MLS Week 21 Collective Power Rankings

By running an impromptu survey, I grew the Semi-Detached Pundit Collective (SDPC) by two pundits – a good thing considering that bum Ryan Hunt still doesn’t have his rankings posted for Sports Illustrated; MLS Underground remains out of the game as well…dang it.

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)
The comments for that link give Mark in NRH’s rankings
D of DCenters fame dropped off his rankings
My Soccer Blog
Sideline Views (Luis Bueno)
Fox Soccer (Keith Costigan)
ESPN (another collective)

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

1. DC United, 1.6 (#1 X 4; last week, #3, 2.4)
2. New England Revolution, 2.4 (#1 X 3; last week, #1, 2.0)
3. Houston Dynamo, 3.3 (#2, 4, 5 X 2; last week, #2, 2.3)
4. FC Dallas, 3.5 (#3 and 4 X 2; last week, #4, 3.4)
5. Chivas USA, 4.3 (#5 X 4; last week #5, 5.4)
6. Red Bull New York, 6.8 (#6 X 4; last week, #6, 5.6)
7. Chicago Fire 7.3 (#7 X 3; last week, #8, 7.9)
8. Kansas City Wizards, 8.1 (#8 X 3; last week, #7, 7.7)
9. Colorado Rapids, 8.8 (#9 and 10 X 3; last week, #10, 9.7)
10. Columbus Crew, 9.1 (#10 X 4; last week, #9, 8.6)
11. Toronto FC, 11.4 (#11 X 5; last week, #12, 11.6)
12. Los Angeles Galaxy, 12.1 (#13 X 4; last week, #11, 11.4)
13. Real Salt Lake, 12.5 (#12 and 13 X 4; last week, #13, 13.0)

Some observations:

– We have a new #1: DC United. Do note that New England received almost as many #1 votes, but the combined effort of a couple amateurs (e.g. me, Mark in NRH) and Fox’s votes sunk the Revs to second.

– Chivas is a strong #5: those four #5 votes represent the low-end of where pundits place them. While Chivas held their ranking among the SDPC for the second week running, their average shot up a full point.

– Red Bull shows as the mirror image of Chivas: they held their rank, but, damn, did they drop on average. For the record, I remain appalled they rank so high.

– A little further down the rankings, the Crew also experiences The Chivas Factor, e.g. they received the most votes at their ranking (10 #4 votes), but they look like a strong #10.

– It’s also worth mentioning the league’s most baffling team: the Houston Dynamo picked up an equal number of votes for three ranks, which tells me the SDPC isn’t sure where to put ‘em.

– There’s also the curious fact that both the Galaxy and RSL received an equal number of last-place votes. It took a bunch of #11’s to bail out LA. But, yeah, people think they suck pretty bad.

– More significantly, two teams have officially “jumped tiers” – e.g. Colorado moved out of the “no-hoper” bracket and onto The Playoff Bubble, while Chivas snuck into contender territory. Then again, perhaps it’s better to think that Chivas has effectively expanded the size of the contender bracket; the same applies to Colorado.

– Chicago looks similar, but I’d also say they jumped brackets a week or so back, right around the time they received their first #8 (e.g. in the playoffs) ranking.

– Even if the SDPC didn’t buy into how I split up the “Three-Tier System” down to the detail level (see the bottom of my rankings, especially “Tiers 3 and 4), the collective rankings suggest pundits see the trend in roughly the same light. For instance, 2.3 points separate #6 from #10, while the range of averages for teams within a given tier was smaller in past weeks, at least if memory serves. In other words, a little injection of flux has hit the system; teams are on the move, whether it’s up or down. To give an example, teams like the Wizards and the Crew – and arguably Red Bull as well – have stretched the range of the Bubble category with lousy runs in the league, albeit it less so if your remove DC from consideration.

– So, wait: does this mean DC is officially in a class of their own? You decide…I’m not up to it.

– None of the above means the tiers are broken – as suggested by the big jump comes between #5 and #6 and, again, between #10 and #11 – but that the clusters within have loosened a bit.

Well, that’s it for this week. Some big games coming up this weekend, which I’ll touch on shortly.


One Response

  1. […] Your Power Rankings – here I need them.  To make my Major League Soccer (MLS) collective rankings.  The more power rankings I get from all y’all the […]

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