Frodo, smirking: “You’re late.”
The wizard: “The power rankings are never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor are they early. They arrive precisely when they mean to.”
The power rankings are back for MLS Matchday 9. As a refresher, here’s how the OPI 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 9 Power Rankings
CF Montréal are no longer winless! They’re still at the bottom of the power rankings, but their score jumped a full 1.66 points after beating New York Red Bulls 2-0. That’s despite playing a man down for the final 30 minutes. It’s not nearly enough to dig them out of the giant hole they’re in, but it’s certainly better than the rest of the season.
NYCFC climbed six spots into 10th place with a 3-1 win at home over FC Dallas. Santi Rodríguez got a brace in a new role as a false nine, and looked far more fluid and connected than any option the Pigeons have tried yet. More importantly, it put Tallas Magno back in his preferred spot on the left wing. It’s been an up-and-down start to the season, things are looking up in Queens.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Austin FC are in trouble. They lost 2-0 on the road against LA Galaxy, extending their winless streak to five matches. Through eight games, they have just eight points. They’ve only scored six goals. Their most recent DP signing Emiliano Rigoni hasn’t scored or assisted in 15 league games.
Verde certainly over-performed last season, but even regressing to the mean shouldn’t be this bad. And at this point, they’re just bad. It’s a long season and it’s MLS; anything can happen. But it needs to start happening quickly for them to turn it around.
Philadelphia Union are the biggest movers this week, jumping eight spots with a 4-2 win over Toronto FC. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a team go deep in the Concacaf Champions League and have their league form take a hit, and their struggles in MLS to start the year were never indicative of their actual quality. They may be a bit erratic while pushing for CCL (they take on LAFC in the first leg of the semifinals tonight), but they should be just find.
Nashville SC bounced back a bit from their 2-1 loss to NYCFC with a 1-1 draw against LAFC. Neither side will be completely thrilled with the result, but neither should be upset either. Nashville started the match on the front foot and got another goal from Hany Mukhtar, who’s quietly maintaining his MVP form. LAFC took advantage of a knock to Walker Zimmerman and equalized through current MVP frontrunner Denis Bouanga. The Black & Gold are in their own class at the top of the rankings. The Boys In Gold are a long way behind, but Mukhtar’s form could drag them up.