New York City FC reclaim top spot in Power Rankings, Atlanta No. 2
A look at how the teams in Major League Soccer stack up after Week 5 of the season:
1. New York City FC (+1)
Back to the top of the charts for Patrick Vieira's team, which showed again that it can win without David Villa. The ability to get goals from players all over the field is a big reason NYCFC is so good on the road in a league where that's a very difficult thing to be.
2. Atlanta United (+3)
United pulled off another win on the road in Minnesota -- this one a little different than last year's romp -- but might be missing Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez next week due to his red card. To be successful in MLS, a team has to know how to win ugly. This was certainly the case for Atlanta.
3. Columbus Crew SC (-2)
Defensive lapses at home against Vancouver doomed the Crew and put the first real black mark on their season to date. Columbus controlled nearly every aspect of the game but couldn't keep out the Whitecaps' two best chances on the day.
4. LAFC (no change)
After a dominant opening 45 minutes in Carson, LAFC got Zlatan'd. Bob Bradley's task now is to keep the stunning defeat from becoming a psychological blow that sends the team spiraling. Saturday's collapse can't be placed at the feet of the attack, which remains excellent.
5. New York Red Bulls (-2)
Considering how physical things got against Orlando on Saturday, Jesse Marsch was probably right to rotate his squad ahead of the CCL semifinal first leg this week. Marsch has reason to be upset with the refereeing after a wild game decided by a single goal.
6. Vancouver Whitecaps (+4)
As statement wins go, the Caps' 2-1 victory over the Crew is emphatic. Kei Kamara showed why he's the most dangerous man in MLS with his head and Vancouver beat the hottest team in the league on the road. Although his goal was taken off the board, Alphonso Davies showed his immense talent again.
7. Toronto FC (-1)
Friday's triumph over RSL at BMO Field certainly felt like a message from the champs. Dominant or not, the Reds jump-started the league campaign with three needed points. Even better that the win came despite Greg Vanney resting several defensive starters ahead of the Champions League this week.
8. Sporting Kansas City (-1)
Sighs of relief in Kansas City. It seems Sporting does remember how to play defense: A clean sheet against goal-shy D.C. United might not be a lot to crow about, but after giving up nine goals in the first three games, keeping any opponent off the board is something to be encouraged by.
9. Houston Dynamo (no change)
The Dynamo got a dose of their own medicine at home in a loss to New England on Saturday, as the Revs used the counter to win in Houston. Oscar Pareja's team created plenty of danger in the early going, but it was the visitors who made their breakout chances count. Home has not been kind to Houston since Week 1.
10. LA Galaxy (+3)
Welcome to Zlatan. Need we say anything else? His stunning debut in MLS showed that he's still got plenty to offer, and it's exactly what Sigi Schmid's side needs.
11. New England Revolution (+7)
What a player the Revs look to have in Cristian Penilla. The Ecuadorian was the difference for New England on the road in Houston, setting up Teal Bunbury's opener on a killer counterattack before scoring himself with an impressive bit of skill.
12. Montreal Impact (+5)
The Impact scored a big road win against the Sounders on Saturday. It doesn't matter how you win on the road in MLS, and no one will call Montreal's 1-0 victory "pretty." Perhaps the lone pretty part was Ignacio Piatti setting up Jeisson Vargas' goal with a dance through the Sounders' defense in the 60th minute.
13. San Jose Earthquakes (-2)
In a game of two halves, the Quakes were undone by the second 45 against NYCFC. If not for Sean Johnson, Mikael Stahre's team might have gotten the win. Despite moments of brightness in the early part of the season, the Quakes have a disappointing three points from three matches.
14. Minnesota United (-2)
Francisco Calvo's lament about the league paying more attention to some teams than others rings a bit hollow in the aftermath of a Loons loss to an Atlanta team that played down a man for more than 50 minutes. No one knows quite what he has left, but Darwin Quintero cannot get on the field soon enough as far as Minnesota's attack is concerned.
15. Real Salt Lake (-1)
RSL was no fan of Alan Chapman's refereeing on Friday night in Toronto. Both penalty calls against the visitors were questionable at best, and RSL couldn't find a way back into the game until it was too late. The lone bright spot was Corey Baird's goal, a first-ever MLS tally for the homegrown signing.
16. Philadelphia Union (-1)
The Union's task this week was a difficult one, playing in frigid conditions at altitude in Commerce City. Still, Jim Curtin can't be happy with a second half that saw his club give up a hat trick to Dominique Badji. The three-goal loss won't do a lot for the young defensive group that Curtin rolled out against the Rapids.
17. Seattle Sounders (-9)
Nobody is having fun in Seattle, and while the injury problem gives Brian Schmetzer cover for the time being, the fight against panic will be a hard one. The Sounders still don't have a goal in 2018 through three games. Maybe the two weeks before a trip to Kansas City will help.
18. FC Dallas (-2)
No match for FC Dallas this week, so they lose a bit of ground to the surrounding pack.
19. Orlando City (+3)
"Cathartic" is a good way to describe a wild win for the Lions at home against the Red Bulls on Saturday. No one on the Orlando side will care that they didn't face New York's best lineup, or that they shipped three goals to a group that didn't include Tyler Adams or Bradley Wright-Phillips to start. Sacha Kljestan gets a measure of revenge against the team that traded him.
20. Portland Timbers (-1)
Portland had Giovanni Savarese's first win in its sights on the road in Chicago before conceding a late equalizer to Brandon Vincent. The Timbers are just one spot off the bottom of the Western Conference table, but a point in Chicago, disappointing as it might be, represents incremental progress.
21. D.C. United (-1)
United's defense isn't terrible, but that doesn't matter much when the attack is so poor. D.C.'s trip to Kansas City was 87 minutes of frustration after an early Felipe Gutierrez tally for the home side. We can't forget that the schedule is rough for United, who will sit out next weekend before a home match in Annapolis on April 14.
22. Colorado Rapids (+1)
The Rapids won for the first time under Anthony Hudson on Saturday thanks to a hat trick from Dominique Badji. Colorado created good chances even before Badji's second-half breakthrough, encouraging signs for a Rapids team that doesn't have a lot of expectations in 2018.
23. Chicago Fire (-2)
The Fire out-passed, out-possessed and out-shot the Timbers but only came away with a point from Saturday's tilt. On the bright side, Bastian Schweinsteiger looks spry; the German played a role in both Chicago goals, slaloming around defenders before the eventual equalizer.
Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer and the United States national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @davisjsn.