Sunday, August 15, 2010

2010 MLS Remaining Strength of Schedule

Sure, there's still a third of the season remaining. I don't think, though, that it's too early to begin looking at this. The playoff picture is starting to clear up a little, with 5 teams seemingly in good shape and 6 more with little chance, leaving 5 teams (CHI-COL-SEA-SJ-TOR) fighting for the final 3 spots. Of course, we all know that it's foolish to write anyone off in MLS. A hot finish can sneak you into the postseason, and from there your chances are as good as anyone's.

Here is the remaining strength of schedule for each team, ranked by the average points per game of their opponents. The number of home/away games remaining for each team is listed in the other column.

Remaining SOS - Opponents' Overall PPG

1 HOU 1.214 5-5
2 LA 1.291 6-4
3 SJ 1.293 6-6
4 TOR 1.303 5-6
5 SEA 1.324 4-5
6 CHV 1.326 6-5
7 PHI 1.327 6-5
8 KC 1.346 5-6
9 NE 1.347 5-7
10 CHI 1.349 7-7
11 CLB 1.353 5-5
12 DC 1.386 5-5
13 COL 1.424 6-5
14 RSL 1.446 4-5
15 DAL 1.475 6-5
16 NY 1.500 5-5

With two more home games than away and the second easiest schedule, the Galaxy are in great shape. They really don't need the help, but with this kind of finish they can make a run at the record books. They probably should be even bigger favorites for the Supporters Shield than they already are.

The Red Bulls, on the other hand, have the toughest schedule. The last couple games could give them momentum going into the playoffs, but the next six are all against contenders with four on the road. Despite this, me and everyone else still expects them to qualify given their added talent.

The Dynamo have by far the easiest schedule, but it appears to be too little, too late. They need 6-7 wins in their last ten games, and that's a bit much to expect. I do think they should finish strong, though.

The Revs have been hot a few weeks now, but they have two more away matches and it's hard to see them getting the large haul of points necessary.

Now, whenever I post something like this, a lot of people always want to see a more detailed analysis where you use the home and away PPG rather than just overall. So I've also done that, here:

Remaining SOS - Opponents' Home/Away PPG

1 LA 1.173
2 HOU 1.183
3 TOR 1.250
4 CHV 1.254
5 DC 1.265
6 CHI 1.308
7 NE 1.317
8 PHI 1.332
9 KC 1.343
10 SEA 1.352
11 COL 1.352
12 CLB 1.371
13 SJ 1.405
14 DAL 1.423
15 NY 1.511
16 RSL 1.600

Four teams moved up/down by more than two places. DC United & Chicago move up by 7 and 4 places respectively, while Seattle moves down 5 spots and San Jose goes all the way from 3rd to 13th, 10 spots.

However, in terms of the actual average PPG, Chicago and Seattle had little movement. RSL's PPG moved up the most, followed by SJ. DC's moved down the most, followed by LA.


Comments on "2010 MLS Remaining Strength of Schedule"


Blogger Daniel said ... (1:36 AM, August 16, 2010) : 

For the good of the MLS, I'm riding on the FC Dallas wagon for MLS cup. It might be the only way to attract more supporters to PHP. It is unfortunate that they only average about 10000 per game in a stadium for 21000. San Jose brings about 8500 in a tiny place for 10000.


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