Thursday, January 21, 2016

What The Season After Brings

Going to cut to the chase here: Recent MLS Cup Final losers do pretty well the next year, just likely won't win the Cup.

There's more to it, of course. But that is the long and short. Here's a table that plots out the years around the last six MLS Cup runner-ups. Small group I'm looking at here, but in MLS terms, it might as well be a generation. "Generally," the teams that make the final but don't win are working through a three or four-year cycle.

YearTeamYear PreviousRunner-Up YrYr After Final2 Yrs After Final
2010FC Dallas1.301.671.531.15
2011Houston Dynamo1.101.441.561.50
2012Houston Dynamo1.441.561.501.15
2013Real Salt Lake1.681.651.651.21
2014New England Revolution1.501.621.47
2015Columbus Crew SC1.531.56

Makes a lot of sense, actually. You hear about three-year plans all the time in MLS. Turns out it's kind true! You'll notice the bad news coming for Columbus next year. Massive drop off there.

Unless you're the LA Galaxy, you are not returning to win the MLS Cup after losing. If anyone can, I suppose Gregg Berhalter can. Not seeing it though. At least not right now. While Crew SC made the final, the playoffs were a hatchet job - the team losing more than they won by the end of it.

Year three is here, though. Should see a nice regular season for the team. Fifty-some points. I think that's about right unless we see a couple key players added. 

Here's a chart that shows the three-year, rise and fall thing I'm talking about:

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