MLS Power Rankings: Matchday 21

A full double game week in MLS means lots of change in the rankings. 12 games in Matchday 20 on Wednesday and 14 games on Matchday 21 on Saturday, and the results were as unpredictable as ever in MLS. I look forward to hearing how biased the model is in the comments.

As a reminder, here’s how the OPI (Overall Performance Index) model works:

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  1. Points per game – 30%
  2. Goal difference – 15%
  3. Form in last five games – 15%
  4. Expected goal difference – 12.5%
  5. Strength of schedule – 12.5%
  6. Home and away form – 12.5%
  7. Goals added – 2.5%

Matchday 21 Power Rankings

1FC Cincinnati25.75+1-0.22
2Philadelphia Union24.06+2+1.55
4Nashville SC23.73-3-3.56
5Columbus Crew23.23+2+3.29
6ST. Louis CITY SC20.39-1-0.43
7New England Revolution20.37+1+1.01
8Vancouver Whitecaps18.80+1+1.87
9Seattle Sounders18.63-3-1.36
10DC United14.85+3+3.80
11Atlanta United13.86-1-2.79
12New York Red Bulls13.54+3+4.23
13Orlando City SC13.51-2+0.62
14FC Dallas10.15-2-2.26
15Houston Dynamo9.85+1+0.87
16Austin FC8.37+9+5.96
17Minnesota United8.19+0.01
18Real Salt Lake7.20+3+2.39
19Portland Timbers6.30-1-0.45
20San Jose Earthquakes6.13-6-3.68
21Chicago Fire6.08+3+3.10
22New York City FC6.02-3-0.08
23CF Montréal4.48+1.36
24Toronto FC2.99-4-2.51
25Sporting KC2.86-3-0.83
26LA Galaxy1.83+1+0.63
27Charlotte FC1.60-1+0.07
28Colorado Rapids-1.46-0.03
29Inter Miami CF-4.12-1.55

FC Cincinnati beat Toronto FC 3-0 at home on Wednesday night, their 10th-consecutive home win. On Saturday, though, they lost 3-0 on the road against DC United. It was their first loss in 14 matches in all competitions. Their overall score dropped slightly from last week, but with Nashville’s losses, they move into first.

Nashville SC played on the road against CF Montréal and Columbus Crew, losing both times and looking incredibly flat in the process. They drop to third in the Supporters’ Shield race and down to fourth in the power rankings.

Philadelphia Union make a push into second, with a road draw against Orlando City and a weekend thumping of Inter Miami. They’ve scored the third-most goals and have the best goal difference in the Eastern Conference, and are emphatically over their CCL hangover.

Columbus Crew jump two spots into fifth place with a straightforward 2-0 win at home over Nashville SC on Saturday. It’s remarkable how quickly Wilfried Nancy has this team firing on all cylinders, scoring the most goals in the East and looking firmly like an MLS Cup contender.

One of the biggest knocks on Vancouver Whitecaps was their awful away form. They got their first road win of the year on Saturday, knocking off LAFC 3-2 at BMO Stadium. The underlying numbers love them, they play an attractive style of soccer, and they’re ridiculously hard to beat at home. If they can add in some away results in the second half of the year, they could be something special.

Lastly, Austin FC are this week’s big winners. 3-0 wins against FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo see their score increase by 5.96 points, jumping nine spots into 16th place. After looking pedestrian for most of the season, they’re into 8th place in the table, just four points out of 3rd. Things can turn around quickly in MLS.

Also, Inter Miami lost again. That’s seven consecutive losses in league play. They’re really bad. Bad enough that maybe Lionel Messi can’t even save them.

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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