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MLS Preseason Power Ranking Averages

Using data from 8 sites, here’s how the field sits mere days before first kick.

Power Ranking Averages Kreg Asay

Preseason power rankings are always a toss-up. Rankers really only have a handful of games to go on, so it’s mostly just last year’s finish raised or lowered by off-season trade action. But since sites will put rankings out there, I’ll run the numbers!

On to the rankings. As always, if you come across a site that I’ve not included please send me their link! Particularly in these early days, I’m on the search for sites to add. Many of these below will continue for Wk 1 and beyond, others may not.

Sites Used

You may notice the list includes several ‘analytic’ sites; they serve to function as a stable counterbalance to the rest which are based more on personal opinions, and those done by ‘team’ blogs’. There are also included sites that some will argue are really ‘prediction rankings’ - but in reality isn’t that what a Power Ranking is (see the quote at the top).

All the averages use the Olympic method (I.E. Truncated Mean value) of dropping the highest and lowest scores, and then averaging the rest to reduce bias. 2018 is the total average for the year to date (will be changed to 2019 next week).

The 7 year weighted average is the averages that decrease in value over time. Thus 2019 will be worth 100%, 2018 = 90%, 2017 = 80% and so on down. Thus a bad year 4 years ago won’t drag down positive recent years. For expansion teams that don’t have long histories, they are given the overall league average for that year.

2021 MLS Power Ranking Averages

Avg 28&29 29.5 30 Team Best Worst St. Dev 2021 Avg S/High S/Low
Avg 28&29 29.5 30 Team Best Worst St. Dev 2021 Avg S/High S/Low
11.64 10.2 9.4 Atlanta United 5 15 2.68 13.4 8.5 21.58
24.45 24.8 24.7 Austin FC 18 26 2.26 20 10.25 25.91
23.27 24.2 22.5 Chicago Fire 16 25 3.01 23.5 17.29 26.33
6 4.8 6.4 Colorado Rapids 4 10 1.93 7.8 3.33 18
18.82 18.4 17.7 Columbus Crew 9 21 3.82 13.2 4.13 20.8
10 10.8 11.2 D.C. United 2 16 3.88 16 9.55 25.57
26.73 27 26.9 FC Cincinnati 25 27 0.62 24.9 20.43 27
21.64 21.6 21.6 FC Dallas 19 26 2.05 19.5 13.38 23
23.27 23 21.8 Houston Dynamo 17 24 1.83 20.2 14.29 25.22
22.91 22.8 24.1 Inter Miami 21 27 2.23 22.5 17.25 26.82
17 17.6 15.7 Los Angeles FC 3 19 4.89 11.6 2.71 17.6
16.55 16.6 14.8 Los Angeles Galaxy 8 19 3.68 10.3 4.7 16.6
11.45 14.6 12.5 Minnesota United 7 15 2.45 14.4 8.64 23.7
11.73 11.8 14.7 Montreal (C.F.) 11 18 2.39 15.1 10.73 20
4.45 4.8 4.4 Nashville SC 3 6 1.16 8.8 3.73 18
1.09 1.2 1.1 NE. Revolution 1 5 1.16 3.3 1.09 9.14
9.09 8.8 11.8 New York City FC 1 19 5.58 5.9 2.58 11.86
13.27 11.6 9.5 New York RB 7 16 3.07 15.1 9.5 21.5
12 12.6 11.9 Orlando City 8 19 3.3 8.6 3.17 15.91
6.64 5.8 5.9 Philadelphia Union 4 12 2.56 7.8 3.14 12.75
7.45 7.2 8.5 Portland Timbers 4 25 6.22 13.5 7.2 19.36
14.91 12.8 12.6 Real Salt Lake 7 20 3.6 14.3 10.38 23.71
19.55 19.4 20.6 San Jose Earthquakes 20 24 1.59 18.4 7.1 23.42
2.09 2 2.1 Seattle Sounders 1 8 1.78 2 1 4
3.09 3 3.5 Sporting Kansas City 1 6 1.31 4.2 1.82 11.75
23.73 24.8 24.5 Toronto FC 22 26 1.51 22.7 13.43 27
15.64 16.6 15.7 Vancouver Whitecaps 8 22 3.65 20.3 15.44 25.73
  • Highest Standard Deviation: FC Cincinnati at 5.24
  • Lowest Standard Deviation: Atlanta United at 0.0
  • Biggest Rise: None
  • Biggest Fall: None

Site bias and rankings will begin with Wk 1.