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, August 4, 2014

It's All About Time

By Charles Barnard

One of the most interesting team stats this season has been when in matches RSL are scoring their goals. In the past RSL would start matches very slowly and would build in their attack over the course of the game. This year things have been different. The team has been scoring much earlier in matches than in years past.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look into when goals are being scored during RSL matches. The team has currently scored 33 goals on the season.

Goals Scored864339
% By Half54.55%45.45%

Above shows the breakdown by 15 minute increments on when in the match RSL is scoring their goals. It also shows the percentage of total goals during that time period. The bottom row shows the percentage based on either the first or second half of matches.

As you can see from the numbers above, RSL is scoring more goals in the first half than in the second half. This is somewhat unusual in the world of soccer. The majority of goals scored in matches are normally scored in the second half with the highest percentage being scored in the final 15 minutes. This is due to a combination of tired legs, substitutions, and teams pressing for goals late in matches. As we can see, RSL does score more goals in the final 15 minutes of matches than any other time period.

The number that really stands out to me is how many goals RSL is scoring in the first 15 minutes of matches. Scoring 8 times during that time period is a very impressive way to start off a game. It is something that RSL has greatly improved upon this season. Last season the team only scored 6 times in the first 15 minutes of matches (10.5% of all goals). In 2012 the team also scored 6 times during that same time period (13% of all goals scored). RSL has also scored more goals between the 16th and 30th minutes this season than during the same time periods in 2012 or 2013.

It is due to the increased scoring between the start of the match and the 30th minute that have led to the team scoring more goals in the first half than the second. In 2013 the team scored 38% of their goals in the first half. That number drops to 36% when looking at 2012.

This leads to the question of why? Why is RSL scoring so much more in the first half? Is it a change in philosophy with the team that they push more at the start of matches? While I can't answer this for sure the numbers seem to indicate that.

RSL's defense the first 15 minutes of matches has also been outstanding. They currently have only given up 1 goal during that time. RSL is +8 overall in the first half hour of matches. They are -2 for the remaining 60 minutes of matches. Here is the breakdown of the goals that RSL has given up.

Goals Con156447
% By Half44.44%55.56%

As you can see RSL is giving up more goals in the second half of matches than in the first. The same trend can be found last season when the team gave up 60.9% of their goals in the second half. In 2012 that number was at 80%.

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