Viva o jogo bonito! In this week’s MLS Power Rankings, we welcome in the FIFA World Cup to Brazil, one of the greatest footballing countries on the planet, and possibly the universe. This week, the Seattle Sounders remain No. 1 in the Power Rankings, but two teams have made massive strides to chase the Sounders at the top: their rivals, the Portland Timbers; and the resurging New York Red Bulls.
Movers, shakers, and record-breakers. We got it all. We got it here. This is the MLS Power Rankings on the MLS Multiplex. E isso começa agora! (And it begins now!)
1. Seattle Sounders
Obafemi Martins became the Jean Lafitte of Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders in their 3-2 victory over the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Martins got a brace in the 31st and 38th minutes but got sent off in the 42nd minute of play. Instead, the hero was Lamar Neagle, whose 78th minute strike proved to be all the difference.
Now the next match for the Sounders will be against an unknown, unassuming side from Irvine, California that plies its trade in the USASA. But don’t let PSA Elite fool you. They can play with anyone. Just ask the Los Angeles Galaxy II, who not only could not score on PSA Elite…they lost the penalty shootout! So in the U.S. Open Cup, a competition the Sounders are accustomed to doing well in…sending the house on Jun. 18 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash. will be necessary to avoid a David-upsetting-Goliath scenario. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by SoundersFC.com.
2. Portland Timbers
Fanendo Adi continued his hotstreak with a brace in the 36th and 45th minutes and Will Johnson added an insurace spot kick conversion in the 73rd minute as Caleb Porter’s Portland Timbers rolled past a 10-man Real Salt Lake side, 3-1, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. So, Mr. Merritt Paulson, when will you pry Adi off F.C. Copenhagen’s hands, hmmm? Portland return to action on June 11 against FC Dallas at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN2.
3. New York Red Bulls
After a 20-match winless streak, Mike Petke’s New York Red Bulls finally defeated the New England Revolution at Gilette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. to the tune of 2-0. Eric Alexander (17′) and Peguy Luyindula (76′) scored for New York. One of the the most tantalizing U.S. Open Cup matches awaits the Red Bulls on Jun. 14, as they face the current incarnation of the original New York soccer powerhouse at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. That team, of course, is the New York Cosmos.
Get hyped, Big Apple, get hyped! No, really, GET HYPED! Kickoff for this big, big battle for bragging rights in the biggest city in America is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.
4. Vancouver Whitecaps
An exciting, high-scoring contest between Carl Robinson’s Vancouver Whitecaps and the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. ended in a 3-3 draw. Erik Hurtado (18′), Nicolas Mezquida (41′) and Pedro Morales (81′) scored for the Whitecaps, who won’t return to action until June 25 against the Montreal Impact at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by TSN.
5. D.C. United
After a scoreless draw with D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., Ben Olsen’s D.C. United will look to bounce back on June 11 against the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Que. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by MLS LIVE.