Week 29 MLS Power Rankings

Two weeks of MLS action packed into one seven-day period and another edition of the Power Rankings. Nature is healing.

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 29 Power Rankings

RankTeamScoreMovement
1Philadelphia Union35.88
2LAFC34.62
3New York City FC24.29
4CF Montréal16.71
5Austin FC16.63
6New York Red Bulls16.45
7Nashville SC15.15
8FC Dallas10.61+1
9LA Galaxy9.85-1
10Minnesota United9.17
11FC Cincinnati8.88
12Columbus Crew8.26
13Real Salt Lake7.49+3
14Colorado Rapids6.77-1
15Atlanta United6.52-1
16Portland Timbers4.92+1
17Seattle Sounders4.68-1
18New England Revolution3.38
19Chicago Fire2.19+1
20Inter Miami CF2.11-1
21Orlando City SC2.08
22Toronto FC-0.38+1
23Charlotte FC-1.04-1
24Houston Dynamo-4.17
25Vancouver Whitecaps-5.50
26Sporting KC-6.09+1
27San Jose Earthquakes-6.13-1
28DC United-14.87

It’s Labor Day, so we’re keeping this short. Not a lot of movement in rankings, but a lot of shifts in score that should lead to some movement soon. CF Montreál, Austin FC, New York Red Bulls, and Nashville SC are all grouped closely together in spots four through seven with just 1.56 points between them. A single result next week could shift those rankings around.

DC United have leveled out at the bottom of the table, but they’re still 8.74 points below San Jose in 27th place.

Projected standings

Nashville‘s win over Austin FC gives them a good bit of breathing room, with a projected four points between them and eighth place LA Galaxy. Their meeting next week could essentially book a playoff spot for the ‘Yotes.

Seattle Sounders kept themselves alive with a win over Houston Dynamo, but they have a significant hill to climb. They’ll need to makeup five points over LA and Portland Timbers. Houston will be eliminated this weekend with a loss to Sporting KC and a win from the Galaxy.

In the East, Philadelphia Union keep pace with LAFC for the Supporters’ Shield, projected to finish just two points behind. Despite New England Revolution‘s win over NYCFC, they’re trending towards an eighth-place finish.

DC United could be eliminated this weekend with a loss to Real Salt Lake and wins or draws from both FC Cincinnati and the Revolution.

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.

Comments

  1. With due respect, I think your algorithm needs a lot of tweaking. You’re rewarding too much what happened earlier in the season.

    On what planet is NYCFC #3 in the rankings right now, when they have lost 6 of their last 7 matches? Simple – your model is flawed. Goal differential is great for tiebreakers, but in a parity-driven league like MLS where teams are streaky, it’s a flawed metric. NYCFC’s goal differential has remained positive despite their losing streak due to what they were doing earlier in the season.

    I also wonder if you programmed your algorithm correctly if 15% of it is points per game over the last five matches. NYCFC has 3 points in 5 matches. Atlanta has 4 points in their last 5. Orlando has 12 in their last 5. and you have the latter significantly below the prior two.

    Expected goal differential is an utterly pointless thing to include in rankings. You’re rewarding teams that underachieve and penalizing teams that manage to find ways to score out of sheer grit. This is precisely why Atlanta United, who are a bunch of bottlers who regularly put up a lot of attempts and don’t actually convert them, is #15 in your rankings.

    In one match, xG can show you if a team overachieved or got lucky. even five matches can tell you if what you’re seeing might be a mirage. 28-30 matches = it’s reality at this point. if you’re still significantly scoring less than your xG, it means you’re a team that can’t finish. if you are a team that scores more than your xG, it means you’ve found a way to score off of less conventional, lower quality attempts. You shouldn’t be rewarded for creating chances, you should be rewarded for CONVERTING THEM.

    Strength of schedule is the wrong metric – you should be using strength of VICTORY. and using strength of victory at the time the match was played. 5 of NYCFC’s last 6 losses came against teams below the playoff line, including one against the team you proclaim the worst in the league (DC). They suffer no repercussions for this?

    Power rankings shouldn’t merely mirror standings, but they should reflect current form, and the fact that you have NYCFC up there with the class of the league when right now, they have lost 6 of their last 7, with a -7 goal differential during that time, whereas you have a team on a 4 game winning streak at #21. Insanity.

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