#MLSisBack and so too is the weekly Pro Soccer USA Power Rankings.
Week 1 is in the books and there was plenty of drama, some snow, some brilliant goals and the early emergence of the best teams in Major League Soccer. Following an impressive 2-0 home win at a rain-drenched Audi Field over defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United, D.C. United check in at the pole position this year, while debutants FC Cincinnati, the 24th club in Major League Soccer, is ranked No. 24.
The Major League Soccer Power Rankings are created by averaging the rankings submitted by a committee of Pro Soccer USA’s editor and writers.
- D.C. United (1-0-0, 3 points): The Black-and-Red laid the hammer down on the defending MLS Cup champions with a dominant performance ending in a 2-0 win. Luciano Acosta controlled the midfield and Paul Arriola was a beast up the flank.
- Seattle Sounders (1-0-0, 3 points): Jordan Morris is back and in a big way, scoring a brace while Victor Rodriguez and Nico Lodeiro ran the ship from midfield. No slow start for the Sounders this year.
- Los Angeles Football Club (1-0-0, 3 points): The 3252 were in midseason form and so, too, was Adama Diomande, who scored the stoppage time winner to lift LAFC over Sporting Kansas City in a battle of teams that should be atop the Western Conference standings in the fall.
- New York Red Bulls (0-0-1, 1 point): MAPFRE Stadium is a tough place to play for any New York Red Bulls team, so for Chris Armas’ rotated squad to get a point there on Opening Day speaks volumes of the club’s depth.
- Portland Timbers (0-0-1, 1 point): The Timbers were up a man, but squandered a pair of leads and settled for a wild 3-3 draw at snowy Colorado. A point on the road is usually celebrated, but not in this case for the Timbers.
- LA Galaxy (1-0-0, 3 points): Zlatan did Zlatan things again, but the story of the Galaxy’s 2-1 win over the Fire was the emergence (finally!) of 16-year-old Efrain Alvarez, who helped set up the winning goal.
- Sporting Kansas City (0-1-0, 0 points): Fresh off a dominating performance at Toluca (which didn’t factor into these power rankings), Sporting took a first-half lead only to see Diego Rossi and Diomande score second-half goals to to secure all three points for the hosts.
- Atlanta United (0-1-0, 0 points): Through three games this season (and again, CCL doesn’t factor into these rankings), it’s hard to tell who Atlanta is or will be. The defending MLS Cup champions were overrun in the midfield and Josef Martinez was starved for service. As a result, high-flying Atlanta was the only team to not score in Week 1.
- Montreal Impact (1-0-0, 3 points): The Impact fell into a one-goal hole just 11 minutes into their MLS opener, but rallied to level on the first of what will likely be many goals by Nacho Piatti and the winner by Saphir Taider one minute before halftime. A solid road win for a team that should make noise in the East this year.
- Houston Dynamo (0-0-1, 1 point): Mauro Manotas to the rescue — again! The Colombian, whose brace send the Dynamo through to the CCL quarterfinals in the midweek, netted the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake at BBVA Compass Stadium.
- Toronto FC (1-0-0, 3 points): Don’t count out Toronto FC and don’t count out Michael Bradley. That’s what we learned from an impressive Week 1 win over the Union at Talen Energy Stadium as the TFC captain struck for a brace.
- FC Dallas (0-0-1, 1 point): The Luchi Gonzalez-era at FC Dallas got out to a resounding start when Michael Barrios put the hosts in front after just 13 minutes. But they conceded a second-half equalizer by Carles Gill and settled for a 1-1 draw,
- Columbus Crew SC (0-0-1, 1 point): Another coach making his debut with a team and another home draw. Caleb Porter knows there’s work to do, but thanks to Gaston Sauro’s near-post header off a Federico Higuain corner, Crew SC come away with at least a point.
- Minnesota United (1-0-0, 3 points): One of the more intriguing teams entering the 2019 season, Minnesota picked up an impressive 3-2 win over the rebuilt Whitecaps. Francisco Calvo scored a goal and drew a penalty that Darwin Quintero converted in the road win.
- New York City FC (0-0-1, 1 point): Is this a sign of things to come for the Cityzens in what could be a rollercoaster year? They race out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Ebenezer Ofori and Alex Ring, only to concede twice in the second half and settle for a 2-2 draw in Orlando.
- Real Salt Lake (0-0-1, 1 point): Albert Rusnak opened his 2019 account and RSL played the Dynamo to a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium. Considering the club’s woeful road form a year ago, it’s a positive start.
- Colorado Rapids (0-0-1, 1 point): The resolve shown to fight back from a pair of deficits and forge a draw against the Portland Timbers despite being a man down is the greatest takeaway for the Rapids in Snow Clasico 3.
- Chicago Fire (0-1-0, 0 points): The Fire showed signs that their attack could be potent this year. C.J. Sapong, who struggled last year for the Union, scored his first goal for his new club and Djordje Mihailovic, Aleksandar Katai and Przemyslaw Frankowski were dangerous.
- Orlando City SC (0-0-1, 1 point): Similar to the Rapids, the Lions showed fight to come back from a two-goal deficit with Chris Mueller and Tesho Akindele scoring after halftime and Nani making his debut.
- Philadelphia Union (0-1-0, 0 points): Well, Marco Fabian scored on his debut, which is a plus for the Union, who have plenty of work to do in a pivotal season for Jim Curtin on the banks of the Delaware River.
- New England Revolution (0-0-1, 1 point): The negatives — a pregame injury to Michael Mancienne and conceding again on a counter. The positives — a second-half rally and first goal from new signing Carles Gil in a 1-1 road draw.
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC (0-1-0, 0 points): Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same is true of the 2019 Whitecaps under new coach Marc dos Santos. It is going to take time for the chemistry to build, but newcomer Erik Godoy scored after six minutes and Hwang In-Beom put in a solid shift on his debut.
- San Jose Earthquakes (0-1-0, 0 points): Wondo watch continues as the Quakes fell to Montreal, 2-1. Magnus Eriksson scored the lone goal for San Jose and newcomers Marcos Lopez and Cristian Espinoza had bright moments.
- FC Cincinnati (0-1-0, 0 points): Talk about never forgetting your first! What an opening MLS goal for FCC on an absolute screamer by Leonardo Bertone to give his side a 1-0 lead on 13 minutes. That’s where the positives end for the expansion side who looked every bit like the newcomers they are against a team that should contend in the West.
Pro Soccer USA’s writers Dylan Butler, Julian Cardillo, Robert Jonas, Emily Olsen and Joe Tansey contributed to this report.