10 October 2007

The Sour Smell of Success

If United doesn't win another game, they'd finish at 54 points over 30 games, a pretty dandy 1.8 points per game. If we modify historical records to count shootouts as draws, that would make it the best D.C. United finish since the 1999 United side. If D.C. United wins out, they'll have 60 points over 30 games, a remarkable 2.0 points-per-game mark. That would be the highest of any DC United team in history, and would put them in a tie for third in MLS History with the 2005 Quakes. And perhaps, possibly, that should be worrying.

If we look at MLS Regular Season points per game (modified as above to account for the shoot-out), there's something shocking. Your top 5 historically have a grand total of 0 MLS Cups. Those teams are the 1998 LA Galaxy (2.19 ppg), the 2001 Miami Fusion (2.04 ppg), the 2005 Quakes (2.0 ppg), the 2001 Fire (1.96 ppg) and the 1996 Mutiny (1.91 ppg). Is there something about the regular season, and really tearing it up that makes playoff success difficult? I don't think so, I'm inclined to put it down to random chance. But if it keeps happening? Hmmmm...

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8 Comments:

At 10 October, 2007 15:01, Blogger tucksider said...

damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

 
At 10 October, 2007 15:08, Blogger Guy Franzen said...

Yes! I believe there is something to the historical data showing a corelation between the extreme success during the season translating to poor play off performance. But none of the other top five had the DC organization working for them. I think our post season success will be the final justification for Tom Soehn getting COY honors. What he has done with this roster this year is nothing short of phenomenal. I will try to put together some data (yea in my spare time) on minutes played by each of those team's rosters. I'd be willing to bet the house we'll find a smaller core group of players with the most minutes on those teams than you will find on this year's play.

 
At 10 October, 2007 15:49, Blogger Charles said...

Well, before 1997 no team had ever successfully defended their title and won an MLS cup two years in a row.

D.C. United has always been a trail blazer.

 
At 11 October, 2007 00:28, Blogger Slyde said...

hi, i think your blog is really cool. the site is rich and entertaing. the content is absolutely inspiring

 
At 11 October, 2007 07:48, Anonymous Dave Lifton said...

Oh, sure, just take away every piece of statistical analysis I was hoping to do after the season...

 
At 11 October, 2007 21:36, Anonymous Nick said...

I'm not worried about the correlation, but I'm worried about this teams's legacy. It does seem like this team is mentally weak like the early Galaxy teams, and I don't want us to go down like that...

 
At 12 October, 2007 01:05, Anonymous diego r. said...

I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere but it looks like the 'race' for next year's SuperLiga spots have all been locked up, if they do indeed follow the allocation as the top 4 MLS regular season finishers.

That would mean that DC United, Chivas USA, Houston Dynamo, and New England Revolution would be the four squads representing the MLS in SuperLiga.

I really like sending these four teams to the SuperLiga. DC and Houston represent two of the best franchises in MLS. Chivas USA poses an intriguing possible match-up with the mothership Chivas Guadalajara. New England are perennially one of the best eastern conference teams that never seems to step it up in the big games. With this year's US Open Cup victory and some international competition maybe it's time for them to take the next step. If they could only get a logo / uniform redesign to go along with their spot in the SuperLiga.

I know it's a bit off-topic but DC seems to have already locked up a spot in one international competition and with a win against Chicago and a Chivas USA loss or tie this weekend we'll have two international spots well before November.

 
At 12 October, 2007 11:56, Blogger Guy Franzen said...

Okay I posted the data, have at it. I will be interested to see any karma bank results coming up at the end of the season.

 

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