Another week of MLS action means another edition of the Power Rankings. A new team takes the top spot, while Seattle finally break into the top 10.
As a reminder, the rankings use an all new model I’ve obnoxiously titled the Overall Performance Index. Click here for a full breakdown of how the model works.
Week 16 Power Rankings
|2||New York City FC||19.09||-1|
|4||New York Red Bulls||13.07||-1|
|11||Real Salt Lake||7.82||-1|
|12||New England Revolution||6.53||—|
|20||Orlando City SC||2.04||-3|
|23||Inter Miami CF||-1.89||+1|
|26||San Jose Earthquakes||-3.29||—|
LAFC take the top spot in the league and the top spot in the standings. Their 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls puts them three points clear in the Supporters Shield race. Oh yeah, and they have an open DP spot and just signed Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale on TAM deals. They’re about to get even better.
Philadelphia Union also push up a spot after they beat New York City FC in a wild match on Sunday evening with immaculate #MLSAfterDark vibes. Their score is still a little over three points behind NYCFC, but they’re among the most in-form teams in the league and won’t surprise anyone with their consistency.
Nashville SC stay in eighth after a convincing 3-1 win against DC United. After two poor home results, they’ve started making positive progress in the rankings again and are gaining ground on Austin FC and FC Dallas, who battled to a 2-2 draw on Saturday. Nashville need to improve their home form to catch up with the teams at the top, though. Only seven teams have a worse home score than the ‘Yotes, who will play most of their remaining matches at Geodis Park.
The Seattle Sounders have finally broken into the top 10. Their league form took a while to recover from their historic Concacaf Champions League-winning run, but they’ve been really good for the last several weeks and have been steadily climbing. The last three weeks have been electric from the Rave Green, though. After finally getting healthy, they’ve climbed from 21st in Week 13 to 10th in Week 16, gaining more ground than anyone in the league. Tied with LAFC, NYCFC and…. the Vancouver Whitecaps (??) for the best form in MLS, it won’t be long before they begin pushing for a top spot.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Whitecaps continue to break the model. In 17th place in the overall table, and on a league-best 2.00 points per game in their last five matches, they’re floundering in 25th in the rankings. The OPI dings them pretty heavily for their underlying numbers; -10 goal difference, -5.6 xG against, and the fourth-weakest strength of schedule mean that the model just doesn’t buy their table position. It will be fascinating to see if they can hang around a fringe playoff spot for the rest of the season.
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