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Crunchy Power Rankings: Week 17

FC Dallas tumbles, Chivas USA tries to tumble from the bottom (ow), and the Rapids rise in our June edition of the Crunchy Power Rankings.

Could Nathan Sturgis be powering Colorado's rise to the top?
Could Nathan Sturgis be powering Colorado's rise to the top?

Another month of stats accumulated and it's time to take another look at the Crunchy Power Rankings. In the last update most of the teams had gained points, so predictably most teams lost points in this edition. Hello, regression.

Here's the updated rankings, with a little analysis below:

Team Duels Box Shots Off
Pass %
Recoveries Total
Sporting Kansas City 0.99 3.49 11.59 5.74 90
10th 1st 1st 2nd
New York Red Bulls 2.75 2.39 5.4 4.01 77
3rd 2nd 4th 5th
San Jose Earthquakes 3.78 1.61 -3.12 4.84 69
2nd 4th 12th 3rd
Portland Timbers 1.56 0.64 7.69 3.78 68
9th 6th 3rd 6th
Chicago Fire 2.41 0.32 -3.29 6.46 65
4th 9th 13th 1st
Colorado Rapids 2.18 1.76 2.59 -3.57 54
7th 3rd 6th 17th
LA Galaxy 0.11 1.51 4.87 -3.3 53
11th 5th 5th 16th
Real Salt Lake -4.77 0.64 8.33 0.74 53
17th 7th 2nd 8th
Houston Dynamo -0.99 0.47 -8.09 4.08 51
13th 8th 18th 4th
Columbus Crew 2.27 -0.03 1.09 -1.04 50
6th 10th 8th 11th
Vancouver Whitecaps 2.36 -0.84 -0.98 -1.42 43
5th 14th 9th 13th
FC Dallas -2.23 -0.16 -2.3 -0.85 40
14th 11th 11th 10th
Philadelphia Union -3.08 -0.65 -3.44 1.31 40
16th 13th 15th 7th
Seattle Sounders FC 1.97 -2.54 1.82 -0.68 39
8th 17th 7th 9th
New England Revolution -4.92 -0.59 -3.31 -1.12 33
18th 12th 14th 12th
Toronto FC 5.84 -1.28 -3.9 -7.78 31
1st 15th 16th 18th
Montreal Impact -0.35 -1.79 -10.38 -2.22 25
12th 16th 19th 14th
D.C. United -2.36 -3.15 -2.1 -2.23 22
15th 19th 10th 15th
Chivas USA -5.69 -2.64 -5.6 -7.94 5
19th 18th 17th 19th

The biggest drop since the last update is courtesy of FC Dallas, who are now firmly in the bottom half of the CPR despite currently sitting atop the Supporters Shield standings. Is it possible for a below-average team to lead the Shield standings in late June? Sure, why not? Even a cursory look at Goal Differential shows FCD tied with 4 other teams for 3rd, so they're a goal away from being 7th by GD, which closely correlates to standings over a season. Also, the CPR rankings weight recent results more heavily and the Toros only have two wins in their last seven, well off the early season pace that got them to the top. I'll be shocked if they're still at the top of the table next time the CPR is updated.

The biggest gainer is Colorado, who just lost a testy match to San Jose but otherwise are undefeated in their last eight.

Chivas took a big drop from their already last place and now have 5 total CPR points. I haven't gone back and looked, but I'm pretty sure that's the lowest score ever. Congrats to them. And things aren't getting any easier as they're shipping off starters to their parent club and getting nothing in return. Imagine being a DC United fan and getting less than half the points per game of the trainwreck that is Chivas. Hard times.

The biggest deviation from the real standings (other than Dallas) is Montreal, who the CPR has never liked but who've been around the top of the table all season. As always, it's an open question as to whether they have a particular style of play that the CPR weighting just misses or whether they're just getting lucky and will eventually revert to what the statistics predict. When a deviation this big goes on this long I tend to lean to the former explanation, but just published an article today that provides some evidence for the 'luck' explanation. I encourage you to read it, but the short version is that Opta calculated what the standings would look like if every shot that hit the goal frame actually went in for a goal (all else being equal). I think we can all agree that the difference between a shot going just into the net or just missing and hitting off the post is both incredibly important and incredibly susceptible to random variation. And it turns out if they all went in, Montreal would have a record of 5-4-4, have 7 fewer points, and be in the bottom half of the table. That's the largest effect on any team in the league. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't have my money on the Impact maintaining that good fortune and staying near the top of the table.

And finally the Sounders-specific update. CPR really doesn't like them. Sorry about that. I've discussed previously that they were getting killed in Recoveries and they've actually turned that around some since the early season, but now the problem is net shots in the box, where they're third worst in the league ahead of only Chivas and DC United. That's not good company to be in. But I think much of that is driven by the total shellacking at the hands of the Galaxy, when Seattle was outshot in the box 13-1. So if you think that game was just an anomaly, there's hope that its results will get averaged out and they'll start climbing the rankings.

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