NEW YORK — After two games, fans can start to see who will be contenders and who will struggle this year in Major League Soccer. Plus, nothing gets fans going more than having some early power rankings. Here are my power rankings after two games:
1. Portland Timbers
Western Conference leaders, two convincing wins, and a new DP signing playing well, the Portland Timbers are without a doubt the hottest team in the MLS right now. With the addition of Sebastian Blanco, Portland’s attack looks unstoppable. Caleb Porter’s men show no signs of slowing down and looked determined to win another MLS Cup.
2. FC Dallas
With a 2-1 win over Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions League this Wednesday, FC Dallas is firing on cylinders. Kellyn Acosta is playing out of his mind, and FC Dallas looks poised to finish as the best team in MLS this season.
Despite losing their first game to Orlando City, no team in the league has controlled the tempo of the game more than NYCFC. With new signings Alexander Ring, Maxi Moralez, Sean Johnson, Rodney Wallace, and Alexander Callens playing well, NYCFC looks poised to take charge of the MLS despite playing in a baseball stadium.
4. Atlanta United
Newcomers Atlanta United, after two games, are already proving they are the real deal. After losing a close game to the New York Red Bulls, Atlanta United smashed Minnesota United by the score of 6-1 in the snow. Yes, in the snow. Resiliency is evident in this squad, and with a young team full of playmakers, Atlanta United is not a team to overlook.
5. New York Red Bulls
After an impressive comeback win over Atlanta United, the New York Red Bulls struggled against the Philadelphia Union. Without former captain Dax McCarty, the Red Bulls have been able to manage in the midfield and top striker Bradley Wright-Phillips still looks young even at the age of 32. Jesse Marsch searches to win the Red Bulls their first MLS Cup in their 21-year history.
6. Chicago Fire
Yes. Arguably worst team in the MLS the past few years is sixth in my power rankings. With the addition of former Red Bulls captain Dax McCarty and Hungarian international Nemanja Nikolic, the Fire have gotten off to a hot start (sorry, I couldn’t help it) and look to turn some heads this year. Don’t sleep on the Fire, or they will burn you (again, I am sorry for the terrible puns.)
7. Houston Dynamo
With two wins to start off the season, the Houston Dynamo, led by striker Erik Torres, have begun their ascent back to the top of MLS (title-winners in 2006 & 2007.) How good is this team? Time will tell but for now, do not sleep on the Dynamo defensively or they will score some highlight goals on you.
8. San Jose Earthquakes
Wondo has got another solid team around him this year, and things have started off magically for the Earthquakes, as the team from San Jose is sitting on six points after two games and looks to fight for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. I am hesitant to say they are a real threat, but right now, these guys seem like they can compete with anybody.