2019 By The Numbers: There's A City In My Mind, Come Along

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mgarbowski

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Boys Keep Swinging

Four straight wins matches the best such streaks of NYCFC’s history. Still, to put themselves in the best, most defensible position to win the top spot in the East, they might need to extend it to 7, because the next three home games against New England, toronto and San Jose, are the easiest on NYCFC’s remaining schedule. NYCFC probably will need in the area of 12 more points to finish first in the East. It will not help that NYC will play all or some of those games without all or some of Johnson, Matarrita, Chanot, Callens, Sands,, and TBD: Héber (status uncertain) and Shradi (return date completely unguessable).
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.54.00 AM.png

With less than a quarter of the season remaining, NYC have the league’s second best PPG, second fewest losses*, second best Goal Differential, second most Away points, second best Away PPG, are 1 of only 2 teams with a winning Away record and positive Away Goal Differential (LAFC is the other of course). Largely due to having fewer games played, they are third in Total Points (Philadelphia is second with 1 more point and 2 more Games Played), and fourth in Total Wins (Philly and Atlanta both have 1 more win with 2 and 1 additional games played).

* Some may wonder if the games in hand diminish this stat, but NYCFC has 3 fewer losses than the two closest in this category, with only 1 or 2 extra games to play. Even if NYCFC lose every extra game, they still lead this stat, pening the remaining games in common.

I do not know what the argument is that NYCFC is not clearly the second best team to date in MLS. Schedule congestion for Atlanta? It’s a fair point to note, with their recent Leagues Cup and MLS cup runs, plus the CCL early on. Some note that NYC has lost 3 of the most recent 4 games against teams above the playoff line: RB (both a win and loss), RSL, and Atlanta. You can create excuses for all those games based on missing players and ref calls, but I prefer to note that NYC also has won against DC (A), the Galaxy (A), Philadelphia and Seattle, plus the previously noted RB game. NYC’s record against teams currently above the playoff line is 5-4-3, with 7 of the 12 games on the road, including 2 of the wins.

It’s hard to measure that against how other teams have played against playoff teams. It is a small game sample, subject to change as teams move above and below the line, and most importantly, ignores Home and Away. I think Home and Away is more important in MLS than playoff status. All of NYCFC’s remaining games are against teams currently above the playoff line, and 4 are Home and 3 Away. If you gave me the opportunity to switch that to having only 3 of the Games against playoff teams, but all 7 Away, I would not take the offer. I think you measure tough games in MLS at least as much by Away performance as by the opponent’s overall record. With those disclaimers, I checked the records of Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle and Minnesota against current playoff teams. Of those, I would only say Philadelphia has a better record, subject to all the factors just listed. And the Union lag NYCFC in all other major stats. besides the ones listed above, they had 5 fewer points at 27 games than NYC does now.
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.56.44 AM.png
I dropped more low end results from the following table. I could conceivably add some to the top, but that seems hubristic, and simply unlikely, though not impossible.
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.55.48 AM.png
2019 NYCFC is finally ahead of 2018 after 27 games, with 50 points to 48. There is a tie with 2017, which team only managed 1 win and 4 ties in the final 7 games. We’ll see if 2019 can survive the presumed absence of Heber and avoid a similar finish.
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.55.06 AM.png
Finally, second place with games in hand looks good here.
East-2019-09-02.png
 

mgarbowski

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It's A Long Way To The Top

On Monday April 15, after playing 6 games, NYCFC had 5 points and no wins. Five Thirty Eight gave them a 4% chance of coming in first, and a 54% chance of making the playoffs. The team got better quickly, and for the past few weeks the biggest obstacle to them sitting in first has been a low number of games played. Comparing all East teams based on points through the same number of games played, as we have been doing here for several weeks, NYCFC has had more points at each point for 9 out of 13 games since Game 16, including the last 5 in a row. But it was just this week when NYCFC ever held or shared first place in the East, in Week 27 and after 28 games played.

Now NYCFC has clinched a playoff spot, and 538 says they have a 66% chance of finishing first. With 6 games remaining nothing is guaranteed, and the game against Atlanta could decide the issue, but this has been quite a turn around already.
East-2019-09-09.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 8.15.28 PM.png

In 5 of NYCFC’s last 10 wins (PHI, COL, CIN, RB, and NE), the opponent scored first. In another (Houston), NYCFC trailed 2-1. I’m not sure this is a positive overall. It did not happen once in the first 5 wins, largely because of a lot more clean sheets, though of course it is good to know the team can come back from negative game states. On the flip side, NYCFC led in 2 of its 5 losses (RB and RSL).

The rolling 5-game PPG has hit the maximum of 3 for the first time.
Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 8.23.04 PM.png
The 10-game rolling PPG has hit 2.4 for just the second time. The first was 16 games into this season.
NYCFC-rolling.png
We’re hitting the trail end of the season when the PPG standings mean less, but here it is.
Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 8.22.35 PM.png
At the same time, this table is everything now:
Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 8.22.51 PM.png
The magic number for New England and DC is 2. For Red Bulls and Toronto it is 4. All could happen this coming week with 2 win and/or those teams dropping points, and would guarantee finishing no lower then third. Philadelphia and Atlanta are both at 14 so still a ways off. Looking West, NYC has clinched over Colorado, Houston and Vancouver, and at worst a draw on points with SKC. The remaining numbers are Dallas 6, Galaxy 8, RSL, Portland and Seattle 9, San Jose 10 and Minnesota 11.
 
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SoupInNYC

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It's A Long Way To The Top

On Monday April 15, after playing 6 games, NYCFC had 5 points and no wins. Five Thirty Eight gave them a 4% chance of coming in first, and a 54% chance of making the playoffs. The team got better quickly, and for the past few weeks the biggest obstacle to them sitting in first has been a low number of games played. Comparing all East teams based on points through the same number of games played, as we have been doing here for several weeks, NYCFC has had more points at each point for 9 out of 13 games since Game 16, including the last 5 in a row. But it was just this week when NYCFC ever held or shared first place in the East, in Week 27 and after 28 games played.

Now NYCFC has clinched a playoff spot, and 538 says they have a 66% chance of finishing first. With 6 games remaining nothing is guaranteed, and the game against Atlanta could decide the issue, but this has been quite a turn around already.
View attachment 10223
View attachment 10224

In 5 of NYCFC’s last 10 wins (PHI, COL, CIN, RB, and NE), the opponent scored first. In another (Houston), NYCFC trailed 2-1. I’m not sure this is a positive overall. It did not happen once in the first 5 wins, largely because of a lot more clean sheets, though of course it is good to know the team can come back from negative game states. On the flip side, NYCFC led in 2 of its 5 losses (RB and RSL).

The rolling 5-game PPG has hit the maximum of 3 for the first time.
View attachment 10227
The 10-game rolling PPG has hit 2.4 for just the second time. The first was 16 games into this season.
View attachment 10228
We’re hitting the trail end of the season when the PPG standings mean less, but here it is.
View attachment 10226
At the same time, this table is everything now:
View attachment 10226
The magic number for New England and DC is 2. For Red Bulls and Toronto it is 4. All could happen this coming week with 2 win and/or those teams dropping points, and would guarantee finishing no lower then third. Philadelphia and Atlanta are both at 14 so still a ways off. Looking West, NYC has clinched over Colorado, Houston and Vancouver, and at worst a draw on points with SKC. The remaining numbers are Dallas 6, Galaxy 8, RSL, Portland and Seattle 9, San Jose 10 and Minnesota 11.
I thought this post would have bagpipes
 

canchon

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We’ll have a clearer picture of where we are by Saturday evening. NYCFC needs to bank points in these games with 3 out of the final four on the road (and the home game against Atlanta).

Get six points in the next two games and first place it is.

3-4 points and it’s going to be a tight end of September.

0-1 points and get ready for third place.
 

mgarbowski

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We’ll have a clearer picture of where we are by Saturday evening. NYCFC needs to bank points in these games with 3 out of the final four on the road (and the home game against Atlanta).

Get six points in the next two games and first place it is.

3-4 points and it’s going to be a tight end of September.

0-1 points and get ready for third place.
I'm still saying win any 2 plus Atlanta, and that's probably enough. And schedule and missing players aside (or even accounting for same) the 2 easiest games are the next 2.
 

Gotham Gator

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Remaining games

NYCFC (53 points)
TOR
SJE
@DAL
ATL
@NER
@PHI

Philadelphia (51)
LAFC
@NJR
SJE
@CLB
NYC

Atlanta (48)
CLB
@FCC
SJE
@NYC
@MON
NER

Putting aside the games that NYC play against Philly and Atlanta, here is the high end of what each team can reasonably expect from its remaining schedule. If we are 4 or more points above each, after our other 4 games, then we can lose both of those and still take first.

Atlanta has 5 mostly easy games (besides the one against us). Home contests against San Jose and New England are a little tough, especially San Jose which will be on short rest when San Jose does not have a mid-week game. Playing at Montreal will also be tricky, with the Impact fighting for a playoff spot. The other two games they should win. Maybe give them 4-1-0 or 3-0-2 for 11-12 points and 59-60 total when the season ends.

Philly has only 4 other games, and they are tougher. LAFC at home might be a little easier that it would seem depending on Vela's status, but will still be tough. At New Jersey will be very hard, and the other two games aren't walkovers. I can see them getting 5 points, maybe 6 to finish on 56-57 points total.

So, that means we need 61 points to feel safely in second and 64 points to feel safely in first, without worrying about a result at either of Philly or against Atlanta. That's going to be really tough given our other four games. To get to the 8 points we need for Philly, we have to win our two home games and take either two ties in our road game or a win and a loss. To get the 64 points we will need to feel safe against Atlanta, we will need to win all 4 of those games, or maybe get 3 wins and a tie.

Note that if we tie Atlanta and lose to Philly, then the safety margin over both is the same - about 8 points in the other 4 games.