Israel Sesay Lottery
With the news that there will be another weighted lottery in MLS, I thought I'd go over the protocol and the odds for this one. You remember the weighted lottery, right? Over the years it's decided the fates of players like Robbie Rogers, Danny Szetela, Alex Yi, D.J. Countess, Nelson Akwari, Kyle Beckerman, and Gus Kartes. Yes, feel free to cue up the jokes about it being rigged in favor of the Metrostars. Not that it's really helped them.
Why are there weighted lotteries in the first place? According the to MLS rules, they're for:
1. Generation adidas players signed after the MLS SuperDraft
2. Draft eligible players to whom an MLS contract was offered but who failed to sign with the League prior to the Draft.
Seems like they're one of the few outdated procedures still around. I wouldn't expect them to be held a decade from now. Having said that, let's go on the actual rules. Here's an older article from the Szetela signing (which was probably the most high profile lottery), explaining how the odds are determined. Basically, you take the total points over the past 32 regular season games (one season's worth) and give bonuses to teams who did well in the playoffs. The teams with the lowest totals have the best odds of winning. Now the current rules say to use the 32 games, even though it used to be 30 back when the season was that long. So I wonder if they've changed that back to 30, just like they changed the season length as well? That would make more sense, but I'll use 32 games here because that's what the rules state and note any changes below.
According to Goff (see the first link), Toronto will not participate and Columbus can't because they already won one this year (Rogers). So with 11 teams, these are the rankings:
The two ties are broken by goal differential. I can't give exact odds because it appears they're determined by position, not points, and the example for Szetela shows ten teams. However, they will probably be very similar to that. So RSL will probably have around a 25% chance, and Colorado a 20% chance, and so on. Probably a 70% chance it's one of the first four teams.
If the drawing isn't until after Wednesday or Saturday, then these rankings could slightly change to the new results. The teams from 5-9 are packed very tightly so one result could make a huge difference. However, by the actual time of the draw MLS will probably release the odds, so this is just to get an early look at it.
Changes with using 30 games
If only the past 30 games are used instead of 32, then the following changes occur: