Thursday, November 5, 2015

MLS 2014-15 Combined Standings, Cost per Point

There are many ways to measure success in Major League Soccer. Outside of performance in the playoffs (which, by the nature of it, can be influenced by loads of outside factors), perhaps the cleanest was is to look a regular season table points total of the last two years.

115Seattle Sounders FC23
114FC Dallas23
112LA Galaxy42
110D.C. United13
110New York Red Bulls24
105Columbus Crew SC15
105New England Revolution6
103Vancouver Whitecaps FC11
102Portland Timbers11
100Sporting Kansas City10
97Real Salt Lake5
90Toronto FC-10
81Houston Dynamo-26
79Philadelphia Union-13
79Montreal Impact-16
77San Jose Earthquakes-13
69Colorado Rapids-29
66Chicago Fire-25

Next up is a look at the point differences, 2014 to 2015.

Montreal Impact23
San Jose Earthquakes17
New York Red Bulls10
Toronto FC8
FC Dallas6
Colorado Rapids5
Portland Timbers4
Vancouver Whitecaps FC3
Houston Dynamo3
Sporting Kansas City2
Columbus Crew SC1
New England Revolution-5
Philadelphia Union-5
Chicago Fire-6
D.C. United-8
LA Galaxy-10
Seattle Sounders FC-13
Real Salt Lake-15

Going to have a little bit of fun here and whip up a little metric. We'll call it POWER POINTS. Consistency (repeatability) is extremely important in sports, so what I'm going to to is take the absolute value of the year to your point total difference and subtract it from the total of the two years.

Example: New York Red Bulls. 110 pts - 10 point, year to year difference = 100 POWER POINTS.

Power PtsTeam
108FC Dallas
104Columbus Crew SC
102D.C. United
102LA Galaxy
102Seattle Sounders FC
100New England Revolution
100New York Red Bulls
100Vancouver Whitecaps FC
98Portland Timbers
98Sporting Kansas City
82Real Salt Lake
82Toronto FC
78Houston Dynamo
74Philadelphia Union
64Colorado Rapids
60Chicago Fire
60San Jose Earthquakes
56Montreal Impact

Crew SC get a gold star here. Their point totals year to year were 52 in 2014 and 53 this year. That's about as consistent as you can be. In fact, best in the league. I love results like that. For me, it's the first place I look when trying to figure out if something is going well or not. One year improvements like Montreal, San Jose or the New York Red Bulls suggest instability just as much as teams that dropped points like a rock in Real Salt Lake, Seattle or the LA Galaxy.


Another clean way to look at success in the regular season is to take the aggregate (year end) salaries of both years and divide them by total points earned in the regular season.

$ p PtTeam
$75,547D.C. United
$76,057FC Dallas
$79,456Columbus Crew SC
$85,879Real Salt Lake
$100,091Sporting Kansas City
$100,185Chivas USA
$105,319Portland Timbers
$109,892Vancouver Whitecaps FC
$116,918Houston Dynamo
$118,635San Jose Earthquakes
$122,525Colorado Rapids
$126,126Philadelphia Union
$131,657New England Revolution
$138,175Montreal Impact
$138,249New York Red Bulls
$153,226Chicago Fire
$198,897Seattle Sounders FC
$291,386LA Galaxy
$429,503Orlando City SC
$438,746Toronto FC
$495,258New York City FC

You can see that there are basically three tiers of teams in MLS, in regards to spending on the competitive nature of the regular season (versus jersey sales, or ticket sales or what have you). DC, Dallas, Columbus and Salt Lake are clearly smart spenders. NYCFC, TFC and Orlando are wasteful.

The measure of success of any season is based upon goals each team sets forth (failing to set goals is a fail, of course), so it's impossible to know who achieved what on a team by team basis. What the above can do is give you a read on which teams are healthy and which are not.

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