With yesterday’s finale, it’s time to release the year-end edition of the 2016 Top Canadian Soccer Teams. As predicted, there is no change in the order of the teams. Toronto FC is still top of the pile, some teams are upset about how math & statistics work, and we’re still wondering where FC Edmonton will play in 2017. Let’s have a look at how the MLS Final affected TFC.

The Reds are still, far and away, top of the table. Although they lost in sudden-death PKs, according to official league rules, the game counts as a tie. As such, they didn’t drop as far in the ratings as they would have had Seattle managed an extra-time goal. Still, they dropped from a rating of 1515.390 to 1507.978, while the Sounders were boosted top-of-MLS from 1509.187 to 1516.599.

It’s been a busy year. We’ve had 1874 matches in MLS, NASL, USL, PDL, L1O, PLSQ, PCSL, Open Cup, and the Canadian Championship. With every match individually input, it’s been a lot of work to put together and run these ELO-ratings, and to explain them to different teams & pundits. Now that the ELO-calculator has been run using the same weighting for 3-years, the time is coming to adjust how everything works to ensure results are more reflective moving forward.

Of course, those changes have to wait until we know a couple of things. Basically, it boils down to three related questions. Will NASL exist, & what US-division will it be considered? Will USL be upgraded to US Div-2? Although we’re pretty sure we know the answer, until the USSF makes an official ruling sometime this week, we won’t know exactly how things will fall.

I’ve already heard from a number of teams, pundits, bloggers, and voyageurs in relation to a lot of how the math has worked the past few years, and those opinions are being taken into account. Well, except for the one from a certain PLSQ team that says I should ignore all matches after the season has been won. Stats don’t work on “feelings”, if you want that, look for Power Rankings instead of ELO-ratings.

Some of the things we’re considering: a mathematical weighting system for matches, adjusting home field advantage with a sliding scale (ie a PDL team up against an MLS-team will see a larger home field than two PDL teams facing off), and new starting points for all the leagues to better reflect their level of play. We’re dropping PCSL entirely, unless they get certified as BC’s 3rd division, which is unlikely. We will be also be colour-coding the chart based on league instead of starting point. There will be a few more tweaks, but you’ll have to wait to find out. We’ll be releasing an article on how ELO will be calculated set to go live January 10th, 2017. See you next year!

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