2015 Major League Soccer power rankings, Volume I: Surprising trio up top

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Pro Soccer Talk is trying something different for our power rankings this season. Instead of a week-to-week analysis of where teams in the league sit in relation to each other, we’re going to let our rankings breathe for a bit.

Three weeks into the season is a fun place to start, especially given the many surprises we’ve seen to begin 2015 in MLS.

[ MLS: Minnesota expected soon | Weekend wrap ]

It’s probably important to note that these should be taken with a massive grain of salt carved out from Avery Island. It’s three weeks into a season and some teams have had easier schedules than other, some of whom will certainly struggle to keep up their pace.

Stipulations aside, let’s dig in.

TEAM RANK Up/Down
source:  1 FC Dallas: Oscar Pareja is off to a hot start in his second season in charge of FCD, rolling off a trio of wins. Up next? An early litmus test against a Seattle side which has been licking its wounds through a bye week. (3-0)
source:  2 Vancouver Whitecaps: After falling to Toronto FC in a wide-open opener with loads of missed chances, the ‘Caps have put together back-to-back tight, late, clean-sheet wins. Perfect time for a Cascadia Cup meeting with Portland. (2-1)
source:  3 San Jose Earthquakes: The only blemish so far is a loss to Dallas, and Wondo! (2-1)
source:  4 Los Angeles Galaxy: Still really, really good. (1-0-2)
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5 New York Red Bulls: Ali Curtis got rid of loads of talent and his coaching staff, but he still has Bradley Wright-Phillips, and the Englishman is in form.(1-0-1)
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6 Toronto FC: They lost the Trillium Cup, yes, but that came via a suspect red card to Justin Morrow, and Columbus isn’t exactly a team of slouches (especially at MAPFRE). Up next on this endless road trip to start the season? Real Salt Lake and Chicago. (1-1)
source:  7 Seattle Sounders FC: The San Jose loss wasn’t exactly a trip through high-five country, but Seattle rolled up Jermaine Jones-less New England and they were pretty darn good last year with most everyone back for another spin. (1-1)
source:  8 Orlando City SC: Color me very impressed with the early play for OCSC, a club that could be unbeaten if not for Octavio “Helllooooo World” Rivero’s last-minute heroics for Vancouver (1-1-1)
source:  9 New York City FC: Not too shabby, Mr. Kreis. Once Frank Lampard gets here, the players get used to each other and Khiry Shelton gets used to being a pro, NYCFC could have a special run. Plus it gets to play on a postage stamp at home, a distinct advantage. (1-0-2)
source:  10 Houston Dynamo: Owen Coyle’s doing work, and he hasn’t even seen Erick Cubo Torres in Houston’s orange unis. (1-1-1)
source:  11 DC United: Rough start for last year’s big surprise team, and the shorthanded club didn’t impress at all against RBNY in the Atlantic Cup. (1-1)
source:  12 Columbus Crew SC: Don’t fret, Crew fans, your club will rise up this list at some point. A win against a non-10-man side will help, and even better if it comes against the Red Bulls this weekend. (1-1)
source:  13 Portland Timbers: Caleb Porter has reverted to the 2013 plan, tying as many games as possible. With Will Johnson and Diego Valeri out, Darlington Nagbe needs someone to step up and help out. (0-0-3)
source:  14 Sporting KC: Right now, it’s looking like the Western Conference shift is going to take some adjustment. Woofer of a loss to Dallas sandwiched between ties against RBNY and Portland. (0-1-2)
15 Real Salt Lake: They’ve yet to lose this season, but with matches against Toronto and San Jose coming up, they’ve got tests in picking up win No. 1. (0-0-2)
source:  16 Montreal Impact: Was going to put them atop the table just for the CONCACAF Champions League run, but last year is ringing in my mind. Get well, Cameron Porter. (0-1-1)
source:  17 Colorado Rapids: No goals scored yet, but also no goals allowed through matches with Philadelphia and NYC. Good effort needs better results. (0-0-2)
source:  18 Philadelphia Union: That was a bad, bad red card over the weekend Mr. Pfeffer. Unintentional though? (0-1-2)
source:  19 New England Revolution: There is no way to understate how important Jermaine Jones is to the Revolution’s mix. We learned that when he showed up last year, and now all over again as he heals up his sports hernia. (0-2-1)
source:  20 Chicago Fire: Celebrating 20 years of MLS and 18 years in business by losing its first three games for the first time ever. (0-3-0)