Week 5 MLS Score Predictions

Here’s our statistical breakdown of how MLS week five matches might look and score possibilities for FC Cincinnati’s match Saturday with the Philadelphia Union.

Now that FC Cincinnati is in MLS, I figured it would be a good time to start sharing some statistical analysis on a weekly basis.

The information below is calculated based on a mathematical formula called the Poisson Distribution.  The Poisson Distribution, when applied to sports, can assist in determining the likeliness a specific outcome or score will occur. Many people have seen me tweet this information out on FC Cincinnati games for Cincinnati Soccer Talk’s weekly game, The Growler Cup.

One of the side benefits from this equation is that it can provide a predicted score for individual games as well.  What can you do with these predicted scores? That is for you to decide. Many people have decided to get into fantasy soccer. This equation may not help you pick an individual player. But it can help you decide which teams may have offensive players that are at an advantage or a defensive side that may have a better chance at obtaining a shutout. As the season progresses with more data (game results), the formula becomes more accurate. We only have four weeks’ worth of data, so the accuracy can be a little wild. I will point out last week, the formula predicted a 2-1 victory for FCC over New England.

Things the formula cannot take into consideration is injuries, weather, fatigue, and international duty. It is based solely on a team’s offensive and defensive efficiency when compared to the league’s offensive and defensive efficiency. Below is a table with the predicted scores for MLS week five.

Quick Hits:

  • Seattle and Los Angeles FC both seem solid bets to score a lot, might be wise to select some offensive firepower from those teams.
  • FC Dallas and DC United are solid bets to be defensive juggernauts, defensive players on these teams may be a smart move. DC has not conceded a goal. Until DC United does concede the formula will predict them with a shutout all the time.
  • Sporting Kansas City vs Montreal Impact is the closest looking game followed by the Columbus Crew vs Atlanta United.
  • San Jose vs LAFC and Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders are the two games that appear to be the most likely blowouts.

For FC Cincinnati’s game versus Philadelphia Union, below is the score lines broken down by percentages.


  • Top five most likely scores in order: Draw 1-1, FCC Win 1-0, FCC Win 2-1, FCC Win 2-0, Philly Win 1-0
  • FCC has a 53 percent chance of winning and a 24 percent chance of a Draw
  • FCC being shutout is at 18 percent, while Philly has a 36 percent chance of being shutout
  • Philadelphia’s Marco Fabian returns from suspension. While Cincinnati has Kendal Waston, Alan Cruz, Darren Mattocks, and Alvas Powell all returning from international duty.
To Top