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USL Eastern Conference Strength of Schedule Points Projections - Week 27

As we reach the final weeks of the regular season, the race for the playoffs has become closer in the East. Check out our most recent points projections here!

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Charleston Battery at Atlanta United FC
The Battery have had lots of high points this season, and they are poised for a strong finish.
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

You can find last week’s rankings here, and an explanation of our methodology here. Projections are as of September 25th, 2017 (last week’s projected position is in parentheses).

Eastern Conference Points Projections

1 (1). Louisville City (64.0)

Current Points: 55

Max Points Remaining: 12

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0 — Current projections in the top 8.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 2

Elo Points: 1178 (1st)

Controls Own Destiny: Clinched playoff spot.

2 (4). Charleston Battery (52.3)

Current Points: 47

Max Points Remaining: 9

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0 — Current projections in the top 8.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 1

Elo Points: 1139 (3rd)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

3 (2). Charlotte Independence (52.0)

Current Points: 48

Max Points Remaining: 9

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0 — Current projections in the top 8.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1148 (2nd)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

4 (5). Tampa Bay Rowdies (51.5)

Current Points: 44

Max Points Remaining: 15

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0 — Current projections in the top 8.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 4

Elo Points: 1136 (4th)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

5 (3). Rochester Rhinos (48.5)

Current Points: 43

Max Points Remaining: 12

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0 — Current projections in the top 8.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 2

Elo Points: 1123 (5th)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

6 (7). Bethlehem Steel FC (45.8)

Current Points: 38

Max Points Remaining: 15

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0 — Current projections in the top 8.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1099 (8th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

7 (6). FC Cincinnati (45.3)

Current Points: 40

Max Points Remaining: 12

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0 — Current projections in the top 8.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 1

Elo Points: 1101 (7th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

8 (9). Orlando City B (43.3)

Current Points: 39

Max Points Remaining: 9

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0 — Current projections in the top 8.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 1

Elo Points: 1108 (6th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

9 (8). New York Red Bulls II (43.1)

Current Points: 38

Max Points Remaining: 12

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0.2 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1089 (10th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

10 (11). Saint Louis FC (39.5)

Current Points: 35

Max Points Remaining: 9

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 3.8 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 1

Elo Points: 1074 (12th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

11 (10). Pittsburgh Riverhounds (38.7)

Current Points: 35

Max Points Remaining: 9

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 4.6 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 1

Elo Points: 1085 (11th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

12 (12). Ottawa Fury FC (37.9)

Current Points: 33

Max Points Remaining: 12

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 5.4 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 2

Elo Points: 1091 (9th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

13 (13). Harrisburg City Islanders (34.3)

Current Points: 31

Max Points Remaining: 9

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 9 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 1

Elo Points: 1052 (14th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

14 (14). Richmond Kickers (31.9)

Current Points: 29

Max Points Remaining: 9

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 2

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 11.4 projected points off of 8th.

Elo Points: 1059 (13th)

Controls Own Destiny: Eliminated from playoff contention based off of tiebreakers.

15 (15). Toronto FC II (24.0)

Current Points: 22

Max Points Remaining: 9

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 19.3 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected Top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1021 (15th)

Controls Own Destiny: Eliminated from playoff contention.

Remaining Schedules

Hardest Remaining: Charlotte Independence (1.648 average future opponent), Toronto FC II (1.584), Richmond Kickers (1.505)

Easiest Remaining: Saint Louis FC (1.159 average future opponent), FC Cincinnati (1.197), Louisville City (1.277)

Thoughts

After clinching a playoff spot last week, Louisville has lengthened their projected points lead over second place to 11.7 points. Behind them, the rest of the top five clubs all find themselves in new spots from last week. Charleston, after having struggled to find results in the summer, have moved into second in the table, just ahead of their Carolina neighbors, Charlotte. Finally, Tampa Bay have begun their push for the playoffs, having overtaken Rochester for fourth in our projected table. The Rowdies have the best home Points Per Game in the East this year, so it is imperative to their success to earn a home playoff match.

The next three spots in the playoff race have become tightly contested between four sides. Bethlehem, FC Cincinnati and Orlando City B all find themselves holding onto the final spots of the playoffs, with last year’s league champs, New York Red Bulls II, currently on the outside looking in. Arguably, Bethlehem have the biggest advantage, having the most matches remaining of the quartet. The results of these four clubs over the final couple weeks will go a long way in determining the seeding for the playoffs.

Louisville also edges closer to clinching a home playoff match, as the magic number for that is down to just 1. Charleston and Charlotte remain in single digits of their magic numbers for a home playoff match, leaving that final #4 seed up in the air, and will realistically come down to either Tampa or Rochester. Just how important is home field advantage in the playoffs? In 2016, of the seven matches played on the Eastern side of the bracket, just one of them was won by the road team — Charleston’s 2-1 triumph over FC Cincinnati in the first round. If we go back to the 2015 edition of the playoffs, every home team in the Eastern Conference won their respective playoff bout that year.

What are your thoughts on this week’s points projections? Let us know in the comments below!