Fun with international club rankings

How would Atlanta or the New York teams fare in other leagues? How about the Colorado Rapids?

We have no idea. But FiveThirtyEight runs its statistical magic on such things, so why not play around with the data and do some projecting?

First, let’s take a look at all the leagues whose clubs are in the rankings and compare them three ways:

  • Mean (average)
  • Median
  • Sum of top five (the “cross-country meet” scoring system)

This is what we get, sorted by mean …

LEAGUE COUNTRY MEAN MEDIAN TOP 5
La Liga Spain 45.3 36.0 59
Bundesliga Germany 52.7 46.5 87
Premier League England 80.0 87.0 42
Serie A Italy 93.1 99.0 58
Ligue 1 France 108.0 108.5 159
Russia PL Russia 148.4 121.0 248
Brasileirão Brazil 207.3 207.0 503
Superliga Argentina 223.3 206.0 546
Süper Lig Turkey 223.7 243.5 339
Primeira Liga Portugal 229.4 261.5 381
Super League Switzerland 237.4 251.0 668
Liga MX Mexico 257.8 264.5 848
La Liga 2 Spain 261.5 243.5 818
Bund (Austria) Austria 268.3 276.0 797
Eredivisie Netherlands 285.6 323.5 430
2. Bundesliga Germany 294.7 312.0 1075
Championship England 303.8 335.5 842
Allsvenskan Sweden 331.2 379.0 820
Ligue 2 France 340.3 383.5 951
Serie B Italy 349.0 386.0 1089
MLS USA 363.3 376.0 1277
Eliteserien Norway 366.9 400.0 1168
Premiership Scotland 368.7 423.0 1286

The top MLS team in the rankings is Atlanta United (213), then NYCFC (231, pending a likely loss to Seattle in a few minutes) and the New York Red Bulls (234). Here’s how Atlanta would stack up in each league.

  • 2nd: Scottish Premiership
  • 3rd: 2. Bundesliga (Germany)
  • 3rd: Eliteserien (Norway)
  • 3rd: Ligue 2 (France)
  • 3rd: Serie B
  • 4th: Austrian Bundesliga
  • 5th: Premeira Liga (Portugal)
  • 6th: Allsvenskan (Sweden)
  • 6th: Eredivisie
  • 6th: Championship (England — in the playoffs!)
  • 6th: Super League (Switzerland)
  • 7th: Liga MX (also in the playoffs, maybe)
  • 9th: Süper Lig (Turkey)
  • 10th: La Liga 2
  • 13th: Brasileirão
  • 14th: Russian Premier League
  • 16th: Superliga (Argentina)
  • 20th: Ligue 1 (ahead of Metz)
  • 20th: Serie A (ahead of Verona)
  • Last: Bundesliga, La Liga, Premier League

The 10th-ranked team in MLS is LAFC at 356th. How would they rank elsewhere?

  • 5th: Scottish Premiership
  • 6th: Eliteserien (Norway)
  • 8th: Austrian Bundesliga
  • 8th: Allsvenskan (Sweden)
  • 9th: Super League (Switzerland)
  • 9th: Ligue 2 (France)
  • 10th: Serie B
  • 11th: Eredivisie
  • 15th: Russian Premier League (ahead of two)
  • 16th: 2. Bundesliga (Germany)
  • 17th: Championship (England)
  • 17th: Süper Lig (Turkey)
  • 18th: Liga MX (ahead of Veracruz)
  • 20th: La Liga 2 (has 22 teams, so ahead of three)
  • 27th: Superliga (Argentina)
  • Last: Bundesliga, La Liga, Premier League, Brasileirão, Ligue 1, Premeira Liga (Portugal, barely), Serie A

Colorado is ranked 449th. They would finish last in each league except Ligue 2, Allsvenskan (Sweden), Eredivisie (??!!), Scottish Premiership, Eliteserien (Norway) and the Super Lig (Turkey). They wouldn’t be relegated in Sweden or Scotland. Everywhere else, they’re second- or third-tier.

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