MLS Power Rankings: Week 3

Who says the West is the best? After a spattering of wins from Eastern Conference teams, there's a new leader atop the Power Rankings, with some huge matchups looming this weekend. Let us know what you think in the Facebook comments below.

Only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule. All times are Eastern.

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Three games, three victories, two in dramatic, last-minute fashion. Sporting are blowing chances by the boatload, but that's okay because they concede almost none and bury just enough to win. Which is why they're No. 1.

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They did a body-swap comedy with Houston last Friday night. We were waiting for Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage to show up. Bottom line is that if this team can grind out wins on set-pieces when they play poorly, they're going to approach 70 points.

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1

The ship's not sinking after just one 1-0 loss, but c'mon: That couldn't have been less RSL-like. They looked panicky after they gave up the goal, their body language was off all night and they didn't combine well in any scector of the field.

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So they drop a week despite having a bye. That's what happens when their direct competition puts on a display like Seattle's on Friday. Of the top five teams, LA have the highest ceiling – but also the lowest floor because of their shaky defense.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. New England (11 pm, NBC Sports Network)

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In the end, it was silly to expect them to get three straight results on the road, especially with their forwards misfiring. Throw in Geoff Cameron's off day and Friday seemed fated. The good news is they have three weeks to regroup, and 45 days until their new stadium opens.

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A short-handed effort like the one they put on against Sporting says a lot about this team's character. But it was telling that they just couldn't keep up in the dying minutes. Two years ago, it was FCD blowing past the competition at that point in the game.

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Chicago still look like they're in preseason mode, but they were solid enough to shut out a struggling Philadelphia team at home and now have four points from two games. You can argue with style, but not with production. Not yet, anyway.

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Often at the end of a scoreless draw soccer fans will say, "See? Who needs goals? The game's beautiful no matter what!" Vancouver and D.C. didn't put on that kind of show on Saturday night. They'll hope to rediscover their offense in Philly.

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Two out of three ain't bad. The Quakes have had a pretty decent start to the year, and against Toronto began to show an attacking diversity they've lacked since Geovanni was cut loose after the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs. They're for real, kids.

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If you get gifted with an opponent that's missing its three best players, then you need to take advantage. That's exactly what New York did in pummelling Colorado on Sunday. Next step is doing it against a full-strength Impact on the weekend.

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Safe to say that wasn't the real Colorado Rapids on Sunday. Without Conor Casey, Pablo Mastroeni and especially Jeff Larentowicz, they are low-hanging fruit. Getting those three back and adding Martín Rivero in the coming weeks means they're a good bet to improve.

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Kris Boyd was brought to Portland to finish chances. He blew a couple at New England on the weekend, ones that you'd expect any top striker to bury. That's got to burn for John Spencer, who knows every Western team needs all the points it can get.

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A 2-0 win over a 10-man expansion side is nothing to brag about, and Robert Warzycha likely knows exactly that. The Crew still have a ton of work to do, specifically winning second balls in central midfield and distributing accurately.

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A season-making win. That's what their 1-0 victory at Rio Tinto could (and should) very well be. Dan Kennedy keeps them in games they should lose, which should unburden Chivas and allow them to attack with more verve.

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They found the toughness they'd lacked in Weeks 1 and 2, getting a precious point on the road at Vancouver. Everything from the midfield forward is a work in progress, but the defense rebounded nicely from the shellacking at LA.

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For a team that wants to build from the back, Shalrie Joseph in central defense actually makes a lot of sense. Not only is he more comfortable on the ball and a better distributor than anyone else on the roster, but it allows another skill player in midfield.

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Last week we called Torsten Frings "The Most Irreplaceable Player in the League." On the weekend TFC went out and proved it, putting in one of the most flaccid displays of the year by any team. They need help – quickly – or it will be bloody vs. Santos in CCL.

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It just keeps getting worse for Philadelphia. The new faces haven't produced, the old faces have struggled and the youngsters haven't made the leap. It all adds up to 0-3, and a spot near the bottom of the Power Rankings.

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You never expect an expansion team to go on the road and get points, especially when they're down to 10 men inside 20 minutes. We'll see if they give themselves a better shot at it this weekend at New York.