MLS Playoff Race 2007 [R]

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by Gemmell, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    To give you an idea of just how dead, dead, dead TFC is, Chicago is at -7 goal differential, TFC -22.
     
  2. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Yeah, RSL is dead. I just checked to see what the head to head numbers would look like if CHI, COL, LA, and RSL all ended up with 33 points, and they would fall short:

    Code:
    LA	2-0-0	1-2-0	1-1-1	xxx		4-3-1
    COL	0-0-2	xxx	1-2-1	2-1-0		3-3-3
    RSL	0-1-1	2-1-1	xxx	1-1-1		3-3-3
    CHI	xxx	0-0-2	1-0-1	0-2-0		1-2-3
    
     
  3. due time

    due time Member+

    Mar 1, 1999
    Santa Clara
    That's got to be the most quoted movie on BS. The BS team should make viewing that movie a mandatory pre-requisite to creating a new user acct.
     
  4. jbgeach

    jbgeach Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Chattanooga, TN
    Knave, if the Galaxy end up with Chicago in a tie, who would move on? i.e. Where do they stand in the tiebreakers?
     
  5. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    It depends on the finale. The Galaxy beat Chicago 2-0 earlier in the season (July 4th), so as of now, LA has the tie-breaker in head to head competition.

    If we do end up tied, more than likely LA will have the advantage on the 2nd tie-breaker b/c it would necessitate a combination of victories by LA and losses by Chicago such that the current advantage that Chicago holds in goal differential will be equaled at the very least, if not bettered.

    Then the 3rd tie-breaker (goal scored), LA has the advantage again, b/c we've got a 5 goal advantage there.
     
  6. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    I strongly suggest, for the sake of your own sanity, that you not worry too much about the various clusterf'cks that would result from the variety of possible 8th place, 33 point ties. I looked at a few a couple days ago. Oy vey ... Just hope it doesn't come to that.
     
  7. The Perfesser

    The Perfesser New Member

    May 23, 1999
    AthensGA/NewburyptMA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, since I don't want to have Knave's exploding head on my hands, let's look at alternatives.

    First, head-to-head is completely nuts, especially this year. Some teams play each other 4 times, some play each other twice, and some play each other THREE times. This means that one team has two home games to the other team's one. Do you think this might give the team with the extra home game an advantage? Duh? Clearly not fair.

    What to do? Simple:

    1st tiebreaker: Points
    2nd tiebreaker: Total Goal Difference
    3rd tiebreaker: Total Goals Scored

    There's a philosophical issue here. What are we actually measuring: how good two (or three, four, five) are against each other on those specific dates that they played each other? Or are we measuring which teams deserve to be in the playoffs based on their performance over the entire season?

    For those who lament that the regular season is not meaningful enough, making every goal count as a potential tiebreaker is not a bad idea. It also has the added benefit of teams actually trying to score more goals for those who think there isn't enough scoring.

    And to avoid the exploding head syndrome, all you have to do to figure out who's in our out is to go to the damn table and look at Points, GD, and Goals Scored. That's it.

    OK, if teams are still tied on points, GD, & GS THEN go to head-to-head, but it probably never would come to that.
     
  8. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Just to clarify, your post was an alternative playoff determination system and NOT the actual system.
     
  9. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    In a balanced schedule, though, it would be the best way. There's nothing as direct, unironic and symmetrical as losing a playoff spot to (say) Chicago by how you played against Chicago.


    Clearly, once the playoffs themselves start, we're measuring the former, so why shouldn't it be the first recourse in selecting the teams?

    I find the latter to be generally sophistry anyway. .500 teams are pretty much never .500 teams week in and week out. In the real world, they're quite good one month and quite bad another--and that's if they don't sign Cuauhtemoc Blanco two thirds of the way in. Based on the random vagueries of when you played them, your schedule may just be that much harder or easier than the other team's, even if you played all the "same" teams. So no, having the same amount of points as the other team with two goals better GD in 30 games, (that's 0.0667 goals per game) does not really say to me "better team over the entire season" in any convincing way.

    I'll give you that GD has the practical virtue of producing a winner more often, and that you can see it on the table. I just don't buy the so-called "philosophy" of it.
     
  10. MLSNHTOWN

    MLSNHTOWN Member+

    Oct 27, 1999
    Houston, TX
    Except that in MLS you play an unbalanced number of games against teams in your conference. So take Houston v. Chivas. Let's say Houston loses to Chivas but they still end with the same number of points. Well Houston this year hosted two games v. Chivas and had to only play one on the road. As a result, Houston won both home games and would win any head to head match. Chivas hasn't lost at home yet they would be punished in a head to head tie with Houston because this year there were 2 games in Houston and one in LA. Not exactly unironic and symmetrical as you suggest.
     
  11. Hattrix

    Hattrix Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Chicago
    Yes, there is some unbalance in the schedule. (That might be the first time I've used the word unbalance as a noun. For you schoolkids out there, that's what they call a "gerund.")

    Out in the West, every team plays away foes twice, and home foes three times, except one of them, which, this year, was based on regional rivalries. Hou-Dal, LaG-Chv, and Col-Rsl are the four game matchups. So in those cases, you have two home and homes to gauge the better side. The other matchups are all three games, as are the in-conference matchups in the East. In this case, the team that hosts the third match has somewhat of an advantage.

    The important thing to figure out, then, is how that matchup was determined. If teams finishing in the top half of the division have first choice for which of the third matchups they want to host in the following season, then a solid performance in one year can give a team
    an advantage in their scheduling in the following year. Any advantage that materializes from this unbalance, then, is pretty rational. The problem with this line of thought, however, is that I have no idea how the scheduling of those third games was made.

    I also see the rationality of an overall goal difference as a tie breaker, except, in a case such as the Fire or the Galaxy, who basically blew for half a season, then got hot. Overall goal difference as a tie breaker makes these late season pushes a little less exciting, I think.
     
  12. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I don't teach English, but that would be the first time I've heard the Latin definition in English. Low and behold, I look the word up in the dictionary and I was really surprised to see "a word normally used as a verb used as a nominative" ahead of "the English -ing form of a verb when functioning as a noun".

    If I weren't so plum fresh outta rep, I'd give you rep. I learned something today. :D
     
  13. cthomer5000

    cthomer5000 Member+

    Apr 23, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Can any fellow playoff tiebreaker hobbyists confirm that the Red Bulls just backed into a playoff spot with the Columbus loss?

    It appears to me after working things out that the new worst-case scenario for the Red Bulls is a 3-way tie at 39 points for the final two spots between themselves, Chicago, and the LA Galaxy.

    Based on head-to-head-to-head and just head-to-head records, it appears to me that NY would either be #7 in front of both teams, or LA would be #7 and New York would be #8 due to a superior head-to-head over Chicago.
     
  14. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    In a balanced schedule, though, it would be the best.

    Just though I'd repeat myself with emphasis added, as you seem to miss the thrust of my comment, which is to question the "philosophy."
     
  15. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    Code:
    [b]
              GP   W   L   D   PTS  GR  MPP  PPG   T#  M#  SSE#
    1   DCU   28   16  6   6   54   2   60   1.93  -   -   7
    2   CDC   27   15  6   6   51   3   60   1.89  -   -   7
    3   NER   28   14  7   7   49   2   55   1.75  -   -   2
    4   HOU   27   14  7   6   48   3   57   1.78  -   -   4
    5   FCD   28   13  11  4   43   2   49   1.54  -   -   -
    6   NYR   28   11  11  6   39   2   45   1.39  -   1*  -
    7   KCW   28   10  11  7   37   2   43   1.32  -   3   -
    8   CHI   28   9   10  9   36   2   42   1.29  -   4   -
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    9   CMB   28   7   11  10  31   2   37   1.11  2^  9   -
    10  COL   27   7   12  8   29   3   38   1.07  3   11  -
    11  LAG   26   7   13  6   27   4   39   1.04  4   13  -[/b]
    [COLOR="DarkSlateGray"]12  TFC   27   6   15  6   24   3   33   0.89  -   -   -
    13  RSL   28   5   14  9   24   2   30   0.86  -   -   -[/COLOR]
    
    [B]*[/B] The NYR-LAG tiebreaker remains undecided. NYR currently 
      leads the series with a 5-4 win. One point gained by NYR 
      or lost by LAG will clinch a playoff berth for NYR.
    
    [B]^[/B] KCW owns the KCW-CMB tiebreaker. CHI owns the CHI-CMB
      tiebreaker. CMB is also third in a three-way tie at 37 
      between KCW, CHI, and CMB. This means CMB's practical 
      T# is 1: if CHI gains 1 more point CMB is eliminated,  
      if CMB loses or draws they are eliminated. 
    
      Teams in gray have been eliminated from the playoffs.
    
      MPP = Most Points Potential = PTS + (3*GR)
      T# = Tragic Number = MPP – (8th Place PTS) + 1
      M# = Magic Number = (Highest 9th to 13th Place MPP) – PTS + 1
      SSE# = SS Elimination Number = MPP - (1st Place PTS) + 1

    Code:
    [B]Remaining League Schedule
    
    CDC: @FCD, COL, HOU
    CHI: [USER=3840]DCU[/USER], LAG
    CMB: @NER, [USER=3840]DCU[/USER]
    COL: TFC, @CDC, RSL
    DCU: CHI, CMB
    FCD: CDC, KCW
    HOU: LAG, @RSL, @CDC
    KCW: @NYR, @FCD
    LAG: @HOU, TFC, NYR, @CHI
    NER: CMB, @TFC
    NYR: KCW, @LAG
    RSL: HOU, @COL
    TFC: @COL, @LAG, NER[/B]
     
  16. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I believe you are correct. KC can pass them, so they can drop to 7th. Chicago can also pass them, so they can drop to 8th, but in order to pass them, Chicago must get at least one point vs. LA, in which case, LA would no longer be able to catch NY. Nobody else can catch NY.

    If Chicago ends up tied with NY at 39 points but LA does not win out, then they will be tied for 7/8 and both be in.

    KC cannot end up tied with NY at 39, because KC plays NY. If NY end the season at 39, that means KC beat them and has at least 40.

    If Chicago ends up at 39 and LA wins out, then all three are at 39 tied for 7/8/9.

    Giving LA credit for a win vs. Chicago, the 3-way W-L-T head-to-head records would be:

    LA 3-1-0
    NY 3-1-1
    CHI 0-4-1

    I don't know what the actual standard is to compare a 3-1-1 record to a 3-1-0 record. The wording on the rule is:

    "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)"

    It says "win/loss record." Does this mean ties are ignored? In that case LA and NY are tied at 3-1, Chicago is eliminated, and it goes to a 2-way tiebreaker between NY and LA for 7/8, which would be goal difference. In any case, they are both in.

    If "best win/loss record" actually means points per game or NFL-style winning percentage, LA wins the 3-way tiebreaker for 7th, and it goes to a 2-way tiebreaker between NY and Chicago for 8/9. NY wins the head-to-head 2-0-1.

    So yes, NY has clinched the playoffs, unless I'm missing something.
     
  17. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    <--- Brain exploded after reading ThreeApples's above post.
     
  18. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As an addendum, there really would be no need to determine who is 7th or 8th between LA and NY in that case. Since that scenario provides 4 teams from each conference in the playoffs, LA and NY would each be the #4 seeds in their respective conferences. All that matters is that Chicago would be eliminated in the 3-way tie scenario.
     
  19. hasselhoff

    hasselhoff Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stop it! Just stop it! I'll tell you what you want to know! I'll make stuff up if I have to! :p
     
  20. Red Card

    Red Card Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wouldn't 7/8 matter for the draft?
     
  21. The Perfesser

    The Perfesser New Member

    May 23, 1999
    AthensGA/NewburyptMA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Knave, my boy, THIS is why I'm recommending:

    1) Total Points
    2) Goal Differential
    3) Goals Scored

    As for Stan's "philosophy" objection, whom do you want to see in the playoffs, the team that was lucky enough vs one other club on 2, 4, or 3 games (when people could have been gone for international duty, injured, etc); or the team on the same number of points who was better against the entire league in terms of goal differential and goal scoring over 30 games?
     
  22. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    On the DCU board JH6 asked what happens if Houston, Chivas, New England and DCU are tied at the top of the table. I'll repost the head-to-head here -- and hopefully I recorded everything correctly.

    Code:
    [b]
    Team  W  D  L
    DCU   3  2  1
    HOU*  3  1  2
    NER   1  3  3
    CDC*  1  2  3
    
    * NER at CDC remaining[/b]
    Interesting how weak Chivas has been against top of the table teams.
     
  23. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The confusing analysis needed to determine that NY's worst case is a 3-way tie for 7th would be exactly the same. Only the tiebreaker would be different.
     
  24. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    Code:
    [b]
    [U]         GP  W   L   D   PTS  GR  MPP  PPG   T#  M#  SSE#[/U]
    1   DCU  28  16  6   6   54   2   60   1.93   -  -   7
    2   CDC  27  15  6   6   51   3   60   1.89   -  -   7
    3   NER  28  14  7   7   49   2   55   1.75   -  -   2
    4   HOU  28  14  8   6   48   2   54   1.71   -  -   1
    5   FCD  28  13  11  4   43   2   49   1.54   -  -   -
    6   NYR  28  11  11  6   39   2   45   1.39   -  1*  -
    7   KCW  28  10  11  7   37   2   43   1.32   -  3   -
    8   CHI  28  9   10  9   36   2   42   1.29   -  4   -
    --------------------------------------------------------
    9   COL  28  8   12  8   32   2   38   1.14   3  8   -
    10  CMB  28  7   11  10  31   2   37   1.11   2^ 9   -
    11  LAG  27  8   13  6   30   3   39   1.11   4  10  -[/b]
    [COLOR="DarkSlateGray"]12  TFC  28  6   16  6   24   2   30   0.86   -  -   -
    13  RSL  28  5   14  9   24   2   30   0.86   -  -   -
    [/COLOR]
    [B]*[/B] Rumor ([URL="http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showpost.php?p=12929383&postcount=91"]here[/URL], [URL="http://www.metrofanatic.com/story.jsp?ID=4674"]here[/URL] and elsewhere) has it that NY has 
      actually clinched. Might be true. MLS hasn't reported 
      that yet. Some New York fans are getting worried and 
      dreaming up elaborate [URL="http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=608234"]conspiracy theories[/URL]. I myself
      blame Giorgio Chinaglia for the confusion. However 
      that may be, the NYR-LAG tiebreaker remains undecided. 
      NYR currently leads the series with a 5-4 win. One 
      point gained by NYR or lost by LAG will clinch a playoff 
      berth for NYR.
    
    [B]^[/B] KCW owns the KCW-CMB tiebreaker. CHI owns the CHI-CMB
      tiebreaker. CMB is also third in a three-way tie at 37 
      between KCW, CHI, and CMB. This means CMB's practical 
      T# is 1: if CHI gains 1 more point CMB is eliminated,  
      if CMB loses or draws they are eliminated. 
    
      Teams in gray have been eliminated from the playoffs.
    
      MPP = Most Points Potential = PTS + (3*GR)
      T# = Tragic Number = MPP – (8th Place PTS) + 1
      M# = Magic Number = (Highest 9th to 13th Place MPP) – PTS + 1
      SSE# = SS Elimination Number = MPP - (1st Place PTS) + 1

    Code:
    [B]Remaining League Schedule
    
    CDC: @FCD, COL, HOU
    CHI: [USER=3840]DCU[/USER], LAG
    CMB: @NER, [USER=3840]DCU[/USER]
    COL: @CDC, RSL
    DCU: CHI, CMB
    FCD: CDC, KCW
    HOU: @RSL, @CDC
    KCW: @NYR, @FCD
    LAG: TFC, NYR, @CHI
    NER: CMB, @TFC
    NYR: KCW, @LAG
    RSL: HOU, @COL
    TFC: @LAG, NER
    [/B]
     
  25. jbgeach

    jbgeach Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thank you Knave for your regular updates. It is sad MLSnet.com is so far behind you, but I really appreciate your updates.

    If Chicago loses to DCU and the Galaxy beat TFC and NYR, They will go into the final Game together tied at 36 points.

    Whoever said the season is meaningless is crazy, this has been awesome.
     

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