FiveThirtyEight MLS Projections

Statistical guru Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site provides a weekly update projecting the end of season records and odd of winning the championship in nine different leagues, including MLS.  The MLS page, presented by Jay Boice and Reuben Fischer-Baum, also provide a statistical prediction for upcoming matches each week.

These projections are based on an updated version of ESPN’s Soccer Power Index, a rating system first devised in 2009 by Nate Silver.  Each team is assigned an offensive and defensive rating, which is a projection on how many goals a team would score and concede against an average team.  These ratings are then used to predict specific games and various statistical tools are also used to project out the season for the remaining league schedule.  Take all of this with a grain of salt this early in the season.  As the season moves along, the accuracy of the projections obviously improve significantly.

Projected Simulated Season results and Probabilities for Texas teams: (updated today):

Major League Soccer:

FC Dallas:

Season Finish: 56 points and a +11 goal differential. (First place overall in league) 

Probabilities:  Make Playoffs-89%, Secure a First-Round Bye-52% and Win MLS Cup-9%

Houston Dynamo:

Season Finish:  49 points and a +2 goal differential. (9th place overall in league)

Probabilities:  Make Playoffs-68%, Secure First Round Bye-19% and Win MLS Cup-4%

Week 9 Projections: (due to rounding, totals do not necessarily add up to 100%)

Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo:  Toronto-55% chance to win, Houston-21% chance to win, Draw-25%

FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers: FC Dallas-53% chance to win, Portland-21% chance to win, Draw 25%

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is another of the leagues tracked.  The league has only played two games, so it is too early to draw any judgments.

Here is a link to the complete FiveThirtyEight ratings and an explanation of their system.


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