Monday Kicker: Dogging The West

Monday Kicker: Dogging The West

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 25, 2008
  • 4 Comments
  • MLS Cup Playoffs, Playoff Push

Let’s just say things out west aren’t as good as they’ve been in years past. There’s been plenty of talk today all over the soccer blogosphere about how bad the western conference is in Major League Soccer. Most of you already know my feelings on the western side of the ball compared to the eastern side.

But for now I just wanted to throw out some more stats or reasons if you will to give you further proof that the west is lucky they get three automatic bids into the playoffs this season. And maybe further proof that the league needs to be in a single table formation (though I am still on the fence about that issue).

– Kansas City and Toronto are tied for last in the East and are five points out of a playoff spot. In the West, each team would be tied for third (but based on goal differential they’d still be out of luck in terms of getting in the playoffs).

– Speaking of goal differential, two eastern sides have a negative GD. Out west five clubs have a below par GD. Oddly enough the two above the curve out west are in Texas (Houston and Dallas).

– Four Eastern teams have more wins than losses. One Western team has the same (Houston).

– Eastern teams have won a combined 22 road games; Western teams have combined for 11 road wins.

– Eastern teams have given up an average of 26.9 goals. Western teams have given up nearly three goals more at 29.7. Some will say the poor defense out in LA would make that number a bit better, it would but not by much (still 27.5).

– Eastern teams have outscored Western teams 199 to 197. That’s even with LA’s 40 goals.

– Speaking of LA, their 40 goals seem like a lot but they are close to being pasted up on that mark by DC, who’ve scored 36 of their own.

– No western club has a winning record on the road. But to be fair only three clubs in the entire league do (Columbus, New England and Chicago). But again to be fair the three worst are from the west (Colorado, RSL, and Chivas).

– Two western clubs have yet to win back-to-back games this season. Believe it or not one of those is Real Salt Lake (other being Colorado).

Now getting into the playoffs isn’t an easy thing this year, that much we do know. I’ve talked about the magic number of points in the past that would probably be good enough for the eighth and final spot (38 to 40 points).

It’s not easy to just flip the switch to win here for some clubs. I suppose this talk gives us a good bit of ammunition for the always popular “single table debate”. What do you make of this all going on right now in the league? Single table or not, its definitely giving us something to talk about here.

  • TheUltra

    I think with the league about to be unbalanced again with Seattle Joining I say next season would be a good time to test out the single table idea and see how it goes again. <br />
    <br />
    That or we could just go back to the Play off format we had last year and stick with it Conference Champs get in and the remaining 6 are taken from the rest of the top eight. <br />
    <br />
    To me that seemed like the fairest system yet devised that still gives us conference scheduling with a single table style draw for the play offs.

  • henryo

    My guess is the &quot;conf-top-3-qualify&quot; policy will continue next season (as opposed to &quot;top-2-qualify&quot; in 2007), so that no conf will completely dominate the other during playoffs.<br />
    <br />
    (Imagine if only &quot;top-2-in&quot;, West could be fielding just 2 teams for playoffs vs 6 from the East, diminishing playoffs interests of Western fans)

  • I think with the league about to be unbalanced again with Seattle Joining I say next season would be a good time to test out the single table idea and see how it goes again.

    That or we could just go back to the Play off format we had last year and stick with it Conference Champs get in and the remaining 6 are taken from the rest of the top eight.

    To me that seemed like the fairest system yet devised that still gives us conference scheduling with a single table style draw for the play offs.

  • My guess is the “conf-top-3-qualify” policy will continue next season (as opposed to “top-2-qualify” in 2007), so that no conf will completely dominate the other during playoffs.

    (Imagine if only “top-2-in”, West could be fielding just 2 teams for playoffs vs 6 from the East, diminishing playoffs interests of Western fans)