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.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crunching the Numbers- Playoff Edition

My original plan was to  end my Crunching the Numbers posts with the end of the regular season. For the most part, all of my stats are only calculated in regular season MLS matches. But two things happened that I think I should put out a playoff edition. First, I was provided some additional stats that the team kept track of that I found interesting and wanted to share. Second, as the playoffs have progressed, I have continued to crunch numbers and have found some very interesting results. Lets take a look.

  • Devon Sandoval has played 1196 minutes in all competitions (MLS regular season/playoffs/ USOC). During that time RSL has scored 29 times or a goal every 41.24 minutes. This is the best scoring rate on the team. 
  • Sandoval and Robbie Findley have now played 256 minutes together in all competitions. In that time the team has scored 9 times or a goal every 30.77 minutes. This is the best scoring rate for any forward pairing on the team.
  • Since coming back from injury, Chris Schuler has played 630 minutes. In that time RSL has only given up 5 goals or a goal every 126 minutes. 
  • In regular season play, RSL was 10-0-2 when leading at the half. They were 0-5-2 when trailing at the half.
  • When scoring first in the regular season the team was 15-3-4. They were 1-7-3 when allowing the first goal.
  • Alvaro Saborio had a stretch of 6 games in a row where he had either a goal or an assist in each match.
  • RSL's total attendance for the year was 326,699. That averages out to 19,218 a match which was 9th in the league. 
So what can we learn from these numbers? My numbers for Sandoval have been really good all year long. But his numbers really jump off the chart when you start looking at his full body of work (including US Open Cup games). It is players like Sandoval that are the reason that I look at how many goals the team scores while a player is on the field and not just how many goals the player scores himself. While Sandoval does score himself, he seems to make a lot of the little plays to make the players around him better. 

The really interesting thing has been the realization of how well Findley and Sandoval play together. In regular MLS play, they only played 63 minutes together. I thought it was interesting that Kreis was playing a pair in the playoffs that had not really had much playing time together. But my mistake was failing to understand how they had actually played together for big chunks of time in the Open Cup matches.  There seems to be a really good chemistry between the two that some might say is not found between Findley and Saborio. 

Finally I am going to say that Chris Schuler's return has saved the season. He has played 7 games since returning from injury, and in the time the RSL defense has seen a remarkable improvement. As said above, RSL is only giving up a goal every 126 minutes in those matches. For comparison's sake, in the previous 10 matches prior to Schuler's return RSL was giving up a goal every 42.85 minutes! And Schuler has scored more goals in the past two matches than all the other RSL defenders have scored all year long. His impact has been felt on both sides of the ball.

1 comment:

  1. That last stat about schuler is really interesting. Think if he would of had a full season on playing, RSL may have actually won the supporters shield.