ST. LOUIS – With more than two-thirds of its inaugural season in the books, St. Louis CITY SC is sitting pretty and is almost a lock for the MLS Cup playoffs.
In their first game out of All-Star break Sunday, St. Louis prevailed through an excessive heat advisory and scored a season-best six goals. It was the team’s first regular-season game in more than a month after the All-Star break, and the City Boys hardly skipped a beat.
After Sunday, CITY SC leads the Western Conference with 44 points and a +19 goal differential. The next-closest team in the standings (LAFC) trails by seven points and only has a +9 goal advantage.
As things currently stand, St. Louis CITY SC has not only kept playoff hopes intact in their first season, but also has a very realistic chance to take the Western Conference title.
According to PlayoffStatus.com, a sports-based website that measures performance and playoff scenarios for US professional and college athletics…
- St. Louis CITY SC has a 99% chance of securing a playoff spot.
- St. Louis CITY SC has a 96% chance of securing a playoff spot and hosting at least one playoff game.
- St. Louis CITY SC has a 93% at a Top-3 Western Conference seed.
- St. Louis CITY SC has a 63% chance at the Western Conference crown.
For playoffs, when looking at the last five non-COVID-shortened seasons, the Western Conference’s last team has squeaked into the dance with anywhere from 45-50 points. This is good news for CITY SC considering they have already earned 44 points and get the benefit of an expanded playoff field in their first season.
St. Louis CITY SC, at its current pace, would finish with around 62 points this season. That would break an MLS record for most points in an expansion team’s first season. It would also be a stronger finish than six of the last 10 top seeds in the Western Conference.
Some soccer fans outside of St. Louis, and perhaps even within, view the first-season success as a Cinderella story. It’s quite a statement given how some MLS enthusiasts predicted a last-place finish for St. Louis in its first season back in February.
“Credit to my boys,” said head coach Bradley Carnell after Sunday’s victory. “We stay to it and remain strong.”
CITY SC has 10 more regular season matches. Decision Day, the last night for games in the MLS regular season, is set for Oct. 21.