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How relevant is form in Major League Soccer?

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The Rapids current run of form has been talked about over the last several weeks. But how relevant is it?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Make no mistake, the Colorado Rapids are in a rut.  They are 1-4 in their last five and 1-4-2 in their last seven.  By any stretch of the imagination, this royally sucks.  Based on that, and the points they have banked, they are projected to finish with a eye popping (not in a good way) 37 points on the year.

Let that sink in: 37 points.

Wait a minute John, based on current Points Per Game (PPG), our Burgundy Boys are forecasted to finish with 44 points for the year.  (They currently have 30 points, with 11 games left.  11 GR X 1.3 PPG = 14.3 Points left.  This equals 44)

The problem with PPG, is that it does not truly take into account current form.  The Rapids have 3 points in their last five games (which is on par with Chivas USA) and are struggling on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.  PPG does not take into account form.

Based on the Rapids current form, they will finish with 37 points.  How did I come up with this:

The Rapids currently have 30 points on the year.  In their last five they are grabbing 0.60 points per game.  With 11 games remaining in their schedule, they could (based on their current form) grab 6.6 points.  That total (after rounding) means they could get to 37 points.

Yikes.

Here is a table illustrating this in the Western Conference

Last Five Points Achieved Games Remaining Points Banked Projected Point Total
Seattle Sounders FC 2-3-0 6 13 41 57
Real Salt Lake 3-0-2 11 11 39 63
FC Dallas 4-0-1 13 11 36 65
LA Galaxy 2-1-1 7 14 34 54
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0-4 7 12 32 49
Colorado Rapids 1-4-0 3 11 30 37
Portland Timbers 3-2-0 9 11 30 50
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1-2 8 14 24 46
Chivas USA 1-4-0 3 12 23 30

projected playoff teams in bold

When you look at this, the writing is on the wall for our Rapids.  Things look bleak.  37 points would be one of the lowest point totals in franchise history and would tie the 2012 mark for futility (in 34 games).

So form is damn relevant and the Rapids must find a way to reverse this form or they will not make the playoffs.

However, there is some positive in this.  The Rapids have ten of their remaining 11 against Western Conference foes with 2 home and away games left against Los Angeles and Seattle.  They also have FC Dallas, San Jose, and Portland at home.  And they travel to Salt Lake City, Chivas and Vancouver.  There are winnable games in this bunch and the Rapids are going to need at least 50 points to make a return to the playoffs.  Can they find 20 points in their remaining 11?  Time will tell, but based on current form, it is a tall order to fill.