Week 13 of the 2017 MLS season is finished, and I hope that you all had a good Memorial Day Weekend (Timbers result notwithstanding). It was a week full of surprises (#becauseMLS) that saw the bottom 4 teams win by identical 1-0 score lines with the bottom 3 doing so at home (and teams that were ranked 17-22 in last weeks SFPI all won by 1 goal). The biggest winner this week was LA Galaxy climbing 10 spots thanks to their now 5 game unbeaten run, while the biggest loser was San Jose falling 9 spots after a rivalry home loss that ruined the momentum from the big road win the week before.
COMPONENTS OF SFPI
PPG SCORE: Overall points per game added to points per game over last five matches, with last five being given more weight. Most important component of SFPI.
GOAL DIFFERENCE PER GAME: Overall Goal Difference divided by games played.
HOME/AWAY BONUS: Bonus points awarded for earning results (W/D) on the road, and subtracted for dropping results (D/L) at home. Accrues over entire season.
PERFORMANCE SCORE: All above components are added together to form a teams Performance Score.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Average Performance Score of a teams opponents so far, weighted at less than 100% (Opponents that are played multiple times are counted as many times as they are played).
TOTAL SCORE: Performance Score is added to Strength of Schedule to make Total Score. Teams are then ranked from highest to lowest by Total Score. There is no theoretical maximum or minimum score.
(all times Pacific)
1: TORONTO FC (20pts 8W-1L-5D) SCORE: 11.4878 PREVIOUS: 1 (NC) H1/L10
LAST WEEK: W 5-0 vs Columbus
Toronto FC continued their good form in MLS with a convincing 5-0 rout of Columbus Crew SC Friday night at BMO Field, extending their unbeaten run in league play to eight straight games (7-0-1). TFC jumped out to the early lead after forward Tosaint Ricketts was taken down by Crew SC defender Jonathan Mensah for a penalty kick. Midfielder Victor Vazquez stepped up and converted. The Reds doubled the lead before the half when Justin Morrow ripped a shot from the left side past goalkeeper Zack Steffen at the near post. Vazquez scored his second after the break with a well-placed free kick under the wall from the edge of the box. Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamliton each scored their first goals of the year late to complete the rout.
NEXT WEEK: at (15) New England Saturday 6/3 430pm
2: CHICAGO FIRE (24pts 7W-3L-3D) SCORE: 9.4504 PREVIOUS: 4 (+2) H2/L14
LAST WEEK: W 2-1 vs Dallas
All three goals in this game were scored in the first 10 minutes. The Fire are now on a 4 game winning streak which is their longest in league play since September of 2012. At 24 points Chicago is only 7 points behind their total for all of 2016, clearly this team is vastly improved. Now all they have to do is figure out how to win on the road.
NEXT WEEK: vs (19) Orlando Sunday 6/4 430pm (FS1)
3: ATLANTA UNITED (18pts 5W-4L-3D) SCORE: 7.6198 PREVIOUS: 6 (+3) H3/L12
LAST WEEK: W 3-1 vs New York City
Miguel Almiron nabbed a first half brace (to bring his total over last two games to 5 goals) as Atlanta jumped to a 3-0 lead by the 23rd minute converting their first 3 shots, then coasted the rest of the way to a 3-1 win. Almiron had some looks in the second half to become the third player in MLS history to record back-to-back hat-tricks according to the Elias Sports Bureau, but his attempts to join Robbie Keane and Eddie Johnson were blocked by scrambling NYCFC defenders. Nonetheless, Almiron looks to be finding his top form right now, and that spells nothing but good things for Atlanta United.
NEXT WEEK: vs (10) Vancouver Saturday 6/3 230pm
4: NEW YORK CITY FC (20pts 6W-5L-2D) SCORE: 7.3711 PREVIOUS: 4 (-2) H2/L12
LAST WEEK: L 3-1 at Atlanta
NYCFC may have one of the more potent attacks in the league, but they struggled to respond to the first-half blitz that Atlanta hit them with. New York City's attack, which looked so good in the opening 10 minutes of Sunday's showdown, did not muster up much of a reaction until after the break. NYCFC's defense, meanwhile, took too long to stop committing the errors that put the visiting team in such a large hole. All in all, this was a performance to forget for Patrick Vieira and his troops. Fortunately a 3 game homestand against New England, Philly, and Seattle can right the ship.
NEXT WEEK: vs (15) New England Wednesday 5/31 430pm, vs (6) Philadelphia Saturday 6/3 10am
5: LA GALAXY (17pts 5W-5L-2D) SCORE: 7.189 PREVIOUS: 15 (+10) H5/L21
LAST WEEK: W 4-2 at San Jose
The Galaxy rode a Giovoni dos Santos brace to win the first edition of the Cali Classico in 2017, and win their 3rd straight match, all away from home. The first time they have accomplished that feat since May of 2010. The win now gives them a 5 match unbeaten streak, it looks like LA may have found it's groove.
NEXT WEEK: at (16) DC United Saturday 6/3 4pm
6: PHILADELPHIA UNION (16pts 4W-5L-4D) SCORE: 6.9825 PREVIOUS: 6 (NC) H6/L22
LAST WEEK: L 1-0 at Real Salt Lake
I guess you could call RSL Philadelphia’s daddy, as they just can't seem to beat them. Thus bringing their 6 game unbeaten run to a screeching halt. To be fair, there was significant squad rotation, but The Union were only able to put four shots on frame, three were outside the box, and only one in the second half coming off of a Medunjanin free kick in stoppage time.
NEXT WEEK: at (4) New York City Saturday 6/3 10am
7: FC DALLAS (20pts 5W-2L-5D) SCORE: 6.7054 PREVIOUS: 3 (-4) H1/L7
LAST WEEK: L 2-1 at Chicago, D 0-0 vs Houston
After being the last team to drop a game, the Burn lost two straight and are winless in their last four overall. After winning their first three games at Toyota Stadium to start 2017, they have now failed to win their last four in Frisco. They still have collected the most points per game in the Western Conference but this stretch could hurt their playoff positioning down the line. Plus side, Mauro Diaz made his return to the pitch in the 80th minute.
NEXT WEEK: vs (20) Salt Lake Saturday 6/3 5pm
8: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (16pts 4W-5L-4D) SCORE: 6.5137 PREVIOUS: 8 (NC) H8/L22
LAST WEEK: L 1-0 vs DC United
The Whitecaps conceded a VERY SOFT penalty and hit the woodwork FOUR times including on a stoppage time Penalty Kick by Christian Techera that could have tied it. If that doesn't give an idea as to how the game went, nothing will.
NEXT WEEK: vs (3) Atlanta Saturday 6/3 230pm
9: HOUSTON DYNAMO (20pts 5W-5L-2D) SCORE: 6.4235 PREVIOUS: 12 (+3) H4/L12
LAST WEEK: D 0-0 at Dallas
Houston earned their first road point of the year, despite being outplayed most of the match, particularly in the 2nd half. They were outshot 15-4, out possessed 60-40 and only completed 281 passes (64%) to 416 for Dallas (77%), but none of that matters. They held their in state rivals scoreless and took home a point.
NEXT WEEK: vs (20) Salt Lake Wednesday 5/31 530pm, at (13) Seattle Sunday 6/4 7pm
10: COLUMBUS CREW SC (19pts 6W-7L-1D) SCORE: 6.3875 PREVIOUS: 10 (NC) H1/L10
LAST WEEK: L 5-0 at Toronto
The Crew had to think they had a chance going into this one, the only team to best Toronto yet this year, and facing them without Altidore (Suspended) or Giovinco (injured). Not so fast my friend, VIctor Vazquez scored a brace, Justin Morrow added his third tally, and Jonathan Osorio, and Jordan Hamilton opened their 2017 accounts and blew the Crew right back across Lake Erie. A couple winnable games this week though may take some of the sting out of losing The Trillium cup for the second straight year.
NEXT WEEK: vs (13) Seattle Wednesday 5/31 430pm, at (21) Colorado Saturday 6/3 6pm
11: SPORTING KANSAS CITY (22pts 6W-4L-4D) SCORE: 6.0723 PREVIOUS: 7 (-4) H2/L11
LAST WEEK: L 1-0 at Colorado
Sporting KC did just about everything they could to get points out of the game, but ultimately they could not break down the stingy Rapids defense despite dominating possession 73-27. SKC took 14 shots in the first half and another 11 in the second, though 21 of those shots were from outside the box. Five players took at least three shots, led by Benny Feilhaber's seven. Add it up, and it's the sixth time in eight games that SKC has been shutout on the road. Yes, they're still in first place in the West, but they'll likely have to improve on their 1-4-3 road record to stay there.
NEXT WEEK: vs (22) Minnesota Saturday 6/3 2pm (ESPN)
12: MONTREAL IMPACT (13pts 3W-4L-4D) SCORE: 6.0714 PREVIOUS: 13 (+1) H12/L17
LAST WEEK: BYE
The Impact took a break from MLS play to face off against Vancouver in the Canadian Championship, winning the match 4-2 and the series 5-4 on Aggregate. They will face the winner of Toronto and Ottowa in the Final for a Champions League Playoff Berth against Toronto
NEXT WEEK: vs (18) New York Red Bulls Saturday 6/3 430pm
13: SEATTLE SOUNDERS (16pts 4W-5L-4D) SCORE: 5.9311 PREVIOUS: 17 (+4) H8/L17
LAST WEEK: W 1-0 vs Portland
It wasn't a dominating performance by any stretch, and they were helped out by a few questionable no calls, but Seattle earned a tough 1-0 home win against their fiercest rivals to stay unbeaten in home regular season matches against the Timbers. Seattle now has their first wining streak of 2017.
NEXT WEEK: at (10) Columbus Wednesday 5/31 430pm, vs (9) Houston Sunday 6/4 7pm
14: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (19pts 5W-5L-4D) SCORE: 5.9099 PREVIOUS: 5 (-9) H5/L15
LAST WEEK: L 4-2 vs Los Angeles Galaxy
Nothing epitomizes #BecauseMLS quite like the San Jose Earthquakes. In their last four games they have lost at Colorado (and were the only team so far to concede more than 2 goals to the Rapids) Drawn then red hot Orlando, won at Dallas (their first loss of the season) then lost at home to LA (ending their home unbeaten streak in 2017). Wondolowski scored his 8th Cali Classico goal to tie Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane for the all time series lead, but a Victor Bernandez own goal near the end of the first half ended up being too much for the Quakes to overcome.
NEXT WEEK: at (17) Portland Friday 6/2 8pm (UniMas, FB Live)
15: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (16pts 4W-5L-4D) SCORE: 5.5097 PREVIOUS: 14 (-1) H7/L17
LAST WEEK: L 2-1 at New York Red Bulls
Lee Nguyens 9th minute PK was not enough to withstand a second half that saw The Revs completely outplayed. Target forward Kei Kamara had a tough day, contributing little until he was subbed out of a 1-1 game in the 66th minute. Kamara had three shots in the game, but none on target. His replacement, Juan Agudelo, didn't do much, either. Agudelo, who missed the prior two games with an injury, had two shots, none on target.
NEXT WEEK: at (4) New York City Wednesday 5/31 430pm, vs (1) Toronto Saturday 6/3 430pm
16: DC UNITED (14pts 4W-6L-2D) SCORE: 5.1191 PREVIOUS: 19 (+3) H8/L20
LAST WEEK: W 1-0 at Vancouver
Jose Guillermo Ortiz earned the penalty that led to D.C.'s goal, going to ground under pressure from Kendall Waston. Replays suggested Ortiz at the very least embellished the play, a sight that drew plenty of boos from the home crowd. This coming just one week after he was fined by the MLS DisCo for Embelleshment in DC's home loss to Chicago. Expect a Suspension and hefty fine this time around.
NEXT WEEK: at (19) Orlando Wednesday 5/31 430pm, vs (5) Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday 6/3 4pm
17: PORTLAND TIMBERS FC (18pts 5W-5L-3D) SCORE: 5.069 PREVIOUS: 11 (-6) H1/L17
LAST WEEK: L 1-0 at Seattle
In what was actually their best performance in recent weeks, the Timbers just couldn't find that final touch to unlock a stingy Sounders defense. Two controversial non calls and losing David Guzman at halftime to a possible concussion (In addition to suspended Diego Chara) certainly didn't help matters, but all that matters at the end of the day is the final score. Now winless in their last five, Portland is starting to reach panic mode, and need some strong performances to turn things around, unfortunately they will have to try and do it this week without Guzman or Nagbe who both received national team call ups for World Cup Qualifying matches.
NEXT WEEK: vs (14) San Jose Friday 6/2 8pm (Unimas, FB Live)
18: NEW YORK RED BULLS (20pts 6W-6L-2D) SCORE: 4.8072 PREVIOUS: 18 (NC) H7/L19
LAST WEEK: W 2-1 vs New England
After giving up an early PK to Lee Nguyen it looked like the Red Bulls were going to continue their terrible May form. Then in the second half Bradley Wright-Phillips scored on a backheel. And his last goal, last weekend against Toronto FC, was a bicycle kick (or, at least, some folks think it was a bicycle kick), meaning he's scored his last two goals with his back to the goal. Hey, when you've played as long as he has and scored as many goals as him, you don't really need to look at the goal -- you know where it is.
NEXT WEEK: at (12) Montreal Saturday 6/3 430pm
19: ORLANDO CITY SC (20pts 6W-5L-2D) SCORE: 4.7939 PREVIOUS: 16 (-3) H2/L19
LAST WEEK: L 1-0 at Minnesota
First 7 games: 6W-1L-0D. Last 6 games: 0W-4L-2D, that will kill you in the rankings. Orlando City had chances to find the back of the net -- they took 20 shots, seven of which were on target -- but they lacked the creativity necessary to generate quality looks in the final third. The Lions combined well on one play in the first half that led to a near goal from Scott Sutter, but that was about as good as it got as they too often settled for blasting harmless, long-range efforts. Kaka's presence was sorely missed, and Matias Perez Garcia and Co. did not do enough to fill his shoes.
NEXT WEEK: vs (16) DC United Wednesday 5/31 430pm, at (2) Chicago Sunday 6/4 430pm (FS1)
20: REAL SALT LAKE (14pts 4W-8L-2D) SCORE: 3.9996 PREVIOUS: 20 (NC) H17/L21
LAST WEEK: W 1-0 vs Philadelphia
Joao Plata opened his 2017 account, and Nick Rimando did Nick Rimando things and RSL halted The Unions 4 game winning and 6 game unbeaten streak to remain unbeaten all time (4W-0L-6D) in MLS play against the Eastern conference team.
NEXT WEEK: at (9) Houston Wednesday 5/31 530pm
21: COLORADO RAPIDS (12pts 3W-4L-4D) SCORE: 3.1366 PREVIOUS 22 (+1) H17/L22
LAST WEEK: W 1-0 vs Kansas City
It was a vintage 2016 performance for the Rapids after Homegrown Player Kortne Ford found the back of the net in the 11th minute from a Gashi free kick. Last year Colorado won 8 games 1-0 scoring first then locking down on defense to snag three points. They did the same here, ceding 73% possession and absorbing 25 shots, although only 4 of them came from inside the box.
NEXT WEEK: vs (10) Columbus Saturday 6/3 6pm
22: MINNESOTA UNITED (14pts 4W-7L-2D) SCORE: 2.9104 PREVIOUS: 21 (-1) H19/L22
LAST WEEK: W 1-0 vs Orlando
Life isn't fair sometimes, get a big home win and still fall to the bottom of the rankings. When the six lowest ranked teams all win somebody is going to get the short end of the stick. This week it was the Loons. Minnesota used a second-half strike from Ramirez to edge Orlando City, 1-0, at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday night. Ramirez, who had netted a decisive own goal in a loss to the LA Galaxy in Week 12, scored his eighth tally of the season in the 56th minute when he was played through on goal via a delightful through ball from Johan Venegas. The shutout victory gave Minnesota United head coach Heath a win against Orlando, the team he previously managed during a stretch that included the Lions' first two seasons in MLS.
NEXT WEEK: at (11) Kansas City Saturday 6/3 2pm (ESPN)
Last week started off well, correctly calling Toronto and Chicago both winning at home. But the only other correct prediction was Dallas and Houston splitting the points, went 3-8 (27%) to bring season record to 30-58 (34%). Apparently I am not giving the home teams enough credit so will up their bonus to 1.75 points, but if scores then are still within 1 point will continue to call it a draw.
Seattle at Columbus: COLUMBUS
New England at NYCFC: NEW YORK CITY
DC at Orlando: ORLANDO
Salt Lake at Houston: HOUSTON
San Jose at Portland: DRAW
Philadelphia at NYCFC: NEW YORK CITY
Minnesota at Kansas City: KANSAS CITY
Atlanta at Vancouver: DRAW
LA at DC: DRAW
Toronto at New England: TORONTO
New York RB at Montreal: MONTREAL
Salt Lake at Dallas: DALLAS
Columbus at Colorado: COLUMBUS
Chicago at Orlando: CHICAGO
Houston at Seattle: SEATTLE