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MLS 2017 Power Rankings, Week 2: Portland still top, Atlanta takes a big leap forward

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No change at the top or bottom, but plenty of movement in between in the Week 2 Power Rankings.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 of MLS 2017 saw NYCFC and Atlanta United issue some big statements, while Portland established itself as the team to beat in the season's opening phase.

1. Portland Timbers (no movement)

  • 6 points, 1st in Western Conference
  • 1st in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: LA Galaxy 0-1 Portland

Portland didn't win a single game on the road in MLS 2016, and missed the playoffs by two points. The Timbers have made quick work of addressing their road form, winning away from home in 2017 at the first time of asking. Top of the West and top of the Shield race, Portland has power in the early stages of this year's regular season.

2. New York Red Bulls (up one place)

  • 6 points, 1st in Eastern Conference
  • 3rd in Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 1-0 Colorado

There are four teams in the league that have opened up with back-to-back wins, so the Power Rankings have to quibble a little bit to separate them. RBNY bumps up to second on the grounds it has now won both home and away, and this week's home-opening win over Colorado was made to look a lot closer than it was by an in-form Tim Howard in the Rapids' goal.

3. Houston Dynamo (up one place)

  • 6 points, 2nd in West
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last result: Houston 3-1 Columbus
Houston's trip to Portland next week is suddenly an early test of the credentials of the two top teams in MLS. The Dynamo has started hot with back-to-back home wins, but we're lacking any sense of how this side carries itself on the road. That will be provided in Week 3 against the hottest team in the league at the moment.

4. San Jose Earthquakes (up one place)

  • 6 points, 3rd in West
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: San Jose 3-2 Vancouver

An impressive comeback win over Vancouver keeps San Jose's record perfect in MLS 2017 and keeps it up near the top of these rankings. But the fact the Quakes had to fight back at all keeps them tucked in below Houston for this week.

5. FC Dallas (down three places)

  • 4 points, 4th in West
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: KC 0-0 FCD

The Rankings are sleeping a little bit on FCD. This week's 0-0 draw in KC was achieved with a largely second-string lineup as Dallas sought to protect its front-line players for CONCACAF Champions League. The Power Rankings believe that 0-0 draws are not evidence of power, but FCD might reasonably be regarded as having provided an exception to that rule this week.

6. Chicago Fire (up two places)

  • 4 points, 2nd in East
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: Chicago 2-0 RSL

Last week's draw in Columbus was credible; this week's win over RSL was the sort of solid home performance expected of a competent team in MLS. The Fire is off to an encouraging start in the league in 2017.

7. Atlanta United (up 13 places)

  • 3 points, 3rd in East
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: Minnesota 1-6 Atlanta

It's only Week 2 and wins perhaps count for a little more than usual, even in Power Rankings (which love wins, because what better evidence of power can there be?).

But a big road win would surely get attention at any point in the season, though there is the gathering suspicion that beating Minnesota by five goals might soon be regarded as a standard result in MLS 2017. Nonetheless, Atlanta bounces back from opening-day defeat with the biggest win of Week 2 - and bounces up the Rankings accordingly.

8. New York City FC (up eight places)

  • 3 points, 4th in East
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 4-0 DCU
There was a time when NYCFC's unorthodox home field at Yankee Stadium was considered a handicap for the light blue MLS newbies. But this is the team's third season in MLS and it seems like it is going to have to settle in for a long stint as a tenant in the Bronx. A big home-opening win in 2017 suggests NYCFC might be settled in just fine now.

9. Colorado Rapids (down three places)

  • 3 points, 5th in West
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last result: RBNY 1-0 Rapids
Colorado won't lose many games if Tim Howard plays as well as he did in Week 2 for the rest of the season, but it won't win many if it doesn't take advantage of its 'keeper's form and get a goal or two as well. Still, can't punish Colorado too much for staying close in a game the Red Bulls should have run away with but never did.

10. Orlando City (down three places)

  • 3 points, 5th in East
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: OCSC 1-0 NYCFC (Week 1)
The weather won Orlando's Week 2 match-up with New England, forcing the game to be postponed. Despite having nothing to show for this week, OCSC clings to a spot in the top 10 of these Rankings mostly because there isn't a compelling contender to take its place.

11. Toronto FC (up one place)

  • 1 point, 7th in East
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last result: Union 2-2 TFC

The rankings are giving TFC the better of this week's 2-2 tie with Philadelphia that made itself memorable for Alejandro Bedoya's post-match spat with Jozy Altidore (conducted via Twitter and soundbites to the media, as all the best spats must be). On the field, the Union (Bedoya) missed a penalty and TFC (Altidore) did not. So a point gained on the road, from TFC's perspective.

12. Philadelphia Union (down two places)

  • 2 points, 6th in East
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: Philly 2-2 Toronto

Missing out on three points at home due to a missed penalty is frustrating; watching the guy who missed the penalty create an unnecessary brouhaha post-match is surely doubly frustrating. Still, Philly has two points from two games and will doubtless argue it is still easing into the new season.

13. Seattle Sounders (up four places)

  • 1 point, 7th in West
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: Montreal 2-2 Seattle

Good teams don't drop into two-goal holes as often as Seattle has done to start 2017. Last week, however, the Sounders couldn't quite force their way back into the game against Houston, whereas this week they did recover their position to take a point out of Montreal. Seattle heads to its 2017 home-opener in Week 3 with a little positive momentum.

14. Sporting Kansas City (down three places)

  • 2 points, 6th in West
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: KC 0-0 FCD

Unbeaten after two weeks of MLS and yet to concede a goal, KC is dropping down the Rankings because it also hasn't scored one yet. And this week's 0-0 draw was at home against FC Dallas' reserves. Not a terrible start to 2017, nor a great one.

15. Vancouver Whitecaps (no movement)

  • 1 point, 8th in West
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: San Jose 3-2 Vancouver

Of the misfiring teams at the bottom end of these Rankings, the 'Caps had a 2-0 lead on the road, before losing 'keeper David Ousted to a red card and shipping three goals to a resurgent San Jose. For the power shown in the first 20 minutes of its Week 2 match, Vancouver at least gets to hold position on this list.

16. Montreal Impact (up five places)

  • 1 point, 8th in East
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: IMFC 2-2 Sounders

Denied a win in its 2017 home opener by allowing Seattle to score two late goals, Montreal is denied a place at the higher end of the Power Rankings.

17. Real Salt Lake (down four places)

  • 1 point, 9th in West
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: Chicago 2-0 RSL

Best that can be said for RSL's early-season form is it looks to be in better shape than at least five other teams in the league.

18. Columbus Crew (down 9 places)

  • 1 point, 9th in East
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: Houston 3-1 Crew
The Rankings have cooled on Columbus. The Crew finished last week's 1-1 home draw looking second best, and started against Houston in similar form. The Crew has a lot of work to do.

19. D.C. United (down five places)

  • 1 point, 10th in East
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 4-0 DC
On the bright side, DC plays Columbus next week. On the less bright side, the Crew is probably also looking forward to playing DC.

20. New England Revolution (down two places)

  • 0 points, 10th in East
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: Colorado 1-0 New England (Week 1)

It's not New England's fault the weather forced the postponement of its Week 2 clash with Orlando. It's not the Power Rankings' fault the Revs have zero points after Week 2. There's always next week, New England.

21. LA Galaxy (down two places)

  • 0 points, 10th in West
  • 21st in Shield race
  • Last result: LA Galaxy 0-1 Portland
If there was any doubt this would be a rebuilding season for LA, let it be settled now. Only two weeks in to 2017, the Galaxy has lost back-to-back home games and it looks like a long year ahead from the current perspective.

22. Minnesota United (no movement)

  • 0 points, 11th in West
  • 22nd in Shield race
  • Last result: Minnesota 1-6 Atlanta

Following last week's 5-1 loss in Portland with a 6-1 home-opening loss to Atlanta in Week 2 is a measure of consistency, but not power. Minnesota is making the wrong sort of history in MLS at the moment.