The MLS Now team is taking a survey each week to provide our collective power rankings. Below are the average results after week 1 and some correspondent takes on their team's performance.
Well for anyone not wearing Burgundy, that was fun. Sounders got off to a hot start to the season, with their highest xG since 2020 and a revitalized attack the fans have some room for optimism after Sunday’s match. It’s early, and maybe Colorado is just that bad at the moment, but Jordan Morris looks like his best XI self again, the midfield dominated play with Joao Paulo looking fit, Heber scored (called it!), and there was never really a time when Seattles win was in doubt. I will hold any further excitement for a couple weeks. Great start Seattle. EBFG!
Luis: Its been a long off season, with so much things going on the Sounders proved once again who were the Concacaf leaders are. The team was showed that they still had fire power even with their key striker Raul Ruidiaz out from injury! Jordan Morris played a key role in this game by scoring two goals and assisting to Cristian Roldan.
Leo Chu was very good at coming into the game, meanwhile MVP calibre Joao Paulo helped to provide depth in both the attacking as well as defending. I could envision that he would be ready for a full 90 minute game withing couple games. Also Heber Dos Santos seemed to just mix in so well into the attacking third with Lodeiro and Rusnak its starting to look very deadly!
At least the defense were tested at times but mainly held their ground! Theres been rumors about a potential exit of a starter in the team but it seems to be like the club has full faith in the youngster Jackson Regan, where he proved himself very capable of taking the starting position! The Sounders wrecked Colorado with such quality passing play, they won it dismantling Colorado 4-0. Next weeks game will be another test as they play against Real Salt Lake, hopefully they can keep the heat going.
Nashville SC donned the "Man in Black" kits honoring Johnny Cash for match week 1 and put NYCFC through the Ring of Fire. The only stats New York led in were pointless possession and horizontal passes. Nashville looked dangerous on the attack and smothering in defense. I look forward to seeing more of this throughout the season.
Inter Miami CF
New England Revolution
St. Louis City SC
Shjon: City came out strong against a real Goliath of a team in Austin for the first game and clogged the midfield. Forcing Austin to change the game plan and getting to their own game sooner helped set the stage for a great entry into the league. Though the first game jitters seemed to affect timing on passes and the control touches a bit, all in all a very solid first outing for City.
Richard: DP’s and Homegrowns Come Through for DC United
Two newest Designated Players came to play for DC, providing the opening goal and the equalizer.
At the same time Wayne Rooney played six Homegrown players. Vets Andy Najar and Chris Durkin were in the starting lineup along with 16 year old Matai Akinmboni. Ted Ku-DiPietro, Kristian Fletcher and Jackson Hopkins subbed in and were instrumental in the comeback. Ted KDP was the hero with an assist on the equalizer and scored the winner.
Real Salt Lake
John W: The Timbers’ 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City was a step in the right direction after missing the playoffs last season. Juan David Mosquera’s early goal and noteworthy defensive performance solidified Portland fans’ excitement surrounding the 20 year-old Colombian defender. Zac McGraw also played a huge part in seeing out the clean sheet for the Timbers, as he was seemingly at the end of every important tackle and clearance during the match. Look for McGraw to have a breakout season this year, after consistently impressing Timbers’ fans during his first true stretch of meaningful minutes last season.
The debut of club-record signing Evander saw the Brazilian playmaker struggle to get touches on the ball in the first half. Evander settled quite well in the second half, however, and was able to showcase bits of his immense playmaking ability on the ball while also putting in an impressive performance off the ball in midfield. Although his debut match in the MLS finished without a goal or assist, Evander’s quality is undoubtable and will be something the Timbers’ Army can look forward to enjoying this season.
There is still plenty of work to do for the Timbers moving forward, however, as Sporting Kansas City had the dominant share of possession, shots, and expected goals in Monday night’s matchup. Sporting Kansas City’s press was nearly impenetrable for the Timbers after the early goal from Mosquera, and a great sequence from Erik Thommy nearly led to an equalizer which was only negated by David Bingham’s impressive double save near the midway point of the first half. If the Timbers are to get a result out of their away fixture against LAFC on Saturday (03/04/23), they will need to improve in possession and work to eliminate the amount of careless giveaways which had the team on their heels at times against Sporting Kansas City.
For Austin, it's been a chaotic few days since the first match. A game that should have ended in 3 points, with one of the cheekiest of goals from Driussi, turned into a nightmare 3-2 loss to an expansion team. Last year, Austin gained a lot of new fans, and new expectations, and for those who didn't watch this team in its infancy (we're toddlers now) I think they thought it was going to keep going up. This is the MLS and the margins are razor thin. I'm not sure this team can be the best in the league as some hoped, but I'm also not worried. TAKEAWAYS: 1. Our backline is thin and got thinner. Starting CB Julio Cascante went out in the first 10 minutes with a non-contact injury. 2. Driussi really is the class of the league right now. Even on a night where he was quiet for about 40 minutes, he found a way to score. He murdered a few St. Louis defenders. When you have a player of his caliber, your floor remains high. 3. There was a stretch in the second half (when Austin got its second goal) where we had St. Louis reeling. St. Louis couldn't hang on to the ball and we had them pinned on their goal. Austin was rifling chance after chance after chance until Gallagher scored. If it weren't for the most absolute, unbelievable brain fart our fans probably walk out of the Q2 on Saturday thinking pretty highly of our title hopes.
Toros95: FC Dallas' home opener was incredibly disappointing. The attack felt nonexistent. Jesus Ferreira, Paul Arriola, and Alan Velasco need to shake the rust off if Dallas wants to win this weekend.
Travis: Rough start for SKC in week 1. Lots of possession with no lethality in front of goal. We need to find a way to feed Agada or hopefully a healthy Pulido can create opportunities. We have reinforcements on the way, but Peter Vermes is often slow to implement change.
New York Red Bulls
Pancake: Not the best of starts for Charlotte, very much looked like a first match of the season for them. Westwood was the standout player for Charlotte. Would love to see more of Vargas, Shinyashiki and Nuno Santos in the future.
CoachJ0e: NYCFC have performed exactly at where the majority of the fan base had been predicting they would. Talles Magno does not appear to possess the skill set to thrive as a 9. NYCFC is seeking to replicate lightening "Striking" twice and having Taty 2.0 and it just isnt happening. Rumors of santi's return are swirling this week already and if the loss versus nashville is any sign...We need him back and in the XI Yesterday. Goalkeeper battle is fully underway with Luis Barazza conceding two goals, albeit the second one not his fault, but that is the life of a goalkeeper. Looking to rebound in the Windy City this weekend.
San Jose Earthquakes
Chicago Fire FC
I am not going to sugar coat it, Montreal's start of the season was bad. The game vs Miami was painful to watch, but we should not be too quick to criticize Losada. Montreal conceded two goals vs Miami. One of a corner and one in open play. We looked solid defensively but could not find any response to Miami's high press. Losada opted to start with Herrera at RCB for the injured Waterman and that limited his contribution to the game. Saliba started the game in what was his first ever MLS game and looked alright. The main issue was playing out of the back. Piette and Wanyama, both known for their defensive style of play, as well as Saliba who has not the most offensive profile were struggling to find the spaces between the Miami lines to : 1. give out balls to the attack and 2. find the spaces so that the CB could feed them the ball. In the second half, Choiniere and Rea were brought on the field, and that gave Montreal a second lung. Rea's runs in between defenders caused Miami problems but Montreal could not find the back of the net, part due to their own lack of finesse but also due to Callenders good performance. Pantemis also got his shoulder injured, so Overall a bad performance with a few positives that we will take to the next game.