Statistical Analysis: Outlook Not So Good

May 10, 2015

The Quakes currently sit in a four-way tie for fourth place with 14 points (notice a pattern here?).  We just completed a three-games-in-eight-days road trip in which we earned five points.  All signs point to a team ready to make a mid-season playoff run, but many Quakes fans, including this one, are a little apprehensive about our prospects.

I have gathered data from every regular season game the Quakes have played this year (you’re welcome).  These stats are collected from MLSSoccer.com, soccerstats.com, whoscored.com, and squawka.com.  Allow me to share some startling information.

The Stats

1. Shots:

Game/Stats Shots Taken Shots Conceded Shots Differential  Shots on Goal Taken Shots on Goal Conceded Shots on Goal Differntial Goals
First Six Games Average 11.67 11.67 0.00 3.83 4.67 -0.83 1.17
Last Four Games Average 10.00 15.00 -5.00 3.00 4.25 -1.25 0.75

During our first six games, we averaged nearly 12 shots, four on goal.  The last four games? 10 shots, with three on goal (two less shots per game, one less shot on goal per game).  We also are allowing three more shots per game, with a net average of -1.25 shots advantage to opponents.

2. Passing and Possession

Game/Stats Total Passes Pass Accuracy Possession Chances Created Chances Conceded Chances Differential
First Six Games Average 374.00 0.73 0.48 7.83 7.33 0.50
Last Four Games Average 294.00 0.63 0.38 6.25 10.00 -3.75

Our first six games, we averaged nearly 375 total passes, with an almost 75% accuracy, and 50% possession which created almost eight chances per game while conceding about 7.5 chances per game, giving us a positive differential.

Our last four games?  294 passes, 63% accuracy (atrocious), 38% possession (really bad), 6.25 chances created per game, and allowing opponents an average of 10 chances per game.  Whereas we had the edge in generating chances, we now have a -4 differential.

3. Corners, Crosses, and Set Pieces

Game/Stats Corners Taken Corners Conceded Corners Differential Crosses Crosses Conceded Crosses Difference Set Pieces
First Six Games Average 5.50 5.00 0.50 18.67 19.17 -0.50 0.50
Last Four Games Average 4.25 9.00 -4.75 14.75 26.75 -12.00 0.50

Our first six games, we averaged 5.5 corners while conceding five, giving us a slight in edge in corners.   The past four games we have lost an average of 1.25 corners while giving opponents an average of nine, and nearly five more corners per game.  We also had an edge in crosses, averaging four more per game while limiting opponents to just under 20.  The last six games we have let opponents average almost eight more crosses per game.  Set pieces remain the same.

4. Defensive Plays

Game/Stats Total Tackles Won Tackles Won Aerials Won Interceptions Clearances Fouls Committed Fouls Drawn
First Six Games Average 17.83 0.49 0.48 17.83 31.50 13.83 12.83
Last Four Games Average 16.50 0.52 0.49 13.50 37.25 14.00 12.75

Even our defense is declining.  We are averaging one less tackle per game, four less interceptions per game, clearing the ball six more times per game, committing slightly more fouls while drawing slightly less fouls.  Furthermore, we should not have to clear the ball 37 times per game.

5. Miscellaneous Stats and Saves

Game/Stats Cards Blocks Saves Offsides Committed Offsides Drawn Offsides Differential Dribbles
First Six Games Average 2.17 15.83 4.83 1.67 1.50 0.17 7.17
Last Four Games Average 1.25 17.00 3.25 1.50 2.50 -1.00 5.00

Over the last four games, we are average one more block per game, which also is shown in Bingham requiring 1.5 less saves per game.  We are committing less offsides violations, which means we are attacking less, while opponents are average one more offside violations on us, which means they are attacking more.  Also interesting to note: as our possession and passing declined, our dribbles per game also declined by over two.

Conclusions

We started off the season with great numbers, which are now on the decline.  We cannot keep letting opponents roll over us and expect to win games.  We need to turn this thing around, and it begins with Dom Kinnear.

Right now our defense, namely Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez, is keeping us in games because opponents have been unable to put anything on net.  The problem is that our offense is not generating enough goals to win these games.  We average just one goal per game (first four games we averaged 1.5), and a lot of that has to do with Wondo playing mid while playing Shea and Nyassi at forward.  Don’t believe me?

Here is perhaps the most amazing statistic of all:  Jahn, Goodson, Wynne, Nyassi and MPG are all tied for the Quakes lead with one assist.  Last year’s assist leader Shea Salinas has zero.   In other words, our midfield is broken.  Put Wondo back at forward, put Shea back at mid, leave Nyassi on the bench in favor of Thompson, and look into letting MPG go if his numbers continue to be this abysmal.

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