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From winless to unbeaten – where have the goals come from?

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Only a few weeks ago, the Philadelphia Union were battling to end an eight game winless streak. On Saturday, they have a chance to make an eight game unbeaten streak.

Of course, a win will also secure a playoff berth.

During the winless streak, the Union scored 11 goals while allowing 14, the only shutout coming in the scoreless draw with Portland. Since the beginning of the unbeaten streak, which started with the dramatic come-from-behind draw with New England, the Union have scored 12 goals over seven games. The scoreless draw remains the only time the Union have been shut out during the current streak while they shut out their opponent ta total of three times.

During the unbeaten streak, the Union have scored one goal three times. They have scored two goals, three goals and four goals one time each. Sebastien Le Toux scored six of the 12 goals and Freddy Adu scored two. Roger Torres, Michael Farfan, Justin Mapp and Brian Carroll each scored one. Michael Farfan has two assists over the unbeaten streak while Sheanon Williams, Danny Mwanga, Veljko Paunovic, Torres, Le Toux and Gabriel Farfan each have one assist.

Over the same period, the Union have allowed eight goals.

Where have the goals come from?

As has been the case throughout the season, the Union continue to score the vast majority of their goals from open play. Over the course of the current unbeaten streak, 83 percent of the Union’s goals have come from open play compared to 60 percent over the entire season. The goals scored over the past seven games are evenly split between being scored with the right foot or left foot. Overall, 60 percent of the Union’s goals have been scored with the right foot, 35 percent have been scored with the left foot and five percent have been scored with the head.

While the Union’s opponents’ 16 right footed goals equals 47 percent of their total goals over all, the four goals scored by their opponents during the course of the unbeaten streak equals fifty percent of their eight goals.

During the unbeaten streak, half of the Union’s opponent’s goals have been scored with the right foot and half have been scored by the head with no goals scored by the left foot. In comparison, opponents numbers for how goals are scored equals 16 (47 percent) right-footed goals, 8 left-footed goals (24 percent) and 10 headed goals (29 percent).

Turning to distance from goal, Freddy Adu’s goal against Seattle is the lone goal scored from with in the goal area during the unbeaten streak and represents eight percent of the Union’s goal total. The eight goals scored from within the penalty area equals 67 percent of the Union’s goals while the three goals scored from outside of the goal area equals 25 percent of the Union’s goals. This compares to the Union’s season averages of 19 percent of goals being scored inside the goal area, 58 percent scored from inside the penalty area and 23 percent from outside of the the penalty area.

Over the course of the season, the Union’s opponents have scored ten goals from inside the goal area (29 percent), 15 goals from inside the penalty area (44 percent) and nine goals from distance (27 percent). During the Union’s unbeaten streak, their opponents have scored half their goals from inside the goal area and 38 percent from inside the penalty area. The single goal scored from distance equals 13 percent of opponents’ total during the Union’s unbeaten streak.

While the Union’s shots on goal percentage has slightly dipped, their opponents’ has slightly risen. This appears to have been offset by an improved save percentage for the Union and a decline in the oppositions. This is also reflected in opponents’ goals against average during the streak, which has increased. In other words, the Union are scoring more on average over the course of the unbeaten streak compared to the season as a whole.


  1. MikeRSoccer says:

    I have to hand it to you guys….the statistical analysis of the Union that you guys have been doing as of late is top notch. I have a feeling Hackworth/Nowak are tuning in to see some of stats that PSP has assembled. Also….please tell me that these stats are readily available to the media. I hope that an editor here has not surrendered there life to compiling this data.

  2. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Thanks Mike! Some of this information, like season totals, is available in Gameday guides, which can be downloaded by anyone from the MLS site, usually the day before a match. But most of the stuff I and new PSP writer Ford Bohrmann have done comes from assembling data from the Chalkboards, which are also on the MLS site. That info is there for anyone to gather but it’s the deciding what might offer insight and then taking the time to gather it parts that enter into the realm of surrendering your life. Mostly, though, it is rewarding and fun trying to understand what is going on in a new or different way.

  3. Maurice Hébert says:

    Looking at goals from corner kicks, free kicks (indirect), and free kicks(direct), the Union are down to their opponents 8 to 5 for the year.
    I imagine that 2 goals from corners and 2 goals on free kicks is a low number in MLS this season?

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