3/7 Regular Season FC Dallas vs. SJ Earthquakes Statistical Analysis
1. Bingham’s performance
Although Bingham’s gaffe costed the Quakes the game, there were several positives in his performance. Both Squawka and Whoscored ranked him as the team’s best player in the match, including the gaffe.
Even though he had only three saves on the night, both sites noted the relative difficulty of the saves. Bingham clearly has the raw talent to play goalkeeper, but his communication skills can be improved.
2. Renato may be the new ball-playing center back
2012 Victor Bernardez was renown for his dominant presence in the defensive third and his passing skill. Nowadays, Bernardez has lost a step or two with age – and his passing accuracy has dwindled. Renato, however, looks very comfortable on the ball. He shows a lot of the same characteristics we saw from the old Bernardez. In the end, Renato had 81.5% passing accuracy while Bernardez managed a measly 64.5%.
3. We need a partner for Wondo
Even though they didn’t have Lenhart, the Quakes still have been pumping the ball into the box and need a partner for Wondo. Wondo certainly does not have the pure speed to get past the backline nor the strength to win aerial duels. In fact, Wondo had to contest for 8 aerial duels, winning only 2 of them. In stark contrast, Jahn only played for 30 minutes and won all 6 of his aerial duels. Despite this, the Quakes kept on trying to cross the ball in the first half.
4. Different Tactics
The Quakes dominated the right flank as Nyassi and Wynne played very high up the field. Salinas and Francis, however played deeper and less attacking. Salinas was ranked as one of the worst players in both systems and although Nyassi played very high up, he didn’t create very many opportunities: attempting 7 crosses but connecting on none. Salinas, on the other hand, barely ventured forward and miss-controlled the ball 3 times, which was the most on the Quakes. Interestingly, Pierazzi played a little to the left (not right), and Bernardez had to drop deeper to cover for Wynne.
Another intriguing thing seen in the heatmaps and average position data is that Pierazzi has shifted a bit to the left while Koval is much more central and higher up, like a box-to-box midfielder. Although some might think that Koval hadn’t played well, both Whoscored and Squawka place Koval in their top three players. Even though he didn’t produce too much offensively, he made little to no mistakes. He was never dispossessed, had only one bad touch, completed a key pass, and had three interceptions. Koval also played higher up against L.A. in the preseason and found himself at the right place in the right time, scoring a goal. I feel that he is more effective in this role than meets the eye.
5. 4-4-2 diamond vs. 4-2-3-1
After Adam Jahn got subbed on, the Earthquakes dominated possession from minutes 65-75, enjoying their best possession in the game, having 66.9% of the possession. As I mentioned before, I feel that Wondo needs a strike partner and Adam Jahn for the time being fills that need and hopefully Innocent Emeghara will fill that need soon enough. The only problem is the risk of being over-run in the midfield, which didn’t happen today. Maybe against an attacking juggernaut like Seattle we’ll need to switch back to a 4-2-3-1, but Wondo needs more space to work his magic and having two centerbacks on him the whole game is a waste.
Note: Stats are courtesy of Whoscored, Squawka, and MLS.