The New York Red Bulls have the most daunting schedule down the stretch of the regular season, heading to Soldier Field where Chicago Fire FC are unbeaten in their last five home games, before a murderers' row of the New England Revolution at home, NYCFC at Yankee Stadium and Toronto FC at home to close out the regular season.
We have calculated the strength of the remaining schedules for all 26 teams from now through Decision Day on Nov. 8 and no team has it tougher than the Red Bulls, who are seventh in the East and are unbeaten in their last three games, but have won just once in their last six games (1W-4L-1D) at Red Bull Arena.
The strength of schedule for each team was calculated by taking the 2020 average points per game at home and on the road for each team's opponent to come up with a number that reflects how difficult the schedule is (or isn't) for the final weeks of the season. A higher number means the schedule is more difficult, while a lower one means it's easier.
It's important to remember that this season is unlike anything we've ever seen before. Most matches will be played in empty stadium and the Canadian clubs aren't on their home pitches, which adds another layer of difficulty to the schedule.
The Fire are hoping to stay above the playoff line — they are just one point clear of Atlanta United — but they have the second most difficult close to the regular season with road games against the Philadelphia Union, Nashville SC and Minnesota United before closing out at home against NYCFC on Decision Day.
It’s also tough sledding for the Union, Revolution and NYCFC, while D.C. United have reason to be optimistic about their postseason hopes with the easiest schedule down the stretch. D.C. will head to struggling Atlanta before hosting Columbus Crew SC, then meet the Revolution at Gillette Stadium before a home matchup with the Montreal Impact, with five points currently separating them from the playoff line in the East.
The Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps, who along with Toronto FC, have been playing home games at U.S.-based locations due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, along with Minnesota United and Orlando City SC, who haven’t lost a match since August 22, also have a strong chance to pick up valuable points as the reason winds down.