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MLS Power Ranking Averages - Preseason from 13 sites

Another year comes around, and Power Rankings have returned!

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports


MLS Power Ranking Averages - Preseason

Welcome to another year of Power Ranking Averages!  Most people either like them, hate them or are indifferent; but just about everyone can agree that it's great fodder for debate, which is the point of it after all.  I started this project back in 2012 after getting frustrated by the wide range of ranks among the various sites, as such I figured the best way to get a more accurate Power Ranking would be to just average all of the sites I could find.

13 sites published some form of Preseason Power Ranking, some were mere table position predictions, which I averaged if possible to create an overall power ranking for that site.  Some of these sites may not continue through the season, in which case they will only be used for this preseason rank.

Most sites tend to come and go, usually lasting about half of the season; I may start with 15+ and end with 7-8, but as long as sites continue to publish their rankings I shall endeavor to average them.

Here's a reminder of the Power Ranking "Guidelines":

"If two teams played tomorrow, given their current injury concerns, form, and other considerations, who is likely to win on a neutral field? This list is designed to tell you who we feel is most likely to win that match-up. All things being equal, who is the best team going forward, based on what we know now?"
-Richard Farley, NBC Sports ProSoccerTalk.  3/11/14

Sites Used:

  • ESPN (espnfc.us/major-league-soccer)
  • MLS GB (mlsbg.com/tag/power-rankings) - from table prediction
  • Sports Illustrated (www.soccer.si.com)
  • The Mane Land (themaneland.com)
  • Major League Soccer (www.mlssoccer.com/news/power-rankings)
  • MLS Fantasy Boss (mlsfantasyboss.com)
  • Reddit r/MLS (reddit.com/r/mls) - avg. from various rankers/predictors
  • Football Database (footballdatabase.com/ranking/north-america/1)
  • Pro Soccer Talk (prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com) - avg. from table predictions
  • Soccer By Ives (sbisoccer.com/sbi-mls-power-rankings)
  • The Guardian (theguardian.com/football/mls)
  • Power Rankings & More (powerrankingsandmore/tag/mls)
  • Soccer Information Network (soccerinformationnetwork.com/category/mls-power-rankings/)

You may notice several 'team specific' sites used; yes they will at times be a bit more biased for/against certain teams, as such the averages use the Olympic Method of dropping the highest and lowest scores, and averaging the rest to compensate for possible bias.  Each week I'll also be listing the sites closest and furthest from average to show which are more biased than others.

As with previous years, if you know of a site that I have not listed, please let me know in the comments below and I'll add it!


Weekly Power Ranking Averages
Using the "Olympic" method of dropping the highest / lowest scores, and averaging the rest.

2016
Preseason
2015
Wk
34
2015
Wk
33
Team
2016
Preseason
2015
W34 Avg
2015
W33 Avg
Worst
Best
Range
1
1
1
New York RB 2.55
1.22
1.45
4
1
3
2
4
5
Portland 2.91 5.22 7.00 8
1
7
3
2
2
Dallas 3.18
2.00
1.73
5
1
4
4
3
4
Columbus 3.55
3.56
4.27
9
1
8
5
6
3
Los Angeles 5.45
6.56
4.09
15 1
14
6
5
10
Vancouver 5.82
5.67 9.00
13
4
9
7
7
8
Seattle 6.27
7.00 8.27
15
2
13
8
8
7
Montreal 8.36
7.11 7.45
13
5
8
9
9
6
Toronto 8.45
8.67
7.27
18
3
15
10
10
9
Kansas City 8.91
9.44
8.64
11
6
5
11
11
12
New England 10.36
10.67
11.82
13
6
7
12
14
14
Orlando 12.27
12.44
13.82
15
7
8
13
12
11
D. C. 12.73
11.89
9.45
16
4
12
14
13
13
San Jose 13.36
12.44
12.18
17
6
11
15
15
15
Salt Lake 14.36
15.44
15.00
17
6
11
16
17
17
New York FC 14.64
17.33
16.45
19
6
13
17
16
16
Houston 15.27
15.67
15.45
19
8
11
18
18
18
Philadelphia 17.64
17.44
18.27
19
9
10
19
20
20
Chicago 18.91
19.44
19.27
20
10
10
20
19
19
Colorado 19.00
18.78
18.82
20
10
10



Site Evaluations
Each site's ranking is compared to the weekly averages above.  The best and worst # of matches is indicated.  Team bias column shows what team the site shows the highest average for/against.

Site
# Exact
1 off
2 off
3+ off Furthest off
most bias vs
most bias for
ESPN
7
7
5
1
TFC +3


MLS-GB
-
-
-
-
-


Sports Illustrated
7
4
5
4
CHI, DCU -3
NYRB, SJE +3


The Mane Land
9
8
2
1
HOU -4


MLS Homepage
11
6
0
4
LAG +4


MLS Fantasy Boss
5
7
1
7
TFC +8


Reddit/r/MLS
4
8
4
4
LAG +7


Football Database 0
2
3
15
RSL -9/TFC +9

ProSoccer Talk 6
4
5
5
TFC -8

Soccer By Ives 5
5
7
3
DCU +5

The Guardian 7
7
2
4
POR +6


Power Rankings & More 0
10
7
3
SEA +8


Soccer Info. Network
2
7
6
5
LAG, ORL +5


















  • Most Accurate Site: (best Exact, with 1 off as tiebreaker) 
  • Least Accurate Site: (most 3+ with 2 off as tiebreaker)
  • Furthest Off:
  • Site with Worst Bias: 
  • Sites with Least Bias:


Season Average Power Ranking
The 5 Year Weighted Average is calculated using a variation of the "FIFA method" with the current year counting for 100%, and previous years counting for a decreasing amount.  The table is ordered based on the Weighted Average.

Team
Week
1
2016
(run. avg)
2015
Avg
2014
Avg
2013
Av
g
2012
Avg

5 Year
Wt. Avg
Sporting Kansas City

6.35 5.64 4.48 3.07
5.44
LA Galaxy

4.51 5.23 5.15 8.39 5.76
Seattle Sounders

6.07 2.86
9.38
5.07
6.07
New York Red Bulls

4.68
10.05
6.52
5.58
7.14
Real Salt Lake

12.43
4.12
4.58
3.70
7.14
FC Dallas

4.64
6.35
8.58
12.88
7.74
Vancouver Whitecaps

5.09
7.98
10.33
8.95
8.16
D.C. United

5.91
7.49
17.24
7.45
9.77
Portland Timbers

9.45 11.64
5.83
15.88
10.75
Columbus Crew SC

8.75
9.60
12.81
11.70
10.95
Houston Dynamo

13.81 12.77
7.71
6.75
11.49
New England Revolution

9.50
9.66
12.52
14.78
11.66
San Jose Earthquakes

11.14
15.20
12.38
2.61
11.80
Toronto FC

9.75 8.97 16.83 17.85 13.12
Colorado Rapids

17.38 11.54 9.88 12.85 13.87
Montreal Impact

15.06 17.54 5.17 13.99 13.91
Orlando City

14.21
--
--
--
14.21
Philadelphia Union

18.07 11.85 10.45 15.19 14.72
New York City FC

15.47
--
--
--
15.47
Chicago Fire

17.71
15.54
14.35
7.91
15.47



Team High / Low
Best and worst placement for each team in weekly, avg rank total.

Team
Weekly
Best
Weekly
Worst
Best
Wk. Avg.
Worst
Wk. Avg.
Chicago Fire




Colorado Rapids




Columbus Crew SC




D.C. United




FC Dallas




Houston Dynamo




LA Galaxy




Montreal Impact




New England Revolution




New York City FC




New York Red Bulls




Orlando City




Philadelphia Union




Portland Timbers




Real Salt Lake




San Jose Earthquakes




Seattle Sounders




Sporting Kansas City




Toronto FC




Vancouver Whitecaps




  • Largest Range (position):
  • Smallest Range (position):
  • 0 teams have been ranked first
  • 0 teams have been ranked last