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Week 1 SBNhanced MLS power rankings

Team Total vote count First Tier votes Last week's rank
Tier 1 - Teams Contending For Cups
Columbus Crew 18 6 -
Real Salt Lake 18 6 -
Seattle Sounders 18 6 -
LA Galaxy 14 2 -
Tier 2 - Teams Likely in the Playoffs
Colorado Rapids 14 2 -
KC Wizards 13 2 -
Houston Dynamo 11 0 -
NY Red Bulls 10 0 -
Tier 3 - Teams On the Outside Looking In
FC Dallas 7 0 -
Chicago Fire 7 0 -
NE Revolution 6 0 -
Toronto FC 4 0 -
Tier 4 - Teams That Should Be Relegated
Chivas USA 3 0 -
DC United 1 0 -
Philadelphia Union 0 0 -
SJ Earthquakes 0 0 -

Here we have the first edition of a weekly feature that will span across the SBNation MLS network.  The SBNhanced power rankings are our collective and unscientific opinions of how each MLS team is currently performing, and will appear on the right sidebar of our blogs each week.  The ratings are an aggregate of votes submitted by our MLS bloggers at Black And Red United, Sounder At Heart, RSL Soapbox, Once A Metro, and Brotherly Game, plus of course Steve Davis from Daily Soccer Fix and Richard Farley from World Soccer Digest.

There weren't too many surprises at the top of the heap this week, especially with the defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake and the defending Supporters Shield winner Columbus Crew, and the Seattle Sounders earning T1 votes from 100% of the voters.  LA and Colorado were actually tied in the voting, so a run-off election via Twitter was required to permit the Galaxy to grab the last spot.

Sitting just outside the top tier and also earning T1 votes are the Kansas City Wizards.  There was some debate among the SBN bloggers as to KC's placement outside of the top four despite them having the largest margin of victory of the weekend and doing so against a team that most of us considered to be a playoff contender.  But those of us who suffered through watching the entire match know that the Wizards' performance was not a dominating one, and we'll need to see a bit more consistency from them over multiple weeks before we can consider them to be elite.

There was a considerable dropoff after those six teams, with many unwilling to put too much faith into the Red Bulls yet after one close victory.  The line between the bottom of the second tier and the top of the third tier is blurred a bit by Houston's tie at Dallas.  Similarly, we saw a close race in the voting this week between Chicago, New England, Toronto, and Chivas to determine which team would be forced into the bottom tier to accompany the lowly DC, Philadelphia, and San Jose.

I should note that DC United did surprisingly receive one vote for the third tier, and it wasn't even by me (I swear!).  Hopefully this will be the only week that I have to endure the sight of United in MLS's fourth tier.