16 weeks in, nearly halfway through the 2017 season, and it was another action filled weekend, as 7 of the 11 matches had goals scored after the 84th minute and of 5 them were result changing goals (including stoppage time goals to save home points for LA and Orlando). More importantly, for the first time in several weeks there is a new team atop the SFPI as the reigning Wooden Spoon holders Chicago Fire are surging up the table thanks to an eight game unbeaten streak. Biggest winner this week is New York Red Bulls climbing 7 spots. Biggest Loser is New England falling 7. The team that saw the best improvement in their score was NYRB (+1.3734 points) while Philadelphia had the worst drop in score (-1.5568 points).
TWO new features this week: I will put where a team ranks in Schedule Strength and an * next to a teams name denotes that they are currently above the Red Line.
COMPONENTS OF SFPI
PPG SCORE: Overall Points Per Game are added to Points Per Game over Last Five with Last Five being given more weight. This is the single largest component of SFPI
GOAL DIFFERENCE PER GAME: Overall Goal Difference divided by games played.
HOME/AWAY BONUS: Bonus points are added for earning results (W/D) on the road, while points are subtracted for dropping results (D/L) at home. Accrues over entire season.
PERFORMANCE SCORE: Above components are added together to form a teams performance score.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Average Performance Scores for all of a teams opponents thus far. Weighted at less than 100%. Teams that are faced multiple times are counted multiple times (e.g if Portland plays Seattle twice, then Seattle's Performance score is counted twice)
TOTAL SCORE: Performance Score is added to Strength of Schedule for a teams Total Score. Teams are then ranked in order from highest to lowest.
(all times Pacific)
1: *CHICAGO FIRE (31pts 9W-3L-4D) SCORE: 10.2631 (+0.5342) PREVIOUS: 2 (+1) H1/L14
LAST WEEK: W 2-1 at New England. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 15
The Fire are now the hottest team in MLS with an 8 game unbeaten streak (matching Toronto FC for the longest so far this season), and haven't lost since April 29. Against New England Chicago took a 2-0 lead thanks to a goal by Golden Boot Leader Nemanja Nikolic and then saw out the rest of the match for a comfortable 2-1 win.
NEXT WEEK: vs (15) Orlando Saturday 6/24 530pm
2: *TORONTO FC (32pts 9W-2L-5D) SCORE: 9.6192 (-0.1561) PREVIOUS: 1 (-1) H1/L10
LAST WEEK: W 2-0 vs DC. SCHEDULE SCTRENGTH: 18
Toronto FC started their three big-money stars together for the first time in some six weeks as D.C. United visited BMO Field on Saturday, and the trio of Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco duly made the difference in a methodical 2-0 victory.
NEXT WEEK: vs (12) New England Friday 6/23 5pm
3: *NEW YORK CITY FC (27pts 8W-5L-3D) SCORE: 8.0704 (+0.719) PREVIOUS: 4 (+1) H2/L12
LAST WEEK: W 2-1 vs Seattle. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 22
David Villa scored his 50th and 51st goals in his 78th game since joining MLS to overcome a 1-0 halftime deficit, and lead the Citizens to the 2-1 win. Villa Became the 5th quickest to the mark. Only Raul Diaz Acre (67), Carlos Ruiz (69), Roy Lassiter (75), and Taylor Twellman (77) were faster.
NEXT WEEK: at (11) New York Red Bulls Saturday 6/24 1030am (FOX)
4: ATLANTA UNITED (21pts 6W-6L-3D) SCORE: 8.0261 (+0.8177) PREVIOUS: 7 (+3) H3/L12
LAST WEEK: W 3-1 vs Columbus. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 4
On Saturday night, all three of Atlanta United's Designated Players found the scoresheet in a 3-1 demolishing of Columbus Crew SC. Hector Villalba opened the scoring, Miguel Almiron got the winner in the 67th minute after Federico Higuain's first-half equalizer, and Josef Martinez capped off his return from injury with an emphatic goal off the bench shortly before the final whistle. The win marks three straight at Bobby Dodd Stadium for Atlanta, and snapped a two-game losing streak heading into a busy stretch of eight games in the next 25 days for the expansion club.
NEXT WEEK: at (21) DC United Wednesday 6/21 430pm, vs (19) Colorado Saturday 6/24 4pm
5: LOS ANGELES GALAXY (19pts 5W-5L-4D) SCORE: 7.0514 (-0.3346) PREVIOUS: 3 (-2) H3/L21
LAST WEEK: D 2-2 vs Houston. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 19
A contentious injury-time goal by Romain Alessandrini snatched a last-gasp 2-2 draw for the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center, saving the Californians from what would've been their fourth home loss of the season. Replays suggested that the Frenchman had strayed offside on the play, but after conferring, referee Hilario Grajeda and his officiating crew let the tally stand. This extended LA's unbeaten streak to 7 matches, although they have only won 3 in that span.
NEXT WEEK: at (19) Colorado Wednesday 6/21 6pm vs (9) Kanasas City Saturday 6/24 730pm
6: *FC DALLAS (24pts 6W-3L-6D) SCORE: 6.703 (+0.1605) PREVIOUS: 12 (+6) H1/L12
LAST WEEK: D 1-1 at Vancouver. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 16
Maxi Urruti scored his 8th goal of the season (in only 13 games) and for a while there it looked like Dallas, winners of only two in their last seven, might escape with all three points. Even after Techera's equalizer, Diaz and Michael Barrios had chances to grab a late winner. As the side gets healthier, things will only get easier in North Texas. Urruti only needs 2 more goals to match his MLS Career High of 10 (earned in 2014 with Portland).
NEXT WEEK: at (13) Houston Friday 6/23 6pm (Unimas FB Live)
7: SEATTLE SOUNDERS (19pts 5W-7L-4D) SCORE: 6.6323 (-0.1031) PREVIOUS: 10 (+3) H7/L17
LAST WEEK: L 2-1 at New York City. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 3
Cristian Roldan scored to give the Sounders the lead heading into halftime, but David Villa and Mother Nature conspired to prevent the champs from earning a result. Seattle still only has one win away from Century Link Field and will need to find a way to snag more points on the road if they want to remain a viable contender to defend their title.
NEXT WEEK: vs (15) Orlando Wednesday 6/21 730pm at (10) Portland Sunday 6/25 1230pm (ESPN)
8: MONTREAL IMPACT (18pts 4W-4L-6D) SCORE: 6.6138 (-0.6652) PREVIOUS: 6 (-2) H6/L17
LAST WEEK: D 3-3 at Orlando. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 7
Montreal is unbeaten in their last 4 games away from home (1W-3D) and can consider themselves unlucky to not have stolen all 3 points from Orlando giving up the equalizer deep into stoppage time. While The Impact will rue their inability to close out a win, they can take plenty of positives from the latest strong outing from their attacking duo. Ignacio Piatti and Blerim Dzemaili caused Orlando City fits all night, especially in the second half when a Piatti brace recorded about 60 seconds apart gave Montreal the lead. The Impact may not have been able to protect it, but MLS defenses needed to be on high alert about just how good this Piatti-Dzemaili combination is.
NEXT WEEK: at (16) Columbus Saturday 6/24 430pm
9: *SPORTING KANSAS CITY (27pts 7W-4L-6D) SCORE: 6.4545 (-0.6305) PREVIOUS: 9 (NC) H2/L11
LAST WEEK: D 0-0 at San Jose. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 21
Sporting KC dominated the first half outshooting The Quakes 10-0 (14-5 overall) but were denied by the cross bar and David Bingham to settle for their 4th 0-0 Draw of the season against a short handed San Jose squad.
NEXT WEEK: at (5) LA Galaxy Saturday 6/24 530pm
10: *PORTLAND TIMBERS (24pts 7W-6L-3D) SCORE: 6.2786 (-0.8687) PREVIOUS: 8 (-2) H1/L17
LAST WEEK: L 2-1 at Colorado. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 17
There is very little lipstick to put on this pig. As dominant as Portland was in the first half, they were as terrible in the second. For the 4th time this season the Timbers could not hold a second half lead and dropped points, this time dropping all 3. This correlates to 9 points lost which would leave them 1 point clear of Toronto for the Supporters Shield. The inability to see out matches is becoming a worrying trend, and in a league with margins as thin as MLS can mean the difference between a trophy and an early offseason.
NEXT WEEK: at (22) Minnesota Wednesday 6/21 5pm vs (7) Seattle Sunday 6/25 1230pm (ESPN)
11: *NEW YORK RED BULLS (23pts 7W-7L-2D) SCORE: 6.0637 (+1.3734) PREVIOUS: 18 (+7) H7/L19
LAST WEEK: W 2-0 at Philadelphia. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 13
The New York Red Bulls knocked off their I-95 rivals the Philadelphia Union 2-0 at Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday afternoon, as a 53rd-minute red card to Derrick Jones enabled the visitors to dominate the second half before Bradley Wright-Phillips struck for two late goals. BWP now has 4 goals in the last 4 league games.
NEXT WEEK: vs (3) NYCFC Saturday 6/24 1030am (FOX)
12: NEW ENGLAND REVOULTION (20pts 5W-6L-5D) SCORE: 5.8984 (-1.3839) PREVIOUS: 5 (-7) H5/L17
LAST WEEK: L 2-1 vs Chicago. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 9
The Gillette Stadium turf has been kind to Jay Heaps and company so far in 2017. On Saturday, though, the Revolution were unable to keep their impressive 11 match home unbeaten streak alive after Eastern Conference foes the Chicago Fire took all three points from the match. The loss was not for lack of offensive effort by New England. After conceding the first two goals, the Revs ramped up the pressure and consistently knocked on the door in the dying embers of the game. Based on their near-misses, it appeared the men in blue were destined to salvage a point, but they could not find the second goal.
NEXT WEEK: at (2) Toronto Friday 6/23 5pm
13: *HOUSTON DYNAMO (24pts 7W-6L-3D) SCORE: 5.8804 (+0.2554) PREVIOUS: 17 (+4) H4/L17
LAST WEEK: D 2-2 at Los Angeles Galaxy. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 16
Few road draws have ever felt as much like a loss as this one for Houston, who were 0-6-1 away from home coming into this game and hadn't even scored from the run of play since their first road game, at Portland way back on March 18. The Orange missed a hatful of opportunities to seal the deal and run the score to 3-1, leaving the door open for Alessandrini's efforts. It is Houstons second road point this season.
NEXT WEEK: vs (6) Dallas Friday 6/23 6pm (Unimas, FB Live)
14: *VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (20pts 6W-6L-2D) SCORE: 5.8116 (-0.9185) PREVIOUS: 11 (-3) H8/L22
LAST WEEK: D 1-1 vs Dallas. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 12
for Vancouver. There were injuries to deal with (Kendall Waston and Christian Bolanos), suspensions to deal with (Sheanon Williams), and there were babies to deal with (Brek Shea was absent from training Friday for the birth of his son Zepplin and only returned just before game time). The end result, thanks to Cristian Techera's stunner, is a valuable point against the defending conference champs.
NEXT WEEK: at (22) Minnesota Saturday 6/24 5pm
15: *ORLANDO CITY SC (25pts 7W-5L-4D) SCORE: 5.536 (-0.169) PREVIOUS: 16 (+1) H2/L19
LAST WEEK: D 3-3 vs Montreal. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 5
Orlando City let two leads slip from their grasp and looked ready to settle for a frustrating loss. Then, Jonathan Spector came to the rescue. Spector's nodded effort came after an Ignacio Piatti brace in the second half had flipped the script on the Lions, and it prevented the home side from suffering their second league defeat at Orlando City stadium this year.
NEXT WEEK: at (7) Seattle Wednesday 6/21 730pm, at (1) Chicago Saturday 6/24 530pm
16: *COLUMBUS CREW SC (22pts 7W-9L-D) SCORE: 5.2758 (-1.0793) PREVIOUS: 13 (-3) H1/L16
LAST WEEK: L 3-1 at Atlanta. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 1
his latest loss makes it seven on the season in nine road games for Columbus. That simply isn't good enough for a team with playoff aspirations. After the mid-week humbling at the hands of FC Cincinnati in the USOC, the pressure was on to get a result against an expansion team on a two-game slide. Despite numerous dangerous chances, the wheels fell off late yet again. After starting 3-1-1 The Crew are 4-8 since.
NEXT WEEK: vs (8) Montreal Saturday 6/24 430pm
17: *SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (20pts 5W-6L-5D) SCORE: 5.2612 (-0.8781) PREVIOUS: 14 (-3) H5/L17
LAST WEEK: D 0-0 vs Kansas City. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 8
David Bingham has had his fair share of shaky moments (Like the time the ball went between his legs) but he came up big in stoppage time for the Quakes to save the point. San Jose, however has only won 1 of their last 6 matches.
NEXT WEEK: vs (21) Real Salt Lake Saturday 6/24 830pm
18: PHILADELPHIA UNION (16pts 4W-7L-4D) SCORE: 4.4575 (-1.5568) PREVIOUS: 15 (-3) H6/L22
LAST WEEK: L 2-0 vs New York Red Bulls. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 11
That 6 game unbeaten streak is looking more and more like an aberration as Philly has lost 3 straight. A 53rd minute Red Card to Derrick Jones ended up being more than The Union could handle as New York took control from there before BWP buried the dagger late in the match.
NEXT WEEK: vs (21) DC United Saturday 6/24 4pm
19: COLORADO RAPIDS (16pts 5W-8L-1D) SCORE: 4.4399 (-0.0619) PREVIOUS: 19 (NC) H17/L22
LAST WEEK: W 2-1 vs Portland. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 20
Colorado has won their last 4 home games (5 if you count USOC). By this point their home strategy is becoming apparent. "Rope a Dope" they are more than content to sit back and stay compact, let their opponent play fast paced, attractive attacking football. They are even willing to concede a goal or two. Then in the second half as their opponent starts to slow down after running around at altitude for nearly an hour, they push numbers forward. And for two straight games it has worked to perfection as they trailed at halftime against both Columbus and Portland and yet came back to win both games. And with only one road game in their next four they could start to make some noise.
NEXT WEEK: vs (5) Los Angeles Wednesday 6/21 6pm, at (4) Atlanta Saturday 6/24 4pm
20: REAL SALT LAKE (17pts 5W-10L-2D) SCORE: 3.5179 (+0.0562) PREVIOUS: 21 (+1) H17/L21
LAST WEEK: W 1-0 vs Minnesota. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 6
RSL barraged the Minnesota goal with 29 shots, 9 of which were on target until Yura Movsisyan got on the end of a corner kick in the 84th minute to propel RSL to its 3rd win in their last 6 and stay within shouting distance of the Red Line.
NEXT WEEK: at (14) San Jose Friday 6/24 730pm
21: DC UNITED (15pts 4W-8L-3D) SCORE: 3.3651 (-0.7449) PREVIOUS: 20 (-1) H8/L21
LAST WEEK: L 2-0 at Toronto. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 2
D.C. are 1-5-1 since the end of April, and an impotent attack is a major reason why. With Saturday's goose egg, the Black-and-Red have now gone 665 minutes without a goal from the run of play, with a controversial penalty kick at Vancouver on May 27 their only goal – and only win – in that stretch. D.C. have scored just 10 goals all year, worst in MLS.
NEXT WEEK: vs (4) Atlanta Wednesday 6/21 430pm at (18) Philadelphia Saturday 6/24 4pm
22: MINNESOTA UNITED (14pts 4W-9L-2D) SCORE: 2.2362 (-1.2079) PREVIOUS: 22 (NC) H19/L22
LAST WEEK: L 1-0 at Salt Lake. SCHEDULE STRENGTH: 10
Bobby Shuttleworth put in another Man of the Match type performance with 8 saves to keep the Loons in the match. But without the offense to back him up all it took was one to keep Minnesota from claiming a hard fought road point. Minnesota has now been shut out 2 times in a row.
NEXT WEEK: vs (10) Portland Wednesday 6/21 5pm, vs (14) Vancouver Saturday 6/24 5pm
Last week the SFPI went 7-4 (63.6%) to bring season total 46-71 (39.3%).
This weeks predictions
Atlanta at DC: ATLANTA
Toronto at Montreal: TORONTO
Portland at Minnesota: PORTLAND
LA at Colorado: DRAW
Orlando at Seattle: SEATTLE
New England at Toronto: TORONTO
Dallas at Houston: DRAW
New York City at New York Red Bulls: DRAW
Colorado at Atlanta: ATLANTA
DC at Philadelphia: PHILADELPHIA
Montreal at Columbus: DRAW
Vancouver at Minnesota: VANCOUVER
Orlando at Chicago: CHICAGO
Kanasas City at LA: LOS ANGELES
Salt Lake at San Jose: SAN JOSE
Seattle at Portland: PORTLAND