For the past couple months, the Philadelphia Union were in prime position in the Eastern Conference to qualify for the playoffs. They were comfortably in the Top 5 in the East with some distance between them and teams in 6th and 7th place. However, given the Union's recent misfortunes, that room breathing room has all but vanished.
So after looking much like a sure thing to qualify for the playoffs, are the Union's chances that they qualify still good? Well, unfortunately, the answer is not looking good.
According to sportsclubstats.com, a site simulating the remainder of the season a million times taking into account win-loss-draw record, home field advantage, and probabilities, the Philadelphia Union currently have only a 27.1% chance of qualifying for the playoffs. How devastating was the defeat to Houston Dynamo on Saturday? The Union woke up on Saturday with a 58.2% chance of making the playoffs.
Given the Union's current run of form it is easy to believe that percentage will only drop and drop until the Union are mathematically eliminated, but it is worth noting that 27.1% is still a fair chance. And the Union have not played their last high stake's game, either. If the Union can pick up a win at Sporting Kansas City and if other results go their way in the next couple weeks, the Union may once again see their playoff probabilities increase over 50%.
As easy as it is to give up now and as discouraging as the Union's current run goal-scoring drought is, the season is not yet over by a long shot. The Union are going to have to work, earn results, and get lucky in order to get in, but much like the playoffs were not a lock four weeks ago, they are not an impossible ideal now. Fleeting as it appeared when the Union lost to Houston on Saturday, hope still remains for the Union. Odds say the Union as of now are unlikely to qualify, but with high stakes games yet to be played, the odds may soon find themselves quickly shifting back in the Union's favor.