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.
- (↔︎) New York City FC 1.11
- (↔︎) Los Angeles Football Club 0.86
- LAFC gets a win and comes back down to Earth just a bit because it was not the type of effort in the margins that you’d like to see against an RSL team that’s struggling.
- (↔︎) DC United 0.85
- If you were only looking at the expected goals numbers (as this rankings method is blind to game outcomes), DCU absolutely destroyed Red Bulls, and on the road. There’s something to be said for a continuing status as an underachiever, though. That’s the case with all of 2-4, in fact, and there’s probably been enough season at this point that we can assume they aren’t going to make up the gap between elite performances and mediocre results.
- (↔︎) Minnesota United FC 0.70
- (↔︎) New England Revolution 0.63
- (↔︎) Sporting Kansas City 0.42
- (↔︎) Seattle Sounders 0.39
- (↔︎) Nashville SC 0.38
- I was a little surprised to see NSC’s rating drop a bit (though the ranking remains static) after a road win against a team that’s been quite solid at home. The out-of-town scoreboard played a fairly significant role in that, though, as did Montreal peppering NSC late with some shots that increased xG but mostly had little chance of actually scoring.
- (↔︎) Colorado Rapids 0.14
- (↑3) CF Montreal -0.03
- (↔︎) Philadelphia Union -0.02
- (↓2) Orlando City SC -0.08
- (↓1) New York Red Bulls -0.03
- (↔︎) Chicago Fire -0.18
- (↑1) Los Angeles Galaxy -0.26
- Signs of life from the Galaxy? Been a bigtime “overachieve the stats” team all year – and a darling before the inevitable lack of sustainability caught up – but now with two non-horrible (along the margins) games in a row, staying in the playoff picture looks realistic.
- (↑1) Inter Miami CF -0.27
- (↓2) FC Dallas -0.27
- (↔︎) Vancouver Whitecaps FC -0.31
- (↔︎) Austin FC -0.33
- (↑1) Atlanta United FC -0.36
- (↑4) Real Salt Lake -0.40
- (↓2) Columbus Crew -0.44
- (↑1) Fußball Club Cincinnati -0.46
- (↑2) San Jose Earthquakes -0.47
- (↓2) Houston Dynamo -0.40
- (↓4) Portland Timbers FC -0.51
- The margins are pretty close here (Portland’s rating is as close to No. 20 Atlanta United as No. 4 Minnesota is from No. 3 DC, so it’s a bunched part of the table), and Portland actually got the win, so I wouldn’t sweat the four-position drop itself too much. Being in a sport where that four-position drop gets you to second-worst in MLS is, for obvious reasons, problematic.
- (↔︎) Toronto FC -0.67