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2018 SFPI NWSL Power Rankings Week 12

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“Finally figured out what week it was!” Edition

Kris Lattimore

Another week at the top of the mountain for North Carolina, as they returned to their winning ways. Barring a collapse of historic levels, The Courage will win the NWSL Shield as concerns over them navigating the toughest portion of their schedule have been swept to the wayside. In fact, at this point they have the 3rd easiest remaining schedule in the league. The good news for Thorns fans is that Portland has the easiest schedule going forward (Including three matches against still-winless Sky Blue, two of which are at home), and are still within striking distance of a top 2 finish, and the resulting home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

As always, here’s 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.

Performance Score

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 the entire season.

Strength of Schedule

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 opponent’s Points Per Game at home to their Performance Score. Teams faced multiple times are counted that number of times. Numbered 1-9, with 9 being the easiest, and weighted at less than 100%.


Strength of Schedule and Performance Score combine to give a team’s Total Score. A negative total score is theoretically possible, although it requires an extended period of very poor play.


Features of Note

  • Remaining Schedule: Same as Strength of Schedule, only for games remaining.
  • Pace: How many points is a team currently on pace for given their current PPG? Also shows how results for this week impact that pace vs last week.
  • Record is in W-L-D format. *Denotes playoff position.
  • Parentheses indicate change from the previous week, with – indicating no change.


Rankings

1 *North Carolina Courage (33pts 10-1-3); Score: 10.6227 (+0.661); Prev: 1 (-); High 1 Low 1

Schedule: 9 (-1); Pace: 56 (LW 55); Remaining Schedule: 7 (-1)

Last Week: W 4-1 at Seattle; Next Week: at (2) Orlando

Total Weeks at #1: 7 (7 Consecutive)


2 *Orlando Pride (22pts 6-3-4); Score: 8.9874 (+0.3698); Prev: 2 (-); High 2 Low 3

Schedule: 7 (-1); Pace: 40 (LW 37); Remaining Schedule: 4 (+3)

Last Week: W 1-0 at Washington; Next Week: vs (7) Houston, vs (1) North Carolina


3 *Portland Thorns (19pts 5-4-4); Score: 7.9816 (+1.4306); Prev: 5 (+2); High 3 Low 5

Schedule: 2 (-); Pace: 35 (LW 31); Remaining Schedule: 9 (-)

Last Week: W 3-1 at Houston; Next Week: vs (9) Sky Blue, at (5) Seattle


4 Utah Royals (17pts 4-3-5); Score: 7.8046 (-0.3974); Prev: 3 (-1); High 3 Low 5

Schedule: 5 (-1); Pace: 34 (LW 37); Remaining Schedule: 8 (-)

Last Week: L 2-0 at Chicago; Next Week: vs (5) Seattle, vs (9) Sky Blue


5 *Seattle Reign (19pts 5-3-4); Score: 6.173 (-0.7727); Prev: 4 (-1); High 2 Low 5

Schedule: 8 (+1); Pace: 37 (LW 41); Remaining Schedule: 2 (-1)

Last Week: L 4-1 vs North Carolina; Next Week: at (4) Utah, vs (3) Portland


6 Chicago Red Stars (19pts 4-3-7); Score: 6.0596 (+0.7983); Prev: 7 (+1); High 6 Low 7

Schedule: 6 (+1); Pace: 32 (LW 29); Remaining Schedule: 5 (-1)

Last Week: W 2-0 vs Utah; Next Week: vs (8) Washington


7 Houston Dash (14pts 3-5-5); Score: 4.9439 (-0.8231); Prev: 6 (-1); High 6 Low 8

Schedule: 1 (-); Pace: 25 (LW 28); Remaining Schedule: 6 (-1)

Last Week: L 3-1 vs Portland; Next Week: at (2) Orlando


8 Washington Spirit (14pts 2-8-4); Score: 1.8523 (-1.1766); Prev: 8 (-); High 6 Low 8

Schedule: 4 (+1); Pace: 17 (LW 18); Remaining Schedule: 3 (-1)

Last Week: L 1-0 vs Orlando; Next Week: at (6) Chicago


9 Sky Blue FC (2pts 0-9-2); Score: 0.1126 (-0.3701); Prev: 9 (-); High 9 Low 9

Schedule: 3 (-1); Pace: 4 (LW 4); Remaining Schedule: 1 (+2)

Last Week: Bye; Next Week: at (3) Portland, at (4) Utah

PREDICTIONS

Last week the SFPI went 2-2 (50%) again to bring the seaon total to 11-12 (47.83%). Will continue the same formula of adding 1.5 points to home team score, if the two teams are then within 1 point of each other I will predict a draw. Hopefully with a double game week I can boost my winning percentage.

Houston at Orlando: ORLANDO

Seattle at Utah: UTAH

Sky Blue at Portland: PORTLAND

North Carolina at Orlando: DRAW

Sky Blue at Utah: UTAH

Portland at Seattle: DRAW

Washington at Chicago: CHICAGO

Playoff Picture

We are right about at the halfway mark of the season, and with a double game week this week everyone will have played at least 12 matches so it is time to bring back playoff picture!

If all of my predictions are correct, this is how the table will look: (*Clinched Playoff #Eliminated from Playoffs.)

1 North Carolina 34

2 Orlando 26

3 Portland 23

4 Utah 23

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5 Chicago 22

6 Seattle 20

7 Houston 14

8 Washington 10

9 Sky Blue 2