Current Position: Third 53 Points
Unable to Climb Higher
Remaining Games at DC United, Home Philadelphia Union. H/A adjusted Opponents’ PPG 1.80 (second hardest)
Teams Who Can Catch NYCFC
1. DC United
12 points back, 4 games to play.
Home Dallas, Home TFC, Home NYCFC Away Chicago. H/A adjusted Opponents’ PPG 1.11 (7th easiest-tie)
DCU has to win out, and NYCFC lose out. That will put them tied on Points and Wins. GD status currently NYC +14, DCU +6. But if NYC loses out and DC wins out, NYC will be at most +12, and DCU at least +10. So DC would have to pick up an additional 3 GD, either by winning by >1 or NYC losing by >1, and then DC leads here. Next tiebreaker is Goals For. Teams are current tied, so if DC makes up the points deficit they would win this tiebreaker, meaning they only need to pick up an additional 2 GD to win.
Bottom line: any result for NYC or dropped points for DC and NYC stays ahead. Barring that, however, tiebreakers favor DC.
5 points back, 2 to play.
Away Orlando, Home Minnesota. The easiest remaining schedule in the league. H/A adjusted PPG 0.79.
The Crew have to win both to have a chance, but the schedule is ridiculously easy. If they win out and NYC gets 1 point it is a tie. Any NYC win clinches. If they draw on points they will be tied on wins. Crew GD is -2, which is 16 behind NYC, so they have to win each game by 7-9 goals to overtake NYC.
Bottom line: any result for NYC or dropped points for Columbus and NYC stays ahead, given the tiebreakers, with a minuscule chance of Columbus winning a GD tiebreaker.
3 points back, 2 to play.
Home Red Bulls, Away NYCFC. Adjusted H/A Opponents’ PPG 1.94.
The Union need at least to match NYCFC in Week 33 and then control their destiny on Decision Day. If they fall behind by one more point it is over. If the teams finish tied on points, Philadelphia will have more wins.
Bottom line: getting more points than the Union in Week 33 is key.
I’m just assuming Columbus beats Orlando and Minnesota. OTOH, if DC drops points in the next 2 games against Dallas and Toronto, that solves DC. But even assuming DC wins the next 2:
A win in DC guarantees that NYC finishes ahead of DC and Columbus, and no lower than 4th.
A draw in DC guarantees NYC finishes ahead of DC and no lower than 5th. If Red Bulls also beat the Union, then NYC finishes no lower than Fourth. If Orlando beats or even draws Columbus the world ends, but NYC finishes ahead of the Crew as well. Also NYC finishes ahead of CLB in GD tiebreaker barring oodles of goals by Columbus.
A Loss in DC means Decision Day is really scary, unless (1) DC first drops points to either Dallas or Toronto, and (2) Columbus drops points to Orlando.