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USL Eastern Conference Strength of Schedule Points Projections — Week 24

The season is coming into the home stretch. Check out which clubs are best positioned for playoffs, and which sides still have some work to do!

Charlotte’s performance will be the harbinger of the final stretch in the East.

You can find last week’s projections here, and an explanation of our methodology here. Projections are as of September 3rd, 2017 (last week’s projected position is in parentheses).

Eastern Conference Points Projections

1 (Last Week- 1). Louisville City (63.6)

Current Points: 47

Max Points Remaining: 24

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

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1164 (1st)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

2 (2). Charlotte Independence (56.4)

Current Points: 47

Max Points Remaining: 18

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

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 5

Elo Points: 1160 (2nd)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

3 (3). Rochester Rhinos (54.1)

Current Points: 41

Max Points Remaining: 24

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

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1131 (4th)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

4 (4). Charleston Battery (51.5)

Current Points: 41

Max Points Remaining: 18

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

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1132 (3rd)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

5 (5). Tampa Bay Rowdies (48.3)

Current Points: 38

Max Points Remaining: 21

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

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 4

Elo Points: 1126 (5th)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

6 (6). Orlando City B (45.9)

Current Points: 36

Max Points Remaining: 18

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

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1119 (6th)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

7 (7). FC Cincinnati (44.9)

Current Points: 35

Max Points Remaining: 18

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

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 2

Elo Points: 1093 (9th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

8 (11). New York Red Bulls II (43.5)

Current Points: 35

Max Points Remaining: 18

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

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 4

Elo Points: 1086 (10th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

9 (8). Bethlehem Steel FC (43.2)

Current Points: 34

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 0.3 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 4

Elo Points: 1094 (8th)

Controls Own Destiny: Yes

10 (10). Pittsburgh Riverhounds (41.0)

Current Points: 34

Max Points Remaining: 18

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 2.5 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 4

Elo Points: 1100 (7th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

11 (9). Saint Louis FC (40.3)

Current Points: 31

Max Points Remaining: 18

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 3.2 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 2

Elo Points: 1075 (12th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

12 (12). Ottawa Fury FC (37.7)

Current Points: 30

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 5.8 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 5

Elo Points: 1090 (11th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

13 (13). Harrisburg City Islanders (31.7)

Current Points: 24

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 11.8 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1049 (14th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

14 (14). Richmond Kickers (27.8)

Current Points: 23

Max Points Remaining: 18

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 15.7 projected points off of 8th.

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 5

Elo Points: 1050 (13th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

15 (15). Toronto FC II (26.3)

Current Points: 22

Max Points Remaining: 15

Points to Hit Current Projected 8th: 17.2 projected points off of 8th place.

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3

Elo Points: 1031 (15th)

Controls Own Destiny: No

Remaining Schedules

Hardest Remaining: Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1.547 average points per game for future opponents), Richmond Kickers (1.534), Charlotte Independence (1.530)

Easiest Remaining: Saint Louis FC (1.149 average points per game for future opponents), FC Cincinnati (1.220), Orlando City B (1.234)

Thoughts

Much like it has been in recent weeks, the top six of the projected table has remained unchanged. Louisville City has increased their lead over second placed Charlotte to now 7.2 projected points. As the gap between sixth place Orlando City B and FC Cincinnati closes to just a point, the margin for error in the middle of pack is slim.

New York Red Bulls II make the biggest move the week, jumping up three spots into eighth place, and the final playoff spot. The bubble teams have seemed to go in cycles, becoming hot and cold at different times over the past few weeks. The team that will most likely find themselves in eighth place at the end of the regular season will be the side that gets hot at just the right moment. It would also not be out of the question to see the final playoff spot be decided on the final weekend of the season, like it did last year.

One thing over the final month of the season that will go a long way in determining seeding in the playoffs is what the Charlotte Independence do with the third hardest remaining schedule. Charlotte—alongside Richmond and Ottawa—play a conference-high five teams currently in the top eight, over their remaining fixtures this year. What the Independence do over these next few matches will decide the fate of many first-round matches in the playoffs.

What are your thoughts on this week’s Eastern Conference Points Projections? Do you think there is a side that can break up the current top six in the conference? What team currently on the outside of the projected playoff picture do you think has the best chance of making the playoffs? Let us know in the comments below!