Chivas USA's Had the Toughest Schedule through First Four Weeks

Apr 1, 2012; Carson, CA, USA; Chivas USA have been battered by the league's toughest schedule through the first four weeks Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

We are a month into the MLS season, and while it is still very early, I felt a trend was apparent so far concerning Chivas USA's schedule. Their first four opponents were the Houston Dynamo, Vancouver Whitecaps, Real Salt Lake, and Sporting Kansas City. Those four teams have 35 points combined. SKC and RSL are leading their respective conferences, while Vancouver and Houston are both in playoff contention at the moment (and that's with Houston playing only three games so far). Above all, Chivas have played four of the top nine teams in the league so far this season.

All of this is to say that Chivas have had the hardest schedule in the league through the first four weeks of the season. I found a table on a website called playoffstatus.com with a table devoted to strength of schedule. Now, I'm going by this table on trust, as I am not sure of the veracity of the algorithm used to calculate this. If you find a more accurate calculation, send it my way. But this table seems to confirm my feeling that Chivas have had a brutal stretch to open the season.

Not only does Chivas currently have the toughest schedule so far, but the rest of their schedule is projected to be the toughest overall. While the form of opponents will make that number fluid, it certainly demonstrates the tall task the Goats have this season. Although the numbers look tough, the 75% winning percentage that has been the trend for Chivas' opponents so far drops to a 53% winning percentage for opponents the rest of the way, as of this week. So the sledding will theoretically become a bit easier moving forward.

In practical terms, Chivas can take heart that they've been in every single game they've played this season, and they are capable of hanging with some of the best teams in the league. But they can't get hung up on the strength of schedule, and keep working to get results. If they chalk up failures to the quality of their opponents, and then fail to take care of teams that haven't been in form, which this month includes the Portland Timbers, Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union, they aren't as good of a team than even fans thought. But if they can bounce back and start to rack up points this month, in games that won't be easy but should be easier, then we can point to their strength of schedule to open up this season as a main factor in their slow start. But again, we need to see some results in order to reach that conclusion. They are not in control of the schedule, but they are ultimately in control of their destiny.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Goat Parade

You must be a member of The Goat Parade to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Goat Parade. You should read them.

Join The Goat Parade

You must be a member of The Goat Parade to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Goat Parade. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker