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Stat chat: on the road

Heading into Sunday’s match against New England (7pm, CSN) for their tenth road game of the 2011 season, the Union’s 2011 away record is 2–4–3.

Some of us may grumble that some of those draws should have been wins and some of those of those losses should have been draws. And why not? The only seemingly emphatic road loss was the 2–0 defeat in Dallas and in that match the first Dallas goal came against the run of play. Fan frustration with the Union’s repeated inability to convert chances is, after all, often enough fueled by the team’s ability to create those chances. That and the fact that the Union have simply looked better than most of their road opponents.

Nevertheless, some perspective is in order.

Heading into their tenth road game in the 2010 season, the Union’s away record was 1–7–1. Along the way, they let in 19 goals while scoring eight, a goal difference of -11.

Needless to say, there were no clean sheets. In six of those games, the Union’s opponent scored two goals, resulting in one win and five losses for the Union. Twice, the Union’s opponent scored three goals resulting in two Union losses. Only once did the Union hold their opponent to a single goal, and that for a draw.

In the nine road games played so far in 2011, the Union have scored ten goals while letting in ten.

Three times, the Union’s opponent has scored two goals, resulting in one win, one loss and one draw for the Union. The Union’s opponent scored one goal four times, resulting in three losses and one draw. So far, the Union has recorded two clean sheets on the road in 2011 for one win and one draw.

Recent road record

Looking back over the past five road games, the Union’s record is 1–1–3. The Union have scored nine goals while allowing six for a goal difference of +3 with one clean sheet.

Only against San Jose did the Union have more attempts on goal than their opponent. The San Jose draw and Toronto win are also the only instances in the past five road games in which the Union had more shots on target than their opponent.

Of those five results, the only match in which the Union enjoyed a majority of the possession was the 1–0 loss to Vancouver. In every other game, the Union enjoyed less possession than their opponent, ranging from a low of 39.2 percent in the 6–2 win over Toronto to 48.4 percent in last weekend’s scoreless draw in San Jose. Overall, in the past five games, the Union’s possession average is 46.6 percent. Their opponent’s is 53.4 percent.

In each of the past five road games except one, the Union have recorded fewer passes than their opponent ranging from 285 against Toronto (144 less than the home team’s 485) to the 361 passes against San Jose (21 fewer than San Jose’s 382). The exception is the loss to Vancouver, in which the Union’s 469 passes was 72 more than the Whitecaps’ 397.

In each of the past five road games except one, the Union have also had poorer passing accuracy than their opponent. Again, the sole exception is the loss to Vancouver, in which both teams had the same passing accuracy percentage. Over the past five games, the Union’s passing percentage on the road is 70 percent compared to their opponent’s 74 percent.

Compared to recent home record

Looking back over the past five home games, the Union’s record is 2–0–3. The Union have scored seven goals while allowing four for a goal difference of +3 with one clean sheet.

Only LA had more goal attempts than the Union in the past five home games. In the other four home games, the Union’s superior attempts on goal numbers ranged from as much as 18 more than Kansas City to one more than Chivas USA.

In three of the past five home games, the Union enjoyed the majority of possession three times—topping out with 59.8 percent in the 0–0 draw with Kansas City, an advantage of 19.6 percent—resulting in one win and two draws for the Union. In the two matches the Union were out-possessed by their opponent at home, the Union recorded one win and one draw, the 43.3 percent possession in the 2–0 win over Chicago being beaten only by the the 39.2 percent away to Toronto for the lowest possession numbers over the past ten games. Overall, in the past five home games, the Union averaged 50.4 percent possession to their opponents 49.6 percent.

The Union have recorded fewer passes than their opponent over the past five home games three times for a 2–0–1 record in those games: two fewer passes than Chivas for a 3–2 win, 120 fewer passes than Chicago for a 2–0 win, 51 fewer passes than Real Salt Lake for a 1–1 draw. The two matches in which the Union made more passes than their opponent were both draws, including 157 more passes than Kansas City.

The Union enjoy better passing accuracy at PPL Park than they do on the road, averaging 72.2 percent at home compared to 70 percent on the road. Three times they registered passing accuracy of 70 percent, the 78 percent registered against Kansas City later being equaled at DC United. Nevertheless, the passing accuracy average percentage for opponents at PPL Park over the past five home games is greater than the Union’s, coming in at 75.2 percent.

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