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MLS Home & Away Tracker: May 4 Edition

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If you believe that where you play the game matters, this cut of the MLS standings will interest you.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

There is an adage in soccer that you should at least win at home and tie on the road.  If any MLS team did that the entire season, they would have won the Supporters Shield any of the last 4 years.  They also would have gone undefeated, which would be pretty amazing.

While this goal comes across as a bit complacent for away teams, I've written before about how in MLS, the road is tough.  Long travel times will always dog this league, and will actually get worse for many teams when the new Southeastern contingent arrives over the next few years.  Maybe a tie's not so bad?

So let's see how everyone's doing.  I'm co-opting this idea from plenty of journalists, one of whom is Grant Wahl.  I think I first saw him post how the CONCACAF teams were doing in the Hex, and I dug it.  To evaluate a club's performance on the metric, you award points like this:

Result Points
Home Win 0
Home Loss -3
Home Tie -2
Away Win +2
Away Loss -1
Away Tie 0

So periodically, we'll look at how teams are doing with respect to this old WAGs tale.  Here's the East and West tables so far:

Western Conference
Team H&A Index
Real Salt Lake 0
Seattle Sounders 0
Colorado Rapids -2
LA Galaxy -2
FC Dallas -5
Vancouver Whitecaps -6
San Jose Earthquakes -9
Portland Timbers -11
Chivas USA -13

Seattle and RSL at the top, just like in the regular standings.  Seattle has 3 away wins, and RSL has 2 wins and 3 ties.  These are the last 2 teams undefeated on the road.

Eastern Conference
Team Points
Houston Dynamo 0
New England Revolution -1
Columbus Crew -4
Toronto FC -4
Sporting KC -4
New York Red Bulls -4
DC United -7
Philadelphia Union -10
Chicago Fire -10
Montreal Impact -10

Other than New England, this table is much different than the current Eastern Conference standings.  Hmmm.  The Crew's trip to Houston on Wednesday may help to shake this out a bit.

Other Stuff
Weird Stat Points
If "Home Team" were in MLS, their projected points: 55
If "Away Team" were in MLS, their projected points 37
Average score -5
Top 11 scores all have away wins, bottom 8 don't whoa, cool

Conclusion

At first glance, it seems like the strongest factor is away wins.  Not much else to conclude yet; it's too early.  Actually, it's also too late...  I need to wrap this up and get some sleep.

The whole point of even checking these tables out would be to see if they help predict which teams are secretly better than their record.  Since MLS' standings often compare teams with vastly different numbers of games played, they're often worthless.  Often.  So maybe this will help shed some light.  Or at least be conversation fodder; something you can throw over the wall as a reason why people need to watch out for your dark horse team.