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 29, 2013

Crunching the Numbers- New York

Sports can be a cruel cruel thing. The emotional roller coaster that the RSL/NY match took us on was one example of that. From the lows of playing so poorly in the first half and being down 2-0, to the highs of Saborio's hat trick, and then to the ultimate low of having another stoppage time goal that rips points away from us. There were some interesting things, both good and bad, that jumped out to me while I was looking at the numbers.

  • RSL has scored 36 goals this season or a goal every 55.00 minutes. This is still by far the best scoring rate in team history. The defense has now given up 24 goals or a goal every 82.50 minutes. 
  • 15 of RSL's 36 goals were scored in the final 15 minutes of matches (41.67%).
  • With Alvaro Saborio's hat trick, he has now scored 7 goals in 9 games played. He is scoring at a rate of .85 goals per 90 minutes played which is pretty incredible. His COR score dropped from 24.17 to -6.00
  • Saborio has played 160 minutes with Joao Plata. In that time the team has scored 6 goals or a goal every 26.67 minutes. This is the best team scoring rate for any of the forward combinations. 
  • Plata has played 191 minutes this season coming off the bench. During that time the team has scored 8 times which gives him a MpTG of 23.88. When he is a starter, his MpTG rate is 68.77.
  • Olmes Garcia continues to lead the team with an overall MpTG of 41.13. He now has 5 goals and 3 assists in only 658 minutes of play. Out of his 23 shots, 11 have been on goal (highest on the team with 47.83%) and four more hit the post/crossbar. Strangely enough with all that offense he only has a +/- (RSL goals minus opponent goals)  of +3. At the moment Tony Beltran and Javier Morales lead the team with a +/- score of +14.
  • Tony Beltran has played 1429 minutes this season. During that time the team has given up 11 goals or a goal every 129.91 minutes. In the 551 minutes that Beltran has not played the team has given up 13 goals or a goal every 42.38 minutes.
  • Lovel Palmer has a +/- of -7. The only other RSL player that has a negative +/- is Aaron Maund with a -1. 
What can we learn from these numbers? It should come as no surprised that the defense is struggling. For the match against New York, the team was missing 5 out of the 6 starting defensive players on the team. No team can handle those type of losses to the back, no matter how deep they are. I think the biggest key is to get Beltran back. He has quietly become a key to the back line, and it has not just been this year. Last year he missed playing 190 minutes and the team gave up 7 goals. That is a goal every 27.14 minutes!

The offensive side of the ball is a different picture. The team is only 11 goals away from breaking their all time record for goals in a season with 12 games to go. Their scoring rate of a goal every 55.00 minutes is 5 minutes better than their previous best scoring rate. RSL's 36 goals is the highest amount in the league. The next highest team (NY) has 3 less goals than RSL. The crazy thing is that all of the offense occurred and Saborio has only played in 9 of the team's 22 matches.

Garcia's offensive numbers are amazing. Here is another way to look at them: He has played 658 minutes which is 33% of the total number of minutes that RSL has played. But while he has been on the field, RSL has scored 44% of their goals. Exciting things happen when he plays.

The big question for Coach Kreis is who should he start together? Saborio and Plata have amazing chemistry together. But, Garcia's numbers are off the charts. Do you start Plata and Saborio with Garcia being the super sub off the bench? Or do you continue with the Saborio/Garcia pairing? I honestly don't know. What do you think?


  1. Kreis should run a 4-3-3 false 9. Beckerman holding with Gil and Morales as central playmakers. Plata and Garcia wide up top with Sabo as a central striker.

  2. I think we should reserve the alternate formations for more critical situations, and not make it an every day thing. Despite all the information, I see both Plata and Garcia as super subs. I'd like to see Sabo/Findley or Sabo/Plata starting, with Garcia as our ace in the hole. But then again, bringing Plata in 2nd half was amazing as well. Jason has some tough choices in front of him, and having Rimando and Beltran back to command the back line, and Beckerman as the proper holding mid we need will be more solid in the back again. I'm extremely excited to see what happens from here :)