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Stat chat: Three road wins

You gotta love a road win, especially against a conference rival.

Sunday’s emphatic 3–0 win over the Revolution—only the third time this season the Union have scored more than two goals and the fifth time they have scored more than one—puts the Union back on top of the Eastern Conference where the Union are undefeated against conference rivals with a 5–0–2 record. They are unbeaten in their last five games, the longest streak in the club’s short history. They have lost only one in the last ten league games. It was Faryd Mondragon’s seventh clean sheet of the season and his second in a row. The victory equaled last season’s total of eight wins and 31 points. This season, when the Union have scored first, they are 7–0–2.  When they have scored in the first half, they are 3–0–2.

The Union’s record on the road is now 3–4–3, the third road win of the season being another club record. In the first five road games, the Union earned six points on the road with a record of 2–3–0. In the last five road games, the Union also earned six points with a record of 1–1–3.

In the Union’s three road wins, their opponent twice had more attempts on goal. But, the Union had more shots on target in each of the wins and the opponent had more shots off target. In each of the road wins the opposition also registered more corner kicks—the Union is last in the league in creating corner kicks— and open play crosses.

The Union twice registered fewer total passes, 144 fewer against Toronto, 236 fewer against Houston. Against New England, the Philadelphia made 169 more passes.

In New England, the Union had a passing accuracy percentage of 78 percent, the third time this season they have recorded that number. Only in the loss away to LA have the Union surpassed 78 percent, recording a passing accuracy percentage there of 81 percent.

In the two previous road wins, the Union have been significantly out-possessed by their opponent. This trend was neatly reversed against New England.

Team offensive statistics

Since returning from international duty with Guatemala in the Gold Cup, Carlos Ruiz has had four starts, being rested in the away game to San Jose. Since his return in the scoreless draw with Kansas City, he has scored a goal in each of his other three starts with Sunday’s goal against New England being another Goal of the Week candidate. His six goals from 14 shots on goal equals a shots on goal/goals conversion rate of 43 percent. The league and season first tallies of the other two goal scorers on Sunday, Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams, gives them a conversion rate of 50 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

While Sebastien Le Toux has not scored since he converted the penalty kick against San Jose at home for his lone goal of the season, he continues to contribute to the scoring through his assists. His assist on the Valdes goal brings his tally to seven, the highest number on the Union and tied for third in the league.

Danny Mwanga has not scored since his game winner against Chivas USA. Coming off of the bench in New England, he nevertheless contributed to the scoreline with his fine pass to assist the late goal from Sheanon William. His three assists sees him tied for second on the club with Kyle Nakazawa.

In case you are wondering, Le Toux’s shots on goal/goals conversion rate is 8 percent, Mwanga’s is 38 percent.

Team statistics

When the PSP first began these stat chats more than two months ago, the Union was ranked last in the league in goals, assists, shots, shots on goals and corner kicks. Since that time, they have moved solidly to the middle of the rankings for goals, sharing the eighth spot with conference rivals Kansas City and Houston. For assists, they now rank at seventh, tied with LA. While they have improved the number of shots to sit at 15th in the league, only 22 shots separates them from bottom ranking DC. By comparison, league-leading Seattle has 71 more shots than the Union. For shots on goal, the gap between the Union and the top and bottom is narrower with 26 shots on goal separating the 15th place Union from top-ranked Seattle, nine shots on goal from bottom ranked New England. The Union remain last in the league in creating corner kicks (coming in at 17th with Houston and Dallas tied at fourth with 107), the team’s 65 being seven fewer than Toronto immediately above them and a whopping 60 fewer than top-ranked New York.


  1. Le Toux – 46 shots and only 12 on target. That’s a terrible statistic. That’s close to one out of every 4 shots is threatening, and he has no goals.

    Ruiz – 35 shots 14 on target. That’s one out of every 2 1/2 shots is a threat, and he has 6 goals.

    Statistics don’t lie.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I agree, but stats are only a partial picture. For example, speaking of shots that are threatening, a shot that hits the post or crossbar is not counted as a shot on goal.

  2. Ed Farnsworth says:

    I hear ya and used to think the same too before I started doing these pieces. New England, for example, didn’t record a shot on target against the Union despite the Chris Tierney volley that rang off the top left corner of the post and scared the bejesus out of me.

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