Nashville SC

MLS Power Ratings: Week 10, 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:

Important note! Although I didn’t publish after Week Nine, the deltas are compared to the Week Nine rankings. So NYCFC is a spot higher than you saw last time, but that move was primarily on account of the xG blasting of Atlanta, not a blasé match against DC United.

  1. (↔︎) New York City FC (+1.29)
    • As noted in the above italicized paragraph, NYCFC made a big move after last week’s xG smackdown (by far the worst offensive and defensive performance for Atlanta), and City remains steady this week.
  2. (↔︎) Sporting Kansas City (+0.95)
  3. (↔︎) Seattle Sounders (+0.85)
    • Seattle is the only good and lucky team in the top six. That helps explains not only why the Sounders look good, but also why the table looks extremely good, as well. Even coming back to Earth a bit luck-wise wouldn’t see them drop far.
  4. (↔︎) DC United (+0.71)
  5. (↔︎) Nashville SC (+0.63)
    • Both Nashville and DC have been good but also extremely unlucky so far this year. NSC fans are obviously quite familiar with how that’s affected the Boys in Gold, but it’s probably even worse for DC, with two fewer points (despite having played an extra game) on better overall creation performances.
    • It’s also worth noting that the top five have really separated themselves from the pack in xG terms. The Rating for NYCFC at the top is the highest of the season (you’d expect things to get a little more bunched unless squads are really standing out), and the cliff between Nos. 5 and 6 has really opened up.
  6. (↑1) LAFC (+0.31)
  7. (↓1) Philadelphia Union (+0.17)
    • It will not shock you to learn that a draw against Chicago Fire has really damaged Philly’s numbers. It might look even worse if own-goals were included in the formula*.
  8. (↑2) New England Revolution (+0.14)
  9. (↔︎) Orlando City SC (+0.04)
    • As with NYCFC, it’s worth noting that OCSC made a huge climb midweek that would otherwise go unheralded since I didn’t publish ratings. The 3.61-0.79 blasting of San Jose (5-0 on the scoreboard!) moved the Lions up seven spots.
  10. (↑6) Atlanta United (+0.03)
    • Although Atlanta managed just a scoreless draw while hosting New York Red Bulls, the xG advantage (1.83-0.68) and out-of-town scoreboard were friendly.
  11. (↑1) Portland Timbers (-0.01)
  12. (↑2) Minnesota United (-0.02)
    • It might be time for me to stop making fun of Adrian Heath. Minnesota’s still riding +0.10 luck (while sitting fifth in the table) so I’ll give it another couple weeks.
  13. (↓5) San Jose Earthquakes (-0.09)
    • It’s been a steady decline. The only real surprise there is that anything is “steady” with this team. Expect an insane 6-5 win some time soon.
  14. (↑5) Chicago Fire (-0.14)
    • A high-scoring draw against Philadelphia was kind to the Fire. It’s worth noting, though, that the actual rating didn’t change too much – this was a pretty soft portion of the table this week.
  15. (↓2) Austin FC (-0.15)
  16. (↓5) New York Red Bulls (-0.15)
  17. (↓2) Toronto FC (-0.24)
  18. (↔︎) Colorado Rapids (-0.24)
  19. (↓2) Columbus Crew (-0.34)
    • An interesting case here. Last year’s Crew team was consistently – persistently – lucky, and it kept feeling like Columbus would come down to Earth results-wise… until an MLS Cup championship. The Crew is top-half in Goal Power (+0.07), and there may be some system-specific reasoning – or “Lucas Zelarayan and Eloy Room play here” that provides some replicability to overachievement.
  20. (↔︎) Inter Miami CF (-0.37)
    • Seattle is lucky and good. Miami is unlucky and bad.
  21. (↔︎) Montreal Impact (-0.41)
  22. (↑2) Vancouver Whitecaps (-0.55)
    • You’ll note another big cliff in ratings between Nos. 21 and 22. Vancouver has also had some pretty significant xG luck… and still brings up the rear in the West in the standings.
  23. (↔︎) FC Cincinnati (-0.60)
  24. (↑1) Real Salt Lake (-0.63)
    • By far the luckiest team in the league in conversion for and against (+1.14, second-“best” is Orlando’s +0.76). If that doesn’t continue, the bottom could fall out for RSL.
  25. (↑2) LA Galaxy (-0.73)
    • So, uh, this team is getting a lot of pub, but in xG terms (adjusted for quality of competition played), the Galaxy… is one of the worst teams in the league. The luck factor is making things look better, of course, but this team has also played one of the easier schedules in the league (San Jose twice, Vancouver, Austin, Miami), and been smacked when it’s gone against good teams (Seattle twice, Portland). could be worth keeping an eye on in fear of a potential collapse.
  26. (↔︎) FC Dallas (-0.76)
  27. (↓5) Houston Dynamo (-0.77)
    • Silver lining is that the back end is tight enough that a good result is enough to get you out of the basement?

* Still considering adding them in! Just a data-entry issue since ASA’s tables don’t include them and I’d have to seek out each week.

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