- 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.
East Record 11-9-2
At Home 6-3-2
On Road 5-6-0
Goal Differential +7
East Points 35
West Points 29
Yesterday was almost all interconference as 9 of the 11 games played were interconference and the East collected 5 wins against 3 losses and 1 draw. Until then the conferences were surprisingly even. The East seems dominant but it is not showing up in the records quite yet. Order the Supporters’ Shield standings by PPG and there are 5 from each conference in the top 10.
NYC has played 3 of its 5 games to date against the West and is 3-0-0. Subtract that from the total and the West is beating the East, slightly.
There is not one spot in these standings where the West is ahead of, or even with, the East. NYC is third in the East and third overall.
NYC is closer to the two teams behind them that to the 2 teams ahead. In fact, NYC is closer to Atlanta than Toronto, albeit barely, on PPG. None of which means a drop is more likely than a climb, but 1-2 bad results can do more harm than 1-2 good results can do good. NYC has not yet played Toronto or Chicago and has 2 games left against each. A win and a tie just draws NYC even with Chicago on points and would eave them still one point behind Toronto. FYI,
Chicago and TFC have played once in Toronto with Toronto winning 3-1. One game remaining in Chicago, but Chicago will be on short rest playing in Montreal 3 days earlier while Toronto will be on a full week of rest.
NB: The Games Played column is wrong. I’ll try to fix soon.
Toronto and Chicago are also the only two teams ahead of NYC in Goal Differential.
NYC’s defense is slipping. They are down to 7th in Goals Against (in a 3-way tie) after spending much of the early season in the top 5. They have only one clean sheet in the last 10 games. They managed 2 in the first 6. Still, they have given up 11 fewer goals than at this point last year. If you want to minimize the effect of the Red Bull Wedding last year by throwing out the worst GA game each year, the difference is still a healthy 7 goal improvement.
NYC have climbed to 1 game over even on wins and losses in MLS regular season play, which ignores the 0-5-0 record in playoffs and US Open Cup play.
NYC is just short of the halfway mark through the season with an even number of Home and Away games (although it looks like the second half schedule is harder based on opponent quality). Here is the sample finishes with results:
The bottom 3 rungs are arguably irrelevant at this point and would represent a massive collapse.
NYC is the opposite of streaky this year. On that third chart showing the rolling 5-game PPG, 2017 is living inside both extreme highs and lows for both 2016 and 2015.
- Most consecutive wins 2.
- Most consecutive losses 1.
- Consecutive unbeaten 3.
- Consecutive winless 2.
NYC has won 3 games this year by a 2-1 score. All were at home, and all came after falling behind. This includes the most recent 2 games overall. During the last 3 consecutive games at home (ignoring the US Open cup away game) the only game tin which NYC never trailed is the only one it didn’t win.
NYC is 4-4 in 1-goal games. That represents 50% of their wins but fully 80% of their losses. They have a ways to go before one could say they make efficient use of goals (although this is probably random more than anything else IMO).
That was a highly entertaining way for NYCFC to end the regular season in 2016. Last week was a dispiriting loss for NYCFC, and not unexpected. That result, plus the limited and eeasily understandable scenarios for finishing this week — which were well covered in numerous places — led me to skip my weekly write-up.
Since the team’s 4-game win streak in games 16-19, the Blues have been riding a mostly alternating up and down ride based on whether the next game is Home or Away. Since Game 19, the Home record is W-W-W-D-W-W and the Away record is L-W-L-D-D-L-L-W-L. Overall since Game 19 and before yesterday they were 6-5-3 for 1.50 PPG over 14 games. They have not gone more than 2 games without a Win, or won more than 2 games in a row during that time, dating back to July 10. If it feels as if the team has been treading water for a few months, it has. But yesterday was joyous, and all the more so because the result was very much in doubt for the first 70 minutes before NYCFC exploded for 3 goals, including a sweet cherry-on-top from Villa at the death.
East/West and Home/Away
The team finished 9-8-7 and 1.42 PPG against the East compared to 6-2-2 2.0 PPG vs the West.
They finished 7-7-3 on the road which is only a disappointment because at one point they were 5-2-1 and 2.0 PPG. It is no surprise that that pace was unsustainable. As it is the team is guaranteed both the most Away wins and most Away points which is a significant accomplishment but in no ways a guarantee of future success. Last year Vancouver and Portland had the best away records and combined for 47 Away points. This year they have 21. This year NYCFC is in the position it is almost solely due to that 5-2-1 opening stretch Away. After the disastrous start at home and before the second half of being kind-of-good, that solid stretch Away made the season a success. At Home, with yesterday’s win, NYCFC ended 8-3-6 for 1.77 PPG.
Never Won Against or Lost To
With the win against the Crew yesterday, the list of MLS teams NYCFC has never won against is down to Dallas, RSL and SKC (pending expansion next year). All are in the West and NYCFC has played each only twice.
Meanwhile, there are 4 West Conference teams who still have never won a game against NYCFC: Colorado, Houston, San Jose, and Vancouver. More impressive, or at least quirky, NYCFC has also never lost to Toronto through 5 games, with a record of 2 Wins and 3 Draws against TFC. That’s something to keep in mind for a likely first playoff opponent, although I would not bank anything on it continuing just because it has up until now.
These are new.
The top 2 both show that NYCFC maintained a better Away record than home through the first 2/3 of the season with Home finally crossing ahead of Away only around the 14 game mark. Note of course that these charts present the data as if the Home and Away games were happening simultaneously, or at least evenly, which they were not. The 5-game rolling average shows the lines crossing a bit earlier as they are not burdened by the full history. It also better demonstrates how the team’s fortune at Home and Away completely turned around in the second half.
More to come wrapping up the season. I’ve decided not to do a single omnibus wrap-up post but will spread some details and hopefully some insights throughout the week.
One East Conference game remains this weekend, but it has a limited effect on the NYCFC possibilities so why wait. I will add a brief update when the Orlando | Montreal game ends.
What We Definitely Know
With two games to go many things are becoming certain or at least clear, while others are just as muddled as ever. Let’s start with what we know:
- NYC is not only guaranteed a home playoff game (which requires finishing no lower than 4th place), they cannot finish below third place in the East. The 4th Place DCU trail NYC by 8 points and also have 2 games left. The 6th Place Impact have 3 games remaining and trail by 10 points. Neither can catch NYC.
- The race for 1st place in the East is down to 3 teams. The Red Bulls have the inside track, being tied with NYC and owning the second-level Goal Differential tie-breaker by 10 goals. Toronto has wasted its opportunities and now needs to climb over both NY teams to regain First Place.
Top Of The East Scenarios
Next, let’s move on to the easy to understand scenarios. That also involves winning the East, or at least finishing second and getting a first round playoff bye. Rather than explore all 2-game scenarios, let’s focus on where we will stand based on the next set of games in two weeks.
- We’ll begin by looking down. NYC leads TFC by 2 points.
- If NYC wins and Toronto loses or ties, NYC clinches second place. Even with a TFC tie NYC will lead by 4 points with one game to go.
- If NYC wins and TFC wins (or both tie or both lose), NYC can achieve at least second place if in the final games
- NYC wins, no matter what TFC does
- NYC ties and TFC ties or loses, or
- both NYC and TFC lose
- But if NYC ties or loses its final game, and TFC win in its last game, they will be tied and TFC will own the Goal Differential tie breaker.
- Now let’s punch up. Both NY teams are tied by the Red Bulls, as noted, own the tie-breaker:
- If next round NYC win and RB lose or tie, OR if NYC ties and RB lose:
- Then in the next week NYC finishes first if NYC win no matter what RB does
- Or if NYC draws and RB lose in the last week
- If next round both teams win, or tie, or lose:
- The NYC finishes ahead of RB of they get more points in the last game than RB
- If next round draws and RB win
- Then in the final week NYC can finish ahead if it wins and RB lose
- If next round NYC loses and RB wins
- Then RB has effectively guaranteed finishing ahead of NYC based on the GD tie-breaker, barring a 10+ goal differential turnaround in the last week.
- If next round NYC win and RB lose or tie, OR if NYC ties and RB lose:
The scenarios between the Red Bulls and Toronto are the same as between TFC and NYC, except the GD is closer, but the Red Bulls still have the edge.
NYCFC’s chances are all but mathematically done. They trail Dallas by 5 points with 2 games to play, and are tied with Colorado who has 4 games to play. Plus there is the tie with the Red Bulls.
CONCACAF Champions League
- NYC gets a spot if it wins the East.
- AFter that it gets very complicated. Another spot becomes available if Dallas win Supporters Shield or MLS Cup. Two spots become available if Dallas wins both. If TFC finishes first in the East, now seemingly unlikely, another spot opens up because TFC can only qualify under different rules for the Canadian CCL spots. Those potentially available spots go to the top US teams in the Supporters Shield race who have not already qualified. So if the Red Bulls or (less likely) TFC finish first in the East, NYC needs to finish as high as possible to try to snag one of those possible spots. Colorado has a big edge with those 2 extra games, but also has some tough travel and some short rest. But I still give Colorado the edge to finish ahead of NYC. The clearest and I think easiest path to CCL is winning the East (or the MLS Cup, of course!).
What Has Happened To TFC At Home?
As of Sunday August 6 Toronto had a 4-game winning streak, and faced 4 of its next 5 on the road followed by 5 of its last 6 at home. TFC went 3-1-1 in the next 5 and seemed on track to have a smooth path to winning the East. Oddly, the only loss came in the only home game in that set. Since then in 4-straight home games TFC is winless with one loss and 3 draws. Giovinco has missed the last 5 straight games, and that could explain the entire slide by itself, but it also seems TFC has gone off form in more ways than his absence could explain.
The Remaining Schedule for NYRB, NYC, and TFC
All 3 have one home and one away.
Red Bulls have Columbus at Home and Philadelphia Away.
TFC has Montreal Away and Chicago at Home.
NYC has DCU Away and Columbus at Home.
The following are not predictions but statements of probability based on form and my judgment, for whatever that is worth.
The Red Bulls should beat Columbus at Home but lose or draw in Philadelphia.
TFC’s tougher game is against the Impact. Beating Chicago at Home should be near automatic.
NYC has beaten DCU twice this year, but DC has just won 3 straight and since Patrick Mullins joined them they have lost only 2 times in 13 games. The first was his first appearance in which he did not start. The second loss was in NYC. Beating DC in DC with their current form will be tough. Finishing at home against Columbus should be easy, but the Crew remain the only East Conference team never to lose to NYC. I almost believe NYC will win out, but neither game is a good matchup for NYC.
What Is To Be Done
With 2 games remaining it is easy to figure out:
The only missing possibility in the chart is a 52 point finish with one loss and one draw.
UPDATE: Montreal’s win moves them up to 4th Place and drops Philadelphia to 6th, who sit on 42 points. Just last week the projected 6th place finish was 42 and now that’s the base with 2 games to go. I am starting to wonder if the playoff line always jumps a few points at the very end of the season.
Supporters Shield and CCL Chart
RSL drops off the list and is replaced by Seattle, who are mathematically out of the SS race and don’t have any real chance at CCL but deserve some recognition for their turnaround. The only team with a real chabnce of catching Dallas is Colorado, and it will take a lot for that to happen. Colorado has to win their two extra games and keep pace with whatever Dallas does Dallas in the other two to pull ahead. Colorado plays in the only game next weekend and plays midweek the following week to finally catch up on games played.
A Dallas win of the SS will free up one CCL slot and Colorado seems best positioned to take that. The Rapids are even with both NY teams on points and have 2 extra games to play. That’s not automatic but it is theirs to win or lose. Even if you assume they lose the game that have to play on 2-days rest they still have a chance to get 9 points while NYC and RB can get at most 6. Then, whether or not an additional spot opens up for the CCL, NYCFC’s best path is to overtake NYRB, who currently sit ahead on the tie-breaker, and are very unlikely to lose that advantage.
The playoffs are a certainty. NYC beat Chicago and the other dominoes fell properly this week so NYCFC has clinched a playoff spot, as did Toronto and the Red Bulls, all at the same time when the Red Bulls beat Montreal. I do not find myself particularly excited by this. I think the reason is that it has been a near certainty for 2-3 months, and a true (if not mathematical) certainty for 2-3 weeks. Also the specific result that put the Bluebirds over the top was a bad result for the team in all other respects. NYCCF is in a battle with the Red Bulls for Second Place in the conference and a first round playoff bye. The Pigeons really need the Red Bulls to drop points. That this RB win happened to clinch a playoff spot for NYCFC, which I considered a given anyway, was not even bittersweet. I just wanted NYRB to lose. Finally, with the other results this weekend NYC would have clinched once Columbus beat New England in the last game of the week Sunday night. With all that, I haven’t lost sight of how great it is the team is doing well and comfortably made the playoffs in its second year.
Apart from that Red Bull win it was overall it was a good weekend of results for NYCFC. The problem is that the most immediate concern is the Red Bulls and second place. Every other team we are trying to catch dropped points but they still seem hard to reach.
The Red Bulls and NYCFC won and everyone else dropped points. The Galaxy lost, and every other team drew. NYCFC is likely to lose the tie-breakers to everyone but LAG, so has to finish ahead on points to finish ahead. As this chart shows, even if NYCFC wins out its remaining 3 games, they need Dalls to drop 6 points, Colorado 7, and Toronto 4. The team that’s in reach and has the most immediate reward is the Red Bulls. Also, it is unclear if finishing ahead of the West Conference teams will have any helpful results. A spot in the CONCACAF Champions League is — maybe — up for grabs but there are so many movings parts to that calculus it seems too remote. NYC needs to win and get help, or it will likely finish third in the conference, and my disappointment with that prospect is clearly of the moment. pre-season I would have taken it gladly. It also seemed wildly optimistic on June 3, when the team had just lost at home to RSL, the Home record was 1-3-5, and the PPG overall PPG was 1.20. By the way, I feel much more optimistic than this post is coming out.
v East: 8-7-7 1.41 PPG
v West: 5-2-2 1.89 PPG
Home: 7-3-6 1.69 PPG
Away 6-6-3 1.4 PPG
The what needs to be done chart can start losing possibilities at the bottom with every new point:
This chart is officially meaningless to NYCFC but goes up for reference anyway. DC United is dragging the playoff line up just a bit.
DC United is dragging the playoff line up just a bit. They have lost only once in their last 10 games, over which their PPG is 1.50 compared to 1.10 the rest of the season. They are the only one of NYCFC’s remaining opponents over the playoff line at the moment. But, the other two are also playing their best ball of the season, unfortunately. The Dynamo, who host NYCFC this coming Friday, are at 1.40 PPG in the last 10 compared to 0.95 before that, and Columbus is also 1.40 over the last 10 compared to a truly dismal 0.83 before that.
NYC has two road games left and has not won Away since July 17 at Montreal. NYC’s only remaining home game is against Columbus which is the only East Conference team NYCFC has never beaten. IF NYCFC finishes strong some negative streaks will end.
Montreal’s maximum point number is 50. DCU sits at 49. NYCFC have 48 points today. One NYCFC win, or Impact or DCU loss, and NYCFC clinches finishing at least in Fourth Place and a home playoff game in the first round of the playoffs.
I present your Third Place New York City Football Club. Ugh.
What a bad week of results. The only real positive was that DC United pulled back a tie after being down 2-0 to the Red Bulls. Thanks to that NYC is tied with RB and not 2 points behind. The Philadelphia/Montreal tie was good, but neither team seems much of a threat. Toronto’s win in Chicago ends TFC’s “tough”schedule stretch in which they had to play 4 of 5 on the road before finishing with 5 of 6 at home. Before that 4 0f 5 stretch started I wrote“If TFC gets just 7 or 8 points in their next 5 tough games they are in very good shape even if NYC gets 18-20 more points overall.TFC is very likely to get 12 points in their last 6, with 5 of them at home against weak road teams. So 8 + 12 would mean 20 points in their last 11 and 56 total. NYC needs to go 6-2-2 to beat that. That’s doable, but I’d feel a lot better if TFC gets say, 5 or 6 points in the next 5 games. ”
Well, TFC got 10 points in those 5 games, oddly winning 3 of the 4 Away and losing at Home. In that same period NYC earned only 7 points in 5 games. Now TFC sites 2 points up plus a game in hand. First place seems extremely unlikely. But who knows. Maybe TFC collapses at home. I would not count on it but this season is very unpredictable so it would not be a shock either.
The larger concern is being tied with the Red Bulls with 5 games to go. We both have 3 Home Games and 2 Away. At this point we are both strong at Home and weak Away. We could easily finish tied. The first tiebreaker is Number of Wins. We are currently even and with 5 games to go it is likely that if we finish tied the two teams will still be tied on Wins. Yes, NYC could go 3-2-0 while RB goes 2-0-3 but more likely we stay tied on Wins. Then the nest tiebreaker is Goal Differential. Here, there is no hope. RB has a +12 GD and NYC sits at -1. The odds of that changing while the teams remain tied on Points and Wins is effectively zero. Even if NYC gets 5 wins and RB gets 5 losses it is not so very likely to change. The point being that NYC needs to finish ahead of RB on points to finish ahead of RB, to finish second, and to get the first-round playoff bye. Barring a convenient NY-RB collapse, NYC will need to resume winning on the road.
NYC’s poor Away form means the team has not had even a solid 2-game streak of good results since winning 4 in a row in a streak that straddled June and July. In the 10 games since then the best “streak” for NYC was 2 draws in a row as the results have been L-W-L-W-D-D-W-L-W-L. Whether NYC can change its road results back to positive will likely determine where it finishes. Getting either 4 or 6 points in the final 2 Away games would be huge. Even getting 3 could be a difference maker.
The East Conference PPG Playoff line is still pointing in the low 40s, with no indication it will move anywhere near last year’s line of 49.
Even if Orlando goes on a streak, Montreal seems stuck in a mid-40s range and is drifting lower right now, so that is probably a ceiling on this year’s line.
Finally, and sadly, I had to cross out 3 possibilities at the top of the What-We-Need-To-Do chart.
It is impossible to get 62, 60,, or 58 points. A record of 5-0-0 would get 59, not shown on the chart. That is the team’s maximum right now.
UPDATE: I forgot to add the following earlier.
With the loss to NE Revs, NYC’s record against the East drops to a very mediocre 7-7-7 for 1.33 PPG. Against the West the Blue Birds are 5-2-1 and 2.0 PPG.
The Home Record is 6-3-5 1.64 PPG and the Away record drops to 6-6-3 1.40 PPG.
Finally, the loss also means limited headway on the playoff clinching front. A win would have guaranteed that NYC finishes ahead of the Revs. Instead it still takes a minimum of two games of perfect results to clinch over the Revs, as well as Chicago and Columbus. It will take at least 3 good game results to do the same for DCU or Orlando.
- NYCFC are back in first place on points but still behind Toronto, who did not play, in PPG. This was a less than stellar week for results, largely because the Red Bulls got a win on the road in Vancouver. The competition to finish in the top 2 and sit out the first round of the playoffs is now very tight. NYC has 44 points but both the Red Bulls and TFC sit at 43. TFC also has a game in hand and 5 of its 7 remaining games at home. So despite NYC being technically in 1st place the club needs help — in the form of other teams beating TFC — to stay ahead of them. The other increased worry are the Red Bulls, who are a point behind and even on games played, but gained an advantage for themselves by finally winning a road game for the first time since the Red Bull Wedding on May 21. It was only their second Away win all year. This was big because they now have 4 of their remaining 6 games at Home. They last lost at Home on April 9 and won 9 out of 10 since then. If they win out at home (4 of 6) and NYC wins out at home (3 of 6) they leapfrog over NYC subject to a minimal likelihood of Away draws making a difference for NYC.
- As a result, if TFC does not collapse at least a little due to Giovinco’s injury, and if the Red Bulls stay true to their Home form, then NYC probably needs both to win out at Home and to get another Road win to stay in the top 2 spots. NYC’s last Away win was July 17 against montreal and they have only one Away win in their last 6 tries. Streaks seem inevitable while they are happening, but they all end, and NYC needs to end its modest winless road streak. It would also help if the Red Bulls undefeated home streak ends.
- Here are the PPG standings mentioned in the first sentence and the projected finish based on pure multiplication over 34 games. As I have previously noted, this late in the season the final projection becomes rather meaningless as a rather brief run of unexpected good or bad results can alter the finish considerably. I post it largely for archival purposes.
- You can see the tightness of the first 3 spots, a slight gap to the next two, and then the bigger gap to the remaining 5 teams vying for the last playoff spot.
- Playoff Clinching Update: NYC can guarantee finishing ahead of New England in a minimum of 2 games. SInce they play each other this weekend, that games counts as 2 and a win by NYC would ensure that NYC cannot finish below the Revs and mathematically has clinched finishing above 10th place. The remaining bottom teams have played fewer games and so it will take a minimum of 3 games for NYC to ensure finishing ahead of Chicago and Columbus, and 4 games to finish ahead of DCU and Orlando. Once NYC has mathematically achieved its magic number for 4 of those 5 teams it has guaranteed itself a playoff spot. Any non-win by NYC delays this as does any positive result by these teams. It seems likely NYC will clinch a playoff spot in the next 2-4 weeks at most. Regardless, the playoffs are a virtual certainty right now.
- Here is the updated chart of what some possible finishes get NYC in terms of a final points total.
Effectively, the 60-point mark of excellence will require no more losses, as does even 58. A finish in the range of 55-57 seems most likely, but as noted, an unusual run of good or bad results pushes higher or lower. It would be great if the team could return to its Away form of May through mid-July when it won 5 of 7 Away games. That run defines NYC’s success this year. It is the reason a playoff spot is all but guaranteed and a top 2 finish is in sight.
- Finally, the thrilling Home win against DC United leaves the East/West and H/A splits as follows:
v West: 5-2-1 2.00 PPG
v East: 7-6-7 1.40 PPG
Home 6-3-5 1.64 PPG
Away 6-5-3 1.50 PPG
- The anomalies persist: if NYC did as well against the somewhat weaker East as it does against the West it would be running away with the COnference. Similarly, NYC’s home record is not nearly as impressive as the Away record, even though they are moderately better at Home. Normal teams are much, much, better at Home than Away. Here is a look at the East Conference Home PPG standings to bring that into focus:
NYC sits in Fifth Place, barely ahead of the real-life 9th Place Chicago Fire. NYC’s record of only 1 win in its first 9 Home games kept them from running away with the conference.
- NYC PPG when Jason Kries is a head coach for the game: 1.06.
- IMO it is time to retire the Road Warrior nickname, at least temporarily. NYC has earned only 5 points in the last 6 games, and only 2 in the last 4. Also, the home PPG is now higher than the road PPG. 1.54 to 1.50. There are 3 games left to earn it back. We might not even finish with the best road record in the league if we don’t turn it around. We have 21 road points but Toronto has 19 and Dallas 17.
- 1 point out of a possible 9 against Orlando this year.
- Yesterday I was bullish on Supporters Shield, now it seems a fantasy. We’re 7 points behind Dallas with 7 to play; 2 points behind Colorado who has 2 games in hand; 2 behind both Toronto and RSL also with 7 to play. Even if we start improving, that’s a lot of teams to overcome.
- Since the 4-game win streak the team is at 1.38 PPG over 8 games: 3-3-2. Due to the slump in Away results NYC is in a moderate slump overall.
- Record against the West 5-2-1 2.00 PPG
Record against the East 6-6-7 1.32 PPG.
- Playoff clinching update: there is a minimum of 6 games combined needed to clinch finishing ahead of DC. For Orlando and Columbus the number is 5. For Chicago and New England it is 4.
- With only 1 win in the last 4 games, the top few lines on the revised optimistic what-we-need-to-do chart are looking pretty iffy right now:
- With 7 games left, the projection gets less and less trustworthy as a couple of unexpected results can alter everything, but here it is for archival purposes at least:
- In sum:
- First overall is a very long shot.
- First in the East is getting a bit suspect.
- If the team does not turn around its recent road woes, they could easily drop to fourth fast.
On August 1 I wrote: “Toronto’s schedule is so weird, and more imbalanced than ours. Ours evened up last week, and we never go more than +/-1 H/A the rest of the year. TFC almost but not quite gets even this week, but then 4 of their next 5 are on the road, and then they finish with 5 of their last 6 at home. And their opponents in those last 5 home games are terrible on the road. If Toronto can get through the 4 of 5 Away stretch and are close to us with 6 remaining they will be in very good shape.’
Toronto just got 7 points in just the first 3 of those 5 games. First Place is looking pretty damn unlikely right now, unless Toronto suddenly collapses, and soon, or NYC wins out. Damn.