MLS Power Rankings: Columbus Crew make their move in the polls

We're pretty sure about the top two, and the bottom one. Nos. 3-18, however, are something approaching a complete mystery. This is the first year in forever that there hasn't been expansion, so we were expecting a bit of stability. Instead it seems like anyone can beat anyone just about anywhere.

Note: Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. The Power Rankings are voted on by the editorial staff at MLSsoccer.com, and all comments were written by Matthew Doyle. All game times are Eastern.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Rank Trending Club Comment

1

Last: 1

How much are we buying in on Montreal? Perfect through four games is tough to ignore – there's a very short list of teams who've done that and missed the playoffs – but so much of it seems to come down to Troy Perkins (the best 'keeper in the league since last summer). The Impact are outshot every week, and even the players are starting to talk about their inability to hold any possession.

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Barely missed a beat against Colorado despite playing Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean (combined age: younger than David Beckham) up top. Neither got on the scoreboard, but that really had more to do with Clint Irwin's heroics than anything else. And more importantly, the valuable playing time the kids are getting now should help LA immensely through the dog days of summer.

3

Last: 5

Even without Brad Davis and Boniek García, Houston looked very smooth and fairly dangerous in possession. They also didn't look nearly as vulnerable to set pieces as they have been, but could very easily have dug themselves a 2-0 hole based purely on counterattacks. A good fightback at home is nice work, but there is still tinkering to be done by Dominic Kinnear.

4

Last: 10

At this point, that 3-0 win at Chivas on opening day looks like a fantastic result. And they keep piling on the road wins, mostly outplaying D.C. United and generating a boatload of chances despite missing talismanic forward Jairo Arrieta. One tip for next week, though: Play to the whistle, not the flag.

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Last: 3

Vancouver look like they'll be devastating in transition if they just stick to the current plan. There's always going to be the suspicion that they'll blow things up and rebuild before this current roster's really gotten a look, but we at the Power Rankings Politburo advise patience. Lots of fun pieces to play with, even coming off a loss.

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Last: 6

Every single week, Adam Jahn produces a difference-making play. This past weekend, it was challenging for the long-ball that ended up at the foot of Chris Wondolowski and, in short order, in the back of the net. He hasn't exactly made Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon expendable, but he has made it easier for them to take their time and get fully fit before coming back.

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Last: 11

It's still tough to say exactly what FCD's identity is as a team. They're not pure, open-field counterattackers like they were in 2010. They're not a possession-based team. They vary between high and medium pressure, and between front foot and back foot defense. Regardless, they're at the top of the Western Conference. So they'll be happy to claim that as their identity for the time being.

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Last: 16

Remember in Week 1 when Chelís talked about getting the "stupidities" out of his own head? Looks like it worked, as the Goats picked up their third straight positive result. Also worth noting: Chivas are one of the only teams in the league to trust their attack to a trio of young Americans – Juan Agudelo, Carlos Alvarez and Tristan Bowen. So much for preconceived notions.  

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Last: 4

We've gone from lukewarm to a little bit cold on D.C., who may have lost more than they bargained for when they sold Andy Najar over the winter. Wtih him in the lineup, they had the ability to come into the play late and still create something off the dribble. Without him, they've become very close to "predictable" even when they surge forward with numbers.

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Last: 8

It's been a long, slow descent for Sporting KC. But the reality is that we're not in any rush to punish a road shutout in bad conditions overly much, especially against the Revs, who are currently at the top of most relevant defensive metrics. (No, seriously.) Another defensive test will come this weekend when the Impact visit.

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Like Sporting, it's been a slow and steady descent for punchless RSL, and it's certainly starting to feel like this team's a million miles from finding the goal as long as Álvaro Saborío isn't around. Robbie Findley was better but remains disappointing. Joao Plata has only been effective in spurts. And nobody in the midfield is picking up the slack. The good news is that it's only March.

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Last: 9

The Sounders are yet another team that are in desperate need of some attacking magic, which should be arriving midweek when Eddie Johnson, Obafemi Martins and Mario Martínez all get back from international duty. And Shalrie Joseph, who's finally fit enough to train, could give the central midfield some of the shape in defense and calm in distribution they've been lacking.

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Last: 12

Two points from three games is probably less than the Timbers wanted, and very likely less than they deserved. Caleb Porter will have spent the bye week drilling his team on communication, spacing and properly passing off runners from the midfield to the defense. There's still work to do, but the foundation for Portland seems pretty solid.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at Colorado (6 pm; MLS Live)
14

Last: 14

It wasn't a league game for the Union, but we'll still tip the cap to them for their bye week win over Pumas UNAM. Just getting used to victory – in any setting – is important for a club that's been torn down and rebuild three times in the last 18 months. Adding Kléberson to help Brian Carroll do some of the midfield heavy lifting is a nice bonus.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at New York (3:30 pm; NBCSN)

15

Last: 13

Do we focus on the midfield that's been very good at generating chances, or the forward line that's been squandering them? How about the netminder who's kept them in games, or the defense that's been determined to give them away? Nothing's ever been simple in New York, and even with Mike Petke at the helm, that hasn't changed.

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Last: 15

Is it pretty soccer? No. No it's not. But the Revs have given up one goal in three games, and that's something to build upon for a team that has been notoriously leaky for the better part of four years. Finding a way to generate and finish chances should become a bit less of a task once Jerry Bengtson is back from international duty and Saer Sene is back from injury.

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Last: 17

Hats off to Clint Irwin, who looks like he was born to be a starting 'keeper in MLS. He pretty much single-handedly kept the Rapids in that loss to the Galaxy – 4-0 or 5-0 probably would have been a scoreline that more accurately illustrated the balance of play. With much of the lineup in front of him bruised, battered and out of action, he'll need to keep that form up.

18

Last: 18

Toronto FC are still making moves, with all signs pointing to the acquisition of a new Argentine Designated Player to be announced soon. Everything about this team, however, starts at the back. Joe Bendik has been solid, as has the defense in front of him – which is perhaps the best since TFC became an MLS team in 2007.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Next Game: Saturday vs. LA (2 pm, MLS Live)
19

Last: 19

Shipping four second-half goals to a Chivas USA team that barely attacked in the first half? That's got to be one of the most painful moments of Frank Klopas' tenure as boss of the Fire. And now, for the second time in three years, Chicago have dug themselves a very deep early-season hold that they'll have to spend the next several months climbing out of.