The Real MLS Standings

(The Real EPL Standings are coming soon!)

Last Updated following the games of: Thursday, August 18, 2011
Real PlaceConfTeamPROJECTED POINTS / SEASONPOINTS PER GAMEPOINTSGAMESWLT
1W LA Galaxy65 1.920 48251339
2W FC Dallas58 1.720 43251267
3W Seattle Sounders FC57 1.680 42251159
4W Real Salt Lake56 1.636 36221066
5E Columbus Crew52 1.542 37241077
6W Colorado Rapids52 1.538 402610610
7E Philadelphia Union50 1.478 34238510
8E Sporting Kansas City47 1.375 3324879
9E D.C. United46 1.348 31237610
10E Houston Dynamo44 1.280 32257711
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11W Chivas USA43 1.250 3024789
12E New York Red Bulls42 1.240 31256613
13W Portland Timbers37 1.083 26247125
14W San Jose Earthquakes35 1.042 25245910
15E Toronto FC30 0.885 232641111
16E New England Revolution30 0.880 222541110
17E Chicago Fire30 0.875 21242715
18W Vancouver Whitecaps FC26 0.750 18243129

Introduction

No one reports the Major League Soccer Standings properly. No one. The standings are always listed by each team's total points, but doesn't take into account the fact that some teams have played more games than others. The NBA, MLB, and NFL standings always take this fact into account. In those sports, the handy "Games Back" device is used to identify how many games a team trails the first-place team. In MLS (and in other soccer, and hockey leagues, by the way), for some reason this isn't included in the standings. In MLS the standings are simply listed by point totals. Wins are worth three points, draws are worth one, and losses are worth zero.

The Real MLS standings need to be based on Points-Per-Game. The point totals are not nearly as relevant as points per game. For example, if a team leads its competitor by one point, but has played two more games, which team is really in better position to make the playoffs? Obviously, clearly, indisputably, the second team is in better position. This is not reflected in the traditional reporting of the standings, but is reflected in the "Real MLS Standings" above. Also, I've included a "Projected Points / Season" column to show how many points each team is on pace to collect for the season.

Additionally, since there are four wild card teams for the playoffs, in addition to the top three teams in each conference, for all intents and purposes, the top 10 teams in the league go to the playoffs. (The only way that this wouldn't happen would be if the 8th-best team in one conference had a better record than the 3rd-best team in the other conference). So, I have inserted a break after the 10th place team to separate teams in line for the playoffs from those not in line for the playoffs. Naturally, the season doesn't end today, so naturally, the standings and therefore the "teams in line for the playoffs" are subject to change.

Thanks to http://tableizer.journalistopia.com/ for help with the Table Architecture.
Thanks to http://www.mlssoccer.com/standings for the current, traditional (wrong) standings.
Thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Soccer_attendance for the current MLS Attendance Numbers.
MLS Official Playoff Bracket, from MLS Soccer.com.

UEFA Champions League Bracket shown American Style