2017 Best Canadian Soccer Teams: Mid-April Update

It’s been 2-weeks and 15 matches since our last Elo-ratings update. There’s been a tonne of play in throughout the top-2 divisions in Canada & USA, and we’ve seen teams move all across the board. It’s important to remember that there is a lot of volatility in the ratings at the beginning of the year, so let’s see how everyone managed.

Elo-ratings as of 12 Apr 2017. For information on how this is calculated, read our primer
MLS

Toronto FC stood top of the pile two weeks ago, and that hasn’t changed. The past couple weeks started off with yet another tie. Unlike their previous ties, this match was at home and thus hurt the Reds.  The same weekend, Montreal Impact FC had a tie that felt like a loss, once again feeling their lead slip away in the final minutes of play. Shockingly, Vancouver Whitecaps FC obtained the first victory of a Canadian side over an American side, with a 4-2 demolition of LA Galaxy. Their victory over LA was not enough to get them out of their Elo-ratings basement, with Vancouver ending the week at 1387 points.

This past weekend started off with Montreal losing by 2 goals to LA Galaxy, which had just lost to the Whitecaps the previous week. Despite this, the Whitecaps did not manage to take 2nd-place as they would lose much more spectacularly while kicking around the orange ball in the snow against Real Salt Lake. The 3-goal loss ensured that Whitecaps would remain bottom of the MLS heap. Toronto FC, looked like they were going to manage a victory against MLS newcomer, Atlanta United FC, but the match ended in yet another draw.

With a month and a half of play out of the way, there have been a grand total of 2 wins by MLS Canadian sides, and one of those was the TFC victory over Vancouver. All three teams are going to have to figure out a way to put the ball in the net if they are going to have any hope of seeing a run in the playoffs at the end of the year. Drawing (almost) every match is not going to do it, and with a few more losses we may even see some Elo-ratings dipping into the USL/NASL territory before too long.

NASL

FC Edmonton played their first two matches of 2017 against Jacksonville Armada, and they were defeated by identical 1-goal scorelines. It’s a little unfair for the 1st two matches of the season to be against the exact same team, but the double-loss is extremely painful for the Eddies. If you review the primer, you’ll notice that NASL matches are weighted heavier than USL matches as a result of silverware coming from both the Spring and Fall seasons. This helps explain why a pair of losses sends FC Edmonton to the bottom of the 2nd-division in the Elo-ratings.

USL

This was a very different period for USL-sides. With 1st-team loans no longer playing on the USL-sides, we had a better impression of what to expect. TFC II were demolished, 4-0 by Tampa Bay Rowdies and WFC2 squeaked out a tie. Ottawa Fury FC’s first USL-match was disjointed, and ended with them losing 3-2, as a result of an own-goal. This week’s results left all three Canadian-sides below USL’s average of 1225.

TFCII played a mid-week match, giving them 3 matches in 2 weeks. They were defeated 3-1 by Orlando City B, which continued to decimate their rankings. It seems that without first-team players to lend them a strong hand, TFCII are going to struggle to produce anything this year.

In the 2nd weekend of play, TFCII improved slightly as they managed a scoreless draw against Rochester Rhinos. As this was a home draw, they continued to dip in the rankings and now sit at 1209 points. Ottawa Fury FC continued their slide with a 1-0 loss to former NASL rivals, Tampa Bay Rowdies. With 2 consecutive losses, Fury site just above NASL’s FC Edmonton at 1207. Shockingly, the only victory for a Canadian-based side this past weekend came from Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. The mini-Caps played at home this weekend, and walked away with a strong 3-0 decision against Cascadian rivals Seattle Sounders FC 2. This successfully shot them to the top of the 2nd-division, and above the USL/NASL average, to an Elo-rating of 1227.

Preview

With the next Elo-ratings update coming on April 26th, there are 12 MLS, NASL, and USL matches. TFCII takes the 1st week off before an all-Canadian match-up for Ottawa’s home opener. The next update will be the last featuring just Division 1 & 2 teams, with 3rd & 4th division leagues starting play throughout May. Here’s the schedule we get to look forward to:

April 14th:

  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC host Seattle Sounders

April 15th

  • Columbus Crew SC host Toronto FC
  • Montreal Impact host Atlanta United
  • Richmond Kickers host Ottawa Fury FC
  • North Carolina FC host FC Edmonton

April 16th

  • Portland Timbers 2 host Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2

April 21st

  • Toronto FC host Chicago Fire

April 22nd

  • Philadelphia Union host Montreal Impact
  • Portland Timbers host Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  • Ottawa Fury FC host Toronto FC II
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 host San Antonio FC
  • FC Edmonton host Puerto Rico FC
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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.

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