We’re halfway through with 24 points and so the easy math says we project to 48. We’re also in second place and the playoff line sits at roughly 43 making our cushion nearly 5 points.
This was a very good week for us. We also jumped from Fifth to Second in the PPG standings (I believe that is the highest all year), and no longer does every team in the conference have games in hand on us (although most do).
Philadelphia might be slipping.
The Red Bulls cannot win on the road (except Yankee Stadium).
Our road record continues to impress (1.86 PPG) as does our record against the seemingly superior West (2.25 PPG).
Our overall PPG of 1.41 is a shade short of 0.3 better than anything we reached last year excluding thru the first 3 games.
We played most of the first half without a certain pair of English midfielders who make us demonstrably better. Barring more injuries, we should expect to be a better team in the second half than we were in the first.
As bad as our home record was, it just seems unlikely we can continue to drop as many late points at home as we did in the first half of the season.
Cup Half Empty
We have 10 road games left and no matter how good a road team we are it is tough to maintain road excellence. We might do it, but don’t discount the difficulty.
We also have 2 games left against the Red Bulls. I don’t believe we’re doomed to lose to them always but I also hate betting against a trend.
I expect 3 of the teams below the playoff line: Toronto, New England and Columbus, to make solid runs in the second half and improve. Toronto especially because they have 12 home games remaining and they’re not weird about H/A ratios like we are.
I could add more here and there, but on balance I’m currently in a Glass Half Full mood as the bullets suggest. The next 5 games will be huge as we play Red Bulls twice and 4 of the 5 are on the road. We either prove our Road Warrior record is real or not. Here are the PPG standings:
How Tough Is Our Road?
The previously mentioned the next 4 are not so bad considering. The Red Bulls have 6 home wins and 4 wins over losses but New England, SKC and Montreal are a combined 4 wins over losses total at home. Those 3 are road points looking to be grabbed. We are also lucky to get the Rapids in NY this year as they are 7 wins over losses at home to date. But, one item of worry is that our last 6 road games are among our hardest. As those teams have a combined 14 more wins than losses at home. I would really like to keep building our road record in the next 4 because the rest of the schedule is notably more difficult.
What Do We Need to Do?
Probably another 6 or 7 wins:
I prefer to hope we can manage 4 wins in our remaining 7 homes games, then squeeze out another 3 out of 10 on the road. Last year Vancouver and Portland tied for the league lead with 7 road wins. To match that would be a significant accomplishment. To exceed it would be outstanding., and likely guarantee a playoff spot.