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Portland is most improved, D.C. suffers record drop
by Paul Kennedy, October 28th, 2013 8:09PM

TAGS:  mls, portland timbers


[MLS: 2013] Those making a case for Caleb Porter for MLS Coach of the Year can point to the Portland Timbers' year-to-year increase of 23 points -- the most of any team in MLS in 2013.

Portland's increase of plus-23 ranks only ninth all-time in MLS. The record is held by New York, which went from 15 points in 1999 to 54 points in 2000 for an increase of plus-39, two more than the Kansas City Wizards had in the same year when they won MLS Cup.

The three most-improved teams in 2013 all made the playoffs after missing out in 2012: Portland, New England (plus-16) and Colorado (plus-14). The Philadelphia Union finished with 10 more points than it did in 2012 when it didn't make the playoffs, but that was still not good enough to get it back into the postseason.

It might not be enough to save Martin Rennie's job, but his Vancouver Whitecaps were this year's hard-luck team. Vancouver was the most-improved of any 2012 playoff team, finishing with five more points than it did in 2012, but it dropped from fifth to seventh place and out of the playoffs. In 2012, 43 points earned the 'Caps fifth place, but 51 points could not even get the San Jose Earthquakes above the Western Conference's red line this year.

The New York Red Bulls, the Supporters' Shield winners, did better in their first season under Mike Petke, though their increase was a modest two points.

FC Dallas was in a similar boat to Vancouver in the Western Conference, earning five more points than it did in 2012 but dropping from sixth to eighth place.

On the other end, D.C. United finished with 42 fewer points than it did in 2012, breaking the MLS record for the largest year-to-year decrease in points. In 2001, its last season, Tampa Bay earned just 14 points, a drop of 38 points.

The only other teams with double digit declines in points in 2013 were San Jose (minus-15) and Columbus (minus-11). Unlike D.C. United, both teams made coaching changes in mid-season.

MLS, Largest Increase (2013)
+23 *Portland
+16 *New England
+14 *Colorado
+10 Philadelphia
+7 *Montreal
+6 Toronto FC
+5 Vancouver
+5 FC Dallas
+2 *New York
*2013 playoff teams.
(2012 playoff teams in bold.)

MLS, Largest Decrease (2013)
-42 D.C. United
-15 San Jose
-11 Columbus
-8 Chicago
-5 *Sporting KC
-4 Chivas USA
-4 *Seattle
-2 *Houston
-1 *Real Salt Lake
-1 *LA Galaxy
*2013 playoff teams.
(2012 playoff teams in bold.)

MLS, Largest Increase (All-Time)
+39 New York (2000)
+37 Kansas City (2000)
+30 New York (2010)
+28 San Jose (2012)
+26 New England (2005)
+26 San Jose (2005)
+25 Chivas USA (2006)
+24 LA Galaxy (1998)
+23 Portland (2013)
+20 Tampa Bay (2000)
+20 Colorado (2002)
+20 Columbus (2008)

MLS, Largest Decrease (All-Time)
-43 D.C. United (2013)
-38 Tampa Bay (2001)
-27 D.C. United (1999)
-24 New York (1999)
-21 Kansas City (2001)
-20 Colorado (2001)
-20 Dallas (2003)
-20 Chicago (2004)

1 comment
  1. Zoe Willet
    commented on: October 30, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.
    With Portland this year, it's not just the statistics, I do believe. It's Porter's philosophy and strategy plus the fan base- sold out game after game, Timber Joey, the perfect woodsy green color, even the commercials for anti-biotic-free hamburgers. I swear, it makes me want to move to Portland!

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