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MLS Power Rankings: LAFC hold on to top spot as Red Bulls surge and Revs rise

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18-year-old Mamadou Fall saves LAFC with stoppage-time stunner (0:42)

LAFC's Mamadou Fall scores in the 93rd minute to grab the draw with Portland. (0:42)

LAFC clung to the top spot of this week's MLS Power Rankings, fighting back for a draw against the visiting Portland Timbers, but further down the order there were wild fluctuations in form. Are the New York Red Bulls for real after dominating Toronto FC? And a week after looking listless in their loss to LAFC, the Colorado Rapids returned to their Western Conference-winning form of a year ago in dismantling high-flying Atlanta United.

With Week 2 in the books, Kyle Bonagura and Danny Guerra look at the weekend's results and break down how fans should feel about all 28 clubs in the infancy of the 2022 campaign.


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1. LAFC

Previous ranking: 1

Next MLS match: March 12 at Inter Miami, 1:30 p.m. ET

LAFC and Portland always play some doozies, and Sunday's contest was no exception, as Mamadou Fall's late goal salvaged a draw. But there are injury concerns again as Carlos Vela came off early with an unspecified knock. -- Guerra

2. Nashville SC

Previous ranking: 2

Next MLS match: March 12 at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Nashville looked to be in control against Minnesota but couldn't pounce on subsequent opportunities after an early goal. Hard to find fault, though, in a game in which heavy rain and lightning played a factor. -- Guerra

3. New York Red Bulls

Previous ranking: 9

Next MLS match: March 13 vs. Minnesota United, 7 p.m. ET; ESPN+

History shows it's foolish to make any worthwhile conclusions two games into a season, but it's hard to be very optimistic about the Red Bulls after two comfortable wins to start the season. Lewis Morgan's hat-trick and a goal from Aaron Long all came before halftime in 4-1 win against Toronto FC. -- Bonagura

4. New England Revolution

Previous ranking: 7

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Carles Gil's first-half penalty stood up as the winner and coach Bruce Arena broke the MLS career wins record (No. 241) with a 1-0 win against FC Dallas at home. He previously shared the record with the late Sigi Schmid. -- Bonagura

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Carles Gil puts the Revs ahead from the spot

Carles Gil scores a penalty for New England Revolution after FC Dallas' Paxton Pomykal brings down Gil in the box.

5. LA Galaxy

Previous ranking: 4

Next MLS match: March 12 at Seattle Sounders, 3:30 p.m. ET

Efrain Alvarez's late goal spoiled Charlotte's home debut as the Galaxy got the deserved win. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez looks energized but the defense must continue improving, especially with a tough road test in Seattle looming. -- Guerra

6. Portland Timbers

Previous ranking: 8

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. Austin FC, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Yimmi Chara has scored the MLS Goal of Year (until someone scores it next week) but the Timbers will be bicycle-kicking themselves for letting the game slip at LAFC. After two tough draws, the reward is a visit from the goal machine that is Austin FC. -- Guerra

7. Columbus Crew

Previous ranking: 5

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. Toronto FC, 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Beyond the immediate disappointment of blowing a two-goal lead with a man advantage to draw 3-3 with San Jose, a larger issue has emerged: What to do with Gyasi Zardes? It boils down to an issue about asset allocation. If your DP striker is the backup, it simply doesn't make sense, and that's been the case in the first two games of the season as Miguel Berry has gotten the nod up front. -- Bonagura

8. Colorado Rapids

Previous ranking: 22

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A 3-0 loss to LAFC was a deflating way to start the season, but the Rapids rebounded nicely with a 3-0 win of their own at home against Atlanta. Diego Rubio, Jonathan Lewis and Andre Shinyashiki provided the goals, while keeper William Yarbrough was excellent at the other end. -- Bonagura

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Diego Rubio heads in a goal for Colorado Rapids

Diego Rubio heads in a goal for Colorado Rapids

9. Philadelphia Union

Previous ranking: 12

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Alejandro Bedoya and Daniel Gazdag scored within minutes of each other early in the second half as Philadelphia clawed itself back from a poor first 45 to win 2-1 over CF Montreal. The Union had to see out the final stretch with 10 men, though, after Julian Carranza was sent off in the 71st minute. -- Bonagura

10. D.C. United

Previous ranking: 6

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+

Down a man for the last 10 minutes of play, D.C. kept pressing against a desperate Cincy side to now make it two wins in a row. DCU coach Hernan Losada has been very vocal about the need for more players, but so far, he is delivering the goods. -- Guerra

11. Austin FC

Previous ranking: 13

Next MLS match: March 12 at Portland Timbers, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Dogged by a lack of goals last season, Austin now has 10 in two games, which sets an MLS record. A visit to Portland will now test los Verdes' defensive mettle. -- Guerra

12. Atlanta United FC

Previous ranking: 3

Next MLS match: March 13 vs. Charlotte FC, 4:30 p.m. ET

Riding high out of its 3-1 win against SKC to start the year, Atlanta United received a bit of a reality check in a 3-0 loss at Colorado. -- Bonagura

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Hassani Dotson evens the score in 71st minute for Minnesota United

Hassani Dotson evens the score in 71st minute for Minnesota United

13. Minnesota United

Previous ranking: 11

Next MLS match: March 13 at New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

After recovering from a shaky first half, Minnesota took advantage of a set piece to salvage a draw against Nashville in a soggy match delayed by lightning. -- Guerra

14. Orlando City

Previous ranking: 10

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Registering three shots on goal over two games isn't exactly a winning formula, yet Orlando has taken four points from its first two, after a 0-0 draw with Chicago. It could be a long season if OCSC becomes overly reliant on Alexandre Pato. -- Bonagura

15. Real Salt Lake

Previous ranking: 20

Next MLS match: March 12 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Bobby Wood scored, so that clearly means he's now the top candidate for striker for the U.S. national team, right? Regardless, a good win for RSL, who ensured Albert Rusnak's return to Utah was a forgettable one. -- Guerra

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Bobby Wood's goal gets Real Salt Lake on the board

Bobby Wood scores the first goal of the game to put Real Salt Lake ahead of Seattle Sounders FC.

16.New York City FC

Previous ranking: 14

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. CF Montreal, 1 pm ET; ESPN+

After a four-game swing across three countries in two different competitions, NYCFC are back on the East Coast for a Champions League home match -- in Connecticut. No goals yet in two MLS matches, but at least the frequent-flier miles are adding up. -- Guerra

17. FC Dallas

Previous ranking: 16

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. Nashville SC, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Playing on the road against the reigning Supporters' Shield winners always figured to be a tough place to get a point, so the result (a 1-0 loss) isn't the major takeaway here. Though New England created the better chances -- if only marginally -- neither team scored from the run of play, as FCD tries to get up to speed with the way new coach Nico Estevez wants to play. -- Bonagura

18. Sporting Kansas City

Previous ranking: 23

Next MLS match: March 12 at Colorado Rapids, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN+

After a difficult loss to start the year, Sporting Kansas City took care of business at home with a 1-0 win against the Houston Dynamo. Remi Walter's 60th-minute strike provided the difference in a game that produced few good chances on either side. -- Bonagura

19. Chicago Fire

Previous ranking: 18

Next MLS match: March 12 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

From a U.S. Soccer standpoint, 17-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina provides a reason to pay attention to the Fire every week, and so far there's been a lot to like. Following a 0-0 draw with Orlando City, he's one of five goalkeepers in the league with two clean sheets and ranks third in the league with 1.14 goals prevented (a stat that measures the opponents' xG minus goals conceded). -- Bonagura

20. Seattle Sounders

Previous ranking: 17

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. LA Galaxy, 3:30 p.m. ET

Seattle is too good to be super concerned, but there is some pause after two losses to start off the season. One of the deepest sides still can't shake off 2021's late struggle, and now face a tricky Champions League match before Chicharito and the Galaxy roll in. -- Guerra

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Rémi Walter sneaks in a goal to put Sporting Kansas City ahead

Rémi Walter sneaks in a goal to put Sporting Kansas City ahead

21. Houston Dynamo

Previous ranking: 21

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

While there have been positives signs coming from the front office about increased ambition, that hasn't quite yet spilled over to the field. Through two matches, the Dynamo has yet to score and ranks last in MLS with 0.94 xG and 0.59 xA. -- Bonagura

22. San Jose Earthquakes

Previous ranking: 25

Next MLS match: March 12 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Down to 10 men and facing a 3-1 deficit in the 83rd minute against Columbus, the probability of getting a point hovered close to zero. Then, of course, center-back Francisco Calvo scored twice, including the equalizer six minutes into stoppage time, and the Quakes emerged with what could end up as the most unlikely point of the MLS season. -- Bonagura

23. Toronto FC

Previous ranking: 15

Next MLS match: March 12 at Columbus Crew, 1:30 pm ET, ESPN+

Bob Bradley's arrival should pay dividends at some point, but through two matches, TFC has yet to find a win and Saturday's home opener -- a 4-1 loss to NYRB -- was a disaster. It's hard not to look ahead to Lorenzo Insigne's summer arrival and know better results are ahead, but Toronto can't just assume he'll solve everything. Not to mention that's a long way away. -- Bonagura

24. CF Montreal

Previous ranking: 24

Next MLS match: March 12 at New York City FC, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN+

When Djordje Mihailovic scored on a solo run early in the second half to make it 2-0, it appeared Montreal was on its way to three points. Except the goal was quickly wiped off due to a foul in the build-up, and less than 10 minutes later, Philadelphia answered with two goals in a 2-1 win. -- Bonagura

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Philadelphia Union take lead off 2 goals in 3 minutes

Alejandro Bedoya and Daniel Gazdag each grab a goal in a span of 3 minutes as the Philadelphia Union take a 2-1 lead vs. CF Montreal.

25. Inter Miami CF

Previous ranking: 19

Next MLS match: March 12 vs. LAFC, 1:30 p.m. ET

Only one team scored less than Miami last season, and that was Austin. After their matchup on Sunday, one side looks to have answered some doubts -- and it isn't Phil Neville's. Defensively, Miami is going to struggle, as evidenced by Neville's decision to switch back to a four-man backline. -- Guerra

26. Vancouver Whitecaps

Previous ranking: 26

Next MLS match: March 12 at Houston Dynamo, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Playing against travel-weary NYCFC, keeper Thomas Hasal came up clutch in the net to earn the Whitecaps a point at home. Vancouver will need more of that if the offense sputters. -- Guerra

27. Charlotte FC

Previous ranking: 27

Next MLS match: March 13 at Atlanta United, 4:30 p.m. ET

The Queen City delivered an MLS-record crowd but the expansion side is still searching for its debut win (and goal). With a visit to an always-raucous Atlanta up next, Charlotte may still be waiting. -- Guerra

28. FC Cincinnati

Previous ranking: 28

Next MLS match: March 12 at Orlando City, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

What's worse: giving up five goals in the season opener or allowing a stoppage-time penalty to a 10-man side? At least the losses give Cincy fans something to talk about. -- Guerra