Villa, NYCFC shoot up MLS Power Rankings, L.A. plummets, Dallas No. 1
David Villa's wonder goal capped a win for New York City FC that pushed them up the latest MLS Power Rankings, while the LA Galaxy plummet and FC Dallas stays No. 1.
1. FC Dallas (no change)
FC Dallas was on its way to a win that would have lifted it to the top of the Western Conference, but a late goal changed things and the team settled for a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes. Nevertheless, the Texas club holds on to the top spot thanks in large part to the slew of losses for other contenders to the throne.
2. Columbus Crew SC (+5)
Crew SC followed up a loss at the Chicago Fire with an impressive 2-1 home win over defending Eastern Conference champ Toronto FC. Niko Hansen was impressive in his first start. The win is good for a big boost up the rankings to go with Columbus' spot at the top of the standings.
3. Orlando City SC (+5)
The Lions leap up the rankings on the back of a yet another home win. It's now four out of four at the new stadium after a 2-1 victory against the LA Galaxy, a record start for an MLS club in a brand-new building. It's also worth pointing out that Orlando is winning despite the absence of Kaka, who should be back on the field in a few weeks' time.
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4. Portland Timbers (-2)
The Timbers' attack ran up against the best defense in the league on Saturday and dropped two places after a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City as a result. The goalless performance against Sporting was Portland's first of the year and shouldn't be taken as a troubling sign of things to come. Slightly more worrying is the lack of a win in the past two home games.
5. Sporting Kansas City (+4)
Peter Vermes' team benefited from the aforementioned win against Portland, moving into the top five on the back of that stifling performance at Providence Park and a lovely goal scored by Dom Dwyer. Sporting is making a habit of shutting down opposing attacks and then putting together expert moves that result in goals on the other end. It's a good look.
6. New York City FC (+5)
New York City FC dominated possession, chances and the run of play at the Philadelphia Union in a 2-0 win and are rewarded with a move into the top 10. How good is David Villa? Jack Harrison's goal was the game-winner, but it was the former Spain striker's chip from midfield that stole the show and put an exclamation point on the win.
7. New York Red Bulls (+3)
The NYRB broke a four-game winless run with a 2-0 victory over rival D.C. United and get a push up the rankings for the effort. There are still questions about the attack, but Bradley Wright-Phillips's nutmeg finish on Bill Hamid -- from a perfect Felipe pass -- is just the kind of thing Red Bulls fans want to see.
8. Toronto FC (-5)
TFC has a single win on the year and tumbles down the rankings after the 2-1 loss at Columbus. Jozy Altidore is scoring goals, but the Reds are dealing with a strange ineffective period from star Sebastian Giovinco. He is taking as many shots as you'd expect, but they just aren't going in.
9. Seattle Sounders (-5)
A bit of bad luck and the head of Fredy Montero did the Sounders in up at the Vancouver Whitecaps. Seattle controlled the game from the outset and pushed hard to get back into it late, but neither was enough in the 2-1 loss.
10. Atlanta United (-5)
The rough three-game road trip that took Atlanta to Seattle, Toronto and Montreal netted the club two points and a slip down to 10th in the rankings. Facing the Impact didn't look like the toughest task on paper, but a questionable penalty and red card on Leandro Gonzalez Pirez put the visitors in a difficult spot in a 2-1 loss.
11. Chicago Fire (+2)
Bastian Schweinsteiger scored again in a comprehensive 3-0 win over the New England Revolution, the latest bit of evidence that Chicago is improving on last year's dismal campaign. But it's still unclear just how good the team is, and the Revs did abet the win by going down a man early in the match. Chicago hangs just outside the top 10 with a chance of moving up.
12. Houston Dynamo (-6)
The defensive slip that let Minnesota United strike twice to level the game and saw the Dynamo drop two points in a 2-2 draw at home is reason for a significant drop in the rankings. On the positive side of things, new Houston signings continue to shine on the attacking end, with Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis both scoring in the draw.
13. San Jose Earthquakes (-1)
Pulling out a draw at home against FC Dallas isn't necessarily something to be ashamed of, but the Quakes do drop a spot this week. A few teams with better results made the jump, while Dom Kinnear's men seem content to make games ugly and hope some timely scoring will get them the points they need.
14. Real Salt Lake (+4)
Mike Petke's arrival appears to have lit a fire under RSL. Whether it's the proverbial "new-manager bump" or a real improvement remains to be seen, but a pair of wins is pushing the club up the rankings. Winning in Colorado is never easy and the Utah club did it in comeback fashion, with two goals in the final five minutes.
15. D.C. United (-1)
United's attack still hasn't clicked in 2017, though a pair of home wins going into this weekend provided hope. On the road, D.C. couldn't find the spark and, missing Bill Hamid's usual heroics, was unable to take anything off the Red Bulls in a 2-1 loss in New Jersey. That means a slight creep down for the team.
16. Vancouver Whitecaps (+3)
The Whitecaps can thank Montero, David Ousted and the woodwork for their climb up three spots in this week's rankings. Those three combined to deliver a big win over the Sounders at BC Place, a game that could do wonders for Vancouver's confidence as it heads to Portland to face the Timbers next week.
17. Montreal Impact (+1)
The parity around Montreal means it moves up just a spot after a home win over Atlanta United on Saturday. The return of Ignacio Piatti gave the Impact a huge boost. With him, Montreal is a dangerous counter-attacking team capable of beating anyone. Without him, the Impact are toothless and simple to play against.
18. LA Galaxy (-4)
The Galaxy tumble four spots for two reasons: to make room for the improving sides above them and because the nature of their loss in Orlando was so deflating. Romain Alessandrini is a bright spot for the club in his first season, but there are mediocre performances across the team that are holding the proud franchise back.
19. New England Revolution (-3)
The Revs appeared to take a significant step forward with last week's home win over the Dynamo, but a trip to Chicago -- and a red card from Je-Vaughn Watson -- has them back in the bottom four of the rankings. New England's issues on Saturday mostly came down to indiscipline, but the defending also left a lot to be desired.
20. Minnesota United (no change)
It's never easy to get points on the road in MLS and the Loons now have two away points to their name after a comeback 2-2 draw in Houston. The defense is still leaking goals at a worrying clip and there are injuries to deal with, but the fight should provide some hope.
21. Colorado Rapids (-4)
Once upon a time, Dick's Sporting Goods Park was a fortress where the Rapids rarely gave up goals. Recent evidence says that's changed, with Colorado already closing on its full total of home goals conceded in 2016. Without Tim Howard in goal the Rapids couldn't hold off RSL, a loss that drops them near the bottom.
22. Philadelphia Union (no change)
The winless run continues in Chester, putting Philadelphia squarely at the foot of the rankings. Friday's loss to NYCFC at Talen Energy Stadium plumbed the depths of feckless play, as the Union rarely threatened the opposition goal with anything resembling a dangerous chance. Philadelphia is now the only team left in the league without a win.
Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer and the United States national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @davisjsn.