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SFPI NWSL Power Rankings, Week Ending June 3, 2018

Who will stop the Courage? Edition

Bennett Dewan

Not a lot of movement this week as only Portland and Utah trade places (again) and everyone else stays the same. North Carolina finished a five-game road trip with five wins and one draw to remain unbeaten on the year. They have a 12-point lead on Seattle (although the Reign still have two games in hand) for the NWSL Shield, and a 15-point lead over Chicago for the final playoff spot, both with 12 games remaining. At this point it seems that the Shield is all but out of play, and the race is on for the final three playoff spots and the one remaining home playoff spot. Portland has their work cut out for them if they want to snag that spot so they can stay home throughout the NWSL Playoffs (Providence Park is the site of the 2018 NWSL Championship game). They trail Seattle by three points for that spot (Reign have one game in hand). Sky Blue FC, which is still winless on the year, is getting dangerously close to being the first team in 2018 to have a negative total score.

Once again, no big winner or loser this week as Portland and Utah both moved one spot to trade with each other for the second consecutive week. By points the big winner was Chicago, gaining 1.3194 points, while Washington was the big loser dropping 0.7988 points from their total.

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.

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 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. 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.

FEATURES OF NOTE:

  • Strength of Schedule: How tough is a team’s 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. (Change in Pace will resume next week as I forgot to update my spreadsheet following last week’s matches)

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

1 *North Carolina Courage (30pts 9-0-3) Score: 11.3246 (+0.6715) Prev: 1 (NC); High 1 Low 1

Schedule: 8 (+1); Pace: 60; Remaining Schedule: 5 (-3)

Last Week: W 4-1 at Portland, Draw 1-1 at Houston; Next Week: Bye

Weeks at #1: 4 (4 Consecutive)

2 *Orlando Pride (16pts 4-3-4) Score: 8.3322 (-0.1241); Prev: 2 (NC); High 2 Low 3

Schedule: 4 (+2); Pace: 34; Remaining Schedule: 8 (-3)

Last Week: D 0-0 at Seattle, Next Week: Bye

3 *Seattle Reign (18pts 5-2-3) Score: 7.5066 (-0.7523); Prev: 3 (NC); High 2 Low 3

Schedule: 9 (-1); Pace: 43; Remaining Schedule: 1 (+5)

Last Week: D 0-0 v Orlando, Next Week: Bye

4 Utah Royals (14pts 3-2-5) Score: 7.0445 (+0.7022); Prev: 5 (+1); High 4 Low 5

Schedule: 7 (-3); Pace: 33; Remaining Schedule: 6 (-3)

Last Week: W 2-1 at Sky Blue, Next Week: Bye

5 *Portland Thorns (15pts 4-4-3) Score: 6.5224 (-0.4337); Prev: 4 (-1); High 4 Low 5

Schedule: 2 (+1); Pace: 32; Remaining Schedule: 9 (-2)

Last Week: L 4-1 vs North Carolina, Next Week: Bye

6 Houston Dash (14pts 3-4-5) Score: 5.8309 (+0.6035); Prev: 6 (NC); High 6 Low 8

Schedule: 5 (NC); Pace: 28; Remaining Schedule: 7 (-6)

Last Week: D 1-1 vs North Carolina, Next Week: Bye

7 Chicago Red Stars (15pts 3-3-6) Score: 5.3333 (+1.3194); Prev: 7 (NC); High 6 Low 7

Schedule: 6 (+1); Pace: 30; Remaining Schedule: 4 (NC)

Last Week: W 2-0 at Washington, Next Week: Bye

8 Washington Spirit (8pts 2-7-2) Score: 2.7894 (-0.7988); Prev: 8 (NC); High 6 Low 8

Schedule: 3 (-1); Pace: 17; Remaining Schedule: 3 (+5)

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

9 Sky Blue FC (1pt 0-8-1) Score: 0.7214 (-0.6322); Prev: 9 (NC); High 9 Low 9

Schedule: 1 (NC); Pace: 2; Remaining Schedule: 2 (+1)

Last Week: L 2-1 vs Utah, Next Week; vs (8) Washington

PREDICTIONS

Last Week, the SFPI went 2-3 (40%) to bring the season total to 8-8 (50%). There is only one match this week due to the international break.

Washington at Sky Blue FC: WASHINGTON