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SFPI NWSL Power Rankings: Week ending May 20, 2018

Youngest Ever Edition

Nikita Taparia

Another week, another win for North Carolina who has now opened up a nine point lead on Seattle (who has two games in hand), and who look like they are set to cruise to a second straight NWSL Shield. Portland got back to their winning ways, thanks to Ellie Carpenter becoming the youngest goal scorer in NWSL history, and Seattle dropped their first result at home in a disappointing 0-0 draw against Chicago.

This week’s winners by position are Orlando, Chicago, and Houston all climbing one spot, while Washington was the loser falling two spots. By points, Utah (now unbeaten in their last 5) had the best week gaining 1.1457 points, while Seattle ceded 0.9838 points and was the big loser.

As always a quick reminder of how I arrive at these rankings:

The SFPI has two main Components, “Performance Score,” which is determined 100% by on the field results, and “Strength of Schedule” which takes the average Performance Score of all of a team’s opponents to date, with a mechanism to account for games on the road.


A team’s Performance Score is made up of the following components:

  • Points Per Game (PPG) Score: This takes a team’s overall PPG and adds their PPG over their last five matches with the last five being given more weight. This is the single largest component of the SFPI.
  • Goal Difference Per Game: Overall goal difference divided by total games played.
  • Home/Away Bonus: Bonus points are awarded for earning results (W/D) on the road, and an equal number of points are subtracted for dropping results (D/L) at home. Accrues over entire season.


As stated above, a team’s Strength of Schedule is reached by taking the average performance score of all of a team’s opponents to date. It accounts for road matches by adding a percentage of an opponents Points Per Game at Home to their Performance Score. Teams faced multiple times are counted that amount of times. Weighted at less than 100%

Those combine to give a team’s TOTAL SCORE. Teams are then ranked in order of highest to lowest by Total Score. A negative total score is theoretically possible, although it requires an extended period of very poor play.


  • Strength of Schedule: How tough is a teams schedule in relation to the rest of the league? numbered 1-9 with 1 being the hardest to date, and 9 being the easiest.
  • Remaining Schedule: Same as above, only for games remaining. Also ranked 1-9 where 1 is hardest, 9 is easiest.
  • Pace: How many points is a team currently on pace for given their current PPG? Also showing how results for this week impact that pace vs last week.

To the Rankings!

(Record is in W-L-D format, *Denotes in playoff position)

1 *North Carolina Courage (23pts 7-0-2) Score: 9.0667 (+0.2147); Prev: 1 (NC); High 1 Low 1

Schedule: 9 (NC); Pace: 61 (Prev: 60); Remaining Schedule: 2 (+4)

Last Week: W 2-1 at Sky Blue FC; Next Week: at (2) Orlando

Total Weeks at #1: 2 (2 Consecutive)

2 *Orlando Pride (12pts 3-2-3) Score: 8.0589 (+0.342) Prev: 3 (+1) High 2 Low 3

Schedule: 6 (NC); Pace: 36 (Prev: 36); Remaining Schedule: 5 (-1)

Last Week: Bye; Next Week: vs (1) North Carolina, at (6) Chicago

3 *Seattle Reign (14pts 4-1-2) Score: 7.7872 (-0.9838) Prev: 2 (-1) High 2 Low 3

Schedule: 8 (NC); Pace: 48 (Prev: 52); Remaining Schedule: 6 (-3)

Last Week: D 0-0 vs Chicago; Next Week: at (7) Houston, at (9) Sky Blue FC

4 Utah Royals (11pts 2-1-5) Score: 6.6057 (+1.1457) Prev: 4 (NC) HIgh 4 Low 4

Schedule: 4 (NC); Pace: 33 (Prev: 27); Remaining Schedule: 9 (-4)

Last Week: W 1-0 vs Houston; Next Week: at (5) Portland

5 *Portland Thorns (12pts 3-3-3) Score: 5.8035 (+1.0774) Prev: 5 (NC) High 5 Low 5

Schedule: 3 (NC); Pace: 31 (Prev: 27); Remaining Schedule: 7 (NC)

Last Week: W 1-0 at Washington; Next Week: vs (4) Utah

6 Chicago Red Stars (12pts 2-2-6) Score: 4.5491 (+0.5545) Prev: 7 (+1) High 6 Low 7

Schedule: 7 (NC); Pace: 28 (Prev: 29); Remaining Schedule: 4 (-2)

Last Week: D 0-0 at Seattle; Next Week: vs (2) Orlando

7 Houston Dash (7pts 1-4-4) Score: 3.8668 (+0.2329) Prev: 8 (+1) High 7 Low 8

Schedule: 5 (NC); Pace: 18 (Prev: 21); Remaining Schedule: 1 (NC)

Last Week: L 1-0 at Utah; Next Week: vs (3) Seattle, vs (8) Washington

8 Washington Spirit (5pts 1-5-2) Score: 3.5088 (-0.5816) Prev: 6 (-2) High 6 Low 8

Schedule: 2 (NC); Pace: 15 (Prev: 17); Remaining Schedule: 8 (NC)

Last Week: L 1-0 vs Portland; Next Week: vs (9) Sky Blue FC, at (7) Houston

9 Sky Blue FC (1pt 0-5-1) Score: 2.0854 (-0.3695) Prev: 9 (NC) High 9 Low 9

Schedule: 1 (NC); Pace: 4 (Prev: 4); Remaining Schedule: 3 (NC)

Last Week: L 2-1 vs North Carolina; Next Week: at (8) Washington, vs (3) Seattle


Last Week, the SFPI went 2-2 (50%) in its first ever attempt of predicting NWSL matches. Season record is now 2-2 (50%). As before, I will add 1.5 points to the home team score, and if the two teams are within 1 point it will be a draw.

North Carolina at Orlando: DRAW

Sky Blue at Washington: WASHINGTON

Seattle at Houston: SEATTLE

Utah at Portland: DRAW

Orlando at Chicago: ORLANDO

Seattle at Sky Blue: SEATTLE

Washington at Houston: HOUSTON