Lamar Neagle, Will Bruin - Seattle Sounders - celebrate vs. LA Galaxy
Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports

How will seeding work out in the Western Conference | Expected Goals

The Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoff race is extremely tight in the Western Conference, with the first-place Portland Timbers only having nine more points than eighth-place Real Salt Lake.

As you can see when looking at the latest playoff probabilities from, the six teams currently above the playoff line are the ones most likely to reach the postseason. Where each club will be seeded, however, is very much up in the air.

Looking at a team's goal differential can tell you something about the quality of their performances over the course of a season. Going by that, it would seem Sporting Kansas City are the best in the West with their +11 GD. They are followed by Houston, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Dallas.

Digging into the expected goals numbers, Seattle clearly have the top xGD among all West teams.

Team xGD
Seattle 8.50
Sporting KC 6.83
Portland 5.26
FC Dallas 5.07
Houston 4.68
Real Salt Lake .84
Vancouver -1.43
San Jose -1.72

That xGD figure represents the goal difference that the teams would be expected to have on average based on the quality of chances they created and conceded. Looking at these figures, it seems Vancouver have been slightly overperforming compared to their Western foes. We'll see if that's reflected down the stretch, or if the 'Caps continue to punch above their weight. 

With that, we'll dive into the xG numbers from Week 26 and 27. A couple of important notes before looking at the numbers: Penalties have a value of .79, and own goals are not factored into the values.

Game Result Home xG Away xG
New England Revolution vs. Orlando City SC 4-0 2.52 .64
Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire 0-1 .59 .85
FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls 2-2 2.14 .44
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids 3-0 2.09 .47
New York City FC vs. Sporting Kansas City 1-0 1.41 .64
Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls 1-1 1.68 .85
Toronto FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes 4-0 2.36 .25
New York City FC vs. Portland Timbers 0-1 1.22 1.94
D.C. United vs. Orlando City SC 1-2 1.19 1.88
New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact 1-0 1.40 .60
Minnesota United FC vs. Philadelphia Union 1-1 1.94 1.24
Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids 0-1 .94 1.40
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake 3-2 1.69 .85
Columbus Crew SC vs. Sporting Kansas City 1-1 2.07 1.44
Atlanta United vs. FC Dallas 3-0 3.86 1.61
Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy 1-1 1.46 .41

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