SEBA Projections

MLS, USL, and NWSL projections through August 5

Below are the 2018 MLS season forecasts using data from games through August 5.

Some key points up front:

  • Union playoff chances: The Union now have a 51.1% chance of making the MLS playoffs, down from 56.2%.
  • Bethlehem playoff chances: The Steel have a 40.0% chance to make the USL playoffs, up from 26.2%.
  • Largest movers: San Jose gained the biggest boost in performance expectations for MLS in the past week, and FC Dallas had the largest drop.
  • Plus/minus: The two top players in the league, in terms of their teams’ goal differentials when they’re on the field, are the New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips and Atlanta United’s Michael Parkhurst. The top Philadelphia players for this stat are Cory Burke and Jay Simpson.
Interactive Charts

MLS forecasts

MLS forecasts over time

USL forecasts

USL forecasts over time

NWSL forecasts

NWSL forecasts over time

Philadelphia Updated Stats

This following chart shows the Union’s 2018 stats, as compared with typical winning and losing teams.

This following chart shows the Union’s stats in recent MLS matches, as compared with typical winning and losing teams.

Power Rankings

The scores used for these rankings are the expected points-per-game for all league opponents both home and away.

SEBA has Philadelphia decreasing from 12th to 13th.

Currently, Philadelphia’s performance expectation is set by the following distribution of minutes:

Philadelphia +/- for 2018

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MLS +/- for 2018

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Playoffs probability and more

Philadelphia has decreased from a 56.2% to a 51.1% chance of making the playoffs.

Next is the distribution of Philadelphia’s points against the MLS East’s sixth seed in all the simulations.

The Union decreased from a 0.2% to a 0.1% chance of winning the MLS Cup.


Philadelphia’s chances of having a U.S. Open Cup win increased from 16.2% to 17.0%.

These odds include the semi-final and final draw scenarios.

Philadelphia increased from a 16.4% chance to a 17.0% chance of qualifying for the 2019 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.

The following are Philadelphia’s odds at different prizes over time.

The following are the probabilities of each final playoffs placement for Philadelphia.

The following shows the summary of the simulations in an easy table format.

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Next is a table showing the difference between this forecast and the last forecast.

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The following shows the difficulty for each team’s remaining schedule. Higher values means an easier remaining schedule.

The following shows the expectations for upcoming Philadelphia matches:

Model Validation

The following shows SEBA’s model error compared with random guessing. To do this, we save forecasts for the entire season’s games for every forecast’s data, and update the error charts all the way through the season.

Lower error is better.


Power Rankings

SEBA has Bethlehem improved from 19th to 15th.

Playoffs probability and more

Bethlehem increased from a 26.2% to a 40.0% chance of making the playoffs.

Bethlehem’s odds of winning the USL championship improved from 0.3% to 0.5%.

The following is Bethlehem’s odds at different prizes over time.

The following shows the probability of each post-playoff ranking finish:

The following are the simulation averages in an easy, combined format.

The following is the strength of remaining schedules for each team. Higher values mean an easier remaining schedule.

The following are the upcoming expectations for Bethlehem matches.



The following are the projections for the 2018 NWSL season.

The following shows the remaining strength of schedule, as we project. Higher values represent easier remaining schedules.



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