A new week, a new number 1 in the FPI as previous title holder Columbus Crew fell on the road to NYRB. Biggest winners this week are NYRB and Seattle Sounders both jumping 6 spots following solid performances. The biggest loser is Chicago, dropping 6 spots following a 3-1 loss at Toronto.
What goes into the FPI?
PPG Score: Combines a teams total PPG and their PPG over their last 5 matches, with last 5 given more weight. This is the largest component of the FPI.
Goal Difference Per Game: Teams total goal difference divided by games played.
Home/Away Bonus: Bonus points are awarded for earning results on the road (W/D) while they are subtracted for dropping results at home (D/L). Accrues over the entire season.
Pre Strength of Schedule Score: All the above scores are added together to make the Pre Strength of Schedule Score.
Strength of Schedule: Average of all Pre Strength of Schedule Scores of all of a teams opponents thus far. Weighted at less than 100%
Total Score: Add a teams PreSoS score to their SoS to achieve a total score, teams are then ranked in order of highest score to lowest.
There is no theoretical Minimum or Maximum score, however in my observation the highest score that a team has ever achieved has been just over 10 points, a negative score is also feasible.
Without any more fuss, here is the FPI for Week 8 of the MLS 2017 season starting with our NEW Number 1:
(all times Pacific)
1 FC DALLAS (14pts 4W-0L-2D) SCORE: 9.5733 PREV: 2 (+1) H1/L2
LAST WEEK: W 1-0 V Sporting KC
It was a battle between the last two unbeatens in MLS with the two stingiest defenses. And for 77 minutes it looked like that nobody would be able to nose in front, until Maynor Figueroa got on the end of a Michael Barrios cross and headed in the winner to leave only one team without a blemish. Next up is a chance to take an early strangle hold on the West and the Supporters Shield with the Portland Timbers coming to town.
NEXT WEEK: (6) PORTLAND TIMBERS Saturday 4/29 5PM
2 ORLANDO CITY SC (15 pts 5W-1L-0D) SCORE: 9.1549 PREV: 4 (+2) H2/L8
LAST WEEK: W 2-1 AT New York City FC
The Lions opened the season with a 1-0 home win against NYC behind a Cyle Larin goal, and last week they earned their first road points of the year and ended NYCs 11 game home unbeaten streak behind Larins brace. The 2015 Rookie of the Year has scored 37 regular season goals so far in his young MLS career, 9 of them coming against NYC. The young Canadian owns the city of New York, having scored 10 times on the road against both NYC and NYRB.
NEXT WEEK: (21) Colorado Rapids Saturday 4/29 1255PM (UNIMAS, FB LIVE)
3 SPORTING KANSAS CITY (12 pts 3W-1L-3D) SCORE: 8.7823 PREV: 3 (NC) H3/L5
LAST WEEK: L 1-0 AT FC Dallas
It was a hard fought defensive battle, but in the end SKC gave up their 3rd goal of the season, the 2nd that came from the run of play, and only the first that impacted the result, to fall on the road to the lone remaining unbeaten team in the league. They dominated possession 61-39, completed 611 passes to Dallas' 369, but when it came to putting shots on target, they could only manage one when Jimmy Medranda sent one in from the corner of the 18 just after the start of the 2nd half. Dallas was able to send 6.
NEXT WEEK: (17) Real Salt Lake Saturday 4/29 530PM
4 ATLANTA UNITED (11 pts 3W-2L-2D) SCORE: 8.6106 PREV: 8 (+4) H4/L8
LAST WEEK: W 3-1 AT Real Salt Lake
Atlanta has stated that they want to come out, put pressure on, force turnovers and score from open play. And against RSL that is exactly what they did, scoring after two bad giveaways by RSL in their defensive 3rd. Atlanta then withstood wave after wave of pressure late as RSL tried to climb back in it before finding a stoppage time dagger to put the game to bed.
NEXT WEEK: (16) DCU Sunday 4/30 530PM (FS1)
5 COLUMBUS CREW SC (13 pts 4W-3L-1D) SCORE: 8.0802 PREV: 1 (-4) H1/L5
LAST WEEK: L 2-0 AT New York Red Bulls
Going into this week the crew had won 4 of their last 5 games including wins against Orlando and Portland, and only had been shut out once this year. They never really seemed in this game, part of that may be due to first half injuries to Artur, and Alex Crognale. A bright spot was Zack Steffan had multiple excellent saves to keep Columbus in the match.
NEXT WEEK: (12) NYCFC Saturday 4/29 430PM
6 PORTLAND TIMBERS (16 pts 5W-2L-1D) SCORE: 7.4 PREV 6 (NC) H1/L6
LAST WEEK: W 2-1 V Vancouver Whitecaps
The Portland Timbers got their 2017 Cascadia Cup campaign off on the right foot against the current holders with a 2-1 win over Vancouver. The Timbers dominated early behind Darlington Nagbe's "Are you not entertained?!" golazo that will be a strong contender for Goal of the Year, followed by Darron Mattocks burying a pin point cross from Diego Valeri against his former team for the eventual winner. While on top of the table from Day 1, the Timbers have done it against the weakest schedule in the league thus far, with their 2 losses on the year coming against their two strongest opponents. Another strong test awaits as The Timbers have a 2 game road trip coming up starting at Dallas, then San Jose.
NEXT WEEK: AT (1) FC Dallas Saturday 4/29 5PM
7 TORONTO FC (10 pts 2W-1L-4D) SCORE: 7.2357 PREV 10 (+3) H7/L10
LAST WEEK: W 3-1 V Chicago Fire
Uh oh! Sebastian Giovinco is back, and the rest of the league better watch out. The Italian scored 2 goals including a near post free kick beauty in the 82nd minute to put the game to bed, as Toronto won their second match of the season, and their first since March 18. With 2 home games coming up, the Reds will look to zoom back up the Eastern Conference standings.
NEXT WEEK: (9) Houston Dynamo Friday 4/28 430PM
8 SEATTLE SOUNDERS (9 pts 2W-2L-3D) SCORE: 7.0954 PREV: 14 (+6) H8/L14
LAST WEEK: W 3-0 AT LA Galaxy
The easiest way to rise up in the FPI is to earn results on the road. Seattle finished a 3 game road trip with a respectable 4 points with a Draw at San Jose and a Win at LA sandwiching a loss at Vancouver. and save for last second heroics by Chris Wondolowski, the Sounders could be even higher. Three first half goals by Seattle all in the space of 15 minutes took any hope from LA. Has Seattle recaptured the magic that led them to an MLS Cup win last year? It may be too early to tell, but with only one loss in their last 5 (aforementioned Vancouver) and two winnable home games coming up, we may have our answer sooner rather than later.
NEXT WEEK: (13) New England Revolution Saturday 4/29 7PM
9 HOUSTON DYNAMO (13 pts 4W-2L-1D) SCORE: 7.0586 PREV: 9 (NC) H4/L9
LAST WEEK: W 2-0 V San Jose Earthquakes
This time, Houston did not let a 2-0 lead slip away, locking down a tired San Jose squad to the tune of conceding only 2 shots on goal to earn their first clean sheet of the year. While their two goals were nothing spectacular (a 9th minute PK, and easy goal following a botched clearance by Bingham) Houston has scored 2 or more goals every match save one on the season (a 2-0 loss at New England), and if they can start to get their defense figured out they could be a tough out in the Western Conference.
NEXT WEEK: AT (7) Toronto FC Friday 4/28 430PM
10 NEW YORK RED BULLS (13 pts 4W-3L-1D) SCORE: 6.9682 PREV: 16 (+6) H10/L16
LAST WEEK: W 2-0 V Columbus Crew
It's been over a year since the Red Bulls last lost at home. They haven't suffered defeat at Red Bull Arena since falling, 2-0, to Sporting Kansas City on April 9, 2016. They are unbeaten in their last 18 games in Harrison, N.J. and this season are 3-0-1 without surrendering a single goal against, they will hope to continue that streak next week as The Fire come to town.
NEXT WEEK: (11) Chicago Fire Saturday 4/29 430PM
11 CHICAGO FIRE (11 pts 3W-2L-2D) SCORE: 6.6959 PREV: 5 (-6) H5/L11
LAST WEEK: L 3-1 AT Toronto FC
The first road test of the Schweinsteiger era in Chicago was also the first loss as the Fire just could not keep up with Giovinco and Co. David Accam got a late consolation goal but by then the outcome was already sealed, another tough road test is next as Chicago will look to end NYRBs 18 match home unbeaten streak.
NEXT WEEK: AT (10) New York Red Bulls Saturday 4/29 430PM
12 NEW YORK CITY FC (10 pts 3W-3L-1D) SCORE: 6.2142 PREV: 7 (-5) H7/L12
LAST WEEK: L 2-1 V Orlando City SC
For whatever reason, NYC is unable to figure out Cyle Larin and Orlando City having gone 1W-5L-2D against the Lions all time in MLS play with that one win coming in their second ever matchup (5-3 at home on July 26, 2015). The teams have already played twice this year with the final match being May 21 in Orlando, it may be another year until The Citizens can get one over their expansion twin.
NEXT WEEK: AT (5) Columbus Crew Saturday 4/29 430PM
13 NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (9pts 2W-3L-3D) SCORE: 5.1612 PREV: 11 (-2) H7/L13
LAST WEEK: D 0-0 V San Jose Earthquakes, D 2-2 V DC United
Two home games, two disappointing draws for the Revs. First they couldn't get anything going against The Quakes (who were helped by several strong saves by David Bingham). Then they fell down 2-1 early against DC surrendering two goals just minutes apart, before being helped out with an Own Goal at the start of the second half, but could not find the late winner with several shots off the crossbar and Teal Bunbury flubbing a sitter in the 81st minute with an open net in front of him. Next up, a cross country trip to the Defending Champs.
NEXT WEEK: AT (8) Seattle Sounders Saturday 4/29 7PM
14 MONTREAL IMPACT (7pts 1W-2L-4D) SCORE: 4.9285 PREV: 13 (-1) H13/L18
LAST WEEK: D 3-3 AT Philadelphia Union
One week after leaving the winless in 2017 Club, the Impact looked like they were going to give Philadelphia their ticket as the last ones out until a furious second half comeback salvaged the road draw. Montreal trailed 3-0 after 40 minutes, and it looked for all the world as if it were all over but the shouting. Then, Ignacio Piatti pulled one back in the 41st minute and reigning Goal of the Week scorer Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored a brace in the 69th and 87th minutes to snag a point away from the jaws of defeat, and leave The Union winless since August 27, 2016.
NEXT WEEK: (20) Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday 4/29 12PM
15 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (9pts 2W-3L-3D) SCORE: 4.7756 PREV: 12 (-3) H12/L15
LAST WEEK: D 0-0 AT New England Revolution, L 2-0 AT Houston Dynamo
Two weeks ago, in the inaugural FPI, I mentioned that San Jose had a tough 3 game stretch that they would be happy to get 2 points from, and 2 points is what they got. And while they would have preferred a better performance against Houston, a road point on a cross country trip to New England is always valuable. However, unless they start turning some of those draws into wins, as they are winless in their last 6, they will continue to struggle.
NEXT WEEK: AT (19) Minnesota United Saturday 4/29 5PM
16 DC UNITED (8pts 2W-3L-2D) SCORE: 4.4641 PREV: 18 (+2) H16/L18
LAST WEEK: D 2-2 AT New England Revolution
Good news: DC earned their first points away from RFK on the year. Bad news: an own goal prevented them from finding their first road win of 2017 as they conceded the equalizer early in the second half. More bad news: a road game at Atlanta is next, and will be no easy task.
NEXT WEEK: AT (4) Atlanta United Sunday 4/30 12PM (FS1)
17 REAL SALT LAKE (8pts 2W-4L-2D) SCORE: 4.3384 PREV: 17 (NC) H17/L20
LAST WEEK: L 3-1 V Atlanta United
Nick Rimando had some uncharacteristic mistakes, then got injured and had to be substituted off in the 58th minute. RSLs midfield had no answers for Atlanta's high pressure, and final half hour notwithstanding could not get anything going offensively. Their season may rest on how long Rimando and Wingert are out.
NEXT WEEK: AT (3) Sporting KC Saturday 4/29 530PM
18 LA GALAXY (6pts 2W-5L-0D) SCORE: 4.3161 PREV: 15 (-3) H14/L18
LAST WEEK: L 3-0 V Seattle Sounders
LA has lost 3 games at home so far in 2017. They had only lost 3 home games total running all the way back to the start of 2014 (3/8/14 1-0 RSL, 10/18/15 5-2 Portland, and 9/25/16 4-2 Seattle). The last time LA lost more than 2 matches in one season at Stubhub was 2012 when they lost 6 times and still finished with 54 points. So far this LA team looks completely outclassed at nearly every turn. Fortunately, winless Philadelphia is the next visitor to Carson and will provide a good chance to turn things around.
NEXT WEEK: (22) Philadelphia Union Saturday 4/29 730PM
19 MINNESOTA UNITED (8pts 2W-4L-2D) SCORE: 4.0986 PREV: 20 (+1) H19/L20
LAST WEEK: W 1-0 V Colorado Rapids
NASL era fan favorite Miguel Ibarra scored his first goal of the season and Minnesota earned their second win of the year against a punchless Rapids team. Suddenly, a defense that was shipping goals left and right has gone 137 minutes without letting one in the back of the net, and team that had one point through its first 4 games, has 7 through its last 4.
NEXT WEEK: (15) San Jose Earthquakes Saturday 4/29 5PM
20 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (7pts 2W-4L-1D) SCORE: 3.8449 PREV: 19 (-1) H19/L22
LAST WEEK: L 2-1 AT Portland Timbers
One week after dispatching one Cascadian Rival, Vancouver was unable to do the same to the other. Freddy Montero was able to score off the rebound of a saved PK in the second half to make a game of it, but the two early Timbers goals were too much for Vancouver to overcome. Decent at home (2W-1L-1D) but atrocious on the road, where they have yet to record a single point.
NEXT WEEK: AT (14) Montreal Impact Sat 4/29 12PM
21 COLORADO RAPIDS (4pts 1W-4L-1D) SCORE: 1.8897 PREV: 21 (NC) H17/L21
LAST WEEK: L 1-0 AT Minnesota United
Colorado's defense was missing two starting defenders, plus No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Howard, and yet their biggest problem is at the front of the formation, not the back. The Rapids have a league low five goals this season after being blanked for the second time in 2017. They have only played six games, so it's still early, but at this point, they are one of three teams that have scored fewer goals than they have played games (D.C. United, Sporting KC). They'll need to find a way score more – and kicking the ball off the crossbar from inside the 6-yard box, as Dominique Badji did in the 61st minute – doesn't help.
NEXT WEEK: AT (2) Orlando City SC Saturday 4/29 1255PM (Unimas, FB Live)
22 PHILADELPHIA UNION (3pts 0W-4L-3D) SCORE: 1.7024 PREV: 22 (NC) H21/L22)
LAST WEEK: D 3-3 V Montreal Impact
There are Draws that feel like wins, there are draws that feel like draws, and there are draws that feel like losses. Then there is what Philadelphia experienced, the draw that feels like a gut punch blow out. Up 3-0 after 40 minutes, and then conceding three unanswered goals, including the equalizer after the 80th minute to remain winless on the year. They will be at 245 days and counting without a win when they travel to LA for their next match.
NEXT WEEK: AT (18) LA Galaxy Saturday 4/29 730PM
PREDICTIONS: Last week I went: 3-9 getting Houston, Atlanta, and Portland wins correct. Making my overall record 6-17, but I am going to try one more time before adjusting how I approach game predictions (or just give them up altogether).
Houston at Toronto: DRAW
Vancouver at Montreal: MONTREAL WIN
Colorado at Orlando: ORLANDO WIN
NYCFC at Columbus: COLUMBUS WIN
Chicago at NYRB: DRAW
Portland at FC Dallas: DALLAS WIN
San Jose at Minnesota: DRAW
RSL at Sporting KC: SKC WIN
New England at Seattle: SEATTLE WIN
Philadelphia at LA Galaxy: LA WIN
DC United at Atlanta: ATLANTA WIN