MLS Week 20 Collective Power Rankings

The Semi-Detached Pundit Collective (SDPC) lost a pundit this week: if MLS Underground posted power rankings, I missed ‘em. For the record, I blame the quick turn-around between Week 20 and 21 put in place by Major League Soccer’s (MLS) schedulers…friggin’ ass-hats.

In any case, I have what I have and I’ll run with it. We picked up a new #1 this week and Week 20’s results prompted a good number of shifts in the table as a whole. In general, this results from the perceptions of a couple teams – Toronto FC, the Columbus Crew, and the Chicago Fire – finally reacting to sustained runs, both good and bad.

As for the data, the usual stuff applies: in parentheses after the current week’s ranking and average, you’ll see the most common ranking for each team (e.g. three #1 votes, which will show below as “#1 X 3”) and the previous week’s ranking and average. And, as usual, I’ll close with a comment or six.

Here are the participants for Week 20’s pool:

Center Holds It (Me)
My Soccer Blog
Sideline Views (Luis Bueno)
Fox Soccer (Keith Costigan)
ESPN (another collective)
Sports Illustrated (Ryan Hunt)
And…drumroll, please….here are the collective rankings:

1. New England Revolution, 2.0 (#1 X 3; last week, #2, 2.3)
2. Houston Dynamo, 2.3 (#1, 2, 3 X 2; last week, #4, 3.4)
3. DC United, 2.4 (#3 X 3; last week, #3, 2.9)
4. FC Dallas, 3.4 (#4 X 3; last week, #1, 1.4)
5. Chivas USA, 5.4 (#5 X 3; last week #6, 6.3)
6. Red Bull New York, 5.6 (#6 X 4; last week, #5, 6.0)
7. Kansas City Wizards, 7.7 (#7, 8, 9 X 2; last week, #7, 6.4)
8. Chicago Fire 7.9 (#7 X 3; last week, #9, 9.1)
9. Columbus Crew, 8.6 (#9 X 3; last week, #8, 7.3)
10. Colorado Rapids, 9.7 (#10 X 6; last week, #11, 10.9)
11. Los Angeles Galaxy, 11.4 (#11 X 4; last week, #12, 12.1)
12. Toronto FC, 11.6 (#12 X 4; last week, #10, 10.4)
13. Real Salt Lake, 13.0 (#13 X 7; last week, #13, 12.4)

– The first thing to jump out at me: there’s only one “perfect” team in the mix, even if they’re perfectly dreadful. Real Salt Lake is your #13 with a bullet.

– I can’t believe the Revs are the SDPC’s #1. I know I don’t rate ‘em that higly.

– I’m also a bit surprised that the Dynamo has a pair of #1 votes. DC has the same number of #1 votes, but, seeing as I was one of those votes, I see that a little better.

– Where there are and are not gaps in the numbers strikes me as interesting. For instance, a mere 0.4 spread separates the averages of #1-3. That tells me the SDPC isn’t all that sure about the best team in the league anymore; put another way, Houston’s mid-season dominance has left the building…though for how long? So, no gap there, but what about the gap that separates the couplings at #5 and #6 from the couplings at #7 and #8? Is the three-tiered arrangement of the past few weeks breaking up a bit? Are Chivas and Red Bull that much better than KC and Chicago?

– More curious still are Dallas and Colorado, teams that occupy a kind of “dead zone” in the rankings. For example, Dallas’ #4 spot sits a ways behind the top three, and a ways above the #5 and #6. Colorado looks about the same, only lower in the table. Perceptions in flux, no?

– At long last, one pundit had the wontons to break up the top-four-tier: Luis Bueno rates Chivas at #4 – and on the strength of last night’s walloping humiliation of the Galaxy in the SuperClasico, he may be on to something. Bueno placed Dallas outside the top four in his rankings, which makes him the only one of the seven pundits to rank New England, DC, Houston, or Dallas outside the top four.

– If one assumes that having the lowest number of equal rankings amounts to a certain mercurial quality, the Wizards and Dynamo are the most baffling teams in MLS.

– Turning to the meaningful stuff – e.g. rises and falls – fans seemed to make a lot of Houston’s win over Dallas; both teams moved a lot and in opposite directions. I don’t know that I buy that one…but we’ll see. Chicago and Colorado both enjoyed a hell of a leap – tributes to their recent, if modest, successes. Going the other way, the Crew took a hit, as did the Wizards; a bad run means the Crew somewhat deserved their drop, but I think KC’s sharp decline amounts a “market correction” of a perceptual bubble – e.g. people rated them too highly for too long.

– Speaking of which, the same applies to Toronto. At this point, I could see them ending the year below Real Salt Lake. Why pundits were so slow to drop them in spite of their long, woeful run (last win on July 4)? Was it a heart-over-head thing, sympathy for the new guys?

All for today…your thoughts?

3 Responses

  1. […] last two, Dallas and Houston, have been part of what has been a fairly stable top four in MLS this season, along with the New England Revolution and DC from the Eastern Conference.  Of […]

  2. […] I can find every week and average out the scores to produce “collective rankings” (example from Week 20) Most the material I use comes from other bloggers and a few of the national soccer outlets – e.g. […]

  3. […] common ranking for each team (e.g. three #1 votes, which will show below as “#1 X 3”) and the previous week’s ranking and average. And, as usual, I’ll close with a comment or […]

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