- NYC is now winless in its last 5 Away games. In 2017 the longest Away winless streak was 2 games. In 2016 the team had one streak of 5 games winless Away, while achieving the best overall Away record in its short history. In 2015 the club had both a 5 and 6 game winless Away streak (and 0.882 PPG). The 2017 away record was 1.294 PPG, 6 Wins and 22 points. 2016 was 1.412 PPG, 7 Wins and 24 points (against just 8 wins /30 points at home).
- With 9 Away games left, 3-2-4 gets 22 points to match last year, and that is well within reach, though we hoped for better. 4-2-3 yields 24 points and matching 2016. The optimistic reach goal would be 5-2-2 and 26 Away points.
- With all that, it’s starting to appear that if NYC is going to win either SS or the 2-year CCL spot, they will have to do so with one of the best Home records in the league and a solid Away record. Going into the season I very much expected the opposite.
- NYC has the Fourth Best PPG and third in the East after a brutal schedule. The upcoming opponents are legitimately tough but 6 of 7 are at home and NYC needs to dominate or probably resign itself to a one-game playoff round (or hope other teams stumble even more). Fortunately there remains a somewhat substantial gap between NYC and 5th place, so at worst that 1-game playoff should be at home (Stadium TBD).
- Full season goals and how to get there:
- Well, exceeding 70 points was always a stretch, but it seemed a reasonable stretch to consider after the first 7 games. We are starting to reach a point, though, where it would take a run of truly uncommon form to get there. To reach that, the team cannot lose more than 2 games over the last 21, or it can lose 3 (and even 4) but win nearly every game it does not lose. I’m not ready to drop those possibilities from the chart, but disappointments in the next 7 games could do it.
- Finally, the line graphs, and again, with the worst of the schedule probably behind us, there is hope the lines start moving up.
- The last Goal Differential downturn in 2018 caused by the Houston loss is obscured by the 2017 line. The team GD for both years was 9 after Game 12 and 7 after Game 13.
Archives for May 2018
- NYC has more points at home than Atlanta does in 2 fewer games. Atlanta is outpacing NYC on the road, albeit against somewhat lesser competition. I don’t think that many folks saw that coming. The Away game in Houston this coming week is the sort of game NYC will need to win to keep pace with Atlanta’s Away record and RB overall.
- While it is a positive that NYC is done with what was probably the toughest part of its schedule, and Atlanta and RB probably have yet to face theirs, it is not the case that ATL and RB will have to go through something similar to NYC this year. NYC has already faced away games against the top 3 teams in the West (SKC, LAFC, and POR). Atlanta and Red Bulls both play all 3 of those teams at home this year. Columbus — like NYCFC — plays all of them on the road.
- Speaking of which, here are the next 5 games for Columbus: @SKC, TFC, RBNY, ATL, @LAFC. By the end of that we should have a good idea if the Crew is an illusion held afloat by an easy early schedule or the real deal.
- With Houston next week, NYC will have played 9 of its first 13 against the West. All that is left is @SEA 7/29, VAN 8/4, and @MIN 9/29. The club sits at 6-1-1 through 8 games, evenly split Home and Away. NYC will play 5 at Home and 7 Away against the West this year. It makes up for deficit that with extra home games against both Orlando and the Red Bulls.
- The club PPG is 2.375 against the West and only 1.25 in the East, though to be fair, the latter represents only 4 games, 3 of them Away, and 2 of those Away against the top 2 teams in the league to date. NYC has no more games in Harrison or Atlanta and 3 at home against those teams.
- I added an orange line for bye position in the East. If it ever looks like NYC will be in danger of dropping to 5th I will add one for 4th Place.
- Astonishing that right now the projection for 4th Place and a first round home playoff game in the East is higher than what would win Supporters Shield most years before last. I believe it is shaping up to be a 3-team dogfight for the top 2 spots and a bye. As long as you have a Home game and probably win, I’m not sure it is a great disadvantage to finish 3rd. Maybe a play-in game is what NYC needs to shake off its First Leg blues, but I still hope for Supporters Shield and that 2-year cumulative record CCL spot.
- Here are the line graphs and squad goals. The latter shows how hard it is to expect NYC will finish with lower than roughly 60 points this year.
- NYC’s worst 2 and best 2 games roughly cancel out: 4-0 and 4-0 against 0-4 and 0-3.
- The bad news is that Atlanta has as many Away wins as they had all last year after just 5 Away Games. The worse news is that they are actually playing better Away than at Home. They won’t finish with 2.4 PPG Away, but if they continue to excel Away they will likely win both SS and the CCL spot.
- The good news is that their Away record has not been tough. Ranking teams by PPG in a combined table, they have played 6, 11, 15, 16, and 17. Their loss was to the 11 (Houston) and the 6 is the probably over-ranked Orlando, who have beaten up their own soft schedule (Away to just 5 (the loss to NYC), 14 and 19).
- Here is the Away schedule difficulty for some other top rivals for position this year
- Red Bulls have played only 4 Away (to be fair they have 2 games in hand) against 6 (ORL again), 12, 17, 19.
- Columbus has 1 Away win against 14, 15, 18, 22, 23
- SKC has 3 Away wins against 1, 9, 15, 17, 19
- LAFC has an impressive 4 Away wins against not-so-impressive 1, 12, 13, 17, 18, 21
- The best news is that the NYCFC 2-2-3 Away record was compiled against 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 20. The 10 is Portland, who has not dropped any points at home yet (only 3 games).
- Still, Atlanta has its 4 Away wins in hand, while NYC just has a schedule that gets easier. Winning 4 of 5 Away is impressive no matter the competition. NYC has work to do on the softer part of its Away schedule.
- Also Atlanta lucked out by playing the top 2 West teams — SKC and LAFC — at home. They will also play Portland in Atlanta. On the other hand, NYC won 4 points Away to SKC and LAFC while Atlanta won only 3 against them at home.
- Of course, the big wildcard in remaining schedules is Toronto, who are ranked 22 right now but are (almost) certainly much better than that and could be a very tough game both Away and Home. Notably, except for losing to Columbus in Week 1, they have not yet played any of the major contenders noted above, which means (1) nobody but CLB has an advantage if TFC gets good, (2) TFC can gain ground on everyone by winning H2H, and (3) their remaining schedule is hard.
- The line graphs made me notice that NYC is at 1.0 PPG in the last 5 games. But what a gauntlet: ATL (A), POR (A), FCD (H), RB (A), LAFC (A).
- What is need to achieve squad goals:
- Looking at this last table, remember that NYC has a chance for an outstanding finish if they can keep it together: NER (H), DCU (H), MTL (A), CHI (H), MIN (A), DCU (A), PHI (H).
- PPG standings:
I didn’t want to write this and nobody wants to read it but here we are:
- NYCFC has lost 6 regular season games all time by 3 or more goals. The Red Bulls claim 3 of them.
- 2015 LAG 5-1
- 2016 RB 7-0
- 2016 RB 4-1
- 2017 TFC 4-0
- 2018 POR 3-0
- 2018 RB 4-0
- That NYC has 2 such losses in just 4 playoff games is beyond abysmal.
- All time, NYC also has 6 Wins of 3 or more goals:
- 2016 Colorado 5-1
- 2016 Chicago 4-1
- 2016 Columbus 4-1
- 2017 DC 4-0
- 2017 Orlando 3-0
- 2018 RSL 4-0
- NYC has slipped to 3rd place on the PPG standings in the East, and a 3-way tie for third league wide. NYC’s next opponent is part of that 3-way
- Consecutive scorelines of 0-3, 3-1, and 0-4 drop the Goal Differential down below where it was last year.
- In its six wins, NYC’s cumulative GD is +12, so when it wins it does so by an average of 2 goals.
- In its 2 losses, the GD is an average of -3.5.
- NYC’s 1.33 PPG in 6 Away games is right between its 2016 record (1.41) and 2017 record (1.29).
- NYC is only at 1-1-2 for 1.25 PPG against the East so far this year. It’s only 4 games, but NYC’s 2.0 PPG is almost entire due to crushing the West at 5-1-0 and 2.50 PPG. On the up side, NYC has had only 1 Home game against the East with 3 Away. On the down side, neither of NYC’s 2 Away wins are against the East.
- Two big losses in 3 games feels awful, but many big goals are well within reach, even if a season more or less like the last 2 suddenly seems more likely:
- Finally, here’s a Twitter thread dated about a week ago. Minkus put together a graph showing a bell curve for each team’s likely Total Points based on their xGoals in each match. It takes a minute to figure out how it works but is quite simple once you grasp it. The bottom line is that NYC has been rather lucky in its results according to xGoals. Go down the thread and he has similar graphs using PPG instead of Total Points. You don’t have to think xGoals is perfect to find this unsettling. Click the image to be taken to the original tweet.
East Record 10-7-1
At Home 7-3-1
On Road 3-4-0
Goal Differential +4
East Points 31
West Points 22
Season to Date – 40 Games
East Record 21-16-3
At Home 13-6-3
On Road 8-10-0
Goal Differential +11
East Points 66
West Points 51
The record is a bit misleading as the East has 5 more wins than losses, but also played 4 more Home than Away.