We’re getting close to the midpoint of the season, and different tiers are beginning to take shape. We’ll dive into those more at the official halfway stage
As a reminder, here’s how the model works:
- Points per game – 30%
- Goal difference – 15%
- Form in last five games – 15%
- Expected goal difference – 12.5%
- Strength of schedule – 12.5%
- Home and away form – 12.5%
- Goals added – 2.5%
Matchday 15 Power Rankings
|RANK||TEAM||SCORE||RANKING CHANGE||SCORE CHANGE|
|5||ST. Louis CITY SC||12.88||+1||+1.38|
|9||New England Revolution||8.74||—||-0.10|
|13||New York Red Bulls||5.52||—||-0.45|
|15||San Jose Earthquakes||3.70||+1||+0.04|
|16||Orlando City SC||3.25||+1||+0.49|
|17||New York City FC||2.17||-2||-1.66|
|24||Inter Miami CF||-1.57||-2||-1.40|
|25||Real Salt Lake||-1.96||-1||-0.57|
It’s a holiday today, so I’ll keep this short-ish.
Nashville SC take the top spot after a 3-1 win at home against Columbus Crew. They’ve won four of their last five and are unbeaten in seven, have the fifth-most goals scored in the league and have conceded just 10 goals in 15 games. With the third-toughest strength of schedule in the league and the joint-best record from their last five matches, according to the OPI, it’s not a surprise to see them take the top spot.
FC Cincinnati lead the Supporters’ Shield race, and got a strong 1-0 win on the road against Colorado Rapids. They have the best points per game in MLS by a significant margin, and at 30% of the OPI model, it’s a significant part of their overall score.
So why are they over four points out of first place? There are a few reasons the model thinks they’re not quite as good as their points would indicate. It’s largely due to their goal difference (+8), expected goal difference (+4), and the fact that nine of their 10 wins have been by a single goal, a statistic that tends to be unsustainable. It’s the exact same reason the New England Revolution were rarely ranked first in their Supporters’ Shield winning 2021 season – 18 of their 22 wins came by a single goal.
With Nashville and LAFC dominating both categories, it’s enough to edge them ahead of a Cincinnati team whose only multi-goal win came against CF Montréal, the 28th ranked team. The model gives winning the most weight. But when several teams are winning, it rewards dominant wins more.
One last note on what was supposed to be a shorter week. Sporting KC are still ranked last, but after a 4-1 win over Portland Timbers, their score is improving dramatically. They’re up another 3.02 points, less than a half point behind LA Galaxy in 25th. Sporting have three wins from their last five, with wins against Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United mixed in with a road draw against LAFC. A 4-0 loss in St. Louis aside, they’ve quietly been pretty good.