Origin: Bueno's CONCACAF Rankings

Some time last week, I posted something about the rankings for CONCACAF club teams with which noted freelancer Luis Bueno closed an article for the Southern California Press-Enterprise. If you return to that original post, you'll see the teams Bueno ranked and where, but what made me most curious about the item was how he compiled this list.

Anyway, I was curious so I asked him - and, to be honest about it, mainly because the New England Revolution appeared on the list and I thought they didn't belong. Here's what he told me over email:

"Thanks for reading my stuff and for the plug.

I try and do some sort of Top 10 list every week to try and supplement the column. I wrote once about Brad Friedel and for the list I put his 10 best victories with the USMNT. So when I wrote about the CCC, I figured why not put it in perspective some with this whole tournament and the region and all the clubs and such.

As a general rule, I don't like rankings based on who could beat whom. That doesn't fly with me because what clubs do in their leagues or what national teams do in their confederations has to mean something. Might the 10th team in Mexico beat the top team in Costa Rica? Maybe. Maybe not. I don't like to play that debate.

Now, I didn't come up with some intricate formula or anything like that. Perhaps that would be easier to point to but since the leagues are not on the same calendar that wouldn't make sense anyway.

I took into account what the clubs have accomplished roughly over the last 8 months or so. Pachuca won the Copa Sudamericana and were semifinalists in the Apertura 2006 season and are atop the league now. Chivas won the Apertura 2006, reached the CL semis in 2006 and are tied for Pachuca atop the league (they were when this story ran). America were semifinalists in Apertura 2006, reached the Copa Libertadores and are doing well in league.

To me, those three were no-brainers. Then I threw in Houston because they won the MLS Cup and reached the semis of the CCC. D.C. is also there because they won the Supporters Shield and also reached the semis of the CCC and played very well. It was more of a 4 and 4A if I were basing it on form as well.

Costa Rica is a strong league so I added Alajuela, Puntarenas and Saprissa because those are the most accomplished clubs right now. Cruz Azul also had a good run and is near or at the top of the Mexican league and New England were runners-up in MLS obviously.

It's not an exact science and really it just makes for good debate. But when I do lists I generally try and take things other than the "well, our league is better than yours so our worst team can beat your best team" factor."

His criteria makes enough sense, I suppose, though I would have used a different label - e.g. "Top teams in the CONCACAF Region by Country" (ugh...clunky as hell). But he's also got a Top 10 format he's uses, so that's how he titled it. And title issues are a quibble in the end; it's an interesting list no matter what one calls it.

So, if any intrepid souls out there check out the original post/article, any thoughts on that list?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So it's not really a ranking, it's a list ... with a little bit of order. I guess he just didn't want to alienate any readers. It will be interesting to read his articles over the next couple of weeks as the 2nd leg wraps up.