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USL Western Conference Strength of Schedule Points Projections - Week 24

September has arrived and the playoffs are being set.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Orange County SC at LA Galaxy
Orange County is kinda still in it. LA is not.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

This week in the strength of schedule projections, we introduce a few new numbers showing the current number of points each team has and the maximum remaining points that can be obtained. When we use those numbers we can figure out how many remaining points a team requires to reach 43, which this week is the expected number of points for the 8th place team to hold.

Also provided this week are the number of matches each team will play against the current top eight teams, and if each team controls their own fate at this point in the season. A team that controls their own fate is a team that, if they win all of their remaining games, are guaranteed to finish in the top eight at the end of the season.

1 (Last Week – 1) Real Monarchs SLC (71.7)

Current Points: 55

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Projected 8th: Clinched Playoffs

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3 of 7

Elo Points: 1164 (1st)

Control Own Fate: Yes

2 (2) San Antonio FC (66.3)

Current Points: 48

Max Points Remaining: 24

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 0 – Current points projected in top 8

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 2 of 8

Elo Points: 1154 (3rd)

Control Own Fate: Yes

3 (3) Reno 1868 FC (62.2)

Current Points: 45

Max Points Remaining: 24

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 0 – Current points projected in top 8

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3 of 8

Elo Points: 1158 (2nd)

Control Own Fate: Yes

4 (4) Swope Park Rangers (58.8)

Current Points: 45

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 0 – Current points projected in top 8

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 2 of 7

Elo Points: 1137 (4th)

Control Own Fate: Yes

5 (5) Phoenix Rising (52.8)

Current Points: 33

Max Points Remaining: 30

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 10

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 2 of 10

Elo Points: 1109 (7th)

Control Own Fate: Yes

6 (6) Tulsa Roughnecks (48.6)

Current Points: 37

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 7

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3 of 7

Elo Points: 1118 (5th)

Control Own Fate: Yes

7 (7) Sacramento Republic (47.6)

Current Points: 36

Max Points Remaining: 24

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 7

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 4 of 8

Elo Points: 1110 (6th)

Control Own Fate: Yes

8 (8) Oklahoma City Energy (43.2)

Current Points: 33

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 10

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 4 of 7

Elo Points: 1099 (8th)

Control Own Fate: No

9 (9) Colorado Springs Switchbacks (41.7)

Current Points: 34

Max Points Remaining: 18

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 9

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 3 of 6

Elo Points: 1088 (9th)

Control Own Fate: No

10 (10) Orange County SC (39.7)

Current Points: 29

Max Points Remaining: 27

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 14

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 6 of 9

Elo Points: 1088 (10th)

Control Own Fate: Yes

11 (11) Seattle Sounders 2 (34.8)

Current Points: 29

Max Points Remaining: 18

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 14

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 5 of 6

Elo Points: 1063 (13th)

Control Own Fate: No

12 (13) Los Angeles Galaxy II (33.8)

Current Points: 25

Max Points Remaining: 24

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 18

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 7 of 8

Elo Points: 1071 (12th)

Control Own Fate: No

13 (12) Rio Grande Valley Toros (33.0)

Current Points: 28

Max Points Remaining: 18

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 15

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 6 of 6

Elo Points: 1076 (11th)

Control Own Fate: No

14 (14) Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (29.7)

Current Points: 22

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Projected 8th: 21

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 4 of 7

Elo Points: 1060 (14th)

Control Own Fate: No

15 (15) Portland Timbers 2 (14.1)

Current Points: 11

Max Points Remaining: 21

Points to Hit Projected 8th: Eliminated from Playoffs

Remaining Games vs Projected top 8: 4 of 7

Elo Points: 1022 (15th)

Control Own Fate: N/A

Not much has changed in the playoff portion of the table, but a gap has formed a bit between 7th place and the remaining teams that are solidly within playoff contention, as Oklahoma City, Orange County and Colorado Springs all failed to take home victories. This gives Phoenix, Tulsa and Sacramento more room to work with, even if none of them are truly safe to make the playoffs so far.

With the season winding down however, this is do or die time for the teams who are not statistically eliminated, but are starting to flirt with the improbable moniker of if they cannot start a winning streak as staying unbeaten with draws mixed in will not be enough. This is the group which contains Seattle, Rio Grande Valley, and very soon may also contain Orange County.

Now that it is September, it is time to step up if you want the right to still be playing in the postseason.

Hardest average opponent finish to season (West teams only):

Rio Grande Valley (1.779 points gained/game)

Los Angeles Galaxy II (1.577 points gained/game)

Portland Timbers 2 (1.574 points gained/game)

Easiest average opponent finish to season (West teams only):

Phoenix Rising (1.170 points gained/game)

San Antonio FC (1.212 points gained/game)

Real Monarchs SLC (1.214 points gained/game)

Will anyone be able to take advantage of an easy finish to the season? Will any clubs break under the pressure of a tough ending to the season or will they rise to the challenge? Let us know your predictions in the comments!