A few days ago, MLSSoccer.com posted an article detailing the chances each club in the league had to make this season’s playoffs. For us Vancouver Whitecaps fans the news was great, as the team had a 97% probability to qualify for the playoffs.
By no means is a playoff spot guaranteed, as it’s possible that this 3% opening could happen, leaving the ‘Caps on the ugly side of the red line.
With that in mind, I started looking ahead to the upcoming matches, trying to estimate how the club will potentially perform. Again, nothing is guaranteed: for all I know, the next match could involve eleven simultaneous ankle breaks, and the club is forced to call up the Thundercaps to ride out the rest of the season.
The Whitecaps will have to close out the season one game at a time, but we’re OK to jump the gun and prognosticate on how everything will play out.
September 16th vs. Columbus Crew SC - Win
It’ll be nice to see Kekuta Manneh and Columbus will be bound for the playoffs, most likely as the 6th seed, but the Crew don’t travel all that well.
September 23rd vs. Colorado Rapids - Win
With one win and eleven losses, Colorado has one of the worst away records in the MLS this season and are at the bottom of the table. This is a Trap Game if I ever saw one, but the Whitecaps won’t take the bait.
September 27th @ Seattle Sounders - Loss
With regards to the Cascadia Cup, I see this season for the Whitecaps as being similar to 2015: lose the cup, but finish high in the Western Conference standings. Plus, Seattle is never easy to play at home.
September 30th @ Sporting Kansas City - Tie
Sporting KC have had a very strong year, and I’m figuring them to finish in at least second place when the season is done and dusted, but my mind keeps going back to the ‘Caps 2-0 victory earlier this season. Even when playing away, I believe the Whitecaps match up well enough with SKC to earn the draw.
October 7th @ New York Red Bulls - Win
The Red Bulls are down in form compared to previous seasons and, remarkably, Vancouver has never lost away to RBNY. Admittedly, they had also never won away to Vancouver before last season’s triumph, but with the Whitecaps away success this year, I don’t believe this other goose egg will crack.
October 15th vs. San Jose Earthquakes - Win
Remember the first twenty-two minutes of the second game of this season? That’s going to happen across a full 90, unless someone gets kicked out again.
October 22nd @ Portland Timbers - ...?
Considering how this will be the season-ending match for both teams, I wanted to find out how much weight this final match will be for both teams, in terms of playoff qualification, placement in the standings, and even Cascadia Cup implications.
So what does that mean, exactly? That I made predictions for everybody!
|New York City FC||62||19||10||5|
|Atlanta United FC||56||16||10||8|
|New York Red Bulls||52||15||12||7|
|Columbus Crew SC||49||15||15||4|
|New England Revolution||45||13||15||6|
|Orlando City SC||39||10||15||9|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||57||17||11||6|
|Sporting Kansas City||55||14||7||13|
|Seattle Sounders FC||53||14||9||11|
|San Jose Earthquakes||42||11||14||9|
|Real Salt Lake||42||12||16||6|
|Minnesota United FC||29||7||19||8|
Keep in mind that these totals came about from very, very cursory predictions, based solely on my average (if I’m being generous) assumptive qualities. Toronto FC fans may be happy with this, as they’ll end up breaking the point record for a single season. That doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily win the MLS Cup, but have a shield, fellas!
Anyway, this season may play out where, upon getting to the final game, the Whitecaps will have a three-point advantage over second-place Sporting Kansas City, but will hold the Most Wins tiebreaker, thereby already having won the conference.
This, coupled with Portland having a chance to win the Cascadia Cup at home makes me think the Timbers will raise the cup, jump Seattle for third place, while Vancouver takes the league title.
Is this too far-fetched? Not too far-fetched enough? Let me have it in the comments below!