MLS Playoff Race 2007 [R]

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

  1. kpaulson

    kpaulson New Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Washington DC
    I mostly agree with you, but just note that there can be crazy playoff races in the final weeks of any system, no matter how meaningless.

    That said, MLS could not have scripted Blanco vs. Beckham with the playoffs on the line any better. Hopefully the players cooperate... ;)
     
  2. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    :rolleyes: As if, after 30 games coming down to a 2 goal difference injuries and Nat duty didn't influence that result? Do please get off it.

    I don't see motivation enough to come around posting how crappy the system is either way, but in the context of a balanced series (2 or 4) it's darned elegant losing a playoff spot to a team because that team beat you in said series. Losing it because you took your foot off the gas pedal up 2-0 on some obscure weeknight in June and the other guy didn't, or because you played the Galaxy in September, when they were quite good, rather than May, when they sucked? Not so much.

    In the former scenario, say LA wins their next two walking into Chicago for the last game, while Chicago loses at DC. With each at 36, that gives Chicago a must-win game at home (because LA won their end 2-0) to qualify. But based on GD (depending on how much LA wins their two games by), a 1-0 loss would do it but a 2-0 loss wouldn't. Why? That's absurd to me.
     
  3. Northside Rovers

    Jan 28, 2000
    Austin TX
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Most boring "race" MLS has had to date.

    Worthless.
     
  4. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's more boring than 2003 and 2005 MLS West playoff races?
     
  5. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    Five teams vying for the 7th and 8th spots.

    The race for the SS still up for grabs.

    Looks pretty good to me.
     
  6. hasselhoff

    hasselhoff Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    I guess that makes sense from a FCD fan's perspective. You've been more or less assured of a playoff spot for weeks, and more or less eliminated from the SS race for weeks. I'd be bored, too.
     
  7. The Perfesser

    The Perfesser New Member

    May 23, 1999
    AthensGA/NewburyptMA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Stan, the reason why the GD and Goals Scored is preferable to me is that the tiebreaker is not restricted to the outcome of only a few games. And this IS a philosophical point because you are comparing different things: the result between only two teams vs the strength of both teams vs the entire league. If you measure points as the first tiebreaker, it's points vs all other teams, so why not have second order tiebreakers follow the same principle? Moreover, GD/GS is a much more dynamic tiebreaker because it's important for teams to push for goalscoring all the time, rather than trying to sit on a 1:0 lead from the 70th minute.

    One knock that soccer suffers from is the relative lack of goalscoring and the trend in recent years has been down.

    https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=73190

    But there are some variations. The Bundesliga uses the GD/GS tiebreaker rather than head-to-head and there is generally higher goalscoring than in many other leagues. If someone wants to update the data from earlier in the decade, be my guest.

    The larger point is that one should design tiebreakers that reward the kind of soccer one would like to see as a fan, namely encouraging teams to score goals all year. It should also be simple and transparent. There's nothing more simple and transparent than just looking at the standings.

    Finally, our friend Knave could actually be doing something more productive than figuring out permutations until his head explodes. :D
     
  8. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I was thinking about the following this morning:

    I'm totally, 100% behind "top 2 per conference, #5-8 wild-card berths". However, just think if it were still "top 4/conference".

    RSL wouldn't have been eliminated until this week. They probably wouldn't have packed it in mentally in early-September like they did.

    For the last month of the season, we would've had all but one team (TFC) battling for a playoff spot or a better seeding.


    Again. I'm not advocating a return to this. I'm just pointing out that all playoff systems have their pluses and minuses regarding encouraging/discouraging quality play. I would argue that the Euro system in which one of 2-4 behemoth clubs win the domestic title, w/ the losers going to Champions League, and the rest aiming for the mediocre goal of getting to UEFA, actually rewards mediocrity.

    But it's got a "Euro" pedigree, so we can't call it for what it is.
     
  9. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    That's a way of looking at it (and maybe my use of 'philosophy' is too strict, but it's not synonymous with 'way of looking at things').

    Problem is, when two teams finish on the same point total, any means of separating them is arbitrary. Identifying who was 'the better qualified' at that point is a fool's errand, and critiquing it necessarily involves claiming things are important that simply aren't (like winning 3-0 instead of 2-0 on some random summer day).

    As long as you've announced the procedure in advance, and you haven't stacked the deck against on of the team (which I admit an unbalanced schedule does), you're on the extreme margins of the issue. Best I could come up with would be "closing form" (how well you finished the season), because you'd know in advance what was at stake.

    The closest I could come would be 'closing form'

    Furthermore, margin of victory is not a good indicator in soccer of the balance of play, even as statistics go. (Minutes spent with the lead is probably better. An argument could even be made that balance of shots on goal is.)

    It also tells you not to sit on a 4-0 lead in the 70th minute.

    Think about this logically. If points are held constant, how is GD really compiled? By not sitting on a 1-0 lead against a relatively good team, or by piling on against a bad one where scoring multiple extra goals is a realistic target?

    Or you could do it empirically. If you were to look at all the goals scored after, say, the 80th minute that don't wind up changing the outcome, where would the majority come from, do you wager? I would wager the majority of them are in games where there's a multiple goal lead. And out of those, I would wager the majority come from the team already in the lead.

    Well that's lovely, but GD is at best farcically marginal to overall league scoring aside from those blowouts (which produce the least valuable goals possible, in some cases ones the fans aren't even sticking around for)--at worst, it's counterproductive, as the team that reliably allows 0 goals is usually going to have a better GD than the team that reliably scores 2.

    Transparent I give you, but it's no simplicity advantage over "Chicago gets in because they beat us."

    Ever watch the NFL?

    Or for that matter, the World Cup?

    Permutations are the nature of the beast, especially when dealing with possible 3-way ties.
     
  10. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    So if LA, Chicago and Colorado finish at 36 points:

    LA would have the head-to-head over Chicago. Colorado has the head-to-head advantage over LA and is equal to Chicago.

    So Colorado would get the nod.

    But LA would have to lose at home to either NY or Toronto and then beat Chicago, while Chicago would've had to have lost to DC.

    Correct?
     
  11. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is one of the cases where the ambiguous wording of the tiebreaker leaves things uncertain. Assuming an LA win over Chicago, which would be necessary for a 3-way tie at 36, the head-to-head W-L-T records are

    LA 3-2-0
    COL 2-1-2
    CHI 0-2-2

    One would think that LA's 3-2-0 record would be ahead of COL's 2-1-2. Equal number of games, 9 points beat 8.

    But the tiebreaker as posted reads:
    It says "win/loss" record. Does that mean ties are ignored? I don't know. If they are, then COL's 2-1 (66.7% wins) beats LA's 3-2 (60% wins).

    Then there is also the possibility that Columbus passes all 3 teams, leaving it a 3-way tie for 9/10/11 and no longer relevant.
     
  12. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    ... Juan Toja Wig Update ...

    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   28  15  6   7   52   2   58   1.86  -   -   5
    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   29  13  11  5   44   1   47   1.52  -   -   -
    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  -
    [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]*[/B] [URL="http://www.metrofanatic.com/story.jsp?ID=4674"]New York has clinched a playoff spot.[/URL]
    
    [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: COL, HOU
    CHI: [USER=3840]DCU[/USER], LAG
    CMB: @NER, [USER=3840]DCU[/USER]
    COL: @CDC, RSL
    DCU: CHI, CMB
    FCD: KCW
    HOU: @RSL, @CDC
    KCW: @NYR, @FCD
    LAG: TFC, NYR, @CHI
    NER: CMB, @TFC
    NYR: KCW, @LAG
    RSL: HOU, @COL
    TFC: @LAG, NER
    [/B]
     
  13. 400lb Gorilla

    400lb Gorilla Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Missouri
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: ... Juan Toja Wig Update ...

    You could handle tiebrakers like MLB does and have it where a tiebraker can decide seeding in the playoffs, but can't elimnate somebody. For example, a couple of years ago, St. Louis and Houston tied for the NL central championship. Since the loser by tiebraker would be inserted into the wild card slot, they didn't bother playing an one day playoff to break the tie. But this year, Colorado and San Diego tied for the NL Wild Card, and since the loser of the tiebraker would be eliminated, they played a one game play off at the home of the team that had the tiebraker advantage. I personally feel this would be a good way to do it in MLS (as well as any league, I can't think of anything worse than losing the EPL championship via a tiebraker.)
     
  14. SixKick

    SixKick Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    Chicago
    Club:
    Club América
    Nat'l Team:
    Mexico
    Re: ... Juan Toja Wig Update ...

    In baseball it's a lot easier to slip in an extra game before the playoffs.
     
  15. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    With the 0-0 result on 10/11, did FCD become the first team to be locked into a playoff position?

    They are set to be the 3rd seed in the West, correct?
     
  16. Tobas

    Tobas Member

    Jul 22, 2004
    Littleton, MA
    Dallas is locked into the 3rd seed in the West.


    The 4 SuperLiga teams are now finalized for next year as well. They are:
    DC
    Chivas
    Houston
    New England
     
  17. cthomer5000

    cthomer5000 Member+

    Apr 23, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Serious question... do we know the qualifcation method for the Mexican teams?
     
  18. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm guessing, but I think they will use a set of criteria:

    1. All teams from Guadalajara which have a goat for a mascot qualify.
    2. All teams from Mexico City which have a map in their logo qualify.
    3. 2007 Superliga champions qualify
    4. ?????
     
  19. socluis90

    socluis90 Member+

    Aug 11, 2004
    So Cal
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: ... Juan Toja Wig Update ...

    In Mexico and other countries they do what's called "repechaje". If such ties occur the playoffs are set back another week and those 2 teams play a home and away series to decide a winner. That's why it is important that each team controls there own stadium so we can be able to schedule games like this without conflict. I tried explainin that to Seattle fans. Even if they are equal tenants what happens if they need a game on the same day as the Seahawks?
     
  20. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: ... Juan Toja Wig Update ...

    They play on Saturday instead? Fortunately, most weekends have two days.
     
  21. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: ... Juan Toja Wig Update ...

    The U. of Washington Huskies will be using Quest Field on Saturdays for a couple of seaons in a few years during Husky Stadium renovation.
     
  22. socluis90

    socluis90 Member+

    Aug 11, 2004
    So Cal
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: ... Juan Toja Wig Update ...

    Then we get the dreaded football lines.:rolleyes:
     
  23. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: ... Juan Toja Wig Update ...


    But it will help the Linesmen in making offside calls.
    Now don't you feel better?
    :)
     
  24. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    Quick update between games ...

    Code:
              GP   W   L   D   PTS  GR  MPP  PPG   T#  M#  SSE#
    1   DCU   29   16  6   7   55   1   58   1.9   -   -   4
    2   CDC   28   15  6   7   52   2   58   1.86  -   -   4
    3   NER   29   14  8   7   49   1   52   1.69  -   -   -
    4   HOU   28   14  8   6   48   2   54   1.71  -   -   -
    5   FCD   29   13  11  5   44   1   47   1.52  -   -   -
    6   NYR   29   12  11  6   42   1   45   1.45  -   -   -
    7   CHI   29   9   10  10  37   1   40   1.28  -   3   -
    8   KCW   29   10  12  7   37   1   40   1.28  -   3   -
    9   CMB   29   8   11  10  34   1   37   1.17  1   6   -
    10  COL   28   8   12  8   32   2   38   1.14  2   8   -
    11  LAG   27   8   13  6   30   3   39   1.11  3   10  -
    12  TFC   28   6   16  6   24   2   30   0.86  -   -   -
    13  RSL   28   5   14  9   24   2   30   0.86  -   -   -
    
     
  25. SixKick

    SixKick Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    Chicago
    Club:
    Club América
    Nat'l Team:
    Mexico
    Crew officially eliminated. Chicago and KC hold the tiebreakers.
     

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