MLS Watchability Rankings for Week 24 / by Harrison Crow

By Harrison Crow (@harrison_crow)

Welcome to our MLS week 24 watchability rankings. The rankings are a metric we utilize to try and identify the best games to watch for a neutral in this weekend of upcoming game. If you aren’t familiar with how we put it together, please have a gander at the original article where we explain it.

Seattle vs. LA Galaxy - 76
I know that Seattle has won five straight but their underlying numbers still aren’t great and the run of home games and luck have played into their overperformance and regression towards the red line. This holds the possibility for much of the same.

The Galaxy are a team that is basically just, and only, about the attack. I’m not sure if Zlatan ends up playing and that will dramatically play into whether or not this game is worth watching. With him it might be worth to check in. Otherwise, it’s probably a really awkward meeting where both teams strengths are met head on and leads to a rather ugly game. 

Philadelphia vs. New York City FC - 97
This is the game of the week and for good reason. Not only is this a game with two good teams but it’s two games that could showcase a solid playoff match-up. The Union are an underperforming, unlucky bunch of loveable misfits and I will argue against their 18th overall ranking.

NYC is a great team. Not only that they’re consistently ranked high in watchability. Their short, quick passes that lead to slicing attacks are wonderful and Maxi Moralez has quietly become one of the most influential players in Major League Soccer. 

Vancouver vs. New York Red Bulls - 93
Vancouver is recovering from a mid-week game and it’s very possible that the ranking metric overrated this game. It’s possible, if the right group of attackers comes out, Vancouver is exciting. But probably not.

But New York is the one reason to want to watch this. Not only them but Tyler Adams who most assuredly be a figure with the USMNT going forward. New york is also ranked 4th overall so the whole team is rather enjoyable. The game might be overestimated in the rankings but there could still be a reason to tune in. 

Montreal vs. Chicago - 62
This is the least exciting game on the docket. Chicago is sitting bottom of the East and honestly, there isn’t much that draws you to this game. Maybe Raheem Edwards but they are also bottom of the Watchability Rankings and ultimately there isn’t much that can be redeemed here.

Montreal is a completely average team in every respect. I suppose if you’re an Ignacio Piatti fan there is that for you but for the casuals ultimately there isn’t much of a reason to turn in to this one. 

FC Dallas vs. Minnesota United - 95
Dallas has continually dropped and while everyone seems to think it’s not anything to be too worried about, I’m not convinced. Their expected goals are a bit underwhelming since Mauro Diaz has left. While Dallas tend to be a counter attacking team claiming that’s why they’ve managed to get results in lieu of their underlying numbers is a bit of a leap to me.

Minnesota is not a good team but they tend to be a really enjoyable one to watch. Again, that’s mostly due to Darwin Quintero but so long as he keeps up being amazing, it’s probably worth tuning in. 

Kansas City vs. Portland - 93
Poised to be one of the better games this weekend, it’s a match-up of two teams that could very well could see each other in the upcoming playoff game. Kansas City is a good team that has a lot of positive aspects to it according to the ranking.

Portland is just ahead of SKC in many of the same categories. The problem here is the amount of fouls that each team tends to accrue. 

Houston vs. Salt Lake - 82
Their attack is great. I love it. They are ranked 9th and have some holes in their game overall but their just short a central defensive midfielder of being a team capable of making a run at the Supporters Shield.

Every game is just about a must... okay, maybe not a must win. But Houston is a team looking to slide into that sixth spot RSL presently occupies. This is a true six point game and it could be interesting but then again one of these teams might just play for the one point. The watchability rankings considers this and despite not knowing the context of the game it believes that this game will tend to be played conservatively. 

San Jose vs. Toronto -  74
I want to say nice things about San Jose... but, you know (if you don’t have nothing nice to say... yada yada yada).

Toronto is a team that’s interesting, especially with them being healthy but they are playing on short rest after beating Vancouver mid-week in the Canadian Championship and are short Jozy Altidore after his red card last week. This game might not so great. 

Atlanta vs. Columbus - 88
Atlanta continues to be high up in the rankings and why not, they’re a really fun attacking team. But the model continues to play down Columbus. It’s possible that I’m personally overestimating Columbus but, Wil Trapp... amirite?

DC United vs. New England - 79
Black and Red are ranked all of 21st in the rankings but with all the changes they might be underrated. As for New England they seem to be on a backward trajectory but still are doing enough to make them interesting. This might be another game undervalued.

Los Angeles FC vs. Colorado - 90
LAFC is our new Watchability Ranking Champion, and likewise Colorado is second from the bottom. But Colorado has made changes to their tactics and it’s realistically possible to see them move up the rankings here in the next few weeks. It’s possible that this game is higher than the metric projects.

team Games PPG Player-xG SH-Even CR/TB FOUL PpDFA dribbles Rank Final Rank
Los Angeles FC 23 1.57 1.174 10.87 6.22 23.391 9.568 22.435 123 1
New York City FC 24 1.96 0.958 11.96 13.93 24.125 8.65 18.75 121 2
Atlanta United 24 2 1.208 10.96 8.04 21.875 9.484 18.125 108 3
New York 23 2.04 1.043 9 9 23 9.086 17.13 106 4
Minnesota United 24 1.21 0.875 11.21 7.16 23.625 9.873 17.75 101 5
New England 23 1.26 0.652 12.17 17.79 26.087 10.065 21.348 98 6
Portland 21 1.76 0.714 13.86 12.46 22.667 11.423 19.143 93 7
Kansas City 23 1.7 0.696 13.43 22.72 22.652 9.498 19.304 92 8
Houston 23 1.17 1.435 12.04 17.54 22.913 11.954 20.87 89 9
FC Dallas 23 1.83 0.783 11.17 9.03 21.261 11.077 20.783 88 10
San Jose 23 0.7 0.826 13.74 29.77 25.826 10.876 17.783 80 11
Vancouver 24 1.38 0.833 11.63 28.25 23.542 11.862 20.625 79 12
Orlando City 24 0.96 0.708 10.5 17.77 23.375 10.03 21.5 78 13
L.A. Galaxy 24 1.5 0.958 11.58 18.58 22.958 10.827 15.75 77 14
Montreal 25 1.2 0.44 10.52 10.38 23.16 11.158 24.24 77 14
Salt Lake 24 1.46 0.458 11.79 15.45 22.708 9.71 16.667 74 16
Seattle 23 1.39 0.478 13.91 23.56 23.217 10.638 14.696 74 16
Philadelphia 23 1.3 0.652 14.13 32.42 22.478 11.475 21.522 73 18
Columbus 24 1.63 0.792 11.96 19.36 21.875 11.387 15.917 67 19
Toronto 23 1 1.087 8.65 12.41 19.652 12.13 22.826 67 19
DC United 20 1.05 0.75 8.5 11.12 23.2 12.112 17.2 60 21
Colorado 23 1 0.609 12.22 24.8 27.043 12.48 14.435 56 22
Chicago 25 0.92 0.48 11.72 18.55 20.88 11.039 16.8 46 23