Leaking Goals A few people have pointed out that Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids made the playoffs despite having the worst goal difference in the league. They seem suprised by this. They shouldn't be. They're reading too much into what goal difference means. It's a nice stat and makes for a handy tie-breaker. But there is no evidence of a direct correlation between goal difference and a team getting wins and ties. The Colorado Rapids showed that this year with lots of narrow wins and too many blow-out losses. It made for an ugly goal difference. But it didn't keep them from making the playoffs. The Rapids are not the first team in Major League Soccer history to make the playoff's despite having the worst goal difference for the season. Here is a breakdown of which team had the worst goal difference each year in the league's history, where they placed, and if they made the playoffs. Worst Goal Differences 1996 - Colorado Rapids; -15; 5th place in the West; didn't make playoffs 1997 - New England Revolution; -13; 4th place in the East; made playoffs 1998 - Miami Fusion; -22; 3rd place in the East; made playoffs 1999 - Metrostars; -32; 6th place in the East; did not make playoffs 2000 - San Jose Earthquakes; -25; 4th place in Western Division; did not make playoffs 2001 - Tampa Bay Mutiny; -34; last place in Central Division; did not make playoffs 2002 - DC United; -9; last place in the East; did not make playoffs 2003- Dallas Burn; -29; last place in the West; did not make playoffs 2004- Dallas Burn; -11; last place in the West; did not make playoffs 2005- Chivas USA; -36; last place in the West; did not make playoffs 2006- Colorado Rapids; -13; 4th place in the West; made playoffs For those interested in the league's history, 1998 was a weird year. Lots of teams in the MLS had big negative goal differences. And the 2 division leaders pounded their opponents for lots of goals and held them to very few. DC, 1st place in the east, had 78 GF, 48 GA. LA, first place in the west, had 85 GF, 44 GA.