Wednesday, January 20, 2016

US Soccer Combined Leagues 2016

UPDATED 1/7/17: Final standings updated with folded teams.

Just suppose that many years ago, the US Soccer Federation required all professional teams to play in the same league system. Just suppose that they decided that it would be best to always have two equal leagues, east and west, and then divide teams vertically into Division 1, Division 2, etc. Just suppose that, each year, they promoted the best teams from Division 2 and relegated the worst teams from Division 1.

And here's the big leap. Just suppose that we didn't have any more teams playing than what we actually have.

In 2016, the USSF has 60 professional teams. Three teams folded/withdrew after the 2015 season (Austin Aztex, Atlanta Silverbacks, and San Antonio Scorpions). New teams added to Division 2 West were Rayo OKC, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Swope Park Rangers KC. In the East, the new teams in Division 2 were Bethlehem Steel, Cincinnati, Miami, and Orlando City B.

To balance the leagues, Saint Louis was moved from the East to the West.

Here is a map of the teams. Click the rectangle tab thing in the upper left to get to the list where you can deselect the separate divisions.

Here are the final standings:

Since a wonderful home-and-away round robin won't actually happen in each league above, I will substitute that with ranking the teams by points-per-game, including each team's league and cup games actually played in 2016, only counting games against teams in its division (Division 1 or 2).

At least one team from each Division 1 league will be relegated and at least one team from each Division 2 league will be promoted. The final number will be determined by the number of professional teams in 2017 and the resultant promotions without relegations to even out the divisions. Without adjustments to the number of teams, three would be relegated and three would be promoted. Since the same number of teams have been announced for 2017 as played in 2016, three relegations and three promotions are shown.

The Division 2 teams shown as "ineligible for promotion" are B teams. B teams can't be in Division 1.