Monday, September 30, 2013

Where Sporting Stand With One Month Left

Friday night in Kansas City, Sporting KC dropped a game at home for the 5th time this season. The 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union saw KC equal their loss total at home for the past two years at Sporting Park combined. In 2011, Kansas City lost just twice at home, in 2012, KC lost three times. This year, Kansas City has lost to Portland, Seattle, Montreal, New York, and Philadelphia.

The home losses don't look likely to cost Kansas City when it comes to making the playoffs. In fact, Kansas City could actually clinch a playoff spot this weekend. They need to first defeat the Columbus Crew, and then hope for two of Chicago, New England, and Philadelphia, to lose or draw their games this weekend against DC, New York, and Toronto respectively.

What it does look like KC's home losses will do is cost the team the Supporters' Shield, and probably the top seed in the Eastern Conference. KC, currently on 48 points, trails leaders, New York by four points for the Supporters' Shield and the East. But there are three other teams between KC and New York. Salt Lake and Seattle both sit on 51 points, while Portland has 49.

The other issue, specifically in the East, is that along with trailing New York, the Montreal Impact trail Kansas City by just 2 points, and they still have a game in hand on KC.

Of the 10 teams currently in a playoff position, KC has the most home losses, and is one of only two teams with more than three losses (Philadelphia with four is the other). In fact, KC has double the home losses of the average of the other nine playoff teams. The other nine teams have an average of 2.4 losses at home.

To be fair, KC is the only team in the league currently with a winning record on the road with a 6-5-3 record on the road, and one of only two teams with a positive goal difference on the road. But if Kansas City wants to do much in the post season this year, they're going to need to get their act together at home. In the playoffs it's going to become harder to get a result on the road. So while KC's road form will help, it's the home form that'll be key come playoff time.

No comments: