MLS Table Talk | Goal Scoring Parity

Time to talk tables as MLS marches towards the one-third point. Chivas hold steady at six points clear, but the trailing pack has changed, with the Dynamo and Fire neck-and-neck on 21 points and surprising DC United only two points back of that duo. Below United is the almighty scramble for playoff positions, with just two points separating the Sounders in 5th (17 points) from the Galaxy in 11th (15 points). Below that scrum is the land of the bottom-feeders, population 4, with RSL (12 points) holding a two point edge over Dallas (10 points), who in turn lead the Bulls and Quakes, locked together in a death spiral on nine points, though the Quakes have managed their nine in two fewer games. Of course, the Bulls did thump the Quakes 4-1 at one point this season, so who can be said to suck more?

The points per game table throws up some interesting changes. Chivas still lead the way (2.1 ppg), though their lead is narrow above the Dynamo (1.9). Thereafter follows a confused trailing pack of the Fire (1.6), followed by the Rapids, United, and the Revs (1.5). Beneath this group are the Sounders (1.4), trailed by the Crew and Galaxy (1.3), who round out the playoff sides. Who's out of the playoffs on points per game? TFC and the Wiz (1.2), RSL (1.0), Dallas and the Quakes (0.8), and, of course, the Red Bulls (0.6). Confused yet? No? Then let's move on...
  • Attack! There is no single dominant offensive side in MLS. The Fire, DC United, and the Rapids all boast 1.5 goals per game, but the entire league is scoring between 1.2 and 1.5 gpg, with the lone exception of the miserable Red Bulls, limping along in the rest of the league's wake at 0.9 gpg.
  • Get Back! Nobody keeps them out like your Western Conference leaders. Houston (0.6 allowed per game), Chivas (0.7 apg), and Seattle (o.8 apg) are the only sides that can boast averages below 1.2 apg, a mark that includes another side from the West, the Galaxy, and the leading defensive side in the East...the Wiz? Huh? When it comes to futility, the Quakes let the Bulls off the hook this time around, shipping two goals per game. Their response? Trade away Nick Garcia. Hmmm. Hope they're planning to upgrade.
  • Difference Engines. Chivas (+9) and Houston (+8) lead the way, with the Bulls and Quakes united in crapitude (-10). Outliers? How about 7th placed TFC on -4 or the 11th placed Gals on +1? The quality cliff seems to happen after the Rapids, as they, and everybody above them, is on at least +3, while the rest, with the exception of the strange case of the LA Galaxy, have even or negative goal differences.
  • Just Win Baby. Chivas have more losses than their HDC-mates and the same number as five other sides. So why the 6 point cushion? How about boasting 8 wins, 2 more than any other side, and double the total that most of the playoff pack is sitting on?
  • Loss Leaders. The Red Bulls have lost 9 of their 14 games. That's two more losses than anybody else in the league. Wonder what kind of incriminating photos Osorio has of the Red Bull FO that his job still doesn't seem to be under threat?
  • Draw it Out. No need to wonder who leads the league in's the LA Drawlaxy, of course, with 9 of the indifferent results, two more than their closest challengers, the Crew and DC United.
So that's some of what I see in the numbers above. Anything else strike your fancy? Any trends you happen to be noticing? Anybody else think the goal-scoring parity is a bit strange?

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