Beautiful Numbers - Power Rankings of all varieties like Seattle

Jane G Photography

Not losing in five games means that vote based power rankings are showing the Sounders love. The fundamentals behind those results mean that analytics are showing Seattle love too.

At Sounder at Heart there was a clear call to not panic when the poor results started piling up. A few things were going well and some others would be easily corrected through health and "regression." That did not mean that non-SaH followers of the Sounders were not panicking. Power Rankings around the MLSSphere put the Seattle Sounders FC in very low spots. Doom was foretold.

Seattle would then go on this five match unbeaten streak. They would win on the road and at home. And the love would start pouring down like Spring rains. MLSSoccer.com has Seattle up to eighth. They also misread the fundamental data about chance creation and the early struggles. It was never about chances. It was always about finishing.

Ives puts Seattle 10th, and indicates that the defense is back. Oddly, there were no indications that the defense ever left.

Those fundamentals are part of why analytics based numbers see the Sounders in such favorable light. Sagarin has them at stunning third. That is a clear indicator of the weighting of recency in their methodology.

We've given Zach Slaton some grief over last year's Playoff Chances, but he has a refined method based on the Eastwood Index (a goal driven engine) that really likes the Sounders. Which is neat, but being goal may not necessarily correlate to future goals scored/given up. Still, it is always fun to Seattle in a strong position for the Playoffs and even the Supporters' Shield.

TempoFree looks deeper into fundamentals. It may seem odd, but during this run the club's fundamental defense is a bit weaker, but primarily due to giving up more attempts not on goal. The on goal numbers are right where they've always been. TempoFree does not account for keeper quality. The offense is not as bad as it was, but it is poor. During the streak there are improvements in shot quality, but they are not dramatic. Seattle is still a bit unlucky, but their expected PPM is 1.58. This means that the club "should" have 14 points on the season rather than just 12.

Just as earlier when it was not time to panic, it is not time to celebrate too much as the season is essentially at its quarter-pole. The injury-influenced fundamentals show that the Sounders are a decent team struggling to deal with losses of key players on every game day. They should get better. They should be winning more often than they are so far.

They do actually have to do it.

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