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.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crunching the Numbers- Thumping Portland Edition

The offensive explosion continued for RSL on Saturday night. The goals seem to be flowing for the team as four different players put balls in the back of the net against Portland in the team's 4-2 win. RSL has not been held scoreless since April 27th. That is a stretch of 23 games in all competitions. The last two months of the season will be a lot of fun to watch with so many teams bunched up in the race for the Supporters Shield. Here are some of the interesting numbers coming out of the Portland match:

  • RSL has now scored 52 goals on the season in 28 matches. This comes out to be a goal every 48.46 minutes. This is the best scoring rate in the league by far. The LA Galaxy are next scoring a goal every 54.41 minutes.
  • RSL has now given up 35 goals on the season or a goal every 72.00 minutes.
  • The RSL midfield has now had 24 goals on the season. 
  • In their past 10 matches, RSL is scoring at a rate of a goal every 34.61 minutes.
  • The team has now scored 25 goals on the road and 27 goals at home. They have a +17 goal differential  (+15 at home and +2 on the road). This is the second best goal differential in club history. 
  • RSL now has six players that have scored 5 or more goals on the season and 13 players that have scored in league play. Last season the team only had two players over 5 goals and only 10 different players scored.
  • Javier Morales leads the team with a +/- of +20. 
  • The forward pairing of Alvaro Saborio and Joao Plata have now played 361 minutes together. During that time RSL has scored 11 goals or a goal every 32.82 minutes.
  • Saborio has now scored 10 goals on the season in only 13 games played. He is currently scoring .83 goals for every 90 minutes that he plays.
  • Morales now has 10 assists on the season. In his seven year RSL career this is only the second time that he has had 10 or more assists. His 7 goals on the season ties him for the most he has ever had at RSL.
  • Plata has 8 assists on the season. He is currently getting .52 assists for every 90 minutes that he plays which is now the best assist rate on the team.
  • Ned Grabavoy now has 5 goals and 5 assists on the season. These are career high's in both categories. 

What this team has done offensively this season has been amazing. The numbers are off the charts. It is even more amazing when you think how poor the offense was in the first few matches of the season. In the first nine matches of the season, RSL had only scored 7 goals or a goal every 115.71 minutes. Since that time RSL has scored 45 goals or a goal every 38.00 minutes.

On the flip side, the defense is giving up more goals. In those same first nine matches, RSL gave up 9 goals or a goal every 90.00. Since then they have given up 26 goals or a goal every 65.76 minutes.

Why is this? There are many factors involved but I think one thing that may have happened is a change in philosophy from the coaching staff. This week Coach Kreis came out and said that he would rather tie 3-3 than tie 0-0.

My thoughts are that Kreis is really encouraging the midfield to get into the attack more, even if it means defensive breakdowns. This would explain the huge increase in goals that the midfield has scored this year compared to last. But, because they are getting so far forward, they are not able to cover as much on the defensive side of the ball.  This is leading to a defense that is giving up goals at a rate higher than any other RSL team since 2007. I think Kreis is okay with this as long as we continue to score four goals when the opponents only score two.


  1. I don't want to put down the effort of the guys against Portland but, I just can't shake the feeling that it wasn't really a "thumping" that we gave them. Honestly, if we had won 4-0, or even 4-1, I would be more prone to agree with the "thumping." As I see it, we had a couple of times where we really let our foot off the gas against a pretty good team. Just one lucky goal by them changes the momentum and the whole feel of the game. I guess I just want to see our guys get out to AT LEAST a 3 goal lead before they start to take their foot off the throat of our opponents. I may make a few people a little upset at this but, that first goal has to be put more on the shoulders of Rimando. I know that Borchers and Wingert could have done better but, let's be honest, Rimando was caught flat footed and ball watching. He should have made that save. And IF he makes that save, Portland have no fire, no momentum, no hope to get back into that game.
    That being said, I do think the team put forth a good effort and did get a good solid win but, they had to kind of give themselves a little mental kick to get their heads back in the game a couple of times. If we really were "thumping" them, that wouldn't need to be the case.
    All other points, I agree with. I just feel like maybe we, as a fan base, are just slightly too high on this win.
    Another good article.

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