The Round of 16 is now complete and we know who will be facing off in the quarterfinals. I’ve also discovered that my fears of using the MLS-entrants average for the starting elo ratings were pretty solidly founded. First, let’s have a look at how things stand.

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Despite poor performances in the opening leg, the MLS-sides performed well against their competition. Aside from the blow-out performance by New York Red Bulls on Thursday night, the matches were competitive. This would indicate that the initial elo ratings between the MLS-sides and those they faced were relatively well balanced. That being said, the Mexican sides definitely feel underweighted, especially América, Guadalajara and Tigres, who soundly defeated their opening round compeition. This will likely be corrected in the first leg of the quarterfinals, but it will do so at an overwhelming cost to Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders FC.

Three-fifths of the MLS sides moved forward, compared with all four Mexican sides. The outlier is Tauro, which falls into 8th position. Tauro got in by the skin of its teeth. With the opening round splitting a victory between Tauro and FC Dallas, it came down to the number of away goals. This allowed Tauro to move ahead, only to look forward to facing América in the quarterfinals.

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By the current Elo configuration, Toronto should advance over Tigres, and New York should take down Tijuana. América is almost guaranteed to drop Tauro, and the Seattle/Guadalajara match up should be competitive.

That being said, anyone who pays any attention whatsoever will have a very different view. In all likelihood, the TFC/Tigres match will be a difficult slog for TFC, and the New York/Tijuana match will also be challenging. Seattle is likely going to be stomped by Guadalajara. Sure, the elo ratings will be corrected after the first leg, but I’d like them to be closer to reality at the start, so there will need to be adjustments for how I determine those starting points for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.

Click for full-size table. Yellow highlights are locked values following the Round of 16.

One possibility comes from using the ranking pots that CONCACAF actually uses to seed clubs. Based on 5-years of competition, they may hold a clue to how the starting points can be improved. Compare the current standings in the chart to the left, with the elo-ratings at the top, and you’ll see a pretty significant difference. The Reds drop to 5th, all 4 Mexican sides move to the top, New York, Colorado, and Seattle round out the bottom of the top 8, with Tauro just out of the top pot.

I have a couple ideas with which I’ve been experimenting, but I’ll leave them for my end of year elo review article when I mull over how to tweak the ratings. As loyal Patreons, I’d like to invite you to send me your thoughts on how I can better balance the CCL starting elo ratings.

In the meantime, we have a great weekend of opening matches to enjoy before the CCL quarterfinals kick off on Wednesday. I’ll have another Patreon-only CCL article next weekend, with updated elo ratings including all the action.

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