Points gained and lost: Which teams lead MLS during the 2019 regular season?
They are on opposing ends of the Hudson River Derby and the respective regular seasons for New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls are also trending in opposite directions.
NYCFC have clinched a berth in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs and are currently atop the Eastern Conference standings with a chance to extend that lead Wednesday (7 pm ET | TSN4, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US) at home against Toronto FC. Supporters’ Shield winners a year ago, the Red Bulls are 12 points behind in fifth place, their postseason hopes still in the balance with five games to play.
So what's behind the gap? For starters, points gained and points lost from winning positions.
NYCFC are first in MLS with 22 points gained from losing positions, meaning no team in the league has rallied from a deficit to earn points better than Dome Torrent’s side.
Case in point, the club’s 2-1 win over the New England Revolution last Saturday at Yankee Stadium came after second-half substitute Jesus Medina erased an early 1-0 deficit with a pair of goals.
Runaway Supporters’ Shield leaders Los Angeles Football Club are second in the league with 20 points gained from a losing position, followed by Toronto (17) and the Philadelphia Union (15). The San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders are tied at 13 apiece.
The Montreal Impact, tied with the Red Bulls at 12 points, are the only team in the top eight not currently above the playoff line.
Who is the team most likely to fall behind and stay behind? FC Cincinnati have just one point gained from a losing position this year.
Remember those 22 points earned from NYCFC? That’s the same number the Red Bulls have dropped from a winning position, second worst in MLS behind the Vancouver Whitecaps (23), who have already been eliminated from the playoff race.
Perhaps a sign of the club’s maddening mediocrity this season, Toronto are also third in dropped points with 17. They're followed by San Jose, Orlando City SC, Sporting Kansas City and the Colorado Rapids on the same total. Of those teams, only Toronto and San Jose are in a playoff position.
The Portland Timbers are the stingiest team with a lead this year, having dropped just four points from a winning position. LAFC, Real Salt Lake and D.C. United have dropped five points apiece.