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Selected DC United Numbers vs Philadelphia (Game 9)

Let us examine the DC United game using soccer statistics. I'll be using selective statistics that I find potentially very interesting largely taken from the chapters of The Number Game: why everything you know about soccer is wrong by Chris Anderson & David Sally and Soccernomics by Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski.


I know not all statistics are useful for soccer. But empirical evidence shows selected statistics are predictive of results, goals, and player value. I will entertain the notion of doing more complicated analyses or examining additional statistics provided the data are available. I am using data from WhoSocred.com and MLSSoccer.com.

Hopefully these numbers provide useful game insight and predictive utility. Explanations for why I selected these numbers can be found in my first post of this series.


The Weakest Link



season avg. WhoSocred

vs PHI 5-10

Andrew Dykstra

6.90

DNP

Bill Hamid

6.80

8.2




Bobby Boswell

7.27

7.8

Cristian Fernandez

7.15

7.7

Sean Franklin

6.93

DNP

Chris Korb

6.33

6.8

Jeff Parke

7.15

7.6




Davy Arnaud

6.81

6.8

Alex Caskey

6.15

6.1

Nick DeLeon

6.87

DNP

Jared Jeffrey

6.00

DNP

Perry Kitchen

6.81

7.2

Lewis Neal

6.28

7.2

Kyle Porter

5.99

DNP

Chris Rolfe

6.98

7.5

Luis Silva

6.44

6




Conor Doyle

6.13

6.3

Fabian Espindola

7.23

6.5

Eddie Johnson

6.75

6.7

*Chris Rolfe's first three ratings (including the DNP) are from his performances with Chicago.

*An explanation for WhoScored’s ratings can be found here

Inferences

Hamid went from worst to best rated. His passing went up from 33% to 50%. This probably was helped by EJ winning 54% of his aerial battles instead of Doyle winning just 33%. Also, probably the pin-point saves. It was also Hamid’s best rated game all season. His previous high of 7.17 was against Toronto.


Silva rated the lowest at 6.0. Meaning he had no impact of the game. Caskey was slightly better at 6.1. Doyle being the third worst at 6.3. All of them substitutes. Again, DC United’s substitutes are poorly rated.


The overall team average was 7.03 (vs Philly’s 6.35). The defense and midfield (starters) had themselves a good game. The forwards and subs, not so much.


KEEP THE BALL!



Possession: 46% (black part of the pie, green being Philly 54%)

Total passes: 393 vs 452

LSR = .18

Turnovers: 45% (Season Avg. = 50% SD = 4%)

Through Balls = 1

DCU Final Third passing: 57 completions (red bar) of 85 attempts (black bar)

PHI Final Third passing: 84 completions (light blue-gray) of 124 attempts (blue)


Inferences

Less possession. Fewer overall passes. Far fewer passing attempts and completions in the attacking third. All bad. None of those numbers were outside the norm for the team. This is 2014 DC United so far. However, DCU did have the better of the turnovers. Their best turnover ratio since….the New Jersey game.


Click here for the first match numbers.

*I would also point out that the above statistics are correlated with league points earned but that is for an entire season (with European data too - may not apply in MLS) and not necessarily predictive of individual games.



SHOOT THE BALL!

DC United: 5 Shots (13 by Philadelphia)

BIG CHANCES: 0

1 Goals

TSR = .28


Inferences

5 DCU shots. 1 went in. 13 shots for Philadelphia. 0 went in. Well, that’s the story of Philadelphia’s season. 5 shots is well below DCU’s norm. The TSR is well below DCU’s norm as well.


Summary

"....I thought we played much better in Portland overall and came away with nothing. Here, maybe it wasn’t the greatest night but we found a way and I’m proud of the guys today, it says we’re not making these mistakes again." Post-match quote from Ben Olsen.


No mistakes (or few mistakes) is probably the correct assessment. Last week DCU was outplayed by Portland (certainly by these selected numbers) but DCU itself had better numbers last week in terms of shots and passing in the final third. The biggest change (besides goals) was the turnover percentage. DCU had 53% of the turnovers last week versus 45% this week. They cleaned up their mistakes and took advantage of the few opportunities they created.



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