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ESPN projected order of finish, with payroll data & Power Rankings


For those without access to it, I thought this data from ESPN The Magazine might be worth a look. "MLS Predicted order of regular-season finish based on regression analysis by ESPN's Stats and Information group." The item says that the size of a club's payroll is the best determinant of success, and goes on to say that the DP rule is changing the game. But is that what the chart shows?

In this first list, the teams are ranked by ESPN's predicted order of finish. The numbers are a. Payroll; b. Average Age of projected starters; c. Projected Points. After that I've listed their DPs. The number in parentheses at the end is the team's MLS preseason Power Ranking. And I've placed Western Conference teams in bold.

ESPN PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. LA Galaxy: $17,229,783; 28.9; 62. David Beckham; Landon Donovan; Robbie Kean (1)

2. New York Red Bulls: $13, 228,155; 28.8; 54. Thierry Henry; Rafael Marquez (9)

3. Seattle Sounders: $5,363,730; 28.5; 51. Freddy Montero; Alvaro Fernandez; Mauro Rosales. (2)

4. Philadelphia Union: $4,542,484; 24.4; 47. Freddy Adu. (13)

5. Sporting Kansas City: $3,270,014; 26.2; 47. Bobby Convey. (4)

6. Real Salt Lake: $3,898,065; 29.2; 46. (3)

7. FC Dallas: $4,406,842; 27.7; 45. Fabian Castillo; David Ferreira. (11)

8. Houston Dynamo: $3,697,039; 28.1; 45. (5)

9. Colorado Rapids: $3,823,719; 30.7; 45. (12)

10. Chicago Fire: $3,929075; 27.7; 44. (10)

11. Chivas USA: $4,287,462; 29.1; 43. Juan Pablo Angel. (18)

12. DC United: $3,673,994; 26.9; 43. (16)

13. Columbus Crew: $2,770,428; 27; 43. Andres Mendoza. (15)

14. San Jose Earthquakes: $3,624, 063; 29; 42. (7)

15. Portland Timbers: $4,485,462; 27.1; 42. Diego Chara; Kris Boyd. (8)

16. Toronto FC: $7,370,923; 27.4; 40. Julian De Guzman; Danny Koevermans; Torsten Frings. (14)

17. Montreal Impact: $2,316,995; 28.2; 39. (19)

18. Vancouver Whitecaps: $4,202,583; 30.1; 38. Eric Hassli; Barry Robson. (6)

19. New England Revolution: $3,522,469; 27.7; 32. Shalrie Joseph. (17)

Since that's a really weird predicted order of finish, and since it seems to argue against ESPN's thesis about payroll and the DP Effect, I've reshuffled it solely by payroll. The ESPN predicted order of finish is now the first number in parentheses. Western Conference teams in bold, again.

TEAMS RANKED BY PAYROLL

1. (1) LA Galaxy: $17,229,783; 28.9; 62. David Beckham; Landon Donovan; Robbie Kean (1)

2. (2) New York Red Bulls: $13, 228,155; 28.8; 54. Thierry Henry; Rafael Marquez (9)

3. (16) Toronto FC: $7,370,923; 27.4; 40. Julian De Guzman; Danny Koevermans; Torsten Frings. (14)

4. (3) Seattle Sounders
: $5,363,730; 28.5; 51. Freddy Montero; Alvaro Fernandez; Mauro Rosales. (2)

5. (4) Philadelphia Union: $4,542,484; 24.4; 47. Freddy Adu. (13)

6. (15) Portland Timbers: $4,485,462; 27.1; 42. Diego Chara; Kris Boyd. (8)

7. (7) FC Dallas: $4,406,842; 27.7; 45. Fabian Castillo; David Ferreira. (11)

8. (11) Chivas USA
: $4,287,462; 29.1; 43. Juan Pablo Angel. (18)

9. (18) Vancouver Whitecaps:
$4,202,583; 30.1; 38. Eric Hassli; Barry Robson. (6)

10. (10) Chicago Fire: $3,929075; 27.7; 44. (10)

11. (6) Real Salt Lake: $3,898,065; 29.2; 46. (3)

12. (9) Colorado Rapids: $3,823,719; 30.7; 45. (12)

13. (8) Houston Dynamo: $3,697,039; 28.1; 45. (5)

14. (14) San Jose Earthquakes: $3,624,063; 29; 42. (7)

15. (12) DC United: $3,673,994; 26.9; 43. Branko Boskovic; Hamdi Salihi. (16)

16. (19) New England Revolution: $3,522,469; 27.7; 32. Shalrie Joseph. (17)

17. (17) Montreal Impact: $3,316,995; 28.2; 39. (19)

18. (5) Sporting Kansas City: $3,270,014; 26.2; 47. Bobby Convey. (4)

19. (13) Columbus Crew: $2,770,428; 27; 43. Andres Mendoza. (15)

Finally, while Power Rankings and Projected Order of Finish are two different things, here's the same data, only this time ranked by the MLS Preseason Power Rankings.

TEAMS RANKED BY MLS PR:

1. MLS; 1. PAYROLL; (1 ESPN); LA Galaxy: $17,229,783; 28.9; 62. David Beckham; Landon Donovan; Robbie Kean

2. MLS; 4. PAYROLL; (3 ESPN); Seattle Sounders: $5,363,730; 28.5; 51. Freddy Montero; Alvaro Fernandez; Mauro Rosales.

3. MLS; 11. PAYROLL; (6 ESPN); Real Salt Lake
: $3,898,065; 29.2; 46.

4. MLS; 18. PAYROLL; (5 ESPN); Sporting Kansas City: $3,270,014; 26.2; 47. Bobby Convey.

5. MLS; 13. PAYROLL; (8 ESPN); Houston Dynamo: $3,697,039; 28.1; 45.

6. MLS; 9. PAYROLL; (18 ESPN); Vancouver Whitecaps: $4,202,583; 30.1; 38. Eric Hassli; Barry Robson.

7. MLS 14. PAYROLL (14 ESPN) San Jose Earthquakes: $3,624,063; 29; 42.

8. MLS 6. PAYROLL (15 ESPN) Portland Timbers: $4,485,462; 27.1; 42. Diego Chara; Kris Boyd.

9. MLS; 2. PAYROLL; (2 ESPN); New York Red Bulls: $13, 228,155; 28.8; 54. Thierry Henry; Rafael Marquez

10 MLS; 10. PAYROLL; (10 ESPN); Chicago Fire: $3,929075; 27.7; 44.

11. MLS; 7. PAYROLL; (7 ESPN); FC Dallas:
$4,406,842; 27.7; 45. Fabian Castillo; David Ferreira.

12. MLS; 12. PAYROLL; (9 ESPN); Colorado Rapids: $3,823,719; 30.7; 45.

13. MLS; 5. PAYROLL; (4 ESPN;) Philadelphia Union: $4,542,484; 24.4; 47. Freddy Adu.

14. MLS; 3. PAYROLL; (16 ESPN); Toronto FC: $7,370,923; 27.4; 40. Julian De Guzman; Danny Koevermans; Torsten Frings.

15. MLS; 19. PAYROLL; (13 ESPN); Columbus Crew: $2,770,428; 27; 43. Andres Mendoza.

16. MLS; 15. PAYROLL; (12 ESPN); DC United: $3,673,994; 26.9; 43.

17. MLS; 16. PAYROLL; (19 ESPN); New England Revolution: $3,522,469; 27.7; 32. Shalrie Joseph.

18. MLS; 8. PAYROLL; (11 ESPN); Chivas USA: $4,287,462; 29.1; 43. Juan Pablo Angel.

19. MLS; 17. PAYROLL; (17 ESPN); Montreal Impact: $3,316,995; 28.2; 39.

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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