Well, well, well--World Soccer Talk had some fun. Ranking the clubs' players, coaching, marketing, front office, and intangibles (which include national visibility, supporters groups, local market penetration, stadium, and club history), they took the 53 independent clubs in US and Canada and separated them into three divisions (20 in the first two divisions, and 13 in the last). While this isn't along the same lines as literal promotion/relegation, this may give us an idea of where various teams land regarding the paradigm they've set out.
The Colorado Rapids? According to these rankings, the players and coaches are ranked six out of 10, marketing is a 7/10, front office is 5/10, and the intangibles are an 8/10. This puts them mid-table in the second division surrounded by the likes of Carolina Railhawks, Chicago Fire, Louisville City FC, and Jacksonville Armada.
What troubles me?
I'm always troubled when a top-flight team in the MLS is beat out by a USL or NASL team. Minnesota United FC is #11. Sacramento Republic, Charleston Battery, and OKC Energy made the first tier as well. But then as I looked closer, I noticed:
We are the lastly ranked MLS team on this chart. Granted, there is some subjectivity to this ranking. He provided no statistical criteria for his findings, except when someone asks in the comment sections (an answer for which I'm still waiting).
I'm quite interested in what went into the 8/10 ranking for intangibles. Do we have a national visibility? I don't see that. Our supporters group (C38)? I'd give them high marks. History? We are one of the original clubs in MLS. Stadium? Market penetration? Here's how the author responded to these questions:
Colorado's FO and players score was very low compared to other MLS sides. Intangibles for the Rapids include a good stadium, a decent supporters culture and market penetration that's better than some more successful MLS team in their markets.
Of course, we could all ask further questions. What does "decent supporters culture" mean? I am encouraged that we do better penetrating the market our market than other teams--hey, that's something! Any encouraging words toward our Rapids is appreciated.
Oh! Then I noticed that our Charlotte Independence are second to last! That's right, #52 out of 53 teams.
This gives more fodder for our frustrated fandom here in Commerce City. Yes, yes, we're fighting against other sports franchises that have a huge following (along with the Denver Nuggets). But this adds to not only to the perception, also the reality of what's happening (or not happening) here in Colorado.