Expected goals don't mean everything, but they can give us a better idea as to whether a team's record is truly reflective of their performance.
With a decent sample size through Week 17 and heading into the stretch run of the 2020 season, it's worth taking a look at the numbers from Opta to see how team's xG and xGA figures are matching up with the number of goals they've actually score and conceded. The numbers through Oct. 12 can be found in the table below:
While most of the teams more or less find their performance accurately reflected, there are a few exceptions.
The New England Revolution have been the league's unluckiest team as far as their xG relative to their actual goal total, as Bruce Arena's men have only found the net 17 times despite an xG of 26.11. That's the highest disparity in the league. The Revs have seen at least some of that luck even out on the other end, as they've conceded just 14 times despite an xGA of 19.54.
Chicago Fire FC also have a healthy disparity between their goals scored and xG numbers, as the Fire have found the net 22 times against 28.11 xG. Their xGA of 27.31, meanwhile, is pretty close to the 26 they've actually allowed, so Chicago has an argument they've performed better than their record might indicate. Inter Miami CF's xG of 23.02 also outpaces their actual goal total of 17.
On the defensive side, LAFC's defensive struggles have been well-documented, but the numbers suggest they've also been burned by some unfortunate luck, as their xGA of 23.87 is quite a bit lower than the 31 they've actually conceded.
The Philadelphia Union are also an interesting case, with an actual goal total of 30 against an xG total of 22.46, while they've also conceded just 14 goals against an xGA of 20.68.