Welcome to From The Upper Deck, my blog about RSL and soccer in general. I have a lot of passion for the beautiful game. I am just a fan that likes to sit in the upper deck and take it all in.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Crunching the Numbers- Dallas Edition

Olmes Garcia
Photo by Charles Barnard
Before I jump into the numbers I want to talk about something important that happened in the aftermath of the RSL match in Dallas. Yes, the team finally broke it's "Texas Hex" by winning it's first match in the Lone Star state. Yes, with the win the team pulled farther ahead in the race for the Supporter's Shield. Although both of these things are great, it is not what I am talking about. In my mind, RSL went from a really good team to a team that I think might be really special.

The team had every reason to lose that match. They were missing four players due to international duty. They were playing in Dallas where they have always played horribly. They were actually playing pretty poorly the first half hour and probably should have been down multiple goals. And, then they had to sub out their starting keeper and replace him with someone that didn't have one minute of MLS experience.

The team had every reason to fold. But they didn't. Not only did they not fold, they got stronger. It really showed me something. I really think this team is special. Not just a couple of players, but from the first man on the roster to the third string keeper. The rest of this season is going to be a fun one to watch.

Okay on to the numbers.
  • RSL is still on pace to have their best scoring rate in club history. The 32 goals scored so far are more than what was scored in either the 2005 or 2007 seasons (30,31).
  • The defense is still on pace for it's second best season in club history. They are currently holding opponents to a goal every 100.00 minutes.
  • RSL has a road goal differential of +5. Only two other teams in the league have a positive road goal differential (Portland and Montreal) and both of those only have a +2. Overall the team has a goal differential of +14 which is second highest in team history.
  • 40.63% of all RSL goals have come after the 75th minute of play. 
  • Ned Grabavoy has scored four goals this season. In his four prior seasons with the team, Grabavoy scored three goals combined. 
  • Olmes Garcia has now played 547 minutes. In that time the team has scored 13 goals or a goal every 42.08 minutes. This is the best scoring rate on the team.
  • Garcia has taken 20 shots. Out of those, nine have been on goal. Four others have either hit the post or crossbar. Out of those nine on goal, five have hit the back of the net. 
  • Garcia is now scoring .82 goals every 90 minutes played. The next highest player on the team is Saborio at .55 goals for every 90 minutes played.
  • The Borchers/Salcedo center back combination have now played 450 minutes together which is the second most for all center back pairings. In that time, they have only given up 4 goals or a goal every 112.50 minutes.
So what do these numbers tell us? First and foremost is the team as a whole is still looking great. The best offensive performance in team history with the second best defense is a really good combination to have. To add to that the team is getting points on the road. The +5 road goal differential is really impressive. Our worst road loss of the year was the 2-0 loss to Dallas early in the year. And even if you think about that match, it was still a close match. 

Although I still believe Javier Morales is the team MVP, Grabavoy is making a strong case for himself as well. He has been outstanding this season. 28.57% of the shots he has taken has hit the back of the net, which is a team high. But it is more than just his increased scoring this year. He has just seemed to be the glue in the midfield for RSL this year.

And finally, we come to Garcia. His offensive output has been amazing. I still believe that, at this point, he is best being the spark plug coming off the bench. Here is something to watch when he plays: He forces so many defenders into mistakes. How many times has his hustle and speed caused a defender to make the incorrect play or to just kick the ball out of bounds? I don't know if there is a stat out there that would show this, but if there is I am sure it would be through the roof for Garcia. 

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