Nashville SC

MLS power ratings: Week 23, 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.

An important reminder: these rankings are a reflection of team strength, not necessarily results. Historically, that’s more correlated with future results than even past results are. Over/underachieving quality is not only possible, but probable. Underachieving guaranteed for Chicago Fire, in fact.

  1. (↔︎) New York City FC 1.22
    • NYCFC racked up big xG advantages against Nashville SC largely while trying to come back from a 3-0 deficit, so there’s a bit of obscuring the reality of the situation to the numbers. Nonetheless, they actually graded out OK on expected goals (which is the primary model posted here), while getting stomped in the observed goals scored (half a standard deviation below average).
  2. (↔︎) Los Angeles Football Club 0.90
    • The explanation of NYCFC’s day may very well apply to LAFC’s entire season. However, the massive xG advantage built up against Sporting KC actually resulted in a major win, a rare lucky day for the 2021 edition of this squad. This was the first opponent-adjusted over-performance of the xG numbers since July 7.
  3. (↔︎) DC United 0.77
  4. (↔︎) Minnesota United FC 0.63
  5. (↔︎) New England Revolution 0.56
  6. (↔︎) Sporting Kansas City 0.48
  7. (↔︎) Seattle Sounders 0.43
  8. (↔︎) Nashville SC 0.34
    • The reasons NYCFC didn’t move down are the same ones Nashville didn’t move up. However, it’s worth noting that after being persistently one of the underachieving teams in the league to start the year, NSC is down to -0.08 luck (basically negligible) with the strong run of current form.
  9. (↔︎) Colorado Rapids 0.13
  10. (↔︎) Orlando City SC 0.08
  11. (↑2) Philadelphia Union -0.02
  12. (↓1) New York Red Bulls -0.03
  13. (↓1) CF Montreal -0.03
  14. (↔︎) Chicago Fire -0.17
    • Remaining one of the most persistently-unlucky teams in MLS, Chicago would be a bottom-4 team to a goals-only method.
  15. (↔︎) FC Dallas -0.19
  16. (↔︎) Los Angeles Galaxy -0.28
  17. (↑1) Inter Miami CF -0.29
  18. (↑1) Vancouver Whitecaps FC -0.32
    • Slow rise continues for the Caps. I’ve been pretty clear that it was starting under Marc Dos Santos (and his firing – given all the difficulties for the Canadian teams this year especially – was harsh). This may very well turn out to be a team that sneaks into the playoffs.
  19. (↓2) Austin FC -0.32
  20. (↑1) Columbus Crew -0.44
  21. (↑1) Atlanta United FC -0.45
  22. (↑4) Portland Timbers FC -0.47
    • Signs of life? Smacking the Dynamo (even on the road) is hardly the most impressive result of the season. but being a half-xG better than an opponent is something the Timbers have not done much of this year, and it’s the second road win in a row – with the underlying numbers less positive on the victory against Seattle, but for obvious reason the identical scoreline more impressive.
  23. (↔︎) Houston Dynamo -0.47
  24. (↓4) Fußball Club Cincinnati -0.48
  25. (↔︎) Real Salt Lake -0.54
  26. (↓2) San Jose Earthquakes -0.49
  27. (↔︎) Toronto FC -0.61

In non-rating news, it’s worth noting that at 52 points, New England has sealed a finish ahead of Toronto FC (which could cap out at only 51 by now). With the right combination of results, the Revs could also seal a finish ahead of Cincinnati this weekend. Nobody else in either conference will be locking down table positions for at least another couple gameweeks, but we’re getting close to the time of season where that’ll be happening regularly.

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