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USL stretch run standings - August 12, 2016

Will your team make the USL playoffs? Where do they fall in the standings? Why do people make fun of you for saying “games in hand”? We have hard facts about every club in the league.

Alex Leguizamo/Indomitable City Soccer

With the USL season winding down, talk of playoff positioning is coming more frequently. Frankly, when you’re in the weeds of USL as deep as the staff at ICS, it can get a little annoying.

“So why,” you may be asking, “are you adding to the noise?”

What we really hope to do is to bring some clarity to which teams are going to make it, and which aren’t. The current standings as brought to you by the USL or pretty much any league in any sport on Earth are useless, unless the schedule is 100% balanced. We don’t have to worry about that.

Some teams have six games left, some have ten. So...

We have some more-accurate standings. It’s pretty straightforward: The teams are ranked by points per game, and that pace is then projected out to a season-end total. Basically, a table of points per game is what we should always be referencing when someone smugly denounces the use of the phrase “games in hand”. It tells you what each team has really accomplished so far, in brass tacks.

Western Conference as of August 11, 2016
@ironponychef

Because of a strange schedule, you may not have noticed that OKC is on pace to finish first or second in the West. Despite doing well all season, it’s tough to keep up in the traditional standings with any team, let alone the goal-happy LA Galaxy II, when your club has played three or four fewer games. That was the case for the Energy for long stretches this year, but things are beginning to shake out.

Eastern Conference as of August 11, 2016
@ironponychef

Yes, Montreal has had a tough season, and there’s no getting around it. However, it has not been obvious, even to those of us who think numbers are fun, that even though Cincinnati doesn’t score as often as Louisville, the two clubs are virtually neck-and-neck for the second seed in the upcoming playoffs.

Throw a Twitter follow to our own @ironponychef because he keeps these charts updated and shared with the public on the regular.

What do you think of the standings? Any surprises? Let us know in the comments.