because they were especially bad, and they were especially bad against teams that are good, but not elite. I see no reason to believe that they have a chance at the playoffs this season. Obviously, it's early, but they would probably have to do something like take 7 points from 3 games against teams that aren't atrocious for me to consider moving them up. I'll be surprised if they accomplish this.

- Kevin McCauley, SB Nation Soccer

How It Works: Each of the 18 participants puts Major League Soccer's clubs into one of the four tiers. Teams in the top tier get three points. Next tier, two points, then one, then zero. Voters can put as many teams into each tier as they see fit. Though the vote total orders the teams, the clubs are intended to be grouped, not sorted. Although some of the names may indicate otherwise, the point of this is to assess current form and our voters are instructed to place teams in tiers based how those teams will fair in coming weeks.

Who participated: Jeremiah Oshan (SB Nation, soccer); Kevin McCauly (SB Nation, soccer); Aaron Campeau (SB Nation, soccer); Ryan Rosenblatt (SB Nation, soccer); Steve Davis (Daily Soccer Fix); Martin Shatzer (Black and Red United); Scott Kessler (Brotherly Game); Chris "UZ" White (Burgundy Wave); Zach Woosley (Dynamo Theory); Denzel Eslinger (RSL Soapbox); Robert Jonas (Quake, Rattle and Goal); Daniel Robertson (Big D Soccer); Dave Clark (Sounder at Heart); Andy Edwards (The Daily Wiz); Geoff Gibson (Stumptown Footy), Duncan Fletcher (Waking the Red), Steve Stoehr (The Bent Musket); Tweed Thornton (Hot Time in Old Town).