web analytics
Thoughts & Numbers: What I’m watching for in MLS Matchday 18 | MLSSoccer.com

Thoughts & Numbers: What I’m watching for in MLS Matchday 18 | MLSSoccer.com

The midway point of this season has gotten here real quick.

As always, all the below numbers are courtesy of TruMedia via StatsPerform unless otherwise noted. Let’s dive in:

Atlanta United vs. D.C. United

It’s been a tough stretch for the Sounders, but they still lead the league in xG (28.45) despite their recent struggles. The issue, obviously is finishing – or it was, anyway, until last weekend’s scoreless home draw vs. Portland. That was the first time all year Seattle really didn’t manage to create anything, taking just five shots for a total of 0.3 xG.

CF Montréal vs. Minnesota United FC 

Orlando’s lack of heft in the air has been an issue most of the year (though it didn’t bother them at all last weekend vs. the Red Bulls): They are tied for last in MLS in aerial win percentage at 40.8%.

Center back Robin Jansson is particularly culpable, as he wins just 52.6% of his aerial duels. That’s 83rd among MLS defenders with at least 10 appearances.

Toronto FC vs. Nashville SC

The Crew are all the way over at the other end of that spectrum, having received 1,926 passes in the final third. That’s second-most in the league behind the Sounders (who have played one more game than Columbus).

Houston Dynamo FC vs. LAFC

Apparently, getting your DP No. 9 and DP No. 10 back from long-term injuries is a good way to put some gas into a team.

Real Salt Lake vs. New York City FC

Something I’m surprised at is the fact San Jose don’t attempt more switches of play, which is always a good way to unlock dynamic wingers and fullbacks (the Quakes have both). They’ve attempted just 50 and completed 32, both of which are 25th in the league.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. FC Cincinnati 

St. Louis’s goal differential minus expected goal differential of +1.24 per game is EASILY the highest in American Soccer Analysis’s database, which goes back a decade. No one else clocks in at over +0.75.

So yeah, they’re good but they’re probably not this good. The finishing we’ve seen from them is unsustainable (and if you doubt the underlying numbers’ chance at victory over a long enough timeline, consult with the folks in Austin).

Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas

Read More

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *