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MLS stars preparing for 2014 World Cup Scroll through the Major League Soccer stars that will light it up during the 2014 World Cup /foxsoccer/mls/lists/major-league-soccer-stars-to-watch-preparing-for-2014-world-cup-021414 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/14/021314-SOCCER-LEAN-ON-US-DC-PI_20140214030749444_136_102.JPG
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MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31643924 International date International+date MLS

Looking for the usual stars this weekend? Do not search too earnestly if they aren't located in their usual spots: many of them will spend their weekends on national team duty in some far flung locale (or Denver).

 

The crowded calendar essentially forces MLS to play through selected FIFA match days. The decision does not come without costs, though. The widespread absences – including key players scheduled to join Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama and the United States for Hexagonal matches – will take their toll on the domestic games at hand on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Honorable mention

 

11. Seattle Sounders
12. Columbus Crew
13. New England Revolution
14. Chivas USA
15. New York Red Bulls
16. Toronto FC
17. Portland Timbers
18. Chicago Fire
19. Colorado Rapids

 

Kyle McCarthy

- http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G1_20130320222837256_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G1_20130320222837256_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31648660 Montreal Impact Montreal+Impact MLS

The magic continued at Olympic Stadium on Saturday. Two suspect penalty awards and one really neat sequence of play from the home side saw the Impact emerge with a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC. More of the same will certainly suit the only club with three wins from three matches to start the season.

 

Next on the docket: Marco Schällibaum's side will hope to sustain its early season form – sans the injured Alessandro Nesta (adductor) – when New York visits on Saturday afternoon.

 

Kyle McCarthy
 

Jean-Yves Ahern - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G2_20130320222854258_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G2_20130320222854258_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31648661 Vancouver Whitecaps Vancouver+Whitecaps MLS

The unbeaten run to start the campaign unsurprisingly continued through a bye weekend. Whitecaps boss Martin Rennie will hope the downtime gave former England U-21 captain Nigel Reo-Coker an opportunity to work his way toward full match fitness.

 

Next on the docket: Reo-Coker and the Whitecaps will attempt to end the Dynamo's unbeaten run at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night.

 

Kyle McCarthy
 

Jeff Vinnick - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G3_20130320222911260_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G3_20130320222911260_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31648662 Los Angeles Galaxy Los+Angeles+Galaxy MLS

The MLS Cup holders slogged their way through a rather contentious 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Sunday. Prolific striker Robbie Keane managed to avoid suffering any nasty knocks during the physical derby, but the Galaxy will not benefit from his ability to sidestep catastrophe. Keane left earlier this week to join the Republic of Ireland ahead of its pair of World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.

 

Next on the docket: Galaxy coach Bruce Arena will turn to his young guns – and perhaps the irrepressible Mike Magee – to fill the void up front before Colorado's visit on Saturday night.

 

Kyle McCarthy
 

Victor Decolongon - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G4_20130320222929262_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G4_20130320222929262_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31648663 Sporting Kansas City Sporting+Kansas+City MLS

The frustration in front of goal continued for Sporting in its 0-0 home draw with Chicago, but signs of relief cropped up along the way. Another complete performance – not the one-half shows offered in Philadelphia and Toronto during the first two weeks of the season – could see Sporting find a way to turn its possession and its pressure into points.

 

Next on the docket: Benny Feilhaber makes his return to Gillette Stadium when Sporting visits New England on Saturday afternoon.

 

Kyle McCarthy
  

Ed Zurga - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G5_20130320222945264_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G5_20130320222945264_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31643925 Real Salt Lake Real+Salt+Lake MLS

Another tense and tight Rocky Mountain Cup affair left Real Salt Lake and Colorado to share the points in a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium. Álvaro Saborío continued his torrid form by scoring his third (and RSL's third) goal of the season in the stalemate.

 

Next on the docket: RSL will attempt to compensate for the absences of Saborío and club captain Kyle Beckerman before traveling to Frisco to face FC Dallas on Saturday night.

 

Kyle McCarthy
 

Thearon W. Henderson - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G6_20130320223010266_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G6_20130320223010266_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31643926 San Jose Earthquakes San+Jose+Earthquakes MLS

Any point counts as a good point for the tattered Earthquakes at this stage. The 1-1 draw at Columbus certainly falls into that category as San Jose boss Frank Yallop chopped and changed yet again to cover for the absences and the injuries ravaging his squad at the moment.

 

Next on the docket: Yallop must now name a replacement for US national team selection Justin Morrow prior to Seattle's arrival on Saturday night.

 

Kyle McCarthy
 

Trevor Ruszkowksi - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G7_20130320223025268_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G7_20130320223025268_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31643927 Houston Dynamo Houston+Dynamo MLS

All of the factors surrounding the 3-2 defeat at FC Dallas – the controversy surrounding Kenny Cooper and simulation, the two set-piece goals conceded and the late submission after a spirited fightback – suggest the Dynamo should box up that match and forget about it. It's time to get back to the usual business, even with Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia and Jermaine Taylor away on international duty.

 

Next on the docket: Houston will try to revert to its usual form when Vancouver enters the fortress better known as BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night.

 

Kyle McCarthy
 

Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G8_20130320223044270_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G8_20130320223044270_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31643928 DC United DC+United MLS

Leave it to Bill Hamid to protect a road point in New York. The reigning MLS Player of the Week somehow managed to keep out the Red Bulls on Saturday despite continuous pressure from the home side. The guys in front of him – particularly center backs Dejan Jakovic and Brandon McDonald – did their bits to maintain the 0-0 draw as well.

 

Next on the docket: Jakovic will spend this weekend in Qatar with the Canadian national team, but his teammates will remain in the much cooler climes of Washington to welcome Columbus to RFK Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

 

Kyle McCarthy
 

Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G9_20130320223103272_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G9_20130320223103272_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31643929 Philadelphia Union Philadelphia+Union MLS

Philadelphia's defensive performances have garnered two consecutive wins – including a 1-0 victory over New England at PPL Park on Saturday – and prompted a trade request from out-of-favor center back Bakary Soumare. The former Chicago defender said this week he wants to move elsewhere to pursue his quest for a regular first-team place.

 

Next on the docket: Soumare's significant contract may prove difficult to move, but the Union will field offers before the trip to New York on March 26.
 

Kyle McCarthy

Eric Hartline - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G10_20130320223117273_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G10_20130320223117273_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 43 MLS Power Rankings: Week Three 31643930 FC Dallas FC+Dallas MLS

FCD responded to a staggering defeat at Chivas USA by rising to the occasion and securing a 3-2 victory against Houston on Sunday. Kenny Cooper – with a bit of help from his arm – notched the winner in the late stages to give FCD its second home win in as many matches.

 

Next on the docket: FCD will look to maintain its unbeaten run in Frisco when Real Salt Lake arrives on Saturday night.

 

Kyle McCarthy
 

Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G11_20130320223131276_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/03/20/032013-SOCCER-MLS-POWER-RANKINGS-DC-G11_20130320223131276_107_80.JPG
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