Following consistently and confusingly poor performances against one another, all three MLS teams bearing the name “United” have been eliminated from contention for the so-called “United Derby,” as each team has a losing record and negative goal differential against both other teams.
“I’m not entirely sure what happened,” offered Atlanta United coach Tata Martino, poring over not only results from the season but also over quantum statistical models to help understand the events. “I mean we got off to a blistering start against Minnesota and beat them 6-1. Then D.C. United absolutely owned us this year. Then again, watching Minnesota destroy D.C. United 4-0 this weekend, I’m just wondering…is it really possible that we have each lost so badly to each other that we all have negative goal differentials?”
Theorists are scrapping traditional systems of understanding results and standings and are currently proposing alternative approaches to understanding soccer outcomes. “The most popular proposition currently is that it is possible for a performance to be so densely poor that it actually begins to pull goals from other games into its orbit, thus growing denser and creating an infinite loop wherein every result becomes poorer and poorer,” stated leading MLS researcher Emmanuel Acheampong. “Of course there are competing theories, such as the ‘big bang’ theory in which a team wins so heavily it creates a cosmic explosion so fierce that all soccer matter, perceptible or otherwise, is sent radiating across time and space from that moment. It is possible that this means goals from other performances are carried away as the soccer universe continues to expand and dissipate.”
Though the United Derby may be over, the race to see which team’s fans are more uniquely off-putting rages as lively as ever.