MLS Table Talk - Sinus Infections & Clavijo's Clowns
Our weekly gander at the combined MLS table reveals that, much like any other week, more than half of the teams in the league are within two points of each other, a recipe for potentially massive change. In fact, this weekend's results, combined with SuperLiga enforced byes, led to some almighty jumps (Chicago up four places, RSL up five!) and a significant fall (TFC drops four spots). Yet, somehow, as with a severe sinus infection, the congestion just won't go away.
Turning our gaze to the points-per-game table, it's the Revs (1.94) comfortably ahead of the Crew (1.69) and the resurgent Fire (1.60). After that, the rest of the playoff pack is stretched out from United (1.47) down to TFC (1.40), the two LA sides (1.38), and RSL (1.35), who sit fourth in the actual table, but eighth in points-per game. In fact, they're only slightly ahead of KC (1.33), who are suddenly sniffing around the playoff spots again. The Dynamo, Rapids, and Red Bulls all sit on 1.25, while Dallas (1.13) are struggling for respectability, and the Quakes (0.81) are simply struggling.
Offensively, LA still rule the roost at 2.13 goals-per-game, despite a handful of less than productive outings. That's allowed DC to close to within shouting distance at 1.87, with the only other side anywhere close being the Fire at 1.60. Those self-same Fire boys are still Kings of Keeping Goals Out, but they continue to rise closer to the one-goal-per-game average, finishing the week at 0.93. Defense has been key to RSL's dramatic rise, and that's reflected in their 1.12 goals-against average, which ties the Revs for second best in the league. Futility awards this week continue to be wrapped around some familiar necks, with the Quakes woeful 0.69 goals-per-game and the Galaxy's 1.94 goals-against setting the low bars ever lower.
Curiosities in the numbers? How about Clavijo's Clowns out in Colorado? Eleventh in the table and averaging 1.25 points per game, yet they still boast a +4 goal differential. Their table position puts them smack dab between KC and New York, who currently sit on -4 and -8 differentials respectively. In fact, the Rapids' +4 ranks as the third-best goal differential in the entire league!
So what catches your eye? Do you think another week of SuperLiga-imposed exile will allow the table to spread out a bit, or is parity congestion something that just won't go away, no matter who happens to be participating in a given week?