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MLS Pre-Season Power Ranking Averages

Power Ranking Averages Kreg Asay

Welcome to MLS 2018, and the first weekly edition of the Power Ranking Averages! First a reminder of what Power Rankings should be (not that every site does of course...):

"If two teams played tomorrow, given their current injury concerns, form, and other considerations, who is likely to win on a neutral field? 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

8 sites published preseason rankings, and are listed below. These rankings will not be included in subsequent weeks for the season average totals. Only rankings based on game-weeks are used.

Now on to the rankings. As always, if you come across a site that I’ve not included please send me their link!

Sites Used

  • Five Thirty Eight (projects.fivethirtyeight.com/soccer-predictions/mls)
  • ESPN (ESPNFC.com/major-league-soccer/19/index)
  • MLS Soccer (mlssoccer.com/series/power-rankings)
  • Soccer By Ives (sbisoccer.com)
  • MLS Fantasy Boss (mlsfantasyboss.com)
  • The Score (thescore.com/mls/news)
  • Stumptown Footy (stumptownfooty.com/)
  • MLS Fix (youtube.com/channel/UCOIovJpP95VaFCvsmdhm8ZA

Used last year, but no preseason ranking

  • Jeff Sagarin’s MLS Rankings (sagarin.com/sports/soccer)
  • In On It (inonit.com/mls-playoffs-odds/power-rankings)
  • Sports Illustrated (SI.com/planet-futbol)
  • Soccer America (socceramerica.com)
  • Reddit MLS (reddit/r/MLS)
  • MLS Aces (mlsaces.sportsblog.com)
  • Massey Rankings (masseyratings.com/mls/ratings)

You may notice the list includes several ‘analytic’ sites; the analytic sites function as a counterbalance to the rest which are based more on personal opinions. All the averages use the Olympic method of dropping the highest and lowest scores, and then averaging the rest to remove potential bias.

2021 MLS Power Ranking Averages

Avg 27 Avg 28&29 Avg 30 Team Best Worst St. Dev 2021 Avg S/High S/Low
Avg 27 Avg 28&29 Avg 30 Team Best Worst St. Dev 2021 Avg S/High S/Low
11.64 11.64 10.2 Atlanta United 6 14 2.54 13.5 8.5 21.58
24.64 24.45 24.8 Austin FC 21 26 1.9 19.8 10.25 25.91
23.91 23.27 24.2 Chicago Fire 16 26 3.35 23.6 17.29 26.33
5.27 6 4.8 Colorado Rapids 4 7 1.15 7.9 3.33 18
18.82 18.82 18.4 Columbus Crew 14 21 2.67 13 4.13 20.8
10.73 10 10.8 D.C. United 8 18 3.46 16.2 9.55 25.57
26.18 26.73 27 FC Cincinnati 25 27 0.76 24.8 20.43 27
20.82 21.64 21.6 FC Dallas 19 22 1.11 19.5 13.38 23
22.36 23.27 23 Houston Dynamo 22 25 1.07 20.2 14.29 25.22
22.18 22.91 22.8 Inter Miami 21 27 2.48 22.4 17.25 26.82
15.64 17 17.6 Los Angeles FC 8 19 3.78 11.4 2.71 17.6
14.82 16.55 16.6 Los Angeles Galaxy 12 21 3.6 10.1 4.7 16.6
9 11.45 14.6 Minnesota United 12 15 1.11 14.5 8.64 23.7
12.27 11.73 11.8 Montreal (C.F.) 10 17 2.29 15.1 10.73 20
3.73 4.45 4.8 Nashville SC 4 8 1.46 9 3.73 18
1.09 1.09 1.2 NE. Revolution 1 2 0.49 3.4 1.09 9.14
7.27 9.09 8.8 New York City FC 7 14 2.69 5.7 2.58 11.86
16.09 13.27 11.6 New York RB 7 17 3.64 15.3 9.58 21.5
15.91 12 12.6 Orlando City 9 19 3.87 8.5 3.17 15.91
7.91 6.64 5.8 Philadelphia Union 4 7 1.11 7.9 3.14 12.75
8.82 7.45 7.2 Portland Timbers 5 12 2.37 13.7 7.2 19.36
14.18 14.91 12.8 Real Salt Lake 8 16 2.51 14.4 10.38 23.71
17.45 19.55 19.4 San Jose Earthquakes 16 21 1.57 18.3 7.1 23.42
2.55 2.09 2 Seattle Sounders 1 3 0.58 2 1 4
3.55 3.09 3 Sporting Kansas City 1 3 0.76 4.3 1.82 11.75
25.73 23.73 24.8 Toronto FC 20 26 2.06 22.7 13.43 27
16.73 15.64 16.6 Vancouver Whitecaps 9 18 3.04 20.5 15.44 25.73
  • Highest Standard Deviation: Orlando City SC at 5.67.
  • Lowest Standard Deviation: Toronto FC 0.35
  • Biggest Rise: TBD
  • Biggest Fall: TBD

Season averages 2012-2017

A reminder of previous years. Please notice that expansion teams have an entry for years they weren’t in the league. For those years they are given the average for the entire league. This is to factor in the ‘weighted average’ below, as well as to even out large spikes between years (see NYCFC as an example)

Averages 2012-2017

Team/Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Tot Avg
Team/Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Tot Avg
Atlanta United 9.7 9.677 9.668 10.5 10.5 6.462 9.42
Chicago Fire 7.91 14.35 15.54 17.71 18.8 7.95 13.71
Colorado Rapids 12.85 9.88 11.54 17.38 5.25 18.35 12.54
Columbus Crew 11.7 12.81 9.6 8.75 16.31 11.271 11.74
D.C. United 7.45 17.24 7.49 5.91 13.91 18.79 11.8
FC Dallas 12.88 8.58 6.35 4.64 2.73 6.072 6.88
Houston Dynamo 6.75 7.71 12.77 13.81 16.44 9.235 11.12
L.A. Galaxy 8.39 5.15 5.23 4.51 3.75 15.737 7.13
Minnesota United 9.7 9.677 9.668 10.5 10.5 19.712 11.63
Montreal Impact 13.99 5.17 17.54 15.06 7.52 14.475 12.29
N.E. Revolution 14.78 12.52 9.66 9.5 15.45 15.29 12.87
New York City FC 9.7 9.677 9.668 15.47 9.42 4.404 9.72
New York RB 5.58 6.52 10.05 4.68 8.11 8.352 7.22
Orlando City SC 9.7 9.677 9.668 14.21 13.1 13.02 11.56
Philadelphia Union 15.19 10.45 11.85 18.07 8.66 16.316 13.42
Portland Timbers 15.88 5.83 11.64 9.45 9.78 7.297 9.98
Real Salt Lake 3.7 4.58 4.12 12.43 7.01 17.026 8.14
San Jose Earthquakes 2.61 12.38 15.2 11.14 10.94 14.175 11.07
Seattle Sounders 5.07 9.38 2.86 6.07 13.75 7.891 7.5
Sporting Kansas City 3.07 4.48 5.64 6.35 9.12 5.579 5.71
Toronto FC 17.85 16.83 8.97 9.75 6.21 2.128 10.29
Vancouver Whitecaps 8.95 10.33 7.98 5.09 13.65 12.594 9.77

Weighted Season Average 2012-2017

The ‘6 year average’ is the season ending average with each preceding year’s value decreasing by 10% (2017=100%, 2012=50%).

7 Year Weighted Average

Team/Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Wt Avg
Team/Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Wt Avg
Atlanta United 3.6 4.5 5.4 7 8 5.814 5.025 5.62
Chicago Fire 3.164 7.175 9.324 12.397 15.04 7.155 15.116 9.91
Colorado Rapids 5.14 4.94 6.924 12.166 4.2 16.515 20.61 10.07
Columbus Crew 4.68 6.405 5.76 6.125 13.048 10.143 3.635 7.11
D.C. United 2.98 8.62 4.494 4.137 11.128 16.911 20.467 9.82
FC Dallas 5.152 4.29 3.81 3.248 2.184 5.463 13.863 5.43
Houston Dynamo 2.7 3.855 7.662 9.667 13.152 8.424 9.114 7.8
Los Angeles FC 3.88 4.8385 5.8008 7.35 8.4 10.323 7.629 6.89
L.A. Galaxy 3.356 2.575 3.138 3.157 3 14.166 12.019 5.92
Minnesota United 3.6 4.5 5.4 7 8 17.739 17.825 9.15
Montreal Impact 5.596 2.585 10.524 10.542 6.016 13.032 15.886 9.17
N.E. Revolution 5.912 6.26 5.796 6.65 12.36 13.761 15.139 9.41
New York City FC 3.88 4.8385 5.8008 10.829 7.536 3.96 1.859 5.53
New York RB 2.232 3.26 6.03 3.276 6.488 7.515 5.768 4.94
Orlando City SC 3.88 4.8385 5.8008 9.947 10.48 11.718 18.582 9.32
Philadelphia Union 6.076 5.225 7.11 12.649 6.928 14.688 12.455 9.3
Portland Timbers 6.352 2.915 6.984 6.615 7.824 6.57 17.113 7.77
Real Salt Lake 1.48 2.29 2.472 8.701 5.608 15.327 14.491 7.2
San Jose Earthquakes 1.044 6.19 9.12 7.798 8.752 12.762 14.554 8.6
Seattle Sounders 2.028 4.69 1.716 4.249 11 7.101 12.325 6.16
Sporting Kansas City 1.228 2.24 3.384 4.445 7.296 5.022 8.431 4.58
Toronto FC 7.14 8.415 5.382 6.825 4.968 1.917 4.632 5.61
Vancouver Whitecaps 3.58 5.165 4.788 3.563 10.92 11.331 8.294 6.81