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March 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Week 3 in MLS: Power rankings and other thoughts from Alan Hinton

In a weekly feature that we’ll continue throughout the season, local legend Alan Hinton, who coached the old NASL Sounders and did broadcast work recently for the MLS team, has offered to provide his thoughts on the action leaguewide.

Here was Hinton’s Week 2 post. Posted below is his latest offering:

*     *     *

I want to be conservative with my Seattle Sounders ranking but have difficulty keeping them out of top three. Here’s why: I experienced a new Sounders at training camp in Tucson, Ariz. — players getting along and enjoying each other’s friendship and wanting to be a winner. They won two of first three games when last season they won none of first five games.

Strangely, a huge help is no CONCACAF Champions League this year. Fitness levels seem higher, and in the first games we were ahead of opposition and ran hard for each other for 90+ minutes. New players (and there are many) have settled more quickly than I thought possible.

Djimi Traore and Chad Marshall look very solid, plus good performances from youngsters DeAndre Yedlin and Dylan Remick, plus fine goalkeeping from Stefan Frei. This Saturday vs. an improved Columbus Crew will be a severe test and will give us all an indication where we are at this early stage of the season. Clint Dempsey is out for Crew game and will come back well rested and very effective.
 
I have backed off on my assessment of L.A., Portland and New York, who struggled to find any rhythm at the moment. Dallas has a new coach, and he did a great job at Colorado last year, so they could be better than 2013 and are top of West. It will be interesting to follow their progress. Houston is top of East and always give their best efforts, coached by a most popular coach in MLS: Dominic Kinnear. 
 
My rankings are as follows and will change dramatically until around ten games into season:

Alan Hinton’s MLS power rankings

1. Toronto FC
2. Houston
3. Seattle
4. Real Salt Lake
5. FC Dallas
6. Vancouver
7. Columbus
8. Sporting KC
9. Portland
10. Philadelphia
11. Colorado
12. Chicago
13. LA Galaxy
14. New York
15. San Jose
16. Chivas USA
17. D.C. United
18. New England
19. Montreal

| More in MLS

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