By Charles Barnard
With the start of the regular season just days away for RSL, I feel it is still valuable to look back to see what can be learned from the previous season. Everyone has high hopes that this year’s team will be vastly improved over last year’s squad. As I looked at last year’s data there was one area that jumped out at me of where the team has to improve if it wants to be make its way back into the playoff picture.
One of the data points that I track is when in a match the team is scoring their goals as well as when they are conceding goals. This information gives a picture of how the team played during the course of matches. This can show if a team is one that starts off fast or slow. Is the team good at making half time adjustments? How does a team finish a match? I break these out into 15 minute sections of the game. For example I will keep track of goals scored between minutes 0-15, 16-30, and so forth.
In looking at these numbers for RSL last season there is one number that jumps out compared to all the rest. And if the team is going to improve in the standings it is a number that will have to be corrected this season.
Let’s take a look at see how RSL fared last year.
The one number that jumps out is that RSL gave up 14 goals in the final 15 minutes of matches last year. 14! They were a -10 during that time period. Thinking back I do remember a lot of matches that RSL conceded late. But I don’t think I truly realized how bad it was.
Not only is it concerning that the team gave up so many goals during that time, but the team didn’t score many goals during that period. Traditionally the final 15 minutes of matches is when the most goals are scored. This is due to many factors included the insertion of substitutes as well as teams pushing for goals at the end of matches. So it is very worrisome to see that the team scored the less in that time period compared to any other 15 minute period.
If the team is to improve this year, they must play better in the final 15 minutes of matches, on both sides of the ball. This is something that I will continue to keep track this coming season and will occasionally report back here on the blog.