The Mane Land MLS Power Rankings 2016: Week 4.5



It's really easy to make some snap judgment calls this early in the season. Last season at this point, Portland had just won its first game and Vancouver was the hottest team in the league. Long story short, you don't win the MLS Cup in Week 5.

Here's a stat you can tell your friends: by its fourth game last season, Orlando had scored as many total goals (4) as it scored in its fourth game this season. Year 2 seems to be going according to plan for Adrian Heath.

1. FC Dallas (Last Week: 1)

Dallas continues to be the pace setter in the league, despite settling for a comeback draw at home against Columbus. Tesho Akindele scored this week, which made my brain say, "Hey, that guy was supposed to be really good." Reason No. 12 why the MLS Rookie of the Year award was an empty one prior to last season.

2. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 2)

Sporting Kansas City lost this week at home to RSL to end its perfect start to the season, so much for my MLS Golden State Warriors fantasy. On the bright side, Kansas City is still really good and it finally has Benny Feilhaber back.

3. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 3)

This isn't exactly the LA juggernaut so many of us thought might show up this year, but they're still a good team. A 0-0 draw on the road against Vancouver is a palatable result, though they should've gotten more. LA was up a man for the final 62 minutes of the game, out-shot their hosts 15-5, but couldn't come away with more than a point on the road.

4. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 3)

After starting the season red hot, Montreal has lost two in a row. Still, losing on the road to a Seattle team that was due for a victory isn’t a major crime, and Didier Drogba still hasn’t fully integrated into the team.

5. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 11)

This was RSL's third straight MLS regular season win over SKC by the same 2-1 scoreline. It was also only RSL's second victory on the road in Kansas City, and the first against a Kansas City team that wasn't called the Wizards.

6. Orlando City (Last Week: 13)

Mark Orlando's 4-1 drumming of Portland as the first statement victory of the season across the league. The question now becomes: Can Kaká be as impactful the rest of the season as he was against Portland on Sunday? Orlando has taken the early lead in the East, but there is a long way to go yet. You can't win the first quarter mile of a marathon and expect things to continue

Cyle Larin is on pace to score 26 goals this season.

7. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 5)

This makes four out of four seasons that the Caleb Porter Portland Timbers have had a slow start to their MLS campaign. As Portland so greatly proved last season, it's not how you start but rather how you finish that is most important in MLS.

8. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 8)

Can Vancouver win the MLS Cup? Maybe. Do they excite me? Nope.

9. Toronto FC (Last Week: 7)

Operation Stay Afloat has taken a couple of 1-0 hits in the last two weeks. The good news for Toronto is that its defense no longer looks like the Metrodome roof in a soccer ball blizzard. Toronto has given up four goals this season and has only given up one in consecutive games. The attack, however, is still a work in progress. Giovinco has yet to fill out his shoes from last season, and Jozy Altidore continues to be M.I.A. despite cleaning up what nearly was a Clint Dempsey mess while scoring for the national team last week.

10. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 9)

See the Vancouver section, but read it with a darker, more pessimistic tone.

11. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 6)

New York Red Bulls II beat Louisville City by two goals this week. Perhaps Jesse Marsch should make a platoon swap?

12. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 10)

As much as I like Houston, things are starting to look grim for the Dynamics in what is an exceptionally competitive Western Conference. Good performances without results just won't cut it in a conference that is likely to have a couple teams miss the postseason that would have made it were they geographically located closer to the Atlantic Ocean.

13. New York City FC (Last Week: 14)

14. New England Revolution (Last Week: 16)

After five tries, New England registered its first win of the season. All it took was a red card to Felipe to make it happen.

15. Columbus Crew SC (Last Week: 12)

Does Columbus have the talent to get out of the hole? Yes. Federico Higuaín is one of the few players in the league capable of thinking with the ball at his feet for a window longer that 1.5 seconds, and the front three of Kamara, Meram and Finlay are all quality. When will the C-Bus ascent begin? Your guess is as good as mine. Their next five include games against Montreal, NYCFC, Seattle and Houston.

16. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 17)

Winning ugly is better than not winning right? Seattle eked out its first victory of the season at home to Montreal on a Clint Dempsey set piece. Of note: Seattle's lineup featured a formation change and left out Jordan Morris. Seattle may not know where its ship is in the storm just yet, but at least Sigi has his binoculars out and is turning the rudder.

17. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 15)

Philly isn't as bad as they easily could have been this year, but they're also going to struggle to make the postseason. Luckily for them they play in the East.

18. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 18)

Don't look now but Colorado has seven points. If this team as it is currently constituted is going to win, it'll be doing it in a boring, pragmatic fashion. Colorado hasn't scored more than one goal in a game this year.

19. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 20)

I've covered a game at Toyota Park. When I was there it was 45 degrees and blustery, and the open air press box was really, really cold. I'm really glad I wasn't covering Chicago this weekend in that snowstorm. Let's hope they served chicken noodle soup or chili as the press meal.

20. D.C. United (Last Week: 18)

D.C. has a team of players that Ben Olsen bought at the same booth at the flea market. The sign said, “FORMER MLS ROLE PLAYERS FOR CHEAP” and he went bananas.


Exit mobile version