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MLS 2017 Power Rankings, Week 1: Portland Timbers up top, Minnesota United starts at the bottom

The first MLS Power Rankings of 2017.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

MLS is back, which means Power Rankings are back. Week 1 doesn't tell us a lot about which teams are really hot and which are not, but it does at least provide the opportunity to provide a first ranking, from which the clubs will rise or fall as the season progresses.

1. Portland Timbers

  • 3 points, 1st in Western Conference
  • 1st in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: PTFC 5-1 Minnesota
What more evidence of power do you want than a 5-1 home win on opening day?

  • 3 points, 2nd in West
  • 2nd in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 1-2 FCD
Playing the Galaxy in LA is always a difficult game, and FCD will be pleased to have got through it with three points. Dallas is the team to beat in MLS, for now.

  • 3 points, 1st in Eastern Conference
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: Atlanta 1-2 RBNY
Starting 2017 where it finished 2016: RBNY is top of the East. To stay there, it will need to be a lot more convincing than it was against Atlanta, but finding results without finding top form is traditionally regarded as a good sign for any side.

  • 3 points, 3rd in West
  • 3rd in Shield race
  • Last result: Houston 2-1 Seattle
Beating the reigning MLS Cup champ is a good start to the year, but Houston's challenge is to sustain what has become a tradition of encouraging early-season form.

  • 3 points, 5th in West
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: SJ 1-0 Montreal
A solid start to the year for a team that would like to quickly put a disappointing 2016 behind it.

  • 3 points, 4th in West
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: Colorado 1-0 Revs
Colorado wasn't really a team cut out for Power Rankings last season. The Rapids were consistently among the best teams in the league in 2016, but they achieved it with a string of modest wins and a strong defense. They have started 2017 in much the same vein.

  • 3 points, 2nd in East
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: OCSC 1-0 NYCFC
The least-convincing of this week's winners, but a win is more than 15 other teams got out of Week 1 in MLS - so Orlando must be regarded as having more power than most in the league, for now.

  • 1 point, 3rd in East
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: Columbus 1-1 Chicago
A point on the road after a poor first half and a dreadful 2016 counts for something, though Chicago will need a few more positive performances to convince anyone it has the playoffs in its future.

9. Columbus Crew
  • 1 point, 4th in East
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: Crew 1-1 Fire
The Crew let Chicago back into the game in the second half: a disappointing return to the good-but-not-good-enough tendencies of last season. Other teams had worse results in Week 1, but Columbus won't be a top-10 team in these rankings for long if this week's result proves to be the pattern of its performances in MLS 2017.

  • 1 point, 6th in East
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: VWFC 0-0 Philly
A point from one of the longer and more challenging road trips of the season is a good result.

  • 1 point, 7th in West
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last result: DCU 0-0 SKC
Had to work hard to hold on to a point against DCU, but also had the better of the game by most metrics (possession, shots). More a point gained than three lost thanks to Tim Melia's PK save to preserve KC's clean sheet, and enough shown on the road to suggest Sporting has much to look forward to this year.

  • 1 point, 7th in East
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 0-0 TFC
A solid point on the road this week, marred only slightly by the fact it included a chance-not-taken to claim all three points from the penalty spot.

  • 1 point,
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: RSL 0-0 TFC
But for Nick Rimando's penalty save, RSL might have been looking at an opening day loss.

  • 1 point, 5th in East
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last result: DCU 0-0 SKC
Missed a penalty and brought the best out of Kansas City 'keeper Tim Melia, but the match was surprisingly even and raises the question whether DC has the necessary firepower to win even the games it has done enough to win this season.

  • 1 point, 8th in West
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: VWFC 0-0 Philadelphia
Maybe it was a hangover from their successful effort to win through to the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, but it seemed the Caps had the worse end of a scoreless draw with Philly - which was unexpected since game was played in Vancouver.

16. New York City FC

  • 0 points, 11th in East
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: Orlando 1-0 NYCFC
It took an exceptional defensive effort - mostly from Orlando 'keeper Joe Bendik - to prevent NYCFC from at least taking a point from its opening day. For a team that lost and didn't score on opening day, NYCFC has a right to feel optimistic about the season ahead.

  • 0 points, 10th in West
  • 21st in Shield race
  • Last result: Houston 2-1 Seattle
If there is a team in MLS that knows not to get too down about early-season results, it is Seattle - who won the 2016 MLS Cup after looking like a team that would miss the playoffs for much of last year. Plus, this week's loss to Houston included plenty of chances for the Sounders to get more out of the game.

18. New England Revolution

  • 0 points, 10th in East
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: Colorado 1-0 Revs
The Revs didn't lose by much on their opening day, and they had the excuse of playing in the always-challenging conditions presented by Colorado's high-ground home ground. They didn't lose by much and won't be too disheartened by a result that suggests they can stay close to some of the better teams in the league.

19. LA Galaxy

  • 0 points, 9th in West
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: LA 1-2 FC Dallas
LA expects to be among the better teams in MLS, which means it expects not to be beaten at home. FCD is one of the better teams in MLS (we think - it's early days in the season) and proved that point with its on-the-road win over the Galaxy. A rebuilding year in LA means a few adverse results are to be expected, but the club will still expect this opening-day result to prove an exception rather than the rule of its 2017 campaign.

20. Atlanta United

  • 0 points, 8th in East
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: Atlanta 1-2 RBNY
Atlanta simply should not have lost to the Red Bulls in Week 1. As the home team, with a big crowd behind it and a manifestly superior game-plan, the Expansion United should have laid down a swaggering win as its first result in MLS. But it couldn't put RBNY away and paid the price for failing to land (at least) a second goal.

21. Montreal Impact

  • 0 points, 9th in East
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: San Jose 1-0 Montreal
Losing on the road - especially on the far-side of the continent - is no great shame in MLS, but Montreal didn't even get a shot on target. San Jose might be better than imagined this season, so maybe this result looks better when a few more games have been played. But right now, L'Impact stands accused of not putting up much of a fight in its first outing in 2017.

22. Minnesota United

  • 0 points, 11th in West
  • 22nd in Shield race
  • Last result: Portland 5-1 Minnesota
Minnesota's first game in MLS did not go well: a 5-1 thumping in Portland leaves the expansion team with a lot to do if it is to prove it can avoid the traditional first-year struggles of a league newcomer.