CONCACAF released their latest club rankings in the continent. The Union came in as the top-ranked MLS team. However, does this ranking really mean anything?
First, seeing a rank list like this was a dream for Union fans years ago. Whether the ranking is bogus or not, it shows how far the Union has come.
The top 10 teams in CONCACAF ranked below:
The latest edition of the Concacaf Club Rankings is out!
➡️ Monterrey remains in the top spot
➡️ Liga MX leads Top 10; Nashville moves up
— Concacaf Champions Cup (@TheChampions) September 7, 2023
Do the Rankings Make Sense?
The Union sit 6th in CONCACAF. However, without any MLS Cups or CCL titles to their name, does that make sense? The answer is yes.
While the Union doesn’t have a crowded trophy case to show for it, their success over the last 4 years speaks for itself. This is not necessarily a rank of the best. Moreso a rank of the most consistent. No one in MLS has shown consistency like the Union.
Since 2019, the Union has finished in the top 3 of the Eastern Conference every season. Although they only have a Supporters Shield and Eastern Conference title to show for it, the Union has set the bar.
On top of the consistency in MLS play, the Union has had constant success in continental play as well. In their two CONCACAF Champions League appearances, they have made it to the semifinals both times. This past summer, they made it to another semifinal and took down LIGA MX giant Monterrey in the third-place game in the Leagues Cup.
So, while the Union has stayed consistent in MLS, they have also held their own and downed multiple LIGA MX teams. Put all of that together and the Union being MLS’ top-ranked team in CONCACAF is more than fair and justified.
A List Like This is Flawed No Matter What
While the ranks are fair, any list that includes teams that don’t play each other in the same league is pretty bogus. The top teams in LIGA MX most likely wipe any MLS team off the planet if the games are held in Mexico. Though MLS is rapidly closing that gap, it is still there.
Another flaw of this list is the power ranking like recency bias. For example, the biggest mover was (rightfully) Inter Miami. While Messi and company have come to Miami and pulled them from the dump, Miami still sits in the lower tier of MLS. Messi and Miami still have a tiny slither of playoff hopes.
Miami winning the Leagues Cup certainly should’ve upped their stock. However, Miami being ranked 12th in the continent while sitting 14th in the East (27th in the league) is all you need to know about this list being meaningful.
This ranking is a cool and fun thing for the Union to hang their hat on and use for free promotion.
Featured Image: Wes Shepherd/PHLSportsNation