Week 7 Pace Reports
Shield Pace Report, Week 7
As part of the continuing effort to follow the season based on the pace concept, now that some teams have reached the quarter season mark, let's review the pace number, starting with the race for the Supporter's Shield and its automatic bid to the Champions Cup:
United has dropped from above pace to right on pace, having burned their margin for error in the draw to FC Dallas and the loss to the Rapids. To get above pace they'll need a win against the Crew. The other teams are all off of pace, but Houston, Kansas City, and FC Dallas can both get onto pace with a win next week, and New England can do it by continuing their win streak for two more games.
Losses hurt when going after the Supporter's Shield. Houston's two game losing streak took three games to recover from, and their subsequent draw against FC Dallas dropped them just below pace again. The Galaxy and Real Salt Lake have suffered under their losses, while the New York Red Bulls have meandered downward by not winning (Which is to say: Draws hurt, they don't help).
The other interesting thing is that the shield pace puts United in a better place than FC Dallas, which some Power Polls are giving the #1 spot to. See what a game in hand does for you?
Eastern Conference Playoff Pace Report, Week 7
In the last pace update, we noted that the situation of having only two teams above playoff pace was not going to hold, and that at least two teams were going to get better as the season went on. Sure enough, New England has moved above playoff pace, and Columbus can move above pace with a win against United. Chicago is at least two games out from putting themselves onto playoff pace. New York is... awful. If all three are above playoff pace by three weeks from now, the DCenters feels confident in predicting that at least one of those teams will start to underperform, and it won't be a situation where the other teams outperform the lone team out.
Also, we see how that while United still hasn't recovered in the shield pace from their two game winless streak, in terms of the playoffs they're pretty close to their high mark from before the FC Dallas game. Draws don't hurt as much when you have a few wins.
Later today, I might post a few images showing a more traditional view of the year to date so far.