Playoff Positioning: Separation Edition

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Portland's playoff fate just got a little clearer after two consecutive wins against other potential playoff foes.

A lot went Portland's way last weekend to help them take 3 giant steps closer to securing a 2013 playoff berth. Not only did their win against the LA Galaxy help but so too did a few other results. Seattle's tie keeps Portland within striking distance of the top seed, Real Salt Lake's defeat of Vancouver pushed one of the remaining 8 teams further down the standings and FC Dallas' loss essentially killed their playoff hopes.

Now that Portland has put some distance between themselves and the red line they can focus on earning a top 3 berth. If they earn a top three berth any team they play will have to come to the House of Pane to play and this is a good thing.

Current Standings

# Club PTS GP PPG W L T GF GA GD HG HGD RG RGD
1 Real Salt Lake 51 31 1.65 15 10 6 54 39 15 28 14 26 1
2 Seattle Sounders FC 51 29 1.76 15 8 6 39 29 10 27 17 12 -7
3 Portland Timbers 49 30 1.63 12 5 13 46 31 15 28 17 18 -2
4 LA Galaxy 45 30 1.5 13 11 6 46 37 9 26 18 20 -9
5 Colorado Rapids 45 30 1.5 12 9 9 37 31 6 22 9 15 -3
6 San Jose Earthquakes 44 31 1.42 12 11 8 32 41 -9 20 8 12 -17
7 Vancouver Whitecaps 41 30 1.37 11 11 8 42 39 3 27 10 15 -7
8 FC Dallas 40 30 1.33 10 10 10 42 46 -4 25 6 17 -10
9 Chivas USA 26 31 0.84 6 17 8 29 55 -26 17 -7 12 -19

Remaining Games

(This is not chronological. it is just a list of their remaining games)

Colorado Vancouver Dallas LAG Portland Seattle San Jose RSL
Seattle Portland at RSL Chivas at Vancouver at Colorado Colorado FC Dallas
At San Jose at Seattle Chicago Montreal Seattle Vancouver at LAG at Portland
Vancouver at Colorado Seattle San Jose RSL at Portland FC Dallas Chivas
at Vancouver Colorado at San Jose at Seattle at Chivas at FC Dallas

The Galaxy have arguably the easiest schedule with three home games left and one of them against the worst team in the conference. Portland would be second with their two toughest opponents having to come to their home and play. The hardest schedule might be Vancouver or San Jose but it really is debatable.

Predicted and Actual Results

I updated the points I am predicting they earn and also added up the point difference between the predicted results and the actual result. (Teams are shown in reverse order of standings)

Dallas Predicted result Actual Result
at Colorado loss loss
at New York loss Loss
Columbus win Loss
at RSL loss
Chicago win
Seattle tie
at San Jose loss
4 Points -3

Vancouver Predicted result Actual Result
at San Jose tie tie
at montreal loss Win
RSL tie Loss
Portland tie
at Seattle loss
at Colorado loss
Colorado win
4 points 1

San Jose Predicted result Actual Result
Vancouver tie tie
at RSL loss Win
at Chivas win win
Colorado win
at LAG loss
FC Dallas loss
6 points 3

Colorado Predicted result Actual Result
FC Dallas Win Win
at Portland loss Loss
Seattle tie
At San Jose loss
Vancouver Win
at Vancouver loss
4 points 0

LAG Predicted result Actual Result
At DC united Win Tie
Seattle Tie tie
at Portland Loss Loss
Chivas Win
Montreal Win
San Jose Win
at Seattle loss
6 points -2

Portland Predicted result Actual Result
At Chivas Win tie
Colorado Win win
LAG Win Win
at Vancouver tie
Seattle tie
RSL tie
at Chivas Win
6 points -2

Seattle Predicted result Actual Result
RSL tie Win
at LAG tie tie
New York Win tie
at Colorado tie
Vancouver win
at Portland tie
at FC Dallas loss
LAG tie
6 points 0

RSL Predicted result Actual Result
at Seattle tie Loss
San Jose win Loss
at Vancouver tie Win
FC Dallas win
at Portland tie
Chivas win
7 points -3

Max Points

Team Points games games left max points
RSL 51 31 3 60
Seattle 51 29 5 66
Portland 49 30 4 61
LA Galaxy 45 30 4 57
Colorado Rapids 45 30 4 57
San Jose 44 31 3 53
Vancouver 41 30 4 53
FC Dallas 40 30 4 52
Chivas 26 31 3 35

Predicted Standings

Team Predicted points Predicted total Playoff seed
Seattle 6 57 2
RSL 7 58 1
Portland 6 55 3
LA Galaxy 6 51 4
Colorado Rapids 4 49 6
San Jose 6 50 5
Vancouver 4 45 7
FC Dallas 4 44 8

As you can see RSL barely earns the top spot in the West and possible the SS depending on the eastern conference. One more win and Portland pretty much guarantees themselves a place in the playoffs but if they earn more than the 3 points they can secure a top three seed.

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