Saturday, November 10, 2007

HOU vs NE: Best Method For Predicting the MLS Cup Winner?

Looking back at the previous 11 MLS Cups, are there any factors that could provide a clue as to who's going to win? Let's look at the previous eleven cups to see how the two finalists have done taking into account several different factors. All categories are for the regular season only, except for playoff stats (where it's up until the cup). Shootouts counted as draws, as usual.

Higher Seed

Record: 3-5
2007: Tied

Higher PPG (shootouts as draws)

Record: 4-7
2007: HOU

Better Offense

Record: 5-6
2007: NE

Better Defense

Record: 6-5
2007: HOU

Goal Differential

Record: 5-4
2007: HOU

Better Playoff Record

Record: 6-3
2007: NE

Better Playoff Goal Differential

Record: 6-5
2007: HOU

Season Series

Record: 2-3
2007: NE

More MVP Finalists

Record: 5-2
2007: N/A

Highest Individual Goalscorer

Record: 5-4
2007: NE

Distance to MLS Cup City

Record: 7-4
2007: NE

More Players Used

Record: 5-4
2007: HOU

Most Goalscorers

Record: 4-6
2007: HOU

Most Time Since Last Playoff Game

Record: 4-3
2007: NE

Most Points in Previous 10 Games (all competitions)

Record: 6-5
2007: HOU

Most Points in Previous 5 Games (all competitions)

Record: 4-6
2007: HOU

Yeah, it's pretty much a tossup. Not much you can gather from this, other than anything can happen in one game. The thing I find interesting about this year's game is that NE been a better offensive team this year, and they've also allowed more goals as well. But you wouldn't know that based on the playoff results. Obviously you do what you have to do to win, although Nicol's yet to taste victory. Meanwhile, Houston's defense has greatly improved but the offense is basically the same. Kinnear continues to do solid work.

My feeling is that NE is due. I had that feeling ever since the Open Cup final where they opened up and came out firing against Dallas. Then, ever since the first playoff game where DC struggled, they became my pick to win it all. The slotting of Ralston in for Dorman shows me that maybe Nicol's become more flexible in his tactics, which is another good sign. Hopefully that will result in a more entertaining game for us. A New England victory would not only give them the double, but also cement their place as one of the top single season teams in MLS history and making them sort of a dynasty as well. A loss would be beyond devastating.

Comments on "HOU vs NE: Best Method For Predicting the MLS Cup Winner?"

 

Blogger D.H. Pang said ... (11:15 AM, November 11, 2007) : 

I agree that NE is due, and it would be good for the league to have NE lift the cup. Although I want them to win, I have to give it to Houston on a 2-1 victory. Even without Ching and Clark, Houston just has too many weapons and are too strong in the back.

 

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