MLS is Back: Power Rankings after Matchday One

MLS, Sporting KC, Minnesota United (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
MLS, Sporting KC, Minnesota United (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Real Salt Lake, Dami Kreilach
Real Salt Lake, Dami Kreilach (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

15 – D.C. United (=)

Oh it could have been, and arguably should have been, much worse for D.C. United, as they needed two goals in the final ten minutes to reduce a point against 2017 MLS Cup champions Toronto FC, and they had to do so with ten men.

The Canadian side were two goals to the good by the interval, thanks to a glorious brace from Ayo Akinola. It got even worse for the side from the capital just before the half-time break, as Junior Moreno was shown aa second yellow card, meaning United had to play 45 minutes with ten men.

They kept TFC at bay, and then fought back to gain a point, with goals from Federico Higuain and Frederic Brillant levelling the game at twos. They held on and now have the chance to go top of the group with a win over the Revs on July 17.

Remaining Group Matches: Group C – vs. New England Revolution (July 17, 8 pm ET), vs. Montreal Impact (July 21, 10:30 pm ET)

14 – Colorado Rapids (-2)

In recent times, Colorado have not been strong in the Rocky Mountains Cup, and that continued on the opening matchday in Group D, as they lost out to Real Salt Lake for the fourth straight meeting between the two sides.

After Albert Rusnak had put their opponents in front in the first half, the Rapids are gifted the chance to equalise from the penalty spot after Clint Irwin had fouled Douglas Martinez. However, the ‘keeper made a double save to deny Colorado.

Heads went down, and the Rapids conceded a second which wrapped up the W for Real Salt Lake just three minutes later. They have a bottom of the group clash against Sporting Kansas City in a few days, knowing that a loss could see them out of the tournament at the first hurdle.

Remaining Group Matches: Group D – vs. Sporting KC (July 17, 8 pm ET), vs. Minnesota United (July 22, 10:30 pm ET)

13 – Real Salt Lake (+4)

As the only team in Group D to have not won both of their opening fixtures back in late February and early March, Real Salt Lake came into this tournament as arguably the weakest team in the strongest group, but they changed all that with their opening performance of the event.

They faced the Rapids, who along with Minnesota United and Sporting Kansas City, had a perfect two-from-two record to start the season four months ago. Goals from Albert Rusnak and Damir Kreilach gave them the victory.

They top the group on goal difference from Minnesota, who are now the only 100% team left in MLS. Real Salt Lake get their chance against the Loons next time out, with the chance to qualify for the knockout stages, along with the chance to take down the only 100% team in the league.

Remaining Group Matches: Group D – vs. Minnesota United (July 17, 10:30 pm ET), vs. Sporting KC (July 22, 9 am ET)

12 – New England Revolution (+2)

As the only team to win their opening clash in Group B, New England Revolution have put themselves in a good spot to go through to the knockout stages of the MLS is Back tournament, and for that reason, they jump up two places.

The Revs had lost out to Montreal Impact on the opening day of the season, all those weeks ago, but they exacted revenge over their Canadian counterparts, thanks to a Gustavo Bou strike in the 56th minute. They needed a wonderful Matt Turner save deep into stoppage time to secure the three points, though.

The win sees them top Group B after the first round of fixtures, and thanks to the three points, they also jump into the top seven in the Eastern Conference as well. A good day all round for Bruce Arena’s side.

Remaining Group Matches: Group B – vs. D.C. United (July 17, 8 pm ET), vs. Toronto FC (July 21, 9 am ET)

11 – LA Galaxy (-2)

It was a poor outing for the Galaxy in their opening clash of the MLS is Back tournament, as they had a missed penalty, a goal pulled back on Video Review, ad they finished the game with a more than their opponents, but they could not find a way to get the three points.

Javier Hernandez had the perfect opportunity to get his MLS tally up and running, but his 12th-minute penalty was saved by Timbers’ goalkeeper Steve Clark. He would eventually get his goal in the 88th minute, but by that point, Portland had already done the damage to get the win.

The Galaxy will have to improve on all fronts over the next few days ahead of ‘El Trafico’, which comes on July 18. Anything less than a win and they could well find themselves out of the tournament come the conclusion of the group stages. They drop two on our Power Rankings this week.

Remaining Group Matches: Group D – vs. Los Angeles FC (July 18, 10:30 pm ET), vs. Houston Dynamo (July 23, 8 pm ET)