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The Chase: The Week 27 Eastern Conference Playoff Picture

The East is starting to show some shape as teams continue to fall away while others strengthen their playoff hopes.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Philadelphia Union Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Another missed opportunity for the Union as two points were dropped to the Montreal Impact at home. The result at least keeps the distance between Montreal and the Union, but here is the full picture of what that draw means.

In case you need to brush up on terms used in the Chase before we jump in:

  • Total Points (Pts) - total points accumulated to this point
  • Games Played (GP) - total games played to this point
  • Possible Points (pPts) - points possible if team wins out their schedule
  • Points Per Game (PPG) - points accumulated, divided by games played
  • Home Points Per Game (HPPG) - PPG at home
  • Away Points Per Game (APPG) - PPG on the road
  • Opponents Points Per Game (PPG) - opponents points accumulated, divided by games played
  • H/A vs PPG - opponents PPG when home and away form is factored in

Magic Number - Points needed for 4 teams to not be able to catch up to playoff seeds

WEEK 27 MAGIC NUMBER: 52

Currently on the IN:

  1. Toronto FC - 46 Pts - 28 GP - 64 pPts - 1.64 PPG - 2.0 HPPG - 1.38 APPG

Last Week: 2-1 Win @ Chicago Fire

This Week: 9/18 vs New York Red Bulls (1.52 PPG, 0.8 APPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.273 vsPPG, 0.888 H/A vsPPG

2. New York Red Bulls - 44 Pts - 29 GP - 59 pPts - 1.52 PPG - 2.29 HPPG - 0.8 APPG

Last Week: 2-2 Draw vs D.C. United

This Week: 9/15 vs Alianza (CCL), 9/18 @Toronto FC (1.64 PPG, 2.0 HPPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.356 vsPPG, 1.288 H/A vsPPG

3. New York City FC - 44 Pts - 29 GP - 59 pPts - 1.52 PPG - 1.64 HPPG - 1.4 APPG

Last Week: 1-3 Loss @ New England Revolution

This Week: 9/17 vs FC Dallas (1.76 PPG, 1.21 APPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.164 vsPPG, 1.024 H/A vsPPG

4. Philadelphia Union - 41 Pts - 29 GP - 55 pPts - 1.41 PPG - 1.87 HPPG - 0.93 APPG

Last Week: 1-1 Draw vs Montreal

This Week: 9/17 @ Portland Timbers (1.31 PPG, 2.13 HPPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.44 vsPPG, 1.616 H/A PPG

5. Montreal Impact - 38 Pts - 28 GP - 56 pPts - 1.36 PPG - 1.57 HPPG - 1.14 APPG

Last Week: 1-4 Loss @ Orlando City SC, 1-1 Draw @ Philadelphia Union

This Week: 9/17 vs New England Revolution (1.18 PPG, 0.57 APPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.325 vsPPG, 1.362 H/A vsPPG

6. Orlando City SC - 34 Pts - 28 GP - 52 pPts - 1.21 PPG - 1.57 HPPG - 0.86 APPG

Last Week: 4-1 Win vs Montreal Impact, 2-4 Loss @ LA Galaxy

This Week: 9/17 vs Columbus Crew SC (0.96 PPG, 0.5 APPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.288 vsPPG, 1.312 H/A vsPPG

The Chasers

7. New England Revolution - 33 Pts - 29 GP - 48 pPts - 1.18 PPG, 1.67 HPPG - 0.57 APPG

Last Week: 3-1 Win vs New York City FC

This Week: 9/13 @ FC Dallas (USOC Final, Lost 2-4), 9/17 @ Montreal Impact (1.36 PPG, 1.57 HPPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.196 vsPPG, 1.25 H/A vsPPG

8. D.C. United - 33 Pts - 28 GP - 51 pPts - 1.18 PPG - 1.57 HPPG - 0.79 APPG

Last Week: 2-2 Draw @ New York Red Bulls

This Week: 9/16 @ Chicago Fire (0.96 PPG, 1.5 HPPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.25 vsPPG, 1.305 H/A vs PPG

9. Chicago Fire - 26 Pts - 27 GP - 47 pPts - 0.96 PPG - 1.5 HPPG - 0.38 APPG

Last Week: 1-2 Loss vs Toronto FC

This Week: 9/16 vs D.C. United (1.18 PPG, 0.79 APPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.233 vsPPG, 1.217 H/A vsPPG

10. Columbus Crew SC - 26 Pts - 27 GP - 47 pPts - 0.96 PPG - 1.33 HPPG - 0.5 APPG

Last Week: 1-3 Loss vs Vancouver Whitecaps

This Week: 9/17 @ Orlando City SC (1.21 PPG, 1.57 HPPG)

Remaining Schedule: 1.219 vsPPG, 1.517 H/A vsPPG

Philadelphia Union Outlook

The Union dropped some valuable points at home when Montreal found a late equalizer. The two points wouldn’t have jumped Philadelphia into a higher spot in the standings, but would have created real space between the top four and the remaining teams vying for those last two spots. A win would have created a 6 point gap between The Union in fourth and Montreal in fifth. With the number of games dwindling, that would have been a healthy margin to maintaining the status quo and even pressuring for higher seeding.

With the dropped points, the Union now begin to stop looking for a first round bye or even winning the conference and start making sure they hold on to a home first round playoff game. This season, the Union have been twice as good at home (1.87 HPPG) than they are on the road (0.93 APPG). I like the Union’s chances in Talen Energy Stadium much better than in Montreal or New York.

Lastly, it is important to point out the hardest remaining schedule belongs to the Union. The next three games are on the road, starting with a cross-country trip to Portland who is averaging 2.13 points a game at home, and then back East to two equally tough places to visit - Toronto (2.0 HPPG) and New Jersey (2.29 HPPG). The fear is if points elude the Union over the next three weeks, Jim Curtin’s seat could be much warmer than it needs to be.