Nashville SC

MLS Power Ratings: June 21, 2021

MLS is back in full swing, and with it, some major swings in the MLS Power Ratings. For an explainer, hit up the first edition of the 2021 ratings, and if you have additional queries, don’t hesitate to drop me a line on social media. Without further ado:

  1. (↑1) Seattle Sounders (+1.02)
  2. (↑2) New York City FC (+0.96)
  3. (↔︎) Sporting Kansas City (+0.84)
  4. (↑2) DC United (+0.59)
  5. (↓4) Nashville SC (+0.56)
  6. (↑3) Philadelphia Union (+0.38)
  7. (↔︎) San Jose Earthquakes (+0.30)
  8. (↓3) LAFC (+0.26)
  9. (↑7) Austin FC (+0.21)
  10. (↑1) New England Revolution (+0.15)
  11. (↑10) Toronto FC (+0.03)
  12. (↑6) Minnesota United (+0.02)
  13. (↑2) Portland Timbers (-0.01)
  14. (↓6) Atlanta United (-0.03)
  15. (↓3) New York Red Bulls (-0.06)
  16. (↓2) Orlando City SC (-0.12)
  17. (↓7) Chicago Fire (-0.16)
  18. (↓5) Colorado Rapids (-0.24)
  19. (↑4) Columbus Crew (-0.27)
  20. (↓1) Montreal Impact (-0.32)
  21. (↓4) Houston Dynamo (-0.61)
  22. (↑2) Inter Miami CF (-0.61)
  23. (↓3) Real Salt Lake (-0.72)
  24. (↑3) FC Cincinnati (-0.76)
  25. (↓4) FC Dallas (-0.77)
  26. (↓1) LA Galaxy (-0.78)
  27. (↓1) Vancouver Whitecaps (-0.78)

As you can see, some huge swings. Austin FC and Toronto FC largely benefitted from the same circumstance: solid home performances from an xG perspective (though the Trees drew and the Reds lost), and an overrepresentation of that single home game because they’ve played almost exclusively away games – in Austin’s case had played exclusively away from Q2 before this weekend.

Atlanta’s big drop came after a previously-meager Philly offense had a nice afternoon in the Five Stripes’ second-straight come-from ahead 2-2 draw. Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire move in opposite directions after the Crew seems to get headed back in the right direction after some uncharacteristic struggles early in the year.

From a Nashville perspective, dropping to about fifth place feels more just in xG terms than the table-topping position a week ago. This club is still radically underperforming its expected goals (the xG gods called Friday’s game 1.2-0.8 in favor of New York Red Bulls – closer to a draw than a 2-0 loss), and in the “best résumé” versus “best team” battle, fares far more poorly. Only Minnesota United has had comparably bad luck.

On the “living right” side of that particular ledger, Real Salt Lake and Orlando City have experienced very positive luck so far this season. OCSC is mid-table in expected goals but among the league’s best in actual goals, while RSL climbs from “rather poor” to “very good” on the basis of a strong conversion rate. For Orlando, that’s largely thanks to having players like Nani (offense) and Pedro Gallese (keeping) available, whereas RSL is doing it despite below-average goalkeeping and could be in line for a regression if Damir Kreilach falls off at all.

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