New York City FC have followed up a strong 2016 season with a 5-3-1 start to the 2017 season, placing them in third place in the Eastern Conference.


There are a handful of teams who have more points than NYCFC, when taking a look at expected goals data provided by Opta after Sunday's 3-1 win against Atlanta United FC, it is clear that Patrick Vieira's team should be in the conversation for the best team in MLS.


After Week 10, NYCFC have an expected goal differential of 5.47. This means that on average, based on the quality of chances they have created and conceded, that they would be expected to have a goal difference of 5.47. In actuality, their goal difference of +7 is tied for the second-best in MLS. This could mean they have been a bit lucky, or have benefited from quality finishing/poor opposition finishing, but when comparing them to all the other MLS teams it is clear what should be thought of them.


NYCFC's xGD of 5.47 is by far the best in MLS, with only four other teams having an xGD of +1 or higher. The team with the second best xGD is the New England Revolution, who sit at 4.14, followed by the San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City.


On Sunday NYCFC will face off against FC Dallas (8 pm ET; FS1/FOX Deportes in US | MLS LIVE in Canada), who currently have the best points per game average of any team in MLS at 2.25. Playing against last year's Supporters' Shield winners, and one of the best teams we've seen in MLS in recent years, should be a good test for David Villa & Co. It should be noted that while Dallas' +8 goal differential is the best in MLS, their xGD is just 1.79, which is seventh-best in MLS. They could be seeing some regression shortly, possibly as soon as Sunday.


Two important notes before looking at Week 10's xG numbers: Penalties have a value of .79, and own goals are not factored into the values.

Game
Result
Home xG
Away xG
Toronto FC vs. Orlando City SC
2-1
1.03
1.55
Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls
2-0
2.29
.27
Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
0-1
.58
.56
Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC
0-1
.64
1.42
D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact
0-1
.82
.48
Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls
3-0
2.06
2.34
Columbus Crew SC vs. New England Revolution
2-0
.72
1.82
Houston Dynamo vs. Orlando City SC
4-0
2.76
.73
Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas
0-3
.93
2.45
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers
3-0
1.59
.75
LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
2-2
1.57
1.59
Minnesota United FC vs. Sporting Kansas City
2-0
.91
.96
New York City FC vs. Atlanta United FC
3-1
1.92
.40
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