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Stat chat: Dallas v Union

Photo: Paul Rudderow

The Philadelphia Union have played three games in eight days, two away and one at home. Ahead of this arduous series against Western Conference teams, two of which are now in first (LA) in second (Dallas) place in the conference, it may have been reasonable to expect four out of the available nine points. This remained true after the loss to Portland and draw with LA. In the end, the Union gained one point.

Not only does the Union offense continues to struggle, the production of two of the players who were expected to be its offensive leaders—Sebastien Le Toux and Carlos Ruiz—can only be described as slumping.

Defensive statistics are difficult to come by, but against Dallas one measure was all too obvious: for the first time in the 2011 season the Union conceded two goals. Both goals came from open play, the second from a header.

Dallas v Union match statistics

Despite significantly besting Dallas in both possession and number of passes, as well as enjoying better passing accuracy, the Union once again fell short of their opponent’s tally of attempts on goal and shots on target. In fact, in terms of shots on goal, the Union managed but 1 over 90+ minutes of play, the same total Jack McInerney recorded in ten minutes of play against LA.

While the Union increased its production of corner kicks compared to the previous two games, the number of open play crosses declined significantly compared to the improvement seen in that category in the match against LA. While almost even with Dallas in terms of duels won, this represents a negative narrowing of the advantage the Union enjoyed in this category over the previous two games. Philadelphia continues to commit more fouls than its opponents.

Category

Union

Dallas

Union/LA

Union/Portland

Union/OPP

Attempts on Goal

8

13

12/14

8/16

28/43

Shots on target

1

5

3/3

2/3

6/11

Shots off Target

4

6

6/9

4/8

14/23

Blocked Shots

3

2

3/2

2/5

8/9

Corner Kicks

5

4

3/6

2/4

10/14

Fouls

15

11

12/10

13/6

40/27

Open Play Crosses

10

15

15/15

12/24

37/54

Offsides

3

4

4/2

0/2

7/8

Yellow Cards

2

0

4/3

2/3

8/6

Red Cards

0

0

0/0

0/0

0/0

Duels Won

38

37

44/28

45/42

127/107

Duels Won %

50%

49%

61%/38%

51%/47%

54%/45%

Total Passes

457

281

422/400

422/352

1301/1033

Passing Accuracy %

69%

62%

70%/72%

70%/71%

69.7%/68.3%

Possession

61.1%

38.9%

51.1%/48.9%

53.4%/46.6%

55.2%/44.8%

Team offensive stats

Union fans rejoiced when the starting lineup for the Dallas game was announced: Le Toux and Mwanga up top with Ruiz on the bench. (For myself, the only thing that would have made the lineup more exciting would have been Daniel starting instead of Mapp.) Several prime scoring chances were the result and many wondered why the Union wasn’t winning 2–0 when Dallas scored against the run of play. It was pretty much downhill from there as the Union struggled to get back into the game, a struggle that became even harder with the second Dallas goal just before the end of the half.

When the Union loaded the field with offensive players in the second half after falling behind in the first half against LA, the impact was immediately evident. Mwanga, McInerney and Torres produced 6 shots, 3 of which were on target, 1 of those the game-tying goal from Mwanga. Against Dallas, the impact of the introduction of McInerney and Ruiz did not produce the desired result with neither player recording a shot or a shot on goal. Bottom line: it is difficult to score goals when shots are not being made.

Player

Goals

Assists

Shots

Shots on Goal

Offsides

Danny Califf

0 (1)

0 (0)

1 (4)

0 (1)

0 (0)

Brian Carroll

0 (0)

0 (0)

1 (1)

0 (0)

0 (0)

Keon Daniel

0 (0)

0 (0)

1 (3)

0 (0)

0 (0)

Sebastien Le Toux

0 (1)

0 (1)

0 (13)

0 (5)

2 (9)

Justin Mapp

0 (0)

0 (0)

0 (3)

0 (2)

0 (0)

Jack McInerney

0 (0)

0 (0)

0 (4)

0 (2)

0 (1)

Stefani Miglioranzi

NA (0)

NA (0)

NA (2)

NA (0)

NA (0)

Danny Mwanga

1 (1)

0 (1)

1 (6)

1 (2)

0 (2)

Kyle Nakazawa

NA (0)

NA (0)

NA (4)

NA (0)

NA (0)

Amobi Okugo

0 (0)

0 (0)

3 (6)

0 (3)

NA (0)

Carlos Ruiz

0 (2)

0 (1)

0 (14)

0 (5)

1 (8)

Roger Torres

0 (1)

0 (0)

1 (5)

0 (3)

0 (0)

Carlos Valdes

0 (0)

0 (0)

0 (3)

0 (0)

0 (0)

Sheanon Williams

0 (0)

0 (0)

0 (2)

0 (0)

0 (0)

Total

0 (6)

0 (3)

7 (72)

1 (24)

3(20)

Offensive slump

As is evident from the results of the last three games, the Union offense has shown little evidence of improvement since the win over San Jose. Of the three offensive leaders—Le Toux, Mwanga and Ruiz—only Mwanga has demonstrated improved effectiveness, scoring the team’s only non-penalty kick goal over four games and recording the only shots on goal among the three players. Le Toux’s offensive numbers declined by half in Portland and he registered no shots or shots on goal against LA and Dallas. Ruiz’ numbers have declined since Portland, his best effort by the numbers among the previous four games. By comparison, Amobi Okugo has recorded 8 shots and 2 shots on goal over the same period and he didn’t even play in the match against LA.

Player (Goals)

v San Jose

v Portland

v LA

v Dallas

Total

Carlos Ruiz (0)

1/0

4/1

2//0

0/0 (45′)

7/1

Sebastien Le Toux (1)

2/2

1/1

0/0

0/0

3/3

Danny Mwanga (1)

0/0 (45′)

0/0

3/1 (45′)

1/1

4/2

Amobi Okugo (0)

3/2

2/0 (78′)

NA

3/0

8/2

Overall team statistics

Despite losing two of its last three games—recording only one goal and a draw in the process—the Union remain in second place with 14 points in the Eastern Conference.

The Union have benefited both from the fact that they have not played Eastern Conference opposition since the Red Bulls on April 9—the second of only two matches against teams in the East in the nine games played thus far—and from the fact that there have been a remarkable number of draws in recent matches featuring Eastern Conference teams. After the loss to the Timbers, there were five draws, one loss and one bye. Since then, including the match against LA, there have been five draws, five losses and only one win in the conference.

While the Union’s position in the conference table remains unchanged, so to does its position in the league’s team statistics table for goals, assists, shots, shots on goal and corner kicks: eighteenth.

Category

Union

League Ranking

League Leader

Conference Leader

Goals

6

18th

LA (18)

CHI/DC/NY (13)

Assists

2

18th

Dallas (16)

HOU/NY (15)

Shots

73

18th

Seattle (146)

Houston (143)

Shots on Goal

24

18th

LA (57)

TOR/NY (48)

Fouls Committed

128

7th

Seattle (162)

Toronto (145)

Fouls Suffered

109

13th

LA (158)

Columbus (152)

Offsides

20

12th

RSL (37)

Columbus (25)

Corner Kicks

16

18th

Seattle (57)

Houston (56)

Penalty Kick Goals

1

7 teams have one
PKG

Columbus (4)

Columbus (4)

Penalty Kick
Attempts

1

6 teams have one
PKA

Columbus (4)

Columbus (4)

One Comment

  1. Matt Kirk says:

    I did not really understand Nowak’s need to completely alter the team in the second half of the Dallas game and these stats make me wanna pull my hair out because we have the talent to do so much better. Personally, I think Le Toux needs to switch back to his bright purple and orange cleats of last year to get his mojo back

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