Real Salt Lake jump five spots as Joao Plata ends scoring drought

The LA Galaxy kept their spot at the top of the Sportify Rankings with a 1587 point rating, a few points lower than their Week 20 rating. The 1-1 draw at CenturyLink Field was LA’s fifth away draw of the season. Had the Seattle Sounders been able to make better use of the 2.35 xG they created in their first game without Coach Sigi Schmid, the gap between LA and FC Dallas might be greater. The Sounders moved one position upward to 17th but will need to improve their one point per game average if they are to make a push for the playoffs.

The clash with the greatest impact on the rankings was Real Salt Lake’s away victory over the Philadelphia Union. Without a goal since May 28, Joao Plata ended the drought with a beautiful goal to tie the game for RSL at the top of the second half (see 1:31 in the MLS Highlights below), and Javier Morales sealed the 1-2 victory in minute 54. Real Salt Lake gained five spots to break into the top ten, and the Union fell five positions to number 18.


Here’s the complete Week 21 Power Rankings table:



The method: The Elo rating system
Elo ratings are a calculation of performance in head-to-head competitions originally developed for chess. This method has been used to rate a variety of competitions, including soccer. For each team, the calculation considers final scores, margin of victory, home field advantage and strength of schedule.

Sportify builds on existing ELO methodology, improving the season starting rating by using a combination of a proportion of a team’s rating in the previous season and a proportion of the league’s average rating. Wins always add points and losses always deduct points. Unexpected results, such as the upset of a strong team by a lower rated team, cause a greater fluctuation in points compared to “expected” results.