MLS Table Talk - MLS Scheduling Homunculi & SuperLiga Spanners
What an almighty mess! Just look at that 7-club pileup around the playoff Mason-Dixon line for evidence of the terrible paw of parity taking its mandatory swipe at the table. Only three points--a one game swing--separate Houston in 6th from Chivas in 14th. While the Revs struggle to detach themselves at the top of the table, and Columbus try to reel them back in, the expansion Quakes are closing the gap at the bottom and putting the Wiz in real danger of eclipsing their recent run of failure.
The points-per-game table is in a similar state. The Revs have now assaulted the summit of the 2 points per game mountain with the Crew staring longingly at the flag that Nicol's band have planted in the ice. The Fire have fallen into a trio that includes TFC and the Gals, but those three have a decent lead ahead of the aforementioned seven-pack fronted by the Bulls and Houston. And slipping away from the Realm of the Contenders are the Wizards, who continue to slide towards the Quakes--infected as they are with Expansion Fever and still lingering below the one point per game level.
The Fire's once-dominant lead in the goal differential sweepstakes (now at +11) is eroding, with the LA offensive juggernaut (and league-best 2.33 goals per game) moving to +7 and those ever-so-efficient Revs steadily gaining ground at +5. At the other end, DC's recent good stretch has seen their differential improve to -3, though they still continue to concede the most goals of any MLS club at 1.85 goals per game. Unsurprisingly, it's the Wiz and Quakes who now set the bar for futility at -6 and -8 respectively. Heck, the Wiz have even managed to drop below the goal-per-game barrier (0.91) to keep those Quakes (0.82) company.
Things don't look to get any less sticky as SuperLiga is approaching with it's own particular brand of spanner to toss into the works. The Revs, Dynamo, Goats, and United will soon be freed from the clutches of the MLS scheduling homunculi for nearly a month, but what sort of chaos is this going to wreak with the table? Time to pack the bags and set off in search of the Oracle of the Soccer Gods.
Thoughts? Predictions? Any of the numbers strike you as passing strange? Have your say in the comments.