With MLS, NASL, and USL seasons officially underway, movement has begun on the ELO ratings chart. Although the ratings haven’t changed enough to actually move any teams, momentum has already begun to show itself. Team ratings are starting to hint at what may be in store for teams in these leagues. Additionally, NSXI has put together the complete list of teams that will be participating in L1O, PLSQ, PCSL, and PDL action this summer, allowing us to add them to the chart.
In total 12 teams were dropped from the rankings. With the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) announcing that there would be no return of their reserve league this year, they represent the largest area to lose teams. Similarly, the PDL & PLSQ lost a handful of teams each.
Fortunately, 12 new teams were added to take their place. Since most of the additions were in 3rd Division play, this should result in an overall improvement in the playing quality of Canadian Teams. The USL brought on three reserve teams, the PLSQ added a two teams, and L1O added three. The remaining four additions were split evenly between the 4th division PDL & PCSL.
With the ratings now calculated, we can see some jostling starting between Toronto FC and Montreal Impact of the MLS. If the trend continues, we should see the two teams from Eastern Canada switch positions long before this time next month. The reserve teams in the USL started off their seasons by copying their first teams for positioning. Whitecaps 2 remains well ahead of both Toronto FC II and FC Montreal. Eastern Canada has a really hard time in USL & MLS, with both Toronto and Montreal teams sitting below the average of their respective leagues.
With only a single match played in the NASL, it’s hard to really claim that a trend that begun. It can be said that the two teams are picking up right where they left off last season: with dismal performances. Both teams dropped in their ratings after losing their opening matches. Most concerning is the Ottawa Fury FC, who now sit only 30.107 points above L1O’s Toronto FC Academy. League 1 Ontario is the only league yet to announce their 2015 schedule (coming this week), but unless the Fury turn things around, the Academy may start their season sitting in 5th place of Canadian clubs.
With only three leagues, which make up a paltry 19% of Canadian Teams, currently playing matches, ranking movement is still relatively slow. By this time next month, PLSQ, PDL and PCSL will all have played their opening weekend, and it’s likely that L1O will start around the same time. Movement between 3rd & 4th Division teams should come quickly as they begin play. With Ottawa Fury’s current struggles, we may see them jostled along with lower-division teams, but they were plagued by carry-over cards & injuries during their fist week of action so anything is possible.
The next ELO update should be released around May 7th. It will be interesting to see what kind of change can happen once all 42 Canadian teams are in action.