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Does Goal Differential Matter?

So Sounders FC are now +6 GD after 10. 4-2-4 for 16 points.

Does it matter? Per a conversation on GoalSeattle I wondered if there is actually a correlation between GD and Points. Well tonight after Match Day Ten was over, I ran those numbers.

From 2000 to 2008, a total of 105 team seasons. During those seasons teams finished with goal differentials as high as +22 and as low as -36, with as many as 64 points and as few as 14. Not every season consisted of 30 matches, there was some fluctuation between 28 and 34. At this point I have not reset those to a 30 match baseline.

I will be making that adjustment later.

For now, there is a Correlation of 0.883739663 between GD and Points on Table. That is fairly strong. It is NOT certain, just strong. Read more on correlation here.

Four teams finished with +18 (that would be +6 after 10 taken to 30 at the same rate), they had between 45 and 59 points, but with an average of 53.5. Again, this is not a certainty. There are 20 matches left. Plenty of work to be done.

But the fact is that when you score more than your opponents you are more likely to have a team that wins more games than it loses.