Monday, September 17, 2012

MLS: Eastern Conf Playoff Outlook

Somebody is going to be left out because there are six teams battling for five Eastern Conference playoff spots.

Last week I decided that opponent difficulty was too important to ignore in this league. So, let's first take a look at the average difficulty of each potential playoff team's remaining opponents as they stand on the MLS True Table:

Avg Opponent Rank on Table : Team
14.6 : HOU
13.0 : DCU
10.3 : CLB
9.5 : CHI
9.7 : NYR
7.7 : SPC

Houston and DC have the easier schedules on average. But with only 5 or 6 games left that number might be misleading. Let's take a look at remaining games against TOP 10 clubs.

Against Top 10
0 : HOU
2 : DCU
3 : CLB
3 : NY
4 : CHI
4 : SPC

This kinda leaves the Crew out in the cold as Houston and DC are the two clubs they are trying to catch. It's looking like the October 20 match up between the Crew and DC is going to be a huge six pointer for that last playoff spot.

The Crew do have an advantage in remaining home games. It's gonna be all DC and Crew, right down to the wire.

NYR : 4
CLB : 4
CHI : 3
HOU : 3
DCU : 2
SPC : 2

While I'm at it... Federico Higuain or not, it's intensely frustrating to be writing about a team as talented as the Crew fighting for playoff table scraps. There is no reason for the Crew to be in this position at this point in the season. None. This team should be battling for home field advantage or even the Supporters Shield.

More on this in a month's time, SAYETH HELLTOWN.

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