MLS Table Talk - The U-6 Scrum
If some of that movement (Dallas +7, Chivas -5) looks a little extreme, it's because I lost a week of doing the Table Talk due to vacation, so the numbers account for positional shifts over the last two weeks. Still, the scrum in the middle continues to look like the center circle at an under-6 game, with everybody packed into a telephone-booth-sized patch of grass around the ball. The Quakes are doing their bit to tighten things up at the bottom, and the Revs long sabbatical from league play has let the rest of the field close ranks at the top.
The points per game table is fairly similar to the actual table as we get more results in the can and the gap in games played starts to narrow. Note that Dallas at #6 is artificially high based on their having played more games than those around them in the table, while Chivas at #12 is artificially low, having played fewer games. In fact, Dallas and Chivas are only separated by 0.03 points per game.
Offensively, the Galaxy continue to lead the way by a fair distance (2 goals per game to United's 1.76), despite not being able to win a game in recent memory. That's because their miserable 2.11 goals against per game means their giving up more than half a goal per game more than any other side in the league. Three goals this week for the Quakes bumps up their league-worst 0.79 goals per game, which is actually closing in on the goal-shy Wiz at 0.94.
So what's the big picture? At this point, it's a difficult thing to call. If the middle of the pack teams continue to average around 1.2 points per game, the Revs are only a couple of weeks from cementing themselves as locks for the playoffs. The Crew and Fire might be in the same boat as well if they can hop aboard the Consistency Train. After that, it's a crapshoot. The Quakes looked dead and buried a couple of weeks ago, but now they're only 5 points out of the final playoff spot and are joining that huge pack separated by a few scant points that are looking to make a push as we head into the final third of the season.
If you've got a more intense numbers itch that my mild Table Talk won't scratch, I'd suggest you go check out the statistical alchemy that's going on over at Sports Club Stats. And if you've got any thoughts about the MLS table, please share them in the comments below.