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 By Jason Davis

LAFC surges in MLS Power Rankings; NYCFC, Columbus keep top spots

A look at how the teams in Major League Soccer stack up after Week 2 of the season.

1. NYCFC (no change)
Patrick Vieira's squad looks every bit the challenger for every bit of hardware on offer in 2018. Two games, two wins, and more excellence from David Villa.

2. Columbus Crew (no change)
Columbus raced to a 2-0 lead, wasted it, then prevailed over Montreal on a late penalty kick by Gyasi Zardes. The home opener seemed to set the tone for what could be a bad year in the stands -- with talk of the club moving to Austin -- but a good year on the field.

3. Atlanta United (+2)
Tata Martino's team accomplished two things in Sunday's destruction of D.C. United: It put aside last year's disappointing opener in Houston, and it exacted some revenge for D.C.'s 2017 domination of the Five Stripes.

4. Toronto FC (no change)
It's all about the Champions League for the Reds, who sat idle on the weekend.

5. New York Red Bulls (+5)
The Red Bulls are loving life after a historic win in Tijuana and an impressive 4-0 demolition of the Timbers on Saturday -- an impressive demolition delivered by a bunch of academy kids.

6. Houston Dynamo (-3)
The Dynamo dominated Vancouver at home but couldn't convert it into three points. Alberth Elis scored again in the losing effort and looks to be the key man for Houston this season.

7. LAFC (+9)
How far can the new kids climb after just two weeks in the league? It's not exactly a surprise that Bob Bradley prepared his team well, but it is a surprise that LAFC has knocked off the defending conference champs and a playoff contender -- and both on the road.

8. Seattle Sounders (-2)
No game for the Sounders as they prepare for Chivas in midweek.

9. Vancouver Whitecaps (no change)
The way the 'Caps earned three points on the road in Houston figures to be the blueprint for away games all year: Defend, count on a few big saves, and take advantage of any big moments that come on the attacking end

10. San Jose Earthquakes (-2)
The Quakes got a week off ahead of road date in Kansas City next weekend.

11. Chicago Fire (-4)

For a few brief moments, the Fire were headed for a big comeback win in their 2018 opener against Sporting. But the defense folded and Chicago managed to concede twice in three minutes and lose. Rough start in Bridgeview.

12. LA Galaxy (-1)
It was never going to be easy for the Galaxy on the road at Yankee Stadium, but the loss of Giovani Dos Santos to injury made a poor showing in even worse.

13. Sporting Kansas City (+1)
Peter Vermes' teams don't quit, even when they're down a goal on the road in the final 10 minutes of a match. The defensive performance in Chicago will bother Vermes, but that's a good three points earned.

14. Philadelphia Union (-2)
The Union have to wait until next week to build on their Week 1 victory.

15. New England Revolution(+4)
Brad Friedel's first win as Revs head coach required a fortuitous deflection from a free kick deep in added time, something that nevertheless won't take the shine off for the new boss.

16. Minnesota United (+6)
Ethan Finlay's eventful day included two goals and a conceded penalty. The good outweighed the bad for the Loons, who picked up the first three points of the year on the road in Orlando.

17. Portland Timbers (-4)
Giovanni Savarese likely can't wait to get a home game after two rough weeks on the road. The adjustment period isn't as long as it used to be in MLS, and Portland is a place where winning is expected.

18. Real Salt Lake (-3)
Mike Petke has a lot of questions to answer about his team -- thought to be a playoff contender in the West -- after LAFC took Real Salt Lake apart at Rio Tinto Stadium. Refereeing complaints aside, there's work to do in Sandy.

19. D.C. United (-2)
On the road in Atlanta, D.C.'s deficiencies were on full display. Ben Olsen's team looks improved from 2017, but his midfield and back line were ill-equipped to deal with the quality of the home side.

20. FC Dallas (-2)
Oscar Pareja's team was off this week.

21. Orlando City (-1)
The Lions have underwhelmed in two games so far in 2018, a year with significant expectations. Sacha Kljestan will debut next week against NYCFC, which could jump-start the season.

22. Montreal Impact (-1)
The silver lining for Remi Garde and the Impact was that Saturday's loss represented an improvement from last week's opener in Vancouver. Still, missing out on a point due to a late penalty can't feel good.

23. Colorado Rapids (no change)
The Rapids and new coach Anthony Hudson will feel they left points in New England after conceding in stoppage time and missing a penalty in their season opener.

Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer and the United States national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @davisjsn.


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