Last month I went over the changes and modifications for the existing leagues, for which I’ve been completing the elo ratings for a few years now. This included the starting ratings for this year’s CONCACAF Champions League, which officially kicks off next month, as well as the weighting of MLS’ new playoff style.
This month, I’m focusing on the new leagues: Canadian Premier League, and USL League One. I will also be including the “still-rough” information on the National Independent Soccer Association and the Founder’s Cup (NPSL Pro), but I will not be dwelling on it as we do not have much reliable information on how those leagues will operate.
As the new leagues are starting almost from scratch, determining reliable starting points, is somewhat difficult. To make this worse, the CPL has really been dragging out the signings and still hasn’t released any information on the salary cap.
I’ve given the league the benefit of the doubt, and opted to start the teams a little higher with the expectation that they’ll likely be losing some of their rating points to other leagues during this year’s Canadian Championship as the league begins to get settled. As a result, the starting point will likely drop for 2020 and possibly 2021, which should give the league time to find its true position in our ratings.
USL-1, on the other hand, is a little easier to work out as there is team movement from other leagues. Two of the teams are stepping up from USL-2, while two are stepping down from USL-C. As it’s the same number of teams, I don’t need to account for a change in spending of those teams. The remainder of the league are new teams, so they’ll be starting from scratch. This led me to take the average of the pre-existing teams (1082) and rounded to the nearest 50 points. Again, this isn’t perfect, but the performance of these teams (except TFC II) in the 2019 Open Cup will help correct the numbers.
For NISA, I took the mid-point between USL-C and USL-2 (1110), and rounded to the nearest 50. The Founder’s Cup, I took each existing team’s elo, added 50 points each to account for increased spending, and then found the average (1081.427) and rounded to the nearest 50.
Neither league are set to participate in the US Open Cup in 2019, although some Founder’s Cup members may be able to participate via NPSL (we have to wait on that announcement). If an FC team participates, we will use the new starting point, and watch it float.
Surprisingly, this put USL-1, NISA, and Founder’s Cup all at the same starting point for their 2019 seasons. I had thought there would be differences by doing some math for the starting point, but apparently, not so much. I guess we’ll leave it to the Open Cup to balance their start points over time.
To determine match weights, I used the exact same math that I laid out in 2017. Unfortunately, we know zip about NISA. We know the Founder’s Cup will have a 2-region split, so presumably a playoff, but not much else at this time.
For USL-1 we know exactly what we’re looking at for the season and playoffs. As a result, we are quite confident in our match weighting for this division. If NISA & FC have a similar league & playoff structure, they would have identical match weighting.
According to Clanachan, the CPL will not include playoffs, but will have something unique to soccer in North America. Additionally, 14-home matches per team has been confirmed (plus at least one for the the Canadian Championship).
We should know what that is shortly, and it may cause some alterations to the weighting. Although not actually unique to North America, an Apertura/Clausura system come to mind, as does a three-team round robin as a potential second option. Either way, we will likely tweak the weighting to match these unknown circumstances. I’ll cover this change in the February article (and edit this one with the update when it drops).
Additionally, there hasn’t been any announcement regarding the awarding of a Champions League or CONCACAF League spot to the CPL Champion, so I’ve worked out the numbers based upon the idea that it isn’t happening for the 2019 season.
These match weights may alter if something new is announced.
2019 Top Canadian Soccer Clubs
Although there may still be team announcements for League1 Ontario and PLSQ, we now have everything we need to release the first ratings chart. I look forward to watching this develop throughout the year.
We will post any updates to the format or ratings in February. Elo-rating updates, including Champions League ratings, will be available weekly via Patreon. Expect fresh elo-rating updates here on the NSXI Network every month, and Champions League updates at the end of every completed round.