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(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio (15) with the first half goal. Real Salt Lake and the L.A. Galaxy are 1-1 at the half during Saturday’s, March 22, 2014 home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium.
MLS Power Rankings: RSL leads the pack
First Published Apr 21 2014 01:25 pm • Last Updated Apr 21 2014 11:36 pm

1. Real Salt Lake (3-0-4)

The Jeff Cassar Era is off to a screaming start. Real Salt Lake managed through arguably the toughest first seven games of any team in MLS and remains undefeated despite battling as many as 14 early-season injuries.

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2. FC Dallas (5-1-1)

Oscar Pareja again seems to be working magic. After leading a young Colorado squad to the playoffs in 2013, the former Dallas player has his new squad soaring out of the gates. FC Dallas leads the league with 16 points in seven matches and has league-high 17 goals.

3. Sporting Kansas City (3-1-2)

The defending MLS Cup champions have rebounded from being bounced in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal and just rolled over the Montreal Impact 4-0 at home. Sporting remains the best defensive team in MLS having allowed just four goals in six matches.

4. Seattle Sounders (4-2-1)

Clint Dempsey’s lackluster 2013 season in Seattle is now a distant memory. The U.S. national team star has six goals and three assists in the Sounders’ first seven matches and his partner up top, Obafemi Martins, leads the league with four assists. But the question remains: Can Seattle shore up its defense?

5. Columbus Crew (3-1-2)

Gregg Berhalter has his Crew playing well and above early-season expectation. Federico Higuain, Hector Jimenez and Wil Trapp are pacing Columbus in a fairly wide-open Eastern Conference behind Sporting Kansas City. The Crew could continue be the surprise team in MLS in 2014.

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6. L.A. Galaxy (2-1-2)

Landon Donovan hasn’t scored a goal in five matches, leaving his pursuit of the league’s all-time goal record of 135 in limbo. Robbie Keane is heating up, but L.A.’s central midfield and back line has struggled to maintain leads early on this season.

7. Toronto FC (3-3-0)

The star-studded Reds have struggled after it’s 2-0-0 start. It’s 3-0 thumping at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 29 brought Toronto down to earth and Jermain Defoe hasn’t appeared in the last three matches after suffering a hamstring injury against RSL. Michael Bradley will be asked to guide the club through waves if Defoe continues to miss matches.

8. Colorado Rapids (3-1-2)

The awarding of penalty kicks eventually started to wane and the Rapids are struggling to generate goals. They’ve scored eight goals in six matches and failed to put San Jose away at home Saturday, which resulted in a 0-0 draw.

9. Houston Dynamo (2-3-1)

Offensively, the Dynamo are searching. Brad Davis and Will Bruin can only do so much, leaving the club in a bind. Houston has scored seven goals in six matches, conceding eight.

10. Philadelphia Union (1-2-5)

The tools are there for the Union to make a run at a playoff spot in 2014, that much is certain. The addition of Maurice Edu solidifies the midfield and Philly has a flurry of talented forwards, but the Union must figure out how to turn some of these early-season draws into wins.

11. Vancouver Whitecaps (2-2-3)

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