2016 Strength of Schedule Rankings: Who has the toughest schedule in 2016?

Strength of Schedule - Generic Image

The 2016 schedule has been released and fans can finally start planning their weekends for the next year.

In the case of those clubs facing the toughest schedules of 2016, they can use all the help they can get from supporters in the stands.

The MLS schedule is broken up pretty simply: Every team plays conference opponents either two or three times and they face out-of-conference teams just once. So not every schedule is made the same, making the strength of schedule calculation all the more interesting.

Below you'll find the complete table, calculated by taking the 2015 average points per game at home and on the road for each team's opponent.

2016 Strength of Schedule Rankings: Who has the toughest schedule in 2016? - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/2016%20Strength%20of%20Schedule.png

The numbers say the Colorado Rapids have the toughest schedule heading into 2016, while the New York Red Bulls have the easiest road. And while this may not be all that surprising for the Western Conference cellar-dwellers (Colorado) and the Supporters' Shield winners (RBNY), the two surprises might just be that the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy have two of the harder schedules in MLS, despite finishing fourth and fifth in the West, respectively, in 2015.

LA’s tough road can be explained in part by the fact that they have to travel to both Seattle and Kansas City twice. Both of those two teams averaged more than two points per game at home in 2015. Also, two of LA's home games come against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who finished with the best road record in the league last season.

Seattle are done in by the fact that they have to travel to Dallas twice to face the best home team in MLS in 2015. They also will be flying cross country to take on the Red Bulls and D.C. United, the two teams that finished with the best home records in the East.

Will those 2015 trends hold in 2016? Will the strengh of schedule calculation we've made in January hold water once the season starts? It's a new squad and new year -- the matches will obviously tell the story.