MLS Power Rankings: After Montreal Impact fall, a new No. 1

This is the first season since 2006 that there wasn't at least one expansion team added. So you'd think that would have meant stability  the good teams stayed good, the bad teams stayed bad. After all, without massive roster changes, there wouldn't be massive change. Right?

So much for conventional wisdom. With Week 5 in the books, 2013 continues to be the most unpredictable MLS season since at least 2009, but arguably since 2004. Heck, maybe since 2001.

What we're saying, folks, is that it's been real. And more importantly, it's been weird. We hope you're enjoying it as much as we are.

Note: Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. The Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy play in the CONACAF Champions League and have a bye on the MLS regular-season schedule this week.

The Power Rankings are voted on by the editorial staff at, 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


Last: 3

Got to give it up for the Dynamo: They've weathered preseason injuries, a disappointing CCL elimination, some set-piece worries (we're not 100 percent convinced those are gone) and international call-ups all before the calendar even turned to April. And with all that, they're 3-1-0 – and heating up.


Last: 2

Classic "trap" game in Toronto, or a worrisome marker of things to come? Leonardo probably won't have many more giveaways like that, but watching Luis Silva turn Omar Gonzalez into a pretzel has to give Galaxy fans nightmares on the eve of the CCL clash with Monterrey.


Last: 1

It's not that Montreal weren't good – they weren't – against Sporting KC. It's that they never even had a sniff of coming into that game, only put one shot on goal and ran out of juice when asked to chase. As Patrice Bernier said, they need the bye week to come up with a Plan B.


Last: 4

We were kicking around "Player of the Month" nominees at the office, and you know whose name came up? Ben Speas. The youngster has been good enough for that conversation, a demon in 1-v-1 situations and – obviously – a nice finishing eye. He gives the Columbus attack balance, as well as another playmaker upon whom they can rely.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Philadelphia (5 pm ET, MLS Live)


Last: 7

It's rarely been pretty from FC Dallas, but so far it's been very, very effective. Twelve points from five games is the best start in team history, and while David Ferreira remains indispensable, there have been greater contributions from the rest of the squad this year. FCD could be around to the very end.


Last: 8

So much for the questions about Carlos Alvarez going No. 2 in the SuperDraft, right? And let's once again give some credit to El Chelís for having the guts to hand the keys to a bunch of kids – Alvarez, Juan Agudelo, Tristan Bowen, José Erick Correa, even Jorge Villafaña. This team is young, hungry and fun to watch.


Last: 10

That's the performance Sporting fans have had dancing in their heads since the offseason decision to get "more technical." Yes, they do miss the physicality of Roger Espinoza and Kei Kamara, but "defense-splitting through-balls finished with precision" is exactly why they added Benny Feilhaber and Claudio Bieler.


Last: 11

Devon Sandoval may not be a complete, polished, ready-for-primetime MLS forward. But he has two MLS-ready skills in his strength, and his passing creativity with his back to the goal. Everything RSL ran in their picture-perfect first half vs. the Sounders ran through the big man, who put in one of our favorite performances of the year.


Last: 6

Great strikers have short memories, and Chris Wondolowski has been historically great over the past three seasons. But will he ever – ever – forget that 68th-minute whiff against the Dynamo? He nutmegged himself from two yards out! Early frontrunner for "Not Goal of the Year."


Last: 5


Jay DeMerit's absence has been felt keenly the past two weeks, first by blowing that lead at Houston and then in a somewhat disorganized second half against Chivas when pushing for a goal. The attack generates chances – and needs to finish a few more of them – but the defense looks suspect right now.


Last: 9

The Power Rankings Politburo apologizes for dropping D.C. two spots after a bye week, but understand that the rankings don't happen in a vacuum – this was a pure case of RSL and Sporting getting rewarded for putting in dominant performances. United will have their chance to climb back up the table this weekend at SKC. Not an easy task.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Friday at Sporting Kansas City (8:30 pm, MLS Live)

Last: 15

And ... exhale. New York, when playing at home, have been simply dominant this season. That can't mask the fact that they've been a train wreck on the road, but it's something to build on. Markus Holgersson getting beat at the near post, however, was a SMH moment for RBNY fans, and very likely the RBNY staff. A veteran international cannot get beat on fundamentals like that.


Last: 13

Credit to them for rallying from two goals down in Colorado for the draw, but they were lucky they didn't have to do it while down a man – Diego Chará deserved straight red for his DOGSO on Tony Cascio. It's the veterans – Chara and Mikaël Silvestre – who've been error-prone this year for Portland.


Last: 12

The absolute lowest Seattle have ever been in the Power Rankings thanks to an anemic offense and a defense that seems content to let Michael Gspurning (who's been fantastic) do all the work. The real problem, though, is the midfield. They're not possessing the ball, and when they do actually win it, they're giving it away cheaply.


Last: 14

Still "Under Construction" in Philly, but let's give John Hackworth some credit for immediately responding with subs and a new tactical look once his team went down at New York. They'll hope that the addition of Kléberson in the coming weeks will give them a bit more ability to build chances through the midfield without losing defensive shape. 


Last: 17

Probably unfair to judge Oscar Pareja or his team at this point, since they've been just destroyed by injuries. We can make this leap, though: In Cascio, Dillon Powers and DeShorn Brown, they have a good chunk of their attack figured out for the years ahead. Might as well take a page from Chelís' book and just give them the keys.


Last: 18

What a "Welcome to 2013" moment from Luis Silva! And a pretty darn nice touch from Jonathan Osorio, the latest product of TFC's prolific academy. Working kids like that into a veteran mix is Ryan Nelsen's primary job this year, even moreso than getting the wins and losses right. There needs to be something better than a six-month plan at BMO Field, and honestly, it feels like there really is this time.


Last: 16

Alarm bells are sounding now in New England, and the only good news is that the Revs have two weeks to figure out how to generate some attack. They forced Raúl Fernández into a bit more work than Jimmy Nielsen had to do the week before, but one goal through four games is a brutal start to the year.

Last: 19

What will the week off bring the Fire? Frank Klopas got the vote of confidence this past week, and Arne Friedrich has five more days to get fit and hopefully reorganize the central defense. It's probably good that nobody in Bridgeview seems like they're panicking, and with the road version of the Red Bulls in town on Sunday, they shouldn't be.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Next Game: Sunday vs. New York (5 pm, ESPN2)