Wednesday, June 4, 2008

MLS Cup, U.S. Open Cup, Supporters Shield - Where do we stand?

Those are the "Big 3" in MLS trophies, none of which we've ever won. While watching the USOC pbp I was doing some number fiddiling to figure out where we stand in getting one of the 3 this year.

USOC: Out after loss to KC
MLS Cup: To be decided at the end of the season, currently have home-field advantage to the final
Supporters Shield: Goes to the best regular season record

Right now that's New England, with 20 points from 11 games. If we use points per game though the leader is Chicago with 19 points from 9 games. We're at 15 points from 10 games. Lets do some figuring to see some best case/worst case scenarios.

Best case:

  • Nobody played better than .500 ball the rest of the way, or 1.5 pts/game. That would put Columbus on top.
  • That gives them 30 points the rest of the way.
  • Added to their current 19, that's 49 points.

  • Lets say the Rapids play really well and only get 2 draws the rest of the season.
  • That means they would have to go 11-7-2 to top 49 points.

Middle case:

  • One of the top teams, say New England, settles in around 1.7 points/game for the rest of the season and sets the bar.
  • New England would end up with 32 more points.
  • Added to their current 20 they would end with 52 points.

  • The Rapids do draw a couple of games, say 3 games.
  • That means they would have to go 12-5-3 to top 52 points.

Worst case:

  • Everyone but the Rapids keeps their current pts/game average.
  • Chicago would then be the winners with 31 x 2.1 = 63 points

  • The Rapids do eventually draw some games, say 4 games.
  • That means they would have to go 15-1-4 to top 63 points

What's all this mean? Not a ton yet, but you can see that even only a 5 point gap with a game in hand is already a bit of a mountain to climb. We can't afford to slip back much further if we have any hope of getting the Supporters Shield.

(Credit for the inspiration for this analysis goes to the great team at USS Mariner and their similar analysis for the M's record.)

No comments: