Final regular-season USL power ratings

The regular season is complete, so how did teams perform over the course of it? Here are the final Pure Power ratings:

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These ratings account for goals for/against in home/away games, and are the aggregate total of individual game performances (so if you’re one standard deviation above average in one game, and half a standard deviation below average in a second game, your team’s Pure Power rating over those two games would be 0.5).

Nashville tied one of the worst teams in the league and the best side over the course of the past week, and it ultimately dropped them four spots (along with the out-of-town scoreboard). We’ll see if I can find a way to incorporate playoff results into the Pure Power table – though as it’s currently constructed, that would require some major tinkering.

Other aspects of previous Power Ratings posts (the table power metric) is no longer relevant, since it’s a prediction for the final table, which, uh, we already know the answer to.

For what it’s worth, while the Pure Power metric isn’t designed to correlate directly with results (it’s designed to correlate with performance, so a one-goal win is more like a draw than it is a three-goal win, to put it in simple terms), it does line up pretty well with teams’ final standings in the tables – though like the Table Power metric, I’m wary that differences between the two conferences make comparisons with both included a little less statistically sound:

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Your outlier in the bottom-left there is Richmond, which started the season OK, but was horrible through the end, and didn’t just lose games, it got blown out in them. That should mean a worse power rating than points obtained over the course of the year.

The high outlier on the other side (around the intersection of the 40,0 mark) is Fresno. That makes sense as well: they actually tied for the seventh-best goal differential in the West, but finished 12th because they lost by a single goal twelve times in 13 losses (the only exception a 3-0 loss to Orange County back in May). Meanwhile, only three of their nine wins were by a single goal. A little bit of puck-luck (to borrow a hockey term) really worked against them.

For what it’s worth, Nashville’s Pure Power rating is indeed above the trendline, but despite the “we suck and we’ve sucked all season” portion of the fanbase’s grousing, it’s well within the bounds of a bounce here and there resulting in dropping points – which the eyeball test bore out over the course of the season, as well.

3 thoughts on “Final regular-season USL power ratings

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