I have been tracking RSL stats since starting From the Upper Deck. This season the decision was made to try and track some other teams as well. Today marks the debut of what will hopefully be a new regular series of articles I am calling Statting the Opposition.
Today we take a look at the Timbers. Portland has had somewhat of a rough start. They are still in search of their first win on the season. This is surprising when you consider that they have played 4 of their first 6 matches at home.
Here are some of the most interesting numbers that I have noticed while looking at their data.
- The Timbers are currently scoring a goal every 67.5 minutes.
- Portland is giving up a goal every 49 minutes of play.
- Kalhif Alhassan has played 197 minutes so far this season. In that time the team has scored 7 times or a goal every 28 minutes. In the 341 minutes that he hasn't played, Portland has only scored once.
- Diego Valeri leads Portand in scoring chances (shots+passes leading to shots) with 30 or a scoring chance every 17 minutes.
- When Gaston Fernandez plays, the Timbers are scoring every 180 minutes. When he doesn't play the team scores every 30 minutes.
- Portland is only scoring a goal every 170 minutes when Jack Jewsbury plays.
- Statistically Portland's best defender is Footy Danso. When Danso plays the Timbers are only give up a goal every 65 minutes.
- The best center back pairing so far for Portland has been Danso and Norberto Paparatto. When they play together the Timbers give up a goal every 73 minutes. The worst pairing this year has been Pa Madou Kah with Paparatto. When they play together Portland has been giving up a goal every 35 minutes.
It will be interesting to see the starting lineup for the Timbers on Saturday. Will Alhassan or Fernandez start? The numbers clearly point to the fact that Portland's offense plays better when Alhassan is on the field. He also seems to be the one that Coach Caleb Porter has been going to for the past few matches. But will that continue?
The other pressing question is which center back pairing will play between Kah/Paparatto/Danso. Each pairing has played at least 146 minutes with the pair of Paparatto/Kah playing the most together (214 minutes). The general thought around the league is that Paparatto has been struggling. It will be interesting if he will start or if RSL will face the pairing of Danso/Kah.
Here are some other interesting tidbits about the Timbers provided to me by Portland stat guy Mike Donovan (@TheMikeDonovan). Portland has been offside more than any other team in the league. Also Diego Chara is leading the league in fouls committed. Not only that, he is on pace to smash the record for most fouls committed in a single season.
I would love some feedback on this column. Are you interested in the stats of RSL's upcoming opponents? Please let me know in the comments below or tweet at me (@ccb1212).