Featured / Match stats / Statistics

Stat Chat: Toronto v Union

It was the offensive explosion for which we’ve all been waiting.

Against Toronto, the Union nearly doubled its goal total for the year. And it did so with multiple goal scorers—four in total—with two of the goal scorers scoring four of the team’s six goals on the day.

More attempts = more shots on target = more goals

Through the first nine games of 2011, the Union scored only six goals. In Games 10 and 11, against Chicago and Toronto, they scored eight goals.

What changed?

Beginning with Game 10, the Union dramatically increased its number of attempts on goal. Looking back to Game 6 against San Jose (the first match for which more extensive match statistics are available), the Union managed only eight attempts on goal in three outings. The only one of those three games in which those eight attempts outnumbered the total recorded by their opponent was against San Jose, a win. In the other two instances, against Portland and Dallas, the Union lost. Before the Chicago and Toronto games, the only time the Union recorded more than eight attempts was the twelve against LA. Although LA’s 14 attempts outnumbered the Union’s total, the match ended in a draw.

More attempts on goals means more shots on target. Against Chicago and Toronto (two wins), the Union recorded 13 shots on target compared to their opponents’ seven. In the previous four games (one win, two losses, one draw), they recorded eleven shots on goal compared to their opponents’ twelve. In each of the three wins over the past six games, the Union’s number of shots on goal have been greater than their opponents. The math is simple: more attempts on goal means more shots on target, which means more goals.

Declining possession, passes

Interestingly, the possession numbers over the past two wins are the lowest recorded by the Union in the previous six games. The next lowest possession percentage came in the draw against LA. Of the three games with the greatest possession numbers, the match with the highest possession percentage (Dallas) ended as a loss. The next highest (San Jose) was a win, the next after that (Portland) was a loss.

Along with declining possession comes a decline in the number of passes. The Union out-passed San Jose, Portland, LA  and Dallas, recording no fewer than 422 passes in each match. The highest number of passes (457) came in the loss against Dallas. In the next game against Chicago, the Union recorded completed almost 100 fewer passes in the win. In the win against Toronto, the Union completed 80 fewer passes than against Chicago. Of course, when a team turns the ball over as cheaply as Toronto did, you really don’t need a lot of passes to get results.

A few weeks ago, Peter Nowak called on the Union players to use more effective energy. Over the past two games, it also appears that more effective possession is producing more attempts on goal, shots on target and goals.

Corner kicks

The Union have lowest number of corner kicks in the league, only 26 in eleven games. Against Toronto, they finally scored with one.

Category

Union

TOR

Union-CHI

Union-DAL

Union-LA

Union-POR

Union/SJ

Goals

6

2

2-0

0-2

1-1

0-1

1-0

Attempts on Goal

17

18

16/12

8/13

12/14

8/16

8/6

Shots on Target

9

4

4/3

1/5

3/3

2/3

5/1

Shots off Target

6

8

9/7

4/6

6/9

4/8

1/5

Blocked Shots

2

6

3/2

3/2

3/2

2/5

2/0

Corner Kicks

3

5

2/3

5/4

3/6

2/4

4/3

Fouls

16

11

13/16

15/11

12/10

13/6

13/10

Open Play Crosses

10

30

13/10

10/15

15/15

12/24

18/14

Offsides

1

3

4/2

3/4

4/2

0/2

2/6

Yellow Cards

1

0

2/4

2/0

4/3

2/3

2/2

Red Cards

0

0

0/0

0/0

0/0

0/0

1/0

Duels Won

32

39

37/36

38/37

44/28

45/42

39/51

Duels Won %

45%

54%

50%/49%

50%49%

61%/38%

51%/47%

43%/56%

Total Passes

285

429

365/485

457/281

422/400

422/352

424/381

Passing Accuracy %

71%

77%

73%/77%

69%/62%

70%/72%

70%/71%

74%/70

Possession

39.2%

60.8%

43.3%/56.7%

61.1%/38.9%

51.1%/48.9%

53.4%/46.6%

59.2%/47.1%

Team offensive stat totals

The win over Toronto saw three players join the list of Union goal scorers—Gabriel Farfan, Justin Mapp and Kyle Nakazawa—bringing the number of Union players who have scored to nine. Although tied on the number of goals scored, with 221 fewer minutes on the field and three fewer starts than Carlos Ruiz, Danny Mwanga is beginning to make an undeniable case for being the Union’s most effective offensive threat.

Player
Goals Assists Shots Shots on Goal Offsides
Danny Califf 0 (1) 0 (0) 0 (4) 0 (1) 0 (0)
Brian Carroll 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (3) 0 (0) 0 (0)
Keon Daniel 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (3) 0 (0) 0 (0)
Gabriel Farfan 1 (1) 0 (0) 2 (2) 1 (1) 0 (0)
Michael Farfan NA (1) NA (0) NA (4) NA (1) NA (0)
Sebastien Le Toux 0 (1) 1 (2) 5 (20) 1 (6) 1 (12)
Justin Mapp 2 (2) 0 (0) 3 (8) 2 (4) 0 (0)
Jack McInerney NA (0) NA (0) NA (4) NA (2) NA (1)
Stefani Miglioranzi NA (0) NA (0) NA (2) NA (0) NA (0)
Danny Mwanga 2 (3) 1 (2) 4 (10) 4 (7) 0 (2)
Kyle Nakazawa 1 (1) 1 (1) 1 (7) 1 (2) 0 (0)
Amobi Okugo NA (0) NA (0) NA (9) NA (3) NA (0)
Carlos Ruiz
NA (3) NA (1) NA (18) NA (7) NA (10)
Roger Torres NA (1) NA (0) NA (5) NA (3) NA (0)
Carlos Valdes 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (4) 0 (0) 0 (0)
Sheanon Williams 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (3) 0 (0) 0 (0)
Total 6 (14) 3 (6) 17 (106) 9 (37) 1 (25)
2011 compared to 2010

None of us will forget the the absurd schedule the expansion Union had to endure in their inaugural season: it wasn’t until the eleventh game that the club had its third home game with the opening of PPL Park.

The Union defense positively leaked goals in 2010: 21 goals allowed for eleven scored in the first ten games. Only once, in the draw against Dallas at the Linc, did the Union prevent an opponent from scoring fewer than two goals, twice allowing three goals.

What a difference a year makes.

With one of the most solid defenses in the league, the Union allowed only seven goals in the first ten games of 2011. But, as we all know, until the last two games, the problem this season has been one of scoring goals, not letting them in.

In 2010, the Union scored eleven goals over the first ten games compared to eight in 2011.

Although they were blanked three times, the Union thrice managed three goals in the opening of 2010: Sebastien Le Toux’s glorious hat trick against DC United in the first home game at the Linc, the dramatic win over Houston for the club’s first road win, and the PPL Park opening winner over Seattle. In the five other times they scored a goal in the first eleven games of 2010, the Union managed only one goal.

In the eleven games played in 2011, the Union has been scoreless three times. Aside from the last two games, the six other times the Union has scored in 2011 it has managed only one goal.

The eleventh game of 2010 was the 3–1 win over Seattle, which brought the season total to 14 goals. Following the 6–2 win over Toronto in the eleventh game of the 2011 season, the Union’s goal total is again 14. Even with the lapse in the second half that resulted in two Toronto goals, the Union has allowed 13 fewer goals in 2011 than in 2010. And, though the Union has scored the same number of goals in 2011 through eleven games as they did in 2010, the dramatic reduction in the number of goals allowed means their record thus far in 2011 is 6-3-2 compared to 3-7-1 in 2010.

Category

2010: 10 Games

2 Home, 8 Away

2011: 10 Games

5 Home, 5 Away

2010

Game 11 (H)

2011

Game 11 (A)

Goals Scored

11

8

3 (14)

6 (14)

Goals Allowed

21

7

1 (22)

2 (9)

Conference record 2010 v 2011

Because of the way MLS is organized, the surest way for the Union to make it to the playoffs is by winning the Eastern Conference. In the first eleven games of 2010, the Union struggled against all opposition and managed only three points in one win from five games against Eastern Conference opponents. The 2011 Union has defeated Eastern Conference teams in each of the four games played this season.

Year

Won

Lost

Draw

Conference Points

Total Points

2010

1 (3)

4 (7)

0 (1)

3

10

2011

4 (6)

0 (3)

0 (2)

12

20

2 Comments

  1. SoB Chris says:

    The Union’s record is 6-3-2, not 6-4-1 as it is twice represented above.

Leave a Reply

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

*

%d bloggers like this: