MLS Week 18 Collective Power Rankings

Welcome to the first edition of the Collective Power Rankings for Center Holds It. This continues a project I started on the old site, in which I compared all the power rankings for Major League Soccer (MLS) posted at various outlets on the Web and average them; the idea is to build a consensus view of where each of the 13 teams in the league stand. And, to reintroduce the old short-hand, I call the (unwitting) participants in the project the Semi-Detached Pundit Collective (or SDPC). As always, I’ll flag any details within the numbers that speak to me.

With the long hiatus between today and the last collective rankings (way back in Week 15…or maybe even 14), I’m not going to refer back to the previous rankings, but will do so again for upcoming weeks.

The number of participants fluctuates every week – for instance, I had only eight to work with this week, a comparatively small sample – but if you do rankings and want to your figures included in the average, just drop me a line and I’ll roll you in with the rest. For now, though, here are the participants for Week 18’s pool:

Center Holds It (Me)
My Soccer Blog
MLS Underground/American Soccer Daily
WVHooligan (damned accurate this one)
Sideline Views (Luis Bueno)
Fox Soccer (Keith Costigan)
Sports Illustrated (Ryan Hunt)
ESPN (another collective)

And…drumroll, please….here are the collective rankings:

1. Houston Dynamo (average: 1.1)
2. FC Dallas (2.4)
3. New England Revolution (3.1)
4. DC United (3.4)
5. Kansas City Wizards (5.6)
6. Chivas USA (6.5)
7. Columbus Crew (6.8)
8. Red Bull New York (7.3)
9. Chicago Fire (9.3)
10. Toronto FC (9.6)
11. Los Angeles Galaxy (11.0)
12. Real Salt Lake (12.4)
13. Colorado Rapids (12.5)

Some observations:

– The most striking thing is how neatly the league has broken into three tiers. For instance, everyone placed Houston, Dallas, New England, and DC in their top four; a similar unanimity occurred with spots 5-8 with, literally, one exception (Luis Bueno ranked Red Bull at #9). And the rest…well, you know…

– Mind the gap…between the teams the SDPC views as playoff-caliber and those they do not: a clean 2.0 separates “in” Red Bull New York from the “out” Chicago Fire. Is the gap really that wide? Discuss…

– Check it out: The Colorado Rapids stoop lowest – if only just – to become MLS’s worst team. Congratulations, Real Salt Lake! Enjoy the sunshine. See? It really is there, just like we told you!

– The other team deserving of mention is FC Dallas. Due to the small sample size, outlier votes – e.g. those #4 votes cast by ESPN and me – the remaining six #1 and #2 rankings suffered pretty badly. I know why I cast my vote – I still don’t trust their D – but can’t speak for ESPN.

– Relevant to the above, the most intriguing thing to me about the collective rankings is the way the averages dub a team a “weak” or “strong” number – e.g. DC United, with a 3.4 average, looks like a strong #4, while KC’s 5.6 suggests a (deservedly) weak #5. Naturally, smaller samples distort the numbers more (thereby lessening their meaning), but it’s still worth clocking…I think.

– Normally, I insert stuff in here about how moved the most up or down. But the striking, and arguably admirable, thing about the rankings comes with how stable these rankings have been since Week 15 (LINK – why is this admirable…working on it…). Apart from Chicago’s (somewhat dubious, expectation-fueled) rise (and I’m part of it) and Columbus flipping spots with Red Bull, not a whole lot has changed.

All for now. Back next week.


One Response

  1. […] a second consecutive defeat, but they did so against Western Conference rival and third-tier team (explanation; after the rankings), the Colorado Rapids. A couple of coincidences – starting with the fact that […]

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