Week 25 & 26 MLS Power Rankings: Nashville drop, Atlanta and Montréal climb

After a double game week of MLS action, we’re back with a slightly condensed edition of the power rankings.

How the rankings work

These power rankings aren’t a subjective result of one person’s opinion, but use a stats-based model for each team to get a more in-depth look at where clubs actually stand. The model weighs points per game and strength of schedule most heavily, with goal difference and expected goal difference weighted incrementally less. This is an attempt to show not just how teams have done in the table, but how they’ve played on the field. If you’re interested in the methodology, the full model can be viewed here.

These power rankings aren’t an attempt to predict the final table, just to provide readers with a different angle from which to judge teams. A helpful way to think of it is if a team is significantly higher in the rankings than they are in the table, they’re probably underperforming. If they’re significantly lower in the rankings than in the table, they’re overperforming.

Week 25 & 26 Power Rankings

  1. New England Revolution (-)
  2. NYCFC (-)
  3. Sporting KC (↑2)
  4. Nashville SC (↓1)
  5. Seattle Sounders (↓1)
  6. LA Galaxy (↑1)
  7. Colorado Rapids (↓1)
  8. DC United (-)
  9. Minnesota United (-)
  10. Philadelphia Union (-)
  11. Atlanta United (↑4)
  12. CF Montréal (↑2)
  13. Real Salt Lake (-)
  14. New York Red Bulls (↑3)
  15. LAFC (↓3)
  16. Orlando City (↓5)
  17. FC Dallas (↓1)
  18. Portland Timbers (↑1)
  19. Vancouver Whitecaps (↓1)
  20. Columbus Crew (↑1)
  21. San Jose Earthquakes (↓1)
  22. Houston Dynamo (↑1)
  23. Inter Miami CF (↓1)
  24. Chicago Fire (-)
  25. Austin FC (-)
  26. FC Cincinnati (-)
  27. Toronto FC (-)

New England stay on top despite a draw with Columbus, although they bombarded the Crew for most of the match and were unfortunate not to get three points. Nashville lost 2-1 on the road to a really poor Toronto side, but they only drop a spot thanks to Seattle‘s loss to Real Salt Lake. An interesting twist over the last two weeks is that LA Galaxy‘s midweek draw with Houston and loss to Portland pushes them 0.02 points ahead of Colorado, who drew with Portland and Vancouver in that same span.

Atlanta United are the big movers this week, jumping four spots into 11th. Orlando went the opposite way, dropping five spots into 16th.

Projected standings

These projections are created by taking each sides home and away form and factoring them out across their remaining matches.

These projections will change significantly over the course of the season as teams get larger sample sizes at home and on the road. And they’re not a concrete attempt to predict the final table, but rather to show each team’s trajectory based on current form.

For the first time this season we have an elimination line. No one is in imminent danger of being mathematically eliminated, but it does give a good idea how close a given team is. If a team’s maximum points drop below the elimination line, they’ll miss the playoffs.

Nashville hold onto second in the projections, but could really use results against Miami and Chicago this week to keep them ahead of NYCFC. In the West, Minnesota have moved back into a playoff position, while LAFC look set to miss.

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