I was wondering the other day what the season would have looked like if MLS had a balanced schedule. I had a couple hours to spare today, so I downloaded a Soccer League Table excel template and went to work.
I built a new table under the following assumptions:
- If the teams played a balance home-away schedule, I counted those games as is.
- If the teams played twice in one venue, I used aggregate goals to determine a single result.
- If the teams did not play in one venue, I duplicated the other result with the home team getting one more goal.
This is obviously not perfect, but it yielded interesting results.
*Update: Added Pts column
|5||Real Salt Lake||58||16||10||10|
|7||New York Red Bulls||57||16||9||11|
|8||New England Revolution||57||16||9||11|
|9||Sporting Kansas City||55||15||10||11|
|10||Seattle Sounders FC||54||16||6||14|
|14||San Jose Earthquakes||48||13||9||14|
The most notable is that Vancouver wins the Supporters Shield and Seattle doesn't make the playoffs. I believe this is mostly due to Vancouver having a really easy home out of conference schedule. These games against easy Eastern teams would probably be wins or draws on the road. Seattle dropped mostly because of my aggregate goal formula. Their BIG losses near the end of the season cancelled out some close wins earlier on.
Additionally note the overall shift down by the Eastern Conference teams. I believe this is due to them playing DC United, Toronto, Chicago, & Columbus multiple times.
If I knew how to link the entire spreadsheet hear I would.
Also a BIG disclaimer that there could very easily be a bug in the spreadsheet, so take it with a grain of salt.