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USL Western Conference Playoff Scenarios

It’s all come down to this. Who’s in, and who’s out?

Phoenix Rising FC are among this year’s playoff noobs. Can they reach the top four?
Alex Leguizamo

In the final week of the USL season, it is time to zero in on the playoff picture and see how much of an impact the final matches can have. Remember in the USL the first tiebreak is always total wins, followed by goal differential. Don’t shoot the messenger about tiebreaks. In the event a goal differential would be the tiebreaker and it would require at least ten goals to be made up in the final week, we’re treating it as a non-feasible scenario.

1 – Real Monarchs SLC

Current Points: 64

Max Points: 67

Best Seed Possible: 1st

How it can happen: Real Monarchs have clinched 1st overall seed

Strength of schedule projected points: 67.0 – 1st

Elo rating: 1170 – 1st

2 – Reno 1868 FC

Current Points: 58

Max Points: 61

Best Seed Possible: 2nd

How it can happen:

1) Win their remaining match (vs Sacramento) and San Antonio does not win their remaining two matches.

2) Reno draws. San Antonio fails to gain at least four points from their remaining matches.

Worst Seed Possible: 3rd

How it can happen:

1) Reno loses their final match. San Antonio wins either of their final matches.

Strength of schedule projected points: 59.7 – 3rd

Elo rating: 1165 – 2nd

3 – San Antonio FC

Current Points: 56

Max Points: 61

Best Seed Possible: 2nd

How it can happen:

1) San Antonio wins both remaining matches

2) San Antonio gains three points and Reno loses their remaining match

3) San Antonio gains four points and Reno loses or draws their remaining match

Worst Seed Possible: 5th

How it can happen:

1) San Antonio gains two points, both Swope Park and Phoenix win their final matches

2) San Antonio gains one point, both Swope Park and Phoenix win or draw their final matches

Strength of schedule projected points: 61.3 – 2nd

Elo Rating: 1150 – 4th

4 – Swope Park Rangers

Current Points: 55

Max Points: 58

Best Seed Possible: 3rd

How it can happen:

1) Swope Park wins their remaining match, San Antonio fails to win either of their remaining matches

2) Swope Park draws, San Antonio gains less than two points, Phoenix draws or loses.

Worst Seed Possible: 5th

How it can happen:

1) Swope Park draws, San Antonio gains at least two points, Phoenix wins

2) Swope Park loses, Phoenix wins or draws

Strength of Schedule projected points: 57.3 – 5th

Elo rating: 1144 – 3rd

5 – Phoenix Rising

Current Points: 55

Max Points: 58

Best Seed Possible: 3rd

How it can happen:

1) Phoenix wins their remaining match, San Antonio fails to win either of their remaining matches, Swope Park draws or loses

2) Phoenix draws, San Antonio gains less than two points, Swope Park loses.

Worst Seed Possible: 5th

How it can happen:

1) Phoenix loses

2) Phoenix draws, Swope Park wins or draws

3) Phoenix wins, Swope Park loses, San Antonio wins either of their remaining matches

Strength of schedule projected points: 58.0

Elo rating: 1143 – 5th

6 – Tulsa Roughnecks

Current Points – 46

Max Points – 49

Best Seed Possible: 6th

How it can happen:

1) Tulsa wins

2) Tulsa draws, Oklahoma City draws or loses, Sacramento draws or loses

3) Tulsa loses, Oklahoma City loses, Sacramento draws or loses

Worst Seed Possible: 8th

How it can happen:

1) Tulsa loses, Oklahoma City wins or draws, Sacramento wins

2) Tulsa draws, Oklahoma City wins, Sacramento wins

Strength of schedule projected points: 47.5 – 7th

Elo rating: 1114 – 7th

7 – Oklahoma City Energy

Current Points – 46

Max Points – 49

Best Seed Possible: 6th

How it can happen

1) Oklahoma City wins, Tulsa draws or loses

2) Oklahoma City draws, Tulsa loses, Sacramento draws or loses

Worst Seed possible: 8th

How it can happen

1) Oklahoma City draws, Tulsa wins or draws, Sacramento wins

2) Oklahoma City loses, Sacramento wins

3) Oklahoma City loses by one goal, Sacramento draws and outscores Oklahoma City

4) Oklahoma City loses by multiple goals

Strength of schedule projected points: 48.0 – 6th

Elo rating: 1122 – 6th

8 – Sacramento Republic

Current Points – 45

Max Points – 48

Best Seed Possible: 6th

How it can happen

1) Sacramento wins, both Tulsa and Oklahoma City fail to win

Worst Seed Possible: 8th

How it can happen

1) Sacramento loses

2) Sacramento draws, Oklahoma City draws or wins

3) Sacramento wins, Tulsa wins, Oklahoma City wins

Strength of schedule projected points: 46.0 – 8th

Elo rating: 1097 – 8th

Thoughts:

Two distinct races for the playoffs are taking place. One is the battle for 2nd to 5th, where despite being down in the standings San Antonio still has the potential to snatch what would be two guaranteed playoff matches away from the rest of the pack. The second is in the battle for the final playoff spots where two perennial playoff sides in Oklahoma City and Sacramento are in a battle against the greatly improved Tulsa side to see who takes the sixth seed and who will be forced to travel to the regular season champion Real Monarchs.