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MLS 2017 Power Rankings, Week 5: Columbus Crew flying high; Real Salt Lake slumps to the bottom

Surely no doubt about which team is showing the most power in MLS at the moment.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 sees Columbus still riding high, and a reshuffle rather than great change in the top 10. Down at the bottom of the Rankings, however, it's all change.

1. Columbus Crew (no movement)

  • 10 points, 1st in Eastern Conference
  • 2nd in Supporters' Shield race
  • Last result: Crew 2-0 Orlando

Columbus is flying right now. Three wins in a row and its only loss of the season to the Dynamo in Houston - which seems to be a given in MLS for now. There is no hotter team in the league at this time.

2. Houston Dynamo (up four places)

  • 9 points, 2nd in East
  • 3rd in Shield race
  • Last result: Dynamo 4-1 RBNY
The scale of the win over the Red Bulls was referee-assisted, but Houston at home is about as powerful as a team gets in MLS at the moment.

3. Portland Timbers (down one place)
  • 10 points, 1st in Western Conference
  • 1st in Shield race
  • Last result; Portland 1-1 New England
Put four past the Dynamo the last time they were at home, but couldn't quite subdue the Revs this week, from which it is deduced Portland has suffered a modest drop in power.

4. Atlanta United (down one place)
  • 7 points, 2nd in East
  • 4th in Shield race
  • Last result: Seattle 0-0 Atlanta
The Rankings can't get too down on United for taking a point and a clean sheet away from a trip to Seattle.

5. New York City FC (up five places)

  • 7 points, 3rd in East
  • 5th in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 2-1 San Jose

A pretty big jump for a narrow win over visiting San Jose, but NYC FC has closed out a three-game home stand unbeaten after opening the season with a loss in Orlando. The team's confidence will be tested with back-to-back road games in the next two weeks.

6. FC Dallas (down two places)

  • 7 points, 3rd in West
  • 6th in Shield race
  • Last result: FCD 2-1 Revs (March 18)

FCD's only crime is not having played a league game since March 18. To still be considered a top 10 team in these Rankings after two weeks without a match isn't a bad thing.

7. Toronto FC (down two places)

  • 6 points, 6th in East
  • 10th in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 0-0 KC

Still undefeated so far this season, but a scoreless draw in its home opener was a little deflating - the Rankings were expecting to see TFC power to a big win. Didn't happen. Next week, Toronto will get a second chance to impress its home crowd when Atlanta United comes to visit.

8. Sporting Kansas City (no movement)

  • 6 points, 5th in West
  • 11th in Shield race
  • Last result: TFC 0-0 KC

KC has an identical record to TFC: three draws and one win so far in the league. But KC all three of those tied games were 0-0. The Power Rankings are choosing to interpret that as a sign of latent power: once the goals start flowing for KC, it will be tough to stop.

9. Seattle Sounders (no movement)

  • 5 points, 6th in West
  • 12th in Shield race
  • Last result: Seattle 0-0 Atlanta
A lot of teams in the top 10 delivered scoreless draws this week. That will change next week, or the teams in these positions will.

10. Orlando City (down three places)

  • 6 points, 5th in East
  • 9th in Shield race
  • Last result: Crew 2-0 OCSC
Losing on the road to the hottest team in MLS isn't necessarily a reason to get tossed out of the top 10 of this list, so Orlando clings on for another week at least.

11. New England Revolution (no movement)

  • 4 points, 8th in East
  • 14th in Shield race
  • Last result: Timbers 1-1 Revs
These Rankings try not to promote teams for draws, but the Revs' result in Portland was sufficiently surprising and impressive that it seems almost unfair New England hasn't stepped up a spot this week. Almost unfair.

12. Vancouver Whitecaps (up seven places)

  • 4 points, 8th in West
  • 16th in Shield race
  • Last result: VWFC 4-2 LA

Over-rating a routine home win over an out-of-form opponent? Maybe - and if that's the case, the Caps will slump back down the Rankings quickly.

13. Minnesota United (up eight places)

  • 4 points, 9th in West
  • 18th in Shield race
  • Last result: Minnesota 4-2 RSL
Go home, Power Rankings - you're drunk. Minnesota has conceded at least two goals in every game it has played so far in MLS and its first win of the season was over RSL: the team these very same rankings rank as the current worst in the league. How that modest achievement punts Minnesota up to 13th on this list is a mystery.

14. Colorado Rapids (no movement)

  • 4 points, 7th in West
  • 15th in Shield race
  • Last result: Rapids 2-2 Minnesota (March 18)
A tough assignment in Kansas City next week should shake Colorado loose from its moorings to 14th in the Rankings.

15. Montreal Impact (up two places)

  • 3 points, 10th in East
  • 20th in Shield race
  • Last result: Chicago 2-2 IMFC

Third draw in a row for Montreal keeps it winless for the season to date, but L'Impact very nearly spoiled Chicago's welcome for Bastian Schweinsteiger by scoring a go-ahead goal in the 90th minute. Conceding in the 93rd took the edge off, but by this week's standards almost beating the Fire is worth a modest bump up the list.

16. Chicago Fire (down one place)

  • 5 points, 7th in East
  • 13th in Shield race
  • Last result: Fire 2-2 IMFC
Very nearly slipped up and let Montreal spoil what had seemed a perfect start to Bastian Schweinsteiger's career in Chicago when the legendary Germany and Bayern Munich player scored in his first game as a Fire player. Chicago recovered to save face with a draw, but this week could have and should have been a little better than that for the Fire.

17. D.C. United (up five places)
  • 4 points, 9th in East
  • 17th in Shield race
  • Last result: DCU 2-1 Philadelphia
Very much a hard-earned win (Bill Hamid had to be at his best to keep the Union from claiming at least a point), but DCU has busted out of its slump and claimed its first win of the new season.

18. San Jose Earthquakes (down five places)

  • 6 points, 4th in West
  • 8th in Shield race
  • Last result: NYCFC 2-1 San Jose

Pretty big fall for San Jose this week, but the team has now lost two in a row. Both losses have been narrow (2-1) and on the road, but the Quakes need to stop losing to start climbing these Rankings.

19. New York Red Bulls (down seven places)

  • 7 points, 4th in East
  • 7th in Shield race
  • Last result: Houston 4-1 RBNY

RBNY has now lost its last two road games by a combined score of 7-2, and it couldn't find a goal against RSL at home between those two humbling away days. It is not a team showing much power at the moment.

20. LA Galaxy (down two places)

  • 3 points, 10th in West
  • 19th in Shield race
  • Last result: VWFC 4-2 LA

The Galaxy handed Vancouver its first league win of the year and has now lost three of its first four of the new campaign. And that lone win was over RSL, which looks increasingly like nothing to brag about.

21. Philadelphia Union (down five places)

  • 2 points, 11th in East
  • 21st in Shield race
  • Last result: DCU 2-1 Philadelphia

The Union gives the impression of being an intelligently-managed team under Sporting Director Earnie Stewart, but it is in some early-season difficulty: this week's loss was its second in a row in the league, and Philly is now winless in its first four games of MLS 2017.

22. Real Salt Lake (down two places)

  • 2 points, 11th in West
  • 22nd in Shield race
  • Last result: Minnesota 4-2 RSL

RSL is the first team in MLS 2017 to lose to Minnesota, which is surely worth at least a week at the bottom of the Power Rankings.