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SFPI 2018 MLS Power Rankings Week 20

“Insert Witty Comment Here” Edition

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We are to week 20, the final 3rd of the 2018 MLS Season is rapidly approaching (unless you are DC who still haven’t reached halfway). DC United has FINALLY opened Audi Field and welcomed Wayne Rooney into MLS with a solid 3-1 win over Vancouver, Kansas City still appears to be smack against “The Sporting Wall”, Toronto helped Orlando avoid making history, and San Jose now has a 10 game winless streak, which is the longest yet in MLS this year (Both Orlando and Colorado had 9 games in a row without a win). Meanwhile, Portland has extended their league best unbeaten streak to 12 games, and with 4 very winnable home games in a row coming up, could find themselves besting their 15 game unbeaten streak set in 2013.

This weeks biggest winner by position was DC United climbing 3 spots, while New England was the biggest loser falling 4. By points Philadelphia had the best week, gaining 1.2108 points, while New England had the worst week dropping 1.5269 points.

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 1-23, with 23 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 Above Red Line.
  • Parentheses indicate change from the previous week, with – indicating no change.


Rankings


1 *LAFC (35pts 10-4-5) Score: 10.8453 (-0.4808); Prev: 1 (-); High 1 Low 8

Schedule: 5 (+6); Pace: 62 (LW 64); Remaining Schedule: 19 (-)

Last Week: D 0-0 vs Portland; Next Week: at (18) Minnesota

Total Weeks at #1: 2 (2 Consecutive)


2 *New York City (40pts 12-4-5) Score: 10.5425 (+0.7062); Prev: 4 (+2); High 2 Low 6

Schedule: 8 (-4); Pace: 68 (LW 64); Remaining Schedule: 22 (-)

Last Week: W 3-0 vs Montreal, W 2-1 vs Columbus; Next Week: Bye


3 *New York RB (35pts 11-5-2) Score: 10.1433 (+0.2144); Prev: 3 (-); High 1 Low 12

Schedule: 10 (+4); Pace: 66 (LW 64); Remaining Schedule: 17 (-5)

Last Week: W 3-2 vs Kansas City; Next Week: vs (13) New England

Total Weeks at #1: 2


4 *Atlanta (41pts 12-4-5) Score: 10.0962 (-0.734); Prev: 2 (-2); High 1 Low 6

Schedule: 4 (+1); Pace: 66 (LW 68); Remaining Schedule: 23 (-)

Last Week: D 1-1 vs Seattle; Next Week: vs (12) DC

Total Weeks at #1: 5


5 *Dallas (38pts 11-3-5) Score: 9.7874 (+0.0281); Prev: 5 (-); High 1 Low 9

Schedule: 3 (-); Pace: 68 (LW 66); Remaining Schedule: 20 (-)

Last Week: W 3-1 vs Chicago; Next Week: at (9) Houston

Total Weeks at #1: 3


6 *Portland (30pts 8-3-6) Score: 9.3764 (+0.4903); Prev: 6 (-); High 2 Low 9

Schedule: 7 (+10); Pace: 59 (LW 61); Remaining Schedule: 18 (-)

Last Week: D 0-0 at LAFC; Next Week: vs (10) Montreal


7 *LA Galaxy (28pts 8-7-4) Score: 8.1285 (+0.992); Prev: 7 (-); High 7 Low 18

Schedule: 1 (-); Pace: 50 (LW 47); Remaining Schedule: 21 (-)

Last Week: W 3-2 at New England; Next Week: at (17) Philadelphia


8 *Kansas City (33pts 9-5-6) Score: 6.7009 (-0.2728); Prev: 8 (-); High 4 Low 8

Schedule: 21 (+2); Pace: 56 (LW 59); Remaining Schedule: 8 (-4)

Last Week: L 3-2 at New York RB; Next Week: Bye


9 Houston (26pts 7-6-5) Score: 6.6964 (+0.1571); Prev: 10 (+1); High 9 Low 16

Schedule: 23 (-8) Pace: 51 (LW 51); Remaining Schedule: 4 (+10)

Last Week: D 0-0 at Colorado; Next Week: vs (5) Dallas


10 *Montreal (27pts 9-12-0) Score: 6.4271 (+0.0057); Prev: 11 (+1); High 10 Low 23

Schedule: 16 (-); Pace: 43 (LW 42); Remaining Schedule: 15 (-)

Last Week: L 3-0 at New York City, W 2-0 vs San Jose; Next Week: at (6) Portland


11 *Salt Lake (29pts 9-9-2) Score: 5.7573 (-0.0664); Prev: 13 (+2); High 9 Low 18

Schedule: 14 (-1); Pace: 49 (LW 51); Remaining Schedule: 2 (-)

Last Week: L 3-2 at Minnesota; Next Week: vs (20) Colorado


12 DC (14pts 3-7-5) Score: 5.5191 (+0.852); Prev: 15 (+3); High 10, Low 19

Schedule: 19 (-1); Pace: 31 (LW 26); Remaining Schedule: 3 (-)

Last Week: W 3-1 vs Vancouver; Next Week: at (4) Atlanta


13 *New England (28pts 7-5-7) Score: 5.2437 (-1.5269); Prev: 9 (-4); High 6 Low 13

Schedule: 13 (-1); Pace: 50 (LW 52); Remaining Schedule: 14 (+2)

Last Week: L 3-2 vs LA Galaxy; Next Week: at (18) Minnesota, at (3) New York RB


14 Vancouver (26pts 7-8-5) Score: 5.1119 (-1.0399); Prev: 12 (-2); High 9 Low 19

Schedule: 18 (+1); Pace: 44 (LW 46); Remaining Schedule: 10 (+3)

Last Week: L 3-1 at DC; Next Week: at (16) Seattle


15 *Columbus (30pts 8-7-6) Score: 4.7446 (-0.4032); Prev: 14 (-1); High 5 Low 20

Schedule: 17 (+4); Pace: 48 (LW 51); Remaining Schedule: 11 (-1)

Last Week: L 2-0 at New York City; Next Week: vs (21) Orlando


16 Seattle (17pts 4-9-5) Score: 4.7433 (+0.4468); Prev: 17 (+1); High 11 Low 20

Schedule: 2 (-); Pace: 32 (LW 32); Remaining Schedule: 16 (+1)

Last Week: D 1-1 at Atlanta; Next Week: vs (14) Vancouver


17 Philadelphia (24pts 7-9-3) Score: 4.4751 (+1.2108); Prev: 18 (+1); High 12 Low 23

Schedule: 22 (-12); Pace: 42 (LW 39); Remaining Schedule: 6 (+3)

Last Week: W 4-3 at Chicago; Next Week: vs (7) LA Galaxy


18 Minnesota (22pts 7-11-1) Score: 3.8045 (+0.9514); Prev: 20 (+2); High 10 Low 20

Schedule: 12 (-5); Pace: 39 (LW 35); Remaining Schedule: 5 (+2)

Last Week: W 3-2 vs Salt Lake; Next Week: vs (13) New England, vs (1) LAFC


19 Chicago (23pts 6-10-5) Score: 3.1394 (-1.1755); Prev: 16 (-3); High 12 Low 20

Schedule: 15 (+5); Pace: 37 (LW 41); Remaining Schedule: 13 (-2)

Last Week: L 4-3 vs Philadelphia, L 3-1 at Dallas; Next Week: vs (23) Toronto


20 Colorado (16pts 4-11-4) Score: 2.8437 (-0.103); Prev: 19 (-1); High 10 Low 23

Schedule: 9 (-); Pace: 28 (LW 28); Remaining Schedule: 9 (-4)

Last Week: D 0-0 vs Houston; Next Week: at (11) Salt Lake


21 Orlando (22pts 7-11-1) Score: 2.764 (+0.8981); Prev: 23 (+2); High 2 Low 23

Schedule: 11 (-5); Pace: 39 (LW 35); Remaining Schedule: 7 (+1)

Last Week: W 2-1 vs Toronto; Next Week: at (15) Columbus


22 San Jose (12pts 2-11-6) Score: 2.4437 (+0.065); Prev: 21 (-1); High 17 Low 22

Schedule: 6 (+2); Pace: 21 (LW 22); Remaining Schedule: 12 (-6)

Last Week: L 2-0 at Montreal; Next Week: Bye


23 Toronto (16pts 4-11-4) Score: 1.5799 (-0.3363); Prev: 22 (-1); High 17 Low 23

Schedule: 20 (+2); Pace: 28 (LW 30); Remaining Schedule: 1 (-)

Last Week: L 2-1 at Orlando; Next Week: at (19) Chicago


Predictions

Last week, the SFPI went 6-7 (46.15%) to bring season total to 61-70 (46.56%). Still, being around 50% when there are 3 possible outcomes to each match is pretty good. As always, add 1.75 to the home team score, then if both teams are within 1.5 points predict a draw.

New England at Minnesota: DRAW

DC at Atlanta: ATLANTA

Vancouver at Seattle: DRAW

Toronto at Chicago: CHICAGO

LA Galaxy at Philadelphia: LA

New England at New York RB: NEW YORK

Orlando at Columbus: COLUMBUS

Dallas at Houston: DRAW

Colorado at Salt Lake: SALT LAKE

Montreal at Portland: PORTLAND

LAFC at Minnesota: LA


Playoff Picture

We are starting to get near crunch time, so it is time to begin seeing how the playoff picture will shape up. If my predictions are 100% correct, how will the tables look?


EAST

1 Atlanta 44

2 New York City 40

3 New York RB 38

4 Columbus 33

5 New England 29

6 Montreal 27

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7 Chicago 26

8 Philadelphia 24

9 Orlando 22

10 Toronto 16

11 DC 14

WEST

1 Dallas 39

2 LAFC 38

3 Kansas City 33 (GD Tiebreaker)

4 Portland 33

5 Salt Lake 32

6 LA Galaxy 31

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7 Houston 27 (GD Tiebreaker)

8 Vancouver 27

9 Minnesota 23

10 Seattle 18

11 Colorado 16

12 San Jose 12


Still too early to start worrying about what everyone else is doing, particularly since Portland has at least 1 game in hand over everyone in the West (only DC has played fewer games), and at least 2 games in hand over everyone currently above the red line in the West, so the “Timbers Rooting Interest” feature will remain on hiatus.