Power Rankings - Chris Armas
USA Today Sports

Power Rankings: New York Red Bulls claim top spot after opening week

Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff; words by Alicia Rodriguez.

BIGGEST MOVERS: MTL, TOR +4; PHI -6

1

 
 

LAST WEEK: 2

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 2

It may not have been flashy, but the Red Bulls picking up a road draw with a lineup of mostly reserves and some deep reserves was good enough to earn top spot this week. Don't be surprised if a few of these guys make their way into Chris Armas' regular plans before long.

Previous: 1-1 draw at CLB | Next: vs. SJ on 3/16

2

 
 

LAST WEEK: 4

HIGH: 2 | LOW: 4

It took two outstanding individual goals, one in the last minute against a 10-man Sporting, but LAFC beat the only team to beat them twice in 2018. The 90-minute survey says both of these teams do look legit for the season ahead.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. SKC | Next: vs. POR on 3/10

3

 
 

LAST WEEK: 6

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 6

Only one team posted a shutout in Week 1, and that was D.C. United against the prolific Atlanta United attack. D.C. look good, to be sure, but there's just something about them matching up against Atlanta; the MLS Cup champs' bogey team looks to be back.

Previous: 2-0 win vs. ATL | Next: at NYC on 3/10

4

 
 

LAST WEEK: 5

HIGH: 4 | LOW: 5

Seattle have struggled on opening day and against expansion teams in the past, but after a very early wake-up call by FC Cincinnati, the Sounders truly woke up and gave us a taste of what they're capable of. Chances are their next match against the Rapids will be another good litmus test.

Previous: 4-1 win vs. CIN | Next: vs. COL on 3/9

5

 
 

LAST WEEK: 3

HIGH: 3 | LOW: 5

LAFC took the points in a tight game that seemed destined for a draw. One big takeaway is that vintage Krisztian Nemeth is back and that's very good news for Sporting's attack.

Previous: 2-1 loss at LAFC | Next: vs. PHI on 3/10

6

 
 

LAST WEEK: 1

HIGH: 1 | LOW: 6

It's just one game, with a new manager, while the team is juggling Concacaf Champions League for the first time, against a team that has traditionally given them fits. Plus, remember the blowout loss to open 2018? That turned out OK in the end for Atlanta, and it will probably be alright again.

Previous: 2-0 loss at DC | Next: vs. CIN on 3/10

7

 
 

LAST WEEK: 10

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 10

Not the best performance but the outcome was just right for the Galaxy in Guillermo Barros Schelotto's MLS coaching debut. Don't be surprised if Efrain Alvarez is given the "Alphonso Davies first year in MLS" treatment this year – stints off the bench, periodic appearances, to bring him along slowly for the future.

Previous: 2-1 win vs. CHI | Next: at DAL on 3/9

8

 
 

LAST WEEK: 7

HIGH: 7 | LOW: 8

Any game played in the blizzard conditions of the Timbers' road draw should come with an asterisk as far as concrete impressions to take, but having said that, the Timbers held the lead two separate points in the game against 10-man Colorado before the late equalizer. It happens, but we'll see how they look against LAFC.

Previous: 3-3 draw at COL | Next: at LAFC on 3/10

9

 
 

LAST WEEK: 8

HIGH: 8 | LOW: 9

Caleb Porter was disappointed with the home draw against the Red Bulls, and while we know his standards are high, it was a pretty good opening showing in his first game with the team. Add to that the fact that a fixture against New York is done, and it's onward and upward for the Crew.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. RBNY | Next: at NE on 3/9

10

 
 

LAST WEEK: 14

HIGH: 10 | LOW: 14

The Impact make a big jump after their win in San Jose. They've had a knack for doing well to open seasons, so can they keep it going against CCL-occupied Houston next week? This could turn out to be a great opening to the road trip if they do.

Previous: 2-1 win at SJ | Next: at HOU on 3/9

11

 
 

LAST WEEK: 9

HIGH: 9 | LOW: 11

Another solid, not spectacular showing for a team with a new head coach. But with Dallas figured to be one of the heavy favorites for Week 1, what does their draw against New England tell us? Be wary of labeling favorites in MLS, obviously.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. NE | Next: vs. LA on 3/9

12

 
 

LAST WEEK: 11

HIGH: 11 | LOW: 12

The good: NYCFC took a two-goal lead on the road, and got a result in the end. The bad: Orlando largely controlled the game, especially late when making game-changing subs, and NYCFC barely held on. Alex Mitrita is lively, but seems like he'll need a little time to mesh with his teammates, which is fair.

Previous: 2-2 draw at ORL | Next: vs. DC on 3/10

13

 
 

LAST WEEK: 13

HIGH: 13 | LOW: 13

The Dynamo's comeback draw against RSL is going under the radar, but that's par for the course at this point. Houston are showing the value of earning a CCL spot, and while the quarterfinals are a tall task, Wilmer Cabrera has shown his skill at managing short tournaments.

Previous: 1-1 draw vs. RSL | Next: vs. MTL on 3/9

14

 
 

LAST WEEK: 15

HIGH: 14 | LOW: 15

Loons win! Loons win! A debut road win in the Western Conference is a long time coming for Minnesota, but they were impressive in a shootout in Vancouver. Next, they'll head south to see if they can vanquish another challenge, in beating the Quakes, who mostly found joy against them in 2018.

Previous: 3-2 win at VAN | Next: at SJ on 3/9

15

 
 

LAST WEEK: 19

HIGH: 15 | LOW: 19

As we all predicted, Michael Bradley was the attacking spark in TFC's league opener, on the road. But seriously, we know Bradley's versatile skillset, even if he has been pretty subdued in attack since joining Toronto. It will be interesting to see if he plays a bigger role in that department this season.

Previous: 3-1 win at PHI | Next: vs. NE on 3/17

16

 
 

LAST WEEK: 16

HIGH: 16 | LOW: 16

A point on the road tends to be a good result in this league, and RSL quietly took that in Houston. One question at this point is if this team will be more consistent in 2019 than they were last season.

Previous: 1-1 draw at HOU | Next: vs. VAN on 3/9

17

 
 

LAST WEEK: 17

HIGH: 17 | LOW: 17

Look, above there's that note about the snow game having an asterisk for Portland given the conditions, but let's throw that out the window for the Rapids. This was a wildly entertaining game, better than any the Rapids played last year, and don't be surprised if Andre Shinyashiki gets on the scoresheet again soon.

18

 
 

LAST WEEK: 12

HIGH: 12 | LOW: 18

The Union had the biggest drop of the week according to the voting panel, and while they were certainly the second-best team in their game against Toronto, there's a feeling that if a couple more players had performed better they could have easily gotten a draw. A road game against Sporting is going to be an interesting test.

Previous: 3-1 loss vs. TOR | Next: at SKC on 3/10

19

 
 

LAST WEEK: 18

HIGH: 18 | LOW: 19

Bobby Warshaw is right that the Fire won the "hearts and minds" award of the weekend, but the panel wants to see some points racked up before moving them up the Power Rankings. There is potential there, however, and that's a good start.

Previous: 2-1 loss at LA | Next: vs. ORL on 3/9

20

 
 

LAST WEEK: 20

HIGH: 20 | LOW: 20

The Lions stand pat this week, but their rousing draw felt like a win. Now, they need to post a few wins, and they could move on up the Rankings, too. It will be nice to see what this team can do with 90 minutes from both Nani and Dom Dwyer.

Previous: 2-2 draw vs. NYC | Next: at CHI on 3/9

21

 
 

LAST WEEK: 23

HIGH: 21 | LOW: 23

Take that, MLS! Last week, this column expressed concern that Carles Gil would be productive in terms of goals and assists given his prior track record. Then he scored an equalizer in his debut for a road draw. Good start for the Spanish Designated Player.

Previous: 1-1 draw at DAL | Next: vs. CLB on 3/9

22

 
 

LAST WEEK: 21

HIGH: 21 | LOW: 22

The Whitecaps seem like they could use a longer preseason runway, but there were promising initial signs. In the long run, the big question seems likely to be whether the remade defense will be up to the rigors of MLS.

Previous: 3-2 loss vs. MIN | Next: at RSL on 3/9

23

 
 

LAST WEEK: 22

HIGH: 22 | LOW: 23

The Quakes came out of the gates and took an early lead to open the Matias Almeyda era, but it turned out to be more of the same as their opponent flipped the result and handed them a loss. Like the Whitecaps, we'll have to see how long it takes for the ideas and chemistry to bed in.

Previous: 2-1 loss vs. MTL | Next: vs. MIN on 3/9

24

 
 

LAST WEEK: 24

HIGH: 24 | LOW: 24

Welcome to MLS, Cincinnati. Leonardo Bertone scores a banger that is a worthy debut goal in the league, but otherwise the expansion side is dealt a hard lesson in Seattle. Maybe they can catch Atlanta as they're occupied by CCL? If not, this introduction to the league could continue to be rough.

Previous: 4-1 loss at SEA | Next: at ATL on 3/10

Series: 

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