I can't look at the MLS standings and figure anything thing out... first you have these idiotic and utterly pointles "conferences" which serve no purpose other than to obfuscate, and second you have no rhyme or reason to the number of matches played. Sounders have played 4 more matches than Chicago, and 2 or 3 more than most of the teams we are chasing.
So, because; a)I'm a total dork, b) have too much free time, c)like to play with numbers, and d) just get confused by the MLS standings; I keep a spreadsheet with my OWN MLS standings, based on points per match (PPM) and what I like to call "extrapolated standings". The concept is simple. Take Chicago, who are sitting on 17 points with only 14 matches played. Their PPM is 1.214, and they have 4 matches in hand, so 4 x 1.214 = 4.856, which when added to 17 gets you 21.856. I'm sure you can follow the math and logic, and if you can't you've already stopped reading, which I suspect is most of you by now... At any rate, the point is to get an idea of what the standings would be if everyone played an equal number of matches, and since you can't take points away, I add points to account for the "games in hand" some teams may have. Yes, its based upon assumptions, but I think its helps to have a concrete number to see exactly where the Sounders sit in the standings:
yeah, I know this is basically the PPM standings you see published here occasionally...
the moral of the story is that we are essentially even with Chicago (.008 ppm is not very significant) but they hold a better GD, and we can look at Houston in our taillights for now... but as you can see we have a virtual 4-points deficit and 6-goal difference to #8, a team we still have the home leg against, and we can pull back San Jose into striking distance with a ever-more-possible-looking win there on Saturday.
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