Nashville SC

MLS power ratings: Week 18, 2021

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. The full table with all the details you could possibly want lives here. Although I haven’t published the ratings since Week 15, the rankings changes are in relation to Week 17.

An important reminder: these rankings are a reflection of team strength, not necessarily results. Over/underachieving quality is not only possible, but probable. Underachieving guaranteed for Chicago Fire, in fact.

  1. (↔︎) New York City FC 1.13
  2. (↔︎) Sporting Kansas City 0.75
  3. (↔︎) Los Angeles Football Club 0.73
    • LAFC is in lofty position despite some bad recent results. However, they’ve had the edge in expected goals despite getting spanked by SKC (1-4 on the scoreboard, 1.71-1.08 in expected goals), and it’s looking like playing Vancouver pretty even in xG isn’t a half-bad result at this point either (though LAFC lost that one 2-0).
  4. (↔︎) DC United 0.70
  5. (↑2) New England Revolution 0.52
    • The Revs have shed most of their massive amounts of luck, and that means the rating is looking more like what you’d expect. Bruce Arena’s team still isn’t apt to blow people out, which has it tracking below DC.
  6. (↓1) Minnesota United FC 0.49
  7. (↓1) Seattle Sounders 0.47
  8. (↔︎) Nashville SC 0.30
    • An up-and-down week-plus for Nashville, with a draw in Toronto that felt bad at the time, but will probably not turn out to be too disappointing when TFC has played in Canada a few more times (the Reds have been much better at home since their return, as you might expect), followed by a solid draw in New England… but capped off with a loss to Inter Miami that looked ugly, and turned out to be a major bummer. The gap between 8 and 9 in the table had been huge, so NSC doesn’t lose a rankings position, but the rating is closer to dropping down than moving up.
  9. (↑2) Colorado Rapids 0.20
  10. (↔︎) New York Red Bulls 0.14
  11. (↓2) Philadelphia Union 0.13
    • The loss to the Revs wasn’t the worst, but getting doubled up in xG (3.13-1.52) is pretty meaningful given the scale of those numbers vis-a-vis the actual goals scored.
  12. (↔︎) Orlando City SC 0.10
  13. (↑1) Austin FC -0.17
  14. (↓1) Chicago Fire -0.19
    • As you might imagine, when you factor in the Fire’s years-long run of bad luck (a term that can be misleading in this context, because it’s not pure luck necessarily) in comparison to expected goals, this is the worst-performing team in MLS.
  15. (↑1) FC Dallas -0.24
    • FCD’s rating went down slightly after an ugly win over Austin, but the ranking was helped by the Crew’s big tank.
  16. (↑1) Montreal Impact -0.24
  17. (↑1) Inter Miami CF -0.27
  18. (↓3) Columbus Crew -0.37
    • Atlanta has played a little bit better in the past couple weeks, but it’s still not advisable to get blasted (at home!) by the Five Stripes.
  19. (↑2) Fußball Club Cincinnati -0.38
  20. (↑4) Real Salt Lake -0.41
    • RSL’s result (3-2 loss in Portland) obscures what was borderline dominance in the run of play (2.95-1.76 xG). There may be a bit of a rise on the way here.
  21. (↓2) San Jose Earthquakes -0.42
  22. (↑1) Atlanta United FC -0.42
  23. (↓3) Los Angeles Galaxy -0.45
  24. (↓2) Vancouver Whitecaps FC -0.49
  25. (↑1) Toronto FC -0.58
  26. (↓2) Portland Timbers FC -0.67
    • Portland doesn’t feel like the second-worst team in MLS (in the same way that LA Galaxy didn’t a few weeks ago), but do the Timbers have the pure finishing or goalkeeping to allow them to continue overachieving the advanced numbers? I don’t know if there’s an obvious answer, but ti doesn’t feel like it (and the raw Goals rating would still have them 19th in MLS).
  27. (↔︎) Houston Dynamo -0.77

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