Monday, February 25, 2008

Preseason rankings

When I wrote up my preseason unit rankings a week ago, I hadn't planned on ranking the clubs. I ranked them every Monday of last season, and I had wanted to do that at some point before the season started.

After posting my rankings a week ago, I figured I'd tally them up collectively and see how they work out for each club. So I took the numbers of each team's ranking per unit - goalkeeper, defense, midfield, forwards - added them up and divided by four. I know, brilliant stuff. But that shows I suppose how I think of the teams. Really, though, I wouldn't be as intricate if I just decided to rank the clubs now as they stand. But it at least provides a good starting point

1. Chivas USA – 2.25
2. Houston – 3.5
3. New England – 4.25
4. DC United – 4.5
5. Colorado – 5.75
6. Chicago – 7.5
7. New York – 7.75
8. FC Dallas – 8.75
9. Los Angeles – 9.25
10. Kansas City – 9.75
11-t. San Jose – 10
11-t. Toronto – 10
13. Columbus – 10.75
14. Real Salt Lake – 11

And here’s the raw numbers for each club, by conference:

(club - gk, d, m, f)
Chivas USA 1, 2, 3, 3 – 9
Houston 3, 1, 1, 9 – 14
Colorado 5, 5, 2, 11 – 23
FC Dallas 10, 11, 8, 6 – 35
Los Angeles 14, 14, 5, 4 – 37

San Jose 4, 8, 14, 14 – 40
Real Salt Lake 11, 12, 11, 10 – 44

New England 2, 4, 6, 5 – 17
DC United 6, 6, 4, 2 – 18
Chicago 12, 3, 7, 8 – 30
New York 9, 9, 12, 1 – 31
Kansas City 8, 10, 9, 12 – 39
Toronto 13, 7, 13, 7 – 40
Columbus 7, 13, 10, 13 – 43


Evan said...

Shocked, shocked, to see Chivas at #1!

mosler said...

Thanks Louis. It would've been cool if you'd done a ranking on your own, just thinking of the teams in general. Then doing this exercise and seeing how they compared.

Any chance you can 'forget' these results and try it?

L.B. said...

Yeah, the numbers are a bit skewed. I mean, I don't necessarily think San Jose is the 10th best team in the league, for instance. In fact, I'd rank them probably at 14 if I were to do a straight ranking.

L.B. said...

Yeah, and it is shocking that I consider the Western Conference champs who lost few players and upgraded with a few significant players coming in at number one. That's a stunner.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

l.b., Toronto isn't going to be that bad (nor the Galaxy that good). If Sutton can recover from his concussion syndrome or if Toronto FC can get a suitable replacement, the Canadians will make the playoffs. Edu and Robinson in midfield will get better, Cunningham and Dichio will have a full season to work together and the back line will be much improved.

As far as the Galaxy goes, they'll finish last in the Western Conference, won't win even 10 games and will allow at least 60 goals.

BTW, regarding Chivas USA: All bets are off if Guzan gets injured for a sustained period or leaves in mid-season for Europe.

CACuzcatlan said...

Galaxy aren't gonna be that bad. I think we'll be able to sneak into the 4th Western Conference playoff spot.

The Hammer said...

I still don't understand how you can rank a team #1 at goalkeeper when they have 0 back-ups.

Maybe if they pick up a couple of okay keepers, I guess you could model your prediction after Club America this season. Oh wait, that hasn't worked out for them. Maybe you're looking at CF Pachuca last season... oh wait, that didn't work either.

Guzan's good, but what are you thinking Luis? Chivas USA may have the best keeper, but as it stands they have 0 depth. I'd argue that at the moment, that'd be grounds for last place in the ranking. But as a rule of thumb, you can't rank Guzan alone above Cannon + Burpo.

just another one of you said...

LB I think your rankings are close, but here's what I think the rankings are given the current roster:

1. Chivas USA
2. DC United
3. New England
4. Houston
5. Chicago
6. New York
7. FC Dallas
8. Los Angeles
9. Columbus
10. Toronto
11. Kansas City
12. Colorado
13. San Jose
14. Real Salt Lake

KC probably moves up 2-3 spots with the addition of Lopez, but right now their lack of experience up top will probably lead to an early hole. I want to rank Houston lower b/c they seem to have less scoring punch than last season and have 2 liabilities at central defense. Chivas is as complete a team can be at this point in the season. Only injuries can get in their way.


L.B. said...

I agree that KC would improve with the addition of Lopez. I'd rate them higher with him aboard. I can tell you that I am not as high on Columbus nor the Galaxy as you are, and I think Colorado is much better than number 12. And given the poor results from expansion teams and San Jose's lack of punch, I'd probably rank them at 14on my list.

But that's what makes these lists interesting, our difference opinions.

Edward said...

I dunno how they are all gonna gel, but RSL has made quite the offseason overhaul. Looking at their roster, I don't have a problem putting them in the top 10.

Anonymous said...

houston defense number 1? you do realize they just got beat 6-1 by a japanese team, right?

Allen said...

why is it every spring people make predictions that more or less look how things played out the previous year even though 1/2 the teams do nothing like it? Going into 2007 who would've predicted the Galaxy would've missed out on the play-offs? What about Chivas USA coming within 2 points of the supporters shield?

L.B. said...

Allen, I thought about that when I reviewed my list. But I haven't made any predictions yet. This is just how I see things right now in the preseason, and the preseason is still to be completed.

The way things worked out last year, of course, the same two teams played in MLS Cup. But it was a different year as you mentioned with Chivas going far (after few gave them a chance) while the Galaxy crashed and burned (after many tagged them for at the bare minimum the playoffs).

I'll tell you one team that I'm very high on right now, though, is Colorado. I don't expect many hitching their wagons on the Rapids but I am. Well, at least I think I will.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

cacuzcatlan, if the Galaxy does make the playoffs, it will only be because the West is so weak outside of Chivas USA and Houston. Besides, you're expecting a young backline with two slow vets (Vanney and Xavier) and someone recovering from various injuries (Babayaro) to jell and play effectively right off the bat. IMHO, ain't gonna happen.

Actually, don't be surprised if RSL makes the playoffs this year. Yes, their defense is suspect (to put it mildly) but I truly believe that their offense holds promise. Also, having Beckerman in Salt Lake for a full season can do nothing but help.

BTW, l.b., why hasn't Chivas USA signed a backup goalkeeper? It can't be salary cap problems, can it, especially with the other off-season moves they've made? Or are Cue and company regularly taking their Alexi Lalas Stupid Pills?

Frankly, I'd rather read about that issue than about whether Jesus Padilla was born in Mexico or the U.S. and what that means to CD Guadalajara. True, you and Andrea did a lot of hard work on that story and should be commended, and getting criticized by the Mexican soccer press should be a feather in your respective caps. But the lack of a backup goalkeeper for ChUSA seems to be a more pressing issue -- unless this is another example of MLS "secrecy" regarding player transactions.

Anonymous said...

Chivas USA is trying out keepers as we speak, they're looking for their diamond in the rough. Patience.

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