Over at The Shinguardian, someone has put the pencil and calculator to handy and optimum use, diving into the serious nitty-gritty of relative schedule strength of remaining matches for each MLS team.
Seeing as not one club has locked itself into position among the five berths available to each conference, this stuff is worth a bit of study.
Allow me to perform the journalistic equivalent of a far-post tap-in. That is, someone else does all the work – but I finish the movement with the simplest of touches and then run around celebrating like I just invented truly fat free ice cream.
- Vancouver has the easiest schedule remaining.
- Houston isn’t far behind, with three of four remaining at home (great news for a club that hasn’t lost there yet).
- Among playoff qualifiers or realistic post-season pursuers, the Galaxy has the toughest schedule remaining.
With matches at BC Place (pictured) against Chivas USA and Portland, it’s not hard to see why the Whitecaps have the most downhill lean on their remaining slate. Of course, that Cascadia Cup rivalry match (the Timbers) adds a twist that statistical analysis won’t pick up.
A match at San Jose is driving up the Galaxy’s index.