Even last year's Western Conference Champions were no match for this year's Real Salt Lake
For the second straight week, RSL is topping this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings after vanquishing the Portland Timbers last Saturday, 1-0, at Rio Tinto Stadium. Ned Grabavoy scored his side's goal late but the clean sheet was preserved by an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Nick Rimando, keeping the Timbers off the board.
I didn't get around to posting a weekend recap from this past weekend, apologizes for that. Monday was a day off for me and that meant time to enjoy some free time and not be on a blog all that much. Anyways, it is time for my latest Five Up, Three Down here as we move forward into the final weekend of April.
Real Salt Lake remains the top team in the league, and Montreal Impact remain the worst.
There were plenty of draws this week in Major League Soccer, and so many of the positions on our power rankings stayed the same. However, the bottom has given out on one team's ranking, and two other continue to bounce along on the bottom of the barrel.
It can be tough to criticize a team that sits atop the MLS mountain after seven weeks. FC Dallas finds itself exactly in that spot despite being a squad still finding its tactics, chemistry and a consistent starting 11.
Saturday's 2-1 win over a wounded and apathetic looking Toronto FC probably was deserving for Dallas although even the most loyal FCD fan would have to agree Kellyn Acosta's self-admitted poorly played moment in the penalty area should have resulted in a PK for Ryan Neilsen's side.
Blas Perez, returned to the FC Dallas lineup after missing last week's match with a hamstring injury, scored in the waning minutes of regulation to give his team a dramatic 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Despite the early season struggles of the New York Red Bulls and the Portland Timbers, who last year led the league's Eastern and Western conferences, 2013 MLS Cup finalists Real Salt Lake keep chugging along.
Jeff Cassar's side take top spot in this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings ahead of FC Dallas after securing a 2-2 draw at the Philadelphia Union, one that RSL nearly won.
After leading the Sounders to a jaw-dropping rally and draw last week in Portland on a hat trick, he returned for round two to wage a comeback win in Dallas this week.
Scoring two goals and forcing an own goal from a strategic shot into traffic, Dempsey pushed his side to erase a 2-1 deficit and grab a 3-2 victory against FC Dallas, a team that went into Week 6 unbeaten.
Oscar Pareja's club re-captured "El Capitan" from the Houston Dynamo last weekend with a tremendous 4-1 performance, backed by the play of midfielder Mauro Diaz. The Argentine has been the key to FC Dallas' recent success but the addition of Hendry Thomas in defensive midfield combined with Matt Hedges and Chris Seitz has given FC Dallas one of the best spines in MLS.
After a wild and busy rivalry week in Major League Soccer, things may begin to settle down a bit as teams are finding their way into this season. We're slowly inching our way into knowing what to expect each week out of all the clubs.
1. Can Dallas be beat?Their schedule so far has really allowed them to get off to this hot start through five games.
The annual peek inside the financial structure of Major League Soccer happened today with the release of player salaries. While the top names, Bradley, Defoe and Dempsey, were no surprise, there was one within FC Dallas.
The highest paid player is not Blas Perez, Mauro Diaz or George John.
Michael Bradley's status for this weekend's match is up in the air.
Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen told reporters Tuesday that Bradley is one of several players that could miss this Saturday's home game vs. the Colorado Rapids due to injury. Nelsen did not specify what is bothering Bradley, but said that the veteran midfielder is recovering from "a couple of little strains.
Toronto's Justin Morrow (2) slide kicks the ball away from FC Dallas' Je-Vaughn Watson (27) during a Major League Soccer match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Saturday, April 19, 2014. (Mark M. Hancock / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News) -- MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES, MAGS OUT, TV OUT, INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY
FRISCO — Looks like Blas Perez's recent hamstring problems are a thing of the past.
Another week, another edition of our MLS Power Rankings. D.C. United's two game winning streak sees them eek every slightly upward, while Clint Dempsey is single-handedly pulling the Sounders towards the top of the heap. But who shall reign supreme this week?
A week after pulling off an improbable two-goal comeback to tie the Portland Timbers at Providence Park, the Seattle Sounders continued their Road Warrior profile by traveling to Frisco, Texas and handing FC Dallas their first loss of the season.
The Sounders pulled off yet another road comeback, rallying from 2-1 down to beat FC Dallas, 3-2, a win that made Seattle the easy pick for SBI MLS Team of the Week.
While a majority of USL Pro clubs have already seen action in the 2014 season, Arizona United SC officially enters the mix this weekend when they make their league debut on Saturday at home against Oklahoma City Energy FC.
The Energy are coming off a 4-2 loss to LA Galaxy II after winning their first-ever match against the Orange County Blues FC.
So it seems U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann wants to get a bit of a head start on working towards finding a team to represent the Stars and Stripes at the 2016 Summer Olympics. So, on Friday U.S. Soccer announced the creation of an Under-21 team to help start that very process.
FC Dallas homegrown midfielder/forward Danny Garcia is among the players selected to participate in the first camp, which began on Sunday in Carson, California and will run for five days.
FC Dallas - 2 Hedges 37' Pérez 88' Toronto - 1 Nakajima-Farran 21'
WHAT WE EXPECTED: Depending on who showed up healthy, the range went from 'planning the Cup parade' to 'gonna take a whuppin'. WHAT WE GOT: The counter-attack stylings that we've come to expect with the welcomed addition of Bradley and Osorio, but it was just not enough.
Major League Soccer has been rocked (for better or worse, tbd) with the recent extravagant signings of big name players, and now the waters are stirring with news of Mexico's Javier Hernandez looking to find a new soccer home after this current season in the English Premier League. Could MLS be a destination, or even, *gasp*, Dallas?
Blas Perez was in an unfamiliar place for FC Dallas' match Saturday against the Seattle Sounders: on the outside looking in. Perez, 33, FCD's top goal scorer in 2012 and 2013, was left off the 18-man game roster because of a nagging hamstring injury.
Dallas coach Oscar Pareja had limited Perez in training before a 4-1 win at Houston on April 5, a game in which Perez came off the bench.