MLS Week 10 Collective Power Rankings

I’m not 100% certain of this, but it appears that the shiny allure of the Gold Cup has momentarily distracted Ives Galarcep from compiling power rankings. No matter, the roster of (unwittingly) drafted pundits remains at eight for this week, thanks to Sports Illustrated’s Ryan Hunt getting in his numbers a day earlier than usual.

And thus, the Semi-Detached Pundit Collective (SDPC) has rendered judgment on Week 10 of Major League Soccer action. And, once again, I’m adding a little feature. A guy named Pat Eyler, who runs On Soccer, came up with a pretty cool mechanism for tracking the state of MLS play; he calls them the Scariness Ratings. Because the formula for ranking differs so much - e.g. he uses math, while the rest of us go rummaging around the obscure corners of our asses - they don’t quite work with everyone else’s. Still, I’m of the opinion that Eyler could be on to something that may or may not be more useful that what the rest of us have. On the chance he is, I’m going to slip Eyler’s scariness figure (kinda like Beyers for horse racing) into the data-dump; the number for each team will follow the initials SR. And here’s a link to Eyler’s Scariness ratings.

I will once again acknowledge where each team stood in last week’s rankings parenthetically.

Moving on, here’s the source material for this week’s SPDC rankings:

It’s a Simple Game
The Other Football
Sideline Views (Luis Bueno)
My Soccer Blog
MLS Underground
SI - Ryan Hunt

A couple other rankings systems deserve honorable mention: The DCenters Freezer (kinda like reverse rankings) and Who Ate All The Cupcakes by-conference rankings.

Finally with the SDPC’s numbers:

1. Kansas City Wizards, 1.3 (last week: 1st - 1.1; SR: 3)
2. Red Bull New York, 2.8 (2nd - 2.0; SR: 5)
3. New England Revolution, 2.9 (3rd - 3.1; SR: 7)
4. DC United, 3.3 (4th - 4.4; SR: 1)
5. FC Dallas, 5.5 (6th - 6.9; SR: 6)
6. Houston Dynamo, 6.1 (9th - 8.4; SR: 4)
7. Chivas USA, 6.8 (8th - 8.0; SR: 2)
8. Colorado Rapids, 7.9 (5th - 5.1; SR: 10)
9. Toronto FC, 8.9 (7th - 7.1; SR: 9)
10. Chicago Fire, 9.9 (10th - 9.0; SR: 11)
11/12. Los Angeles Galaxy, 11.6 (11th - 11.3; SR: 12)
11/12. Columbus Crew, 11.6 (12th - 12.0; SR: 13)
13. Real Salt Lake, 12.6 (13th - 12.6; SR: 8)

Some observations:

- Last week, I focused on numerical rises and falls, but this week changes in placement are also catching my eye. For instance, look at what happened with Houston: from 9th to 6th in one week’s time (their numbers moved around a lot as well). Roughly the same thing happened with Toronto, albeit going the other way. Funny how one result can change perceptions so sharply - though that’s often a case of building on a streak (as with Houston) or in dashing expectations (as with Toronto and winning at home).

- OK, I admit it. I single-handedly skewed KC’s ranking by placing them third; everyone else has them at 1st. Let’s just say I’m holding judgment till I see what their defense does.

- While we're on the subject of outlying calls, here are some notable ones. I kinda lead the pack with, not only with the KC call, but with how I see Columbus, Red Bull, and Chivas USA; we'll see how those pan out in the weeks ahead. I also hate the Fire more than anyone else. Some other weird ones: ESPN has bought in the least on DC's rise; My Soccer Blog is alone in not considering Chivas playoff material...and, well, that's it. So, yeah, I wasn't kidding about me leading on weird calls.

- Speaking of consistency - and I’m part of the group this time (take that, epperley!) - Colorado was very nearly a universal #8 - and thus, “if the season ended today,” the final playoff team. Sorry, TFC.

- The second and third spots are worth a glance as well. Red Bull’s drop makes some sense (though I think it’s exaggerated...we shall see...), but more curious is New England’s little rise on an idle week.

- No less curious is Dallas’ rather impressive hop - especially that 1.4 in points.

- Returning to the Scariness ratings, I think the most interesting thing with those will be the extent to which they’re predictive; keep an eye on Chivas for that. And Real Salt Lake for that matter.


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