Featured Matches
Previous
Valencia
Malaga
3
0
FT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
2
3
FT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
4
0
FT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
1
3
FT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
1
0
FT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
1
0
FT
Game Details
Valencia
Malaga
3
0
FT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
2
3
FT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
4
0
FT
Game Details
Perugia
Bologna
2
1
FT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
Nurnberg
0
4
FT
Game Details
FSV Frankfurt
RB Leipzig
0
0
FT
Game Details
VfR Aalen
Kaiserslautern
2
2
FT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
Valenciennes
1
2
FT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Troyes
0
4
FT
Game Details
Chateauroux
Orléans
0
0
FT
Game Details
Le Havre AC
Créteil
1
1
FT
Game Details
Nimes
Arles
2
2
FT
Game Details
Niort
Clermont Foot
0
0
FT
Game Details
Sochaux
Dijon FCO
0
1
FT
Game Details
Stade Laval
AC Ajaccio
0
0
FT
Game Details
Go Ahead Eagles
Willem II Tilburg
1
0
FT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Fortuna Sittard
0
3
FT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
Jong Ajax
2
0
FT
Game Details
Helmond Sport
NEC Nijmegen
1
4
FT
Game Details
Jong PSV
FC Eindhoven
1
3
FT
Game Details
RKC Waalwijk
Jong FC Twente
1
2
FT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Almere City
3
1
FT
Game Details
Sparta Rotterdam
FC Volendam
0
5
FT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Emmen VV
1
4
FT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Vitoria Setubal
1
1
FT
Game Details
Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast
Terek Grozny
0
1
FT
Game Details
Balikesirspor
Akhisar Belediye
1
2
FT
Game Details
Caykur Rizespor
Genclerbirligi
1
1
FT
Game Details
KAA Gent
KV Kortrijk
0
1
FT
Game Details
Helsingborg
Halmstad
1
4
FT
Game Details
Orebro SK
Brommapojkarna
3
1
FT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
Cork
2
2
FT
Game Details
Bray
UCD
2
0
FT
Game Details
Derry City
St Patricks
0
1
FT
Game Details
Dundalk
Bohemians
3
2
FT
Game Details
Limerick FC
Drogheda Utd
0
3
FT
Game Details
Shamrock
Sligo
1
0
FT
Game Details
Glenavon
Ballymena
2
1
FT
Game Details
Coleraine
Portadown
0
0
FT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
1
3
FT
Game Details
Queretaro
Monterrey
0
1
FT
Game Details
Tijuana
U. de G.
1
1
FT
Game Details
Carmarthen
Port Talbot
2
1
FT
Game Details
Newi Cefn Druids
Connah's Quay
3
2
FT
Game Details
Aberystwyth
Bangor City
3
3
FT
Game Details
Airbus UK
Newtown
3
0
FT
Game Details
T.N.S.
Rhyl
6
1
FT
Game Details
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
San Antonio Scorpions
2
0
FT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Crucero del Norte
3
0
FT
Game Details
Huracán
Patronato
0
1
FT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Ferro Carril Oeste
1
1
FT
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Atlético Tucumán
0
0
FT
Game Details
Temperley
Sp. Belgrano
1
0
FT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
San Martín de San Juan
1
0
FT
Game Details
Atlante
At. San Luis
1
1
FT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Lobos BUAP
0
0
FT
Game Details
Joinville
Oeste
2
1
FT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
América Mineiro
0
0
FT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Goianiense
2
0
FT
Game Details
Arica
Palestino
1
0
FT
Game Details
12 de Octubre
Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Moroka Swallows
3
0
FT
Game Details
Chippa United
Ajax Cape Town
1
1
FT
Game Details
Next
Jun 11, 2014

SPI: South American top two

Will Spain's "tika-taka" style, excellence in midfield, and native Brazilian Diego Costa lead it to make history as the first European team to win the World Cup on South American soil? One of the Men in Blazers says yes, and one says no.

ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) is an international and club rating system designed to be the best possible representation of a team's current overall skill level. As opposed to other systems like the FIFA rankings, SPI is forward-looking and predictive. It is designed to project which teams will have the most success going forward, not rate the success of teams in the past - though the two are obviously related.

SPI Rank Team Off Rating Def Rating SPI
1 Brazil 3.37 0.52 91.82
2 Argentina 2.85 0.45 89.99
3 Spain 2.69 0.45 89.13
4 Germany 3.2 0.77 88.91
5 Chile 2.71 0.7 86.71
6 France 2.48 0.62 86.11
7 Colombia 2.18 0.45 85.82
8 Uruguay 2.24 0.7 83.34
9 England 2.21 0.69 83.23
10 Netherlands 2.31 0.82 82.45
11 Belgium 2.14 0.74 81.97
12 Ecuador 2.03 0.77 80.64
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina 2.31 0.99 80.31
14 Portugal 1.99 0.8 79.78
15 Italy 1.98 0.82 79.49
16 Russia 1.65 0.63 78.96
17 Ivory Coast 2.25 1.05 78.87
21 Switzerland 1.98 0.92 78.04
22 USA 2.05 1.01 77.42
23 Mexico 1.55 0.69 76.87
24 Greece 1.34 0.54 76.74
25 Ghana 1.86 0.95 76.36
26 Croatia 1.75 0.92 75.72
27 Nigeria 1.67 0.89 75.20
29 Costa Rica 1.33 0.7 74.15
32 South Korea 1.69 1.09 73.57
33 Japan 2.13 1.35 73.49
37 Cameroon 1.48 0.99 71.28
39 Iran 1.3 0.89 70.62
41 Honduras 1.56 1.16 69.6
42 Australia 1.64 1.23 69.44
65 Algeria 1.12 1.16 63.43

Soccer Power Index explained

SPI differs from other rating systems in a number of ways.

• For international matches it weights each match based on the lineup each team is playing. This is often a problem for international ranking systems, as most teams do not put out their best lineup in every match. SPI recognizes that and weights the importance of each match based on how seriously both teams are taking the match

• Mexico is a great example of how this works. Coming out of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Mexico was 9th in the FIFA rankings and 10th in SPI. Then Mexico proceeded to lose all three matches in Copa America, which dropped its FIFA ranking to 20th. However, Mexico brought nothing more than a glorified U-23 squad to that tournament, which did not include any of its top players that had just competed in the Gold Cup. Undoubtedly the world learned very little about how Mexico would perform in matches it actually cares about based on that performance. SPI detected Mexico's lack of first teamers and de-weighted the matches such that Mexico did not move in the rankings at all.

• There is a time effect such that a match played yesterday is weighted more toward a team's rating than a match played two days ago, which is weighted higher than a match played three days ago, and so on. For clubs the cut off for the "assessment period" is four years. For international matches the cut off depends on how much data we have for the particular team. For countries that play a relatively large number of matches per year (say, Spain), the cut off will usually be somewhere between 4-5 years. For countries that almost never play (Belize, for example) the assessment period could go back six years or more.

• It weights the result of each match based on the quality of the opponent. Clearly, beating San Marino 1-0 is not the same as beating Germany 1-0. SPI identifies this and gives each team the appropriate amount of credit (or blame) based on how the team performed relative to how well it should have performed given its opponent.

• Home-field advantage is also factored into this "expected" performance for each team. France beating England is more likely to happen in Paris than in London. So France would be rewarded more heavily for an away win, and conversely, penalized more harshly for a loss at home. Based on historical evidence, home pitch advantage is slightly higher in international matches compared to major club competition. This is taken into account as well.

• It uses club play as an indicator for international performance. SPI very carefully looks at how players in the top European leagues are performing and adjusts those players' international teams accordingly. For example, if Robin van Persie goes on a scoring spree for Manchester United in the Premier League we would expect him to at least somewhat continue that form for the Netherlands. Strong play for a club incrementally increases the rating for that player's country. Conversely, poor play for a club could adversely affect country ratings as well. Keep in mind that this is a small part of the rating. The majority of a country's rating comes from its performance on the field as a team. And for countries that have no players playing in the top European leagues, all of their rating comes from their international matches.

• It is based on goals scored and allowed, not wins, losses and draws. This goes back to SPI's definition of being a forward-looking system. Since the 1998-99 season, Premier League teams that enter a match with a better goal differential in league play, but fewer league points, have a record of 179 wins, 138 losses and 130 draws. Similar trends show up in other leagues like La Liga and Serie A as well as other team sports across the world. Because SPI is trying to predict future events, it uses the stat that correlates better future success - scoring margin. Other systems like the FIFA rankings and the ELO ratings are solely based on wins and losses, which is why SPI is better at projecting future success than these two methods.

The outputs of SPI are offensive and defensive ratings for all 217 international countries and every club that participates in the Barclays Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and the Champions League. The numbers are interpreted as the number of goals a team would be expected to score (or allow) against a league-average team at a neutral site. For example, if Manchester United had an offensive rating of 2.0, it would be expected to score 2 goals against a league average defense (think 10th-place team in the Premier League table). And if Chelsea had a defensive rating of 1.0 it would be expected to allow one goal against a league average offense.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.