MLS Power Rankings, Week 2: No denying Houston Dynamo the top spot

Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley stole the show. The Power Rankings Politburo salutes them for a job well done in Seattle.

For a one-stop rundown of what the Politburo's Simon Borg saw this weekend, click HERE.

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 are written by Matthew Doyle. All times Eastern.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Rank Trending Club Comment

1

Last: 5

Had to rely on Tally Hall (and Kofi Sarkodie, who is the Pelé of goal-line clearances) for a couple of big moments. But they got another three points, got another goal from Will Bruin, and got themselves to the top spot here.

2

Last: 1

Mere seconds from starting the season with six road points at conference rivals. Four is still work well done, especially given that they were dealing with depth and injury issues in both central midfield and central defense. First home game coming this weekend – vs. the Galaxy – is hardly a breather, though.

3

Last: 2

Across all competitions it's been 417 minutes since anyone on their front line scored a goal. In their last 10 games across all comps, they've gotten goals from their forwards in just two of them. Conceding late goals is a worry – twice in two league games, and counting – but lack of productivity makes for very little breathing room.

4

Last: 10

 

Got the goal and then locked it down in midfield, while getting outstanding performances from Amobi Okugo in central defense and Zac MacMath – who looks very much like he's going to hold onto that No. 1 shirt – in goal. Strong feeling among the Politburo that this is a playoff team.

5

Last: 4

In 2013, the Timbers dropped 13 points at home all season. They've already coughed up four in the first two weeks of 2014. Of course it's worth noting that they started off last year with a draw and loss at home, so let's not go jumping off any buildings in the Rose City yet, right?

6

Last: 3

At least Deuce got off the schneid. The dropped points at home – especially off of thoughtless final-third turnovers – hurt, naturally. Every point's going to count in the west. But if they can look back on that game and say, "That's when Clint found himself again," then Matchday 2 will actually be a happy memory for Sounders fans.

7

Last: 7

All eyes turn south to Tijuana. Tactically, they should look to the right flank, where Gyasi Zardes has been so, so disappointing in his first two outings this year. The Galaxy need him to be a threat if they're going to be elite.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Sunday at Real Salt Lake (4 pm, NBCSN)
8

Last: 8

Any weekend that we don't get to watch Federico Higuaín bums us out. He's a Power Rankings Politburo favorite. Down with bye weeks!

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Philadelphia (6 pm, MLS Live)

9

Last: 9

In the first 20 minutes of this one, it looked like the Red Bulls would put the throttle down and leave Colorado well behind. But things didn't quite click for the Shield holders after that, and they were both simultaneously lucky (Luis Robles was awesome) and unlucky (no way that's a PK) to hold on for the point.

10

Last: 6

All that magic on display in MatchDay 1 vs. the Red Bulls dried up on the road at Chivas. It was surprising to see the 'Caps with so few ideas until Kekuta Manneh – who was magnificent, and needs to start – came onto the field.

11

Last: 15

TFC fans are right to be excited – that was a great win. But it's worth noting that, just as last year's early-season victories came off of sloppy final third turnovers, so did this one. And those goals dry up as teams work out the kinks (just ask Robert Earnshaw, right?). The measure of Toronto's progress, then, will be how much they can use the ball well, rather than forcing others to use it poorly.

12

Last: 11

Are we really dropping them a spot after draws against the No. 2 team in Liga MX and the No. 2 team in MLS? Guess so! Given the injuries and suspensions on the backline, we're not expecting anything pretty down in Toluca midweek.

13

Last: 12

Huge, huge point at KC in a game that was more knife fight than soccer match. Dallas had just one shot on goal on the night, but Matt Hedges made it count with that towering header.

14

Last: 17

The road point was encouraging, even if it came off a dubious penalty call. More to the point, though: The Rapids came to New York to really play the game. They looked a lot like the team they were last season.

15

Last: 14

Probably unfair to drop them a spot after that battling performance, but here's the thing: Mauro Rosales has been the league MVP (seriously) through two games, and was wonderful on both sides of the ball in this one. But we have doubts about his ability to keep that up week in and week out, and are convinced that the drop-off at that spot will have disastrous, team-wide consequences if he can't go full-tilt.

16

Last: 16

Message sent to the vets, maybe? It certainly feels like there's turmoil in Chicago, and that moves could be well in the making. That's kind of overshadowing a well-earned point in Portland.

17

Last: 13

Oh man. Not only have they gone 0-for-2 to start the season, but they're now without José Gonçalves – not in the 18 for this one amid reports of off-the-field unhappiness. He was crucial last year, and if bridges between him and the Revs are burned, this team could find themselves in a deep, deep hole.

18

Last: 18

Got to think they get at least a point out of that one if Marco Di Vaio's around. This 0-and-2 start is a worry, but there have been very positive signs for Montreal both deep in midfield from the veterans and from rookie Eric Miller at right back.

19

Last: 19

Will they be any better after that Matchday 2 bye? There's little question they have the talent to be a competitive team, but getting the parts to all work together may take more than just throwing them onto the field and saying "get at it."

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at Toronto FC (4:30 pm ET, MLS Live/TSN)