MLS Power Rankings: Week 5

Just when you thought things were getting heavy for Hans Backe and the Red Bulls, look who's doing the heavy lifting. It's Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper, and New York are suddenly surging in the polls. If you agree or disagree with our rankings, 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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1

First team of the post-shootout era to start a season 5-0-0. When your "hot start" turns into a "historically hot start," you get to spend at least a couple of weeks atop the Power Rankings. Slow clap for our Kansas City friends.

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2

They survived a rugged encounter with Montreal, then passed Colorado into submission in a comparatively staid Rocky Mountain Cup match. All good preparation for a trip to Livestrong Sporting Park for a showdown with No. 1 on this list.

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3

Rallying from a 1-0 deficit at home for the first time since 2005, setting a team record for best start, finding offensive sparks off the bench and getting goals from someone besides Chris Wondolowski – the Quakes checked all the boxes against the 'Caps.

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8

Thierry Henry's "celebration" after his second goal against Columbus was our favorite part of the weekend. It was a classic "drop the mic" moment from a player who isn't satisfied with a multi-goal win, but demands greatness as well.

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4

Someone needs to tell Fredy Montero the season's a month old. A trendy preseason MVP pick, the Colombian has gotten off to yet another slow start, and the Seattle offense is MIA as a result. If he doesn't pick it up – and quick – the West title could slip away.

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5

They didn't play, but they still drop a spot thanks to New York's jump and concern over Brad Davis' calf. If their midfield maestro is laid up for any amount of time, the Dynamo could be in for a steep, hard fall. Especially with four more left on the road.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: W-W-L
  • This Week: Sunday at Chicago (7 pm, Galavision)

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7

We'll give them a mulligan for the second-half meltdown in San Jose and assume they won't be giving up goals off of throw-ins or missed assignments on set pieces anymore. The 'Caps are much closer to the team we saw in the first 60 minutes of that game, not the last 30.

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6

Slowly they sink, but the good news is that they were finally able to pull themselves together a bit on the defensive side against Sporting. Tommy Meyer had his best game as a pro, which bodes well for the coming weeks and months. Where's the offense, though?

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9

The Power Rankings Politburo admit to being a bit disappointed Oscar Pareja's decision to move away from his team's strengths and instead put defender Drew Moor in midfield against RSL. It backfired – predictably – but Pareja smartly owned up afterward.

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12

The season begins in earnest for the Fire now, and they'll have to show better than they did in their first three games. The pieces are there – everyone's back from the side that went 7-2-1 down the stretch in 2011. A similar run isn't out of the question.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: T-W-L
  • This Week: Sunday vs. Houston (7 pm, Galavision)

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11

 

Gutting out road points is part of the growing process for any young team. The Revs got a lesson in exactly that from last Thursday's 1-0 loss at FC Dallas – a painful one, no doubt. If they learn from it, they have the pieces to climb.

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For all the grief Perry Kitchen took about his performance with the US Under-23s, he's looked very, very good as a defensive midfielder for D.C. His range takes pressure off of Dwayne De Rosario, and his ability to show for the ball gives the defense a ready outlet.

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15

 

The win was critical, but even better for Dallas is that Brek Shea looked dangerous for solid chunks of time. He's nowhere near his form at this time last year, but perhaps his slump – which is approaching eight months – is finally over?

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16

With Nick LaBrocca (and Ryan Smith, presumably) now unshackled, expect some of those 1-0 losses to turn into 1-1 draws and even a few 2-1 wins – as we saw against Portland. Chivas have some nice pieces, and they're starting to fit.

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10

 

They were simply manhandled against the Red Bulls. It wasn't just the physical side, though – the Crew didn't look up for the fight mentally or emotionally. That's something we've no doubt that Robert Warzycha will address this week.

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14

Is there a more frustrated man in the league than John Spencer right now? His big-name DP striker has bagged two, but blown twice that many. His midfield can't string passes together, and his defense can't make a big play when they need to.

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Sinisa Ubiparipovic adds a touch of class to a midfield that was all hard edges before. The Bosnian's ability to put balls into space gets all the athletes around him moving, which is the best-case scenario for any expansion team.

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An off week to work on the offense a bit more is probably just what Philly needed. They can build on a pretty good showing against Vancouver and, hopefully – for Peter Nowak's sanity, anyway – figure out where the goal is.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: L-L-L-T
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Columbus (3:30 pm, NBC Sports Network)

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17

It's lousy for Toronto and it keeps getting lousier. Terry Dunfield's giveaway to lead to the first Montreal goal was shocking, but Ty Harden topped him on the second. Top teams – and that's what the Reds aspired to be heading into the season – don't make mistakes like that.