Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MLS Power Groupings

Now that Major League Soccer nearly to the season halfway point we can start trusting the combined league true table to tell us who are the best teams over prognosticate "power rankings".

Even with an unbalanced schedule, any advantages earned early on in the year will've washed out by now (or, they will soon).

This week I'll just go down the table by Points Earned per Game, subtract the the team above from the one below and separate the clubs into groups whenever I see a significant jump between two teams on the true table (above right, in margin).

Example: Seattle is earning 1.56 Points per Game (PPG) and the team behind them (Columbus) is earning 1.36. A difference of -0.21 PPG.

The number to the left is the PPG difference between that club and the one above it.

TOP CLUB
San Jose

PERFORMING WELL
-0.13 : Sporting KC
-0.05 : Real Salt Lake
-0.01 : New York

ABOVE AVERAGE
-0.11 : D.C.

STAYING ABOVE THE MIXER
-0.14 : Vancouver
-0.02 : Chicago
-0.04 : Seattle

IN THE MIXER
-0.21 : Columbus
-0.02 : Houston
-0.07 : Colorado
-0.02 : Los Angeles
-0.05 : New England
-0.01 : Chivas USA
-0.04 : Portland
-0.02 : Montreal

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
-0.28 : Philadelphia
-0.02 : FC Dallas
-0.44 : Toronto FC

Looking at it this way tells us that what is happening is exactly what the league wants. The largest group, IN THE MIXER, are all teams similar in strength right now.

A couple obvious notables here are Seattle's glorious fall and LA's sudden re-interest in playing well. It's important to remember that any significant movement in the league table after this point is/will be do to outside factors/influencers. Like: change in or poor leadership, more home games, improved or poor player attitudes, shoddy or league influenced officiating, etc...

That said, what you are looking at in the true table right now at top 4 or 5 and the bottom 4-5 is basically how things will finish up. It'll be left up to the middling clubs to bounce around and provide excitement.

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Columbus has a tough group of games coming up that will probably keep them "in the mixer". They take on Salt Lake this weekend at home then travel to Montreal (in their new place) and then travel once again to KC to their new-ish place.

If there ever was a chance for Columbus to prove me wrong and do something special, these next three games would be it!

2 comments:

David Burgin said...

Billy,

While I would like to believe The Crew are at the top of the "in the mixer" group, I just can't see them sustaining. New signing(s) might help.

On your note regarding "the league" they have done a "nice" job of "getting" what they want the last few years. Go figure.

Now, back to parking cars in 100 degree heat for ten hours. Hope to be hitting the keyboard again soon.

Later

billysasquatch said...

"HA!" The more familiar I get with the way MLS operates and tries to maintain parity the more silly it gets. More rules! More drafts! Last picks first! More red cards, less red cards! Trading allocation $$! Trading "international slots!...In a way it almost more resembles a gentleman's amateur sports league circa 1931 England.

Unfortunately, all of that stuff only cripples the development of talent.

Stay cool out there.