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MLS Internet Oddities

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Cruising the 'net researching this wonderful upcoming match between Seattle and DC United I found a few intriguing themes concerning the league.

EVERYONE is focused on the Playoff Race.

Even if they get the tiebreakers wrong. There's a great widget at DCUnited's blog. I almost loaded it here. Then I realized that the tie-breaker they use is Wins. Most fan blogs use as their lead tiebreaker Goal Differential.

Here's a reminder of the Tie-Breakers

1) The highest position shall be awarded to the team with the better win/loss record in current regular season games against all other teams equal in points. (head-to-head competition)

2) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the greater goal difference against all other teams during the regular season. (goal differential)

3) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team scoring the greatest number of total goals against all other teams during the regular season. (total goals)

4) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be applied only to games played on the road by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (road 1-3)

5) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be applied only to games played at home by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (home 1-3)

6) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the fewest team disciplinary points in the League Fair Play table during the regular season.

7) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position in the standings shall be determined by the toss of a coin.

8) The first tiebreaker in a three-way tie is also head-to-head, but it is determined via points-per-game versus the other two teams. If two teams are tied in points-per-game head-to-head, the next tie breaker is goal difference.

If the Season ended right now, Chivas USA could not be the 8 seed as they do not hold the tie-breaker v they, RSL and NER

Chivas has 3 points in 3 matches played
RSL has 6 in four
NER has 6 in 3

Jeff Bradley has a piece on the milestone seasonal numbers. It is a solid read. It gives Seattle a reference for some history in the league.

BUT, the Crew are still pacing for a 50 point season - 53 in fact. They've home games left in the bag. Too often we all forget this. Any assumption made on final points must have some inclusion of home/away history.

And while 20 goals may be from a bygone era while the best transfer overseas. Would a league with multiple teams with two players at 10+ goals really be a boring league? As for the double double (secondary assists to be certain) I would be amazed if Cummings doesn't do it. Nate Jaqua has as good a shot as any as well.

He is wise to note that the playoffs will be distinctly influenced by home-field.

Lastly, Toronto fans will almost certainly get their grass. Those Mar/Nov home games on grass are going to be a thrill for their players.

With March having average sunshine of less than 4 hours per day, a mean temp of 34 degrees Toronto may get to see the wonderment of not just the orange ball, but also match rescheduling due to frozen pitch. Or they could just never play at home for the start of the season (a start which will need to move up if the league is to avoid things like the World Cup).

Then there are the playoffs. November is warmer (mean 41), but it rains twice as much and they get only three hours of sunshine a day.

I hope for TFC fans' sake that that their grounds crew can handles those conditions better than the average team in the world, watching football in puddles and mud isn't the key to improving quality. Sure, I'm focused on the worst case, probably because that's all I ever hear about current gen Field Turf.