The LA Galaxy now sit in second place in the Western Conference after a victory over Chicago in some very difficult conditions. So on today’s “By the Numbers” we want to start with the table and point out a couple early season observations.
The table below shows the Galaxy in that second place spot with a game in hand over Sporting KC and the Vancouver Whitecaps (two teams that the Galaxy have already played). You’ll notice that if the Galaxy would have drawn with Sporting instead of losing, they’d only be a single point behind them.
But the positioning isn’t telling the whole story. So let’s rearrange the table and look at the points per game column.
With the table now rearranged you can see that the Galaxy have dropped to fourth position and now sit behind Sporting, FC Dallas, and Los Angeles Football Cub. Both Dallas and LAFC have a game in hand over the Galaxy and currently sit above the club with 1.8 PPG each.
So at this point in the season, it’s better to trust the PPG than the overall points. There are simply too many teams that haven’t played the same number of games. It basically makes the standard points table irrelevant.
Finally, when it comes to the standings, we take a peek at the Galaxy’s overall positioning in the table in 2018 and we can see that there has been a definite trend upward since bottoming out at ninth in the Western Conference and 14th overall in the league. That position has improved dramatically, even with the loss to Sporting two weeks ago – with the Galaxy fortunate to find that the teams closest to them also lost on that day.
The Galaxy now have 10-points after six games. And if we compare that with other Galaxy teams over the years, you’ll see that nine teams have been better through this point including the 2002 and 2005 MLS-Cup-winning teams. But if you’re comparing the “modern era” of Galaxy teams, this 2018 team is currently better than all three MLS Cup-winning sides since 2011 – but just barely. Still, it’s a positive sign that this Galaxy team is on the right track.
Currently, the 2018 club is tied with the 2001 Galaxy (Both teams at 10 points) – a team that would win the Western Conference but would eventually go on to lose in the MLS Cup Final to the San Jose Earthquakes (2-1).
Our final look at charts today takes us back to comping Sigi Schmid and Curt Onalfo. Sadly, it’s time to end our charting of the two coaches when it compares their first 20 games.
With both coaches now at the 20-game mark, and Onalfo relieved after his loss in that 20th game, our chart has reached its life. Surely, some of you are tired of the comparisons. And Schmid certainly took over a team that was in a tailspin. But the purpose of this chart wasn’t just about the coaches, but the state the team was in during the 2017 season.
The final numbers are in and in his first 20 games in charge, Onalfo (6-10-4) had a “better” record than Schmid (5-10-5). But the points difference was only two points while Onalfo’s minus-6 goal differential greatly outpacing Schmid’s minus-16.
And with that, we officially retire this version of the coaches comparison! But of course, we always have the “2017 vs 2018” version of this chart and it’s just getting warmed up!
As always, you can catch the rest of our charts below. And feel free to draw your own wild conclusions about this team based off of some charts and Arizona State Graduate drew up!