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, September 23, 2013

Crunching the Numbers- San Jose

I hate sports. I really hate sports. I love sports. I really love sports. This was the nature of my sporting weekend. Maybe it is because I get way to emotionally involved but there aren't many things that can change my mood faster than a positive or negative result by the teams that I am cheering for. Utah State loses to USC in football (that sucks). RSL loses to San Jose (man what a crappy day this is). Utah beats BYU (YES! Sorry to my BYU friends). Tottenham wins again (maybe this weekend wasn't so bad).

That is why stats are so important. When you are watching a game to analyze a player, your emotions can get involved. Emotions can cause you to see things that aren't really there or to miss things that are right in front of you. Stats themselves are emotionless. They can point out things that you might have missed otherwise due to your emotions. With that said, lets dive into the numbers after that emotional loss to San Jose.
  • RSL has now scored 53 goals on the season or a goal every 50.94 minutes. If they stay at this rate they will exactly double the amount of goals from the 2005 season. 
  • The team has now given up 39 goals on the season or a goal every 69.23 minutes.
  • RSL has now given up 2 or more goals in 9 of their last 12 matches. 
  • In those 12 matches they are giving up a goal every 46.95 minutes. In the previous 18 matches they were giving up a goal every 101.25 minutes. 
  • Against San Jose, RSL gave up goals in the 18th and 21st minutes. Prior to that the team had only gave up 2 goals on the season between the 15th and 30th minutes of all matches. 
  • RSL scores 40% of their goals in the first half compared to 60% in the second half. Interestingly enough RSL gives up 41% of their goals in the first half compared to 59% of their goals in the second half of matches.
  • Javier Morales now has 8 goals on the season. That is the most that he has ever scored in an RSL uniform. His 10 assists are the second most he has had with the team. 
  • Kyle Beckerman's 6 assists  are the second most assists that he has had in his career. He had 9 in 2011.
  • RSL has now had 25 goals scored by midfielders on the season. By comparison, Toronto FC, as a team, has only scored 25 goals and DC United as a team has only scored 19.
  • Nat Borchers and Carlos Salcedo have now played 979 minutes together. During that time RSL has given up 14 goals or a goal every 69.93 minutes. The 979 minutes are the highest among all center back pairings for this season (second is Borchers/Schuler at 540 minutes). 
So what can we learn from these numbers? There is no denying the fact that the defense is struggling. They are giving up goals at an alarming rate the past 12 matches. Things will have to get better in the back if RSL wants to make any type of run in the playoffs. So what has changed? It appears that the coaching staff is wanting the midfield to get more involved in the attack. Due to this, they are not supporting the defense as much as they have in the past. 

Javier Morales continues to have a career year. Here is an interesting thing to think about. He has 2 goals in his last three matches. Both goals were on corner kicks where he was left unmarked. I think that teams are just so used to him taking the corner kicks that they don't think to cover him when he is not taking the corners. 

Kyle Beckerman is quietly having a very good year offensively as well. He has been much more involved in the attack than he has in previous seasons. His 4 goals are tied for the most he has ever had with the club. He is one shot away from taking the most shots he ever has with the club as well. 

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