2017 Best Canadian Soccer Teams — End-August Update

As usual, there was a lot of action over the past couple of weeks. We’re looking at some position swaps in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Divisions. I thought things would look a little more stable at this point in the season, but it looks like everyone wants to keep things interesting.

The story for 1st Division clubs over the past few weeks has been fairly consistent. Toronto FC has continued to plow through the competition, scoring 3 goals in each of their 3 matches. They let in a goal in their first match in Chicago and their final match in Montreal, but maintained a shut-out in their home game against Philadelphia.

Montreal only played 2 matches, splitting the identical 3-1 scorelines between the win against Salt Lake, and the loss to Toronto. In contrast, Vancouver downed Houston 2-1, drew against Seattle, and then defeated Orlando 2-1. As a result, Vancouver has once again tip-toed above Montreal in the elo-ratings. All 3 Canadian sides are above the league average at the moment, and it will be interesting to see if they can keep that up to the playoffs.

NASL

FC Edmonton played a pair of matches as they aimed to improve their standings through the fall season. Their home match against Puerto Rico FC did not go quite as planned, as the Eddies only managed a draw. After a long flight to San Francisco, FC Edmonton managed to perform significantly better. They took home 3 points as they defeated Deltas 2-1. Additionally, the finally managed to leapfrog Toronto FC II in the elo-ratings, with a score of 1157. They are still below Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, but only by a couple of points as the West Coast team sit at 1159. This is going to be an interesting fall for the Division 2 elo-ratings.

USL

Ottawa Fury FC continue to droop in the ratings. Although they still sit at the top of Canadian Division 2 clubs, they only managed to draw in Tampa Bay, and then followed that up with a 3-1 loss to FC Cincinnati. They came home this past weekend, and managed another draw against New York Red Bulls II. Draws are better than losses, but for a club that may or may not make the USL playoffs, they need to start generating a few more wins. That being said, with their recent change of coach, we’re probably going to look back on this as more of a development season than a championship run.

Toronto FC II, as mentioned above, are now at the bottom of the Canadian D2 clubs. They did, however, still manage to improve their elo score. They started off this period with a 2-1 loss against Richmond Kickers, but followed that with a road win against Charlotte Independence and a home draw against Saint Louis FC. As a result, they went from a score just shy of 1147 up to 1152. The Mini-Caps also managed to improve their score over this period, going from 1153 to 1159. The road draw against Rio Grande helped. The 1-0 loss in San Antonio was a concern, but it was easily shrugged off as a result of the 2-1 victory over LA Galaxy 2. Although neither of the reserve teams are within reach of the league-average, they’ve had a fairly steady trajectory throughout the season. If I had to guess, by the end of season, both teams will probably be around 1125 and below FC Edmonton who are experiencing a great recovery.

Elo-ratings as of 31 August 2017. For information on how this is calculated, read our primer
Elo-ratings as of 31 August 2017. For information on how this is calculated, read our primer

One of the big headlines of the past two weeks of League1 Ontario action: Sigma FC did not play a single match. Between not having played and the results of a couple matches that did occur, Sigma FC has been leapfrogged by not 1, but 2 teams in the elo-ratings. As predicted previously, Vaughan was able to easily retake the #2 position, with a 4-2 road win over Durham, a 4-0 road win over London, and a 6-0 road stomping of Master’s FA.  The #3 position has been taken by Oakville Blue Devils, in large part because of their 11-0 dance against Windsor, although the 4-2 road win against North Mississuaga certainly helped their cause.

Woodbridge Strikers were able to maintain the top spot among 3rd Division teams. They defeated Master’s, 4-1, at home on August 22nd. The North Toronto Nitros managed to hold Woodbridge back, eeking out a 2-2 draw.

FC London trounced Sanjaxx, 4-0, and also took down TFC III, 3-1. As a result, the club now sits 20th overall on the elo-ratings with a score of 918. North Mississuaga also performed well, defeating ProStars, 2-0, and Windsor TFC, 4-0. Toronto Skillz split their matches, losing 3-1 on the road against North Toronto Nitros, but winning 2-1 at home against OSU Force. Durham defeated Aurora, 2-0, on the road, while Sanjaxx gave ProStars a 1-0 loss.

Elo-ratings as of 31 August 2017. For information on how this is calculated, read our primer
Elo-ratings as of 31 August 2017. For information on how this is calculated, read our primer

Six matches were played out over the past couple of weeks, with some surprising results. The biggest surprise has been the disappointing results coming out of AS Blainville. The team was top of elo-ratings in Division 3 for most of 2017, but they managed to chalk up a 3-2 loss to CS Mont-Royal Outremont, and drew at home against CS Longueuil. As a result, they’ve dropped to 5th within the 3rd division, and are within a couple more poor matches of losing the top PLSQ spot, with Longueuil sitting a mere 6.5 points behind.

Also surprising has been the performance of Dynamo de Quebec. The Dynamo started off this period with a 2-0 victory over a struggling CS St. Hubert. Not content with just a victory over the league’s basement, they went on to a 1-0 victory on the road against FC Lanaudiere. As a result, Dynamo are less than 3 points behind FC Gatineau in the elo-ratings.

Rounding out the matches from the past couple of weeks, FC Gatineau lost to CS Longueuil, 2-0, and CS Mont-Royal Outremont defeated CS St Hubert 3-2 on the road. CSMRO has fared quite well over the past month, so it looks like the team is finally starting to find its groove. We are seeing a great late-season rally from the club, which has put them 2nd on the PLSQ table, although they still trail both Blainville & Longueuil on the elo-ratings.


Select additional tabs above to switch league summaries.

Elo-ratings as of 31 August 2017. For information on how this is calculated, read our primer
Elo-ratings as of 31 August 2017. For information on how this is calculated, read our primer
Closing

Our next update will be September 14th, which will be after the 2nd-leg of the PLSQ Cup semi-finals. With AS Blainville facing CS Longueuil, we could see a change in the league’s elo-leader if their results in league action transfer over to cup-play. Sadly, as I will be driving across Canada while I move from British Columbia to Ontario, there will only be the 1 update in September.

If you’re really excited about keeping up to date on Elo-ratings, consider donating on Patreon. Although these update articles come out twice-monthly, all patrons will receive weekly Elo-rating updates, which may provide a better view of a team’s trends throughout the year. There will be a slight gap while I move across country, but I will endeavour to catch up on the missing weeks once I’m back online. There are other Patreon benefits available as well, and we aim to add more as we are able.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this:
Liked it? Take a second to support NSXI on Patreon!
Shawn Gray

Shawn Gray

Shawn Gray is an experienced author who has previously published articles on transit, cycling & politics. With a Bachelor of Arts (English) degree, a Bachelor of Education degree, an Event Management graduate certificate, and two years of Business Administration, his education has helped him connect with a variety of people, through numerous industries. In 2014, he was a Team Lead in the Club Section of TD Place, where the Ottawa Fury host matches. Now located in Victoria, British Columbia, Gray enjoys the local PDL matches, and tries to watch his favourite clubs online with his infant son whenever possible.

%d bloggers like this: