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Seattle Sounders top the MLS Power Rankings after impressive start

Clint Dempsey scored twice against his former club as Seattle eased past New England.

An emphatic opening-weekend win over the preseason Power Rankings leaders sees Seattle quickly climb to top spot.

1. Seattle Sounders (+1)

Even on a day when the Sounders were missing Osvaldo Alonso and started Brad Evans at center back, Marco Pappa, Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey were simply too much for New England.

2. LA Galaxy (+1)

The post-Landon Donovan era got off to a solid start courtesy of a 2-0 win over Chicago, with Stefan Ishizaki's impressive performance hinting that he may be ready to take on more responsibility. The defense looks as solid as ever.

3. Toronto FC (+3)

TFC has been down this road before, opening with a road win and two goals from a big signing, in this case Jozy Altidore. Still, the midfield and defense look more solid. Just no more high lines, OK, Greg Vanney?

4. D.C. United (+3)

Jairo Arrieta is looking like an inspired signing for DCU. He bagged a goal in the midweek CCL encounter against Alajuelense, and with Luis Silva injured and Fabian Espindola suspended, he notched the game-winner for United in its 1-0 win over Montreal. Not bad at all from the Costa Rican.

5. New England Revolution (-4)

There was little to like in New England's loss to Seattle. Diego Fagundez was nonexistent, and Teal Bunbury went down with what looked like a serious shoulder injury. Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen can't come back soon enough.

6. Sporting Kansas City (-2)

Dom Dwyer took responsibility for SKC dropping points against New York, missing two great chances, but overall, the midfield seemed a bit off-kilter. And it's still waiting for the 2013 edition of Matt Besler -- who was ejected Sunday with 20 minutes to go -- to re-emerge.

7. FC Dallas (+2)

If there was an all-underrated XI, Zach Loyd would have to be on it. He's durable, plays multiple positions and is as steady as they come. He was impressive once again against San Jose, and thanks to Blas Perez's late goal, he and his Dallas teammates walked off winners against San Jose.

8. Real Salt Lake (no change)

RSL didn't thrive in its opener against Portland, but it did survive thanks to some desperation defending and a typically stellar night from goalkeeper Nick Rimando. For whatever reason, Rimando seems to save his best for the Timbers.

9. Houston Dynamo (plus-2)

Yes, Giles Barnes got the all-important goal to get the Owen Coyle era off to a winning start. But this victory was mostly about goalkeeper Tyler Deric, who was massive in a 1-0 win over Columbus.

10. Columbus Crew (-5)

Yes, the Crew fell to the Dynamo, but it did plenty of good things and created lots of opportunities to get a point or three. If they continue to play like that, the results will come.

11. New York Red Bulls (+2)

The Red Bulls didn't do much with a man advantage for the last 20 minutes against Kansas City, but for all the upheaval in the offseason, a 1-1 road draw isn't a bad way to start the campaign, with Lloyd Sam's golazo the big highlight.

12. Portland Timbers (no change)

The Timbers got "Rimando'd" again, resulting in a disappointing home draw. But Portland also have reason to be encouraged, having created plenty against Real Salt Lake despite a makeshift midfield. The revamped defense was as advertised, as well.

13. Vancouver Whitecaps (-3)

Octavio Rivero scored on his debut against Toronto, but his shocking miss is getting all the attention. His teammates will be thankful, as it will provide a distraction from an abject second half when they offered little in the way of attacking ideas.

14. Colorado Rapids (+6)

Colorado's winless streak now spans 15 games over two seasons, but a road point at Philadelphia is a more-than-acceptable way to start the season. In particular, the Rapids looked much more organized and tenacious defensively.

15. Philadelphia Union (-1)

Okay, the Rapids team the Union tied Saturday is a much tougher outfit than last season. Still, a 0-0 home draw amounts to a big disappointment for Philadelphia, as its attack looked plodding at times.

16. New York City FC (+2)

That NYCFC couldn't hold a late lead with a man advantage would normally drive Jason Kreis nuts. But his club was also outplayed for long stretches. All told, he'll take it.

17. Orlando City (no change)

It would have almost seemed cruel to send more than 62,500 fans at the Citrus Bowl home without something to celebrate. Kaka duly obliged with his deflected free kick allowing OCSC to grab a draw against fellow expansion side New York.

18. Montreal Impact (no change)

The loss to D.C. United smarts, but not nearly as much as the elbow injury sustained by Justin Mapp. One of the heroes of the CCL victory over Pachuca now looks set to miss an extended period of time.

19. San Jose Earthquakes (no change)

A costly late blunder from goalkeeper David Bingham meant San Jose got nothing from a gritty defensive effort against Dallas. The Quakes desperately need to give Matias Perez-Garcia some creative help.

20. Chicago Fire (-5)

There's no disgrace in losing to the defending champs in their building, but Chicago barely turned up for its opener against the Galaxy. There's a long way to go, of course, with injured players David Accam and Adailton set to return, but Friday's result didn't provide much hope.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.

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