May we all open our Good Book and follow along... ...and the Good Lord said unto us all, “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it; I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their Toast.” (Sunbeam 45:12) Yes, my friends, it is time to tell the wheat from the chaff, the effers from the effees, the strangely dressed from the merely Canadian. Your Time of Toast, USL Edition, is upon us, and we already have multiple portions of the Heavenly Goodness with which to share upon us all. First of all, the definitions of “Toast” and some of the stats, courtesy of @Knave, can be found on this thread here. The basic rules are simple: Once a team is Toast, they stay Toast, until they are either eliminated, or get raised back from the dead (“Lazarakia”). This does not happen often, although it did happen in MLS last year, and the only way to achieve Lazarakia status is to reduce both the CD and AD to below 2.00 by the end of the week’s matches, and get back into (and stay in) playoff position. Quick basic rundown of the column headings: MP – Matches Played PTS – Total Points PPM – Points Per Match GD – Goal Differential MR – Matches Remaining MAX – Maximum Possible Points PACE – Current Pace (PTS + MR*PPM) MAG# - Magic Number MPPG – Magic Number Points Per Game TRG# - Tragic Number TPPG – Tragic Number Points Per Game AD# - Actual Despair Number - #PPM to stay above 8th place CD# - Calculated Despair Number - #PPM to stay above 50th percentile (East) or 47th percentile (West) SOSP – Strength of Schedule of Teams Played SOSR – Strength of Schedule of Remaining Schedule SOSRat – Ratio of SOS Played over SOS Remaining - >1 is good, <1 is bad This type of thing was done on the Sacramento board for the 2016 season, but life seriously intervened in 2017. Now I’m back with a vengeance in 2018, and I will be your Holy Avenging Toaster of Inferior Footy. Now, with that out of the way, let’s get on to the toastification. We start in the East, where three teams are officially toast as of this date, being Richmond, Atlanta, and Wooden Spoon leader Toronto... In the West, only one team has that lofty crispy perch right now, that being our consistent cellar-dwellers in Tulsa, but S2’s sitting right on the perch, getting their golden brown toastiness ready to show for everyone. Pro-tip: A GD of -25 after 20 matches or so is never gonna get the job done, no matter what league you're in. Here’s a quick power poll top-to-bottom – 50% wins rank, 30% PPM rank, 10% GD Rank, 10% SOSP Rank… Right now, the Wooden Spoon is Toronto’s for the taking, and it looks like FCC’s gonna try to buy themselves home field advantage in the playoffs. SLC seems to be leveling off a bit, and OC and SAC could possibly make a late charge. Coming Up: Now that we’re getting down to ~~ 10-11 matches remaining in the schedule for most teams, we can look at who’s left on each team’s schedule, and I’ve come up with the Strength of Schedule ratio – just take the SOS of teams to already played, and divide it by the SOS of teams to be played. If you’re above 1.00, that’s a favorable figure. If you’re below 1.00, you have tougher sledding ahead. Good news if you are Sacramento and SPR, bad news if you're the Riverhounds or Las Vegas... Upcoming matches look like this, home fixtures are in bold: Well, that's enough for now. Initial plan is on weekly updates, possibly twice weekly if we have any interesting playoff chases. Or I may just get lazy. Cheers!