3/14 Regular Season Seattle Sounders VS. SJ Earthquakes Statistical Analysis
1. Renato was mediocre
Most of the reaction to the game about Renato was positive. However, the stats paint a different picture – he had a total of 0 tackles and interceptions and 4 clearances (Bernardez had 6). Additionally, his passing regressed – it dropped from 81.5% to 74.2%.
2. Alashe is a defensive monster
Alashe ended the night with 5 tackles (first), 4 interceptions (first), and 5 clearances (third). All in all, the midfielder greatly overshadowed JJ Koval, who had only 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 4 clearances. Koval finished low on both Whoscored and Squawka’s rankings, while Alashe shined.One worry is that both will try to preform the same role as defensive midfielders, instead of one attacking more.
Here is a comparison between the two CM combinations on both teams: Pineda/Azira and Koval/Alashe. It is worth noting, though, that Koval moved to CB after the injury to Paulo Renato. Hopefully the new three-pronged attack with MPG, Emeghara, and Wondo will be able to create enough chances to not warrant higher-playing CDMs.
3. Game states
Game states are loosely defined as how the score of the game and other events change how teams play. This game is a prime example.
The first thirty minutes were pretty even – the Quakes had two shots to Seattle’s three, but had more possession, 52.8% to 47.2%. The middle portion of the game was no contest. Seattle managed 4 shots, but waited until the 47th minute to get those shots off. On the other hand, the Quakes managed 8 shots. Even better, they managed to take these shots from good positions, with 5 taken from in the box. Finally, the last thirty minutes went back to Seattle, with five shots, that all came within the last 10 minutes. San Jose took only two shots, and managed to score a goal off of one of them.
Perhaps most importantly: Seattle’s shots were not from dangerous positions. Overall, the first thirty minutes were even, the second thirty minutes was all Quakes, and the final thirty [mainly the final ten] were all Seattle. (After Bernardez was sent off) Overall San Jose created better chances and generated shots from more dangerous positions.
4. Can Wondo do it alone?
Last week, I said that Wondo was losing too many aerial battles and that he needs to take off some of the pressure. Despite this, Dom fastuck it out and pulled out the victory with almost the same team. There were a few minor tweaks though: Emeghara replaced Salinas on the left and played much higher up, generating an attacking score of 31 (second behind Wondo) on Squawka. Also, according to the average position data, MPG actually played higher up that Wondo, acting essentially as a second striker. Emeghara played more as an inside forward and MPG as a secondary striker ended up being enough support for Wondo.
Note: Stats are courtesy of Whoscored, Squawka, and MLS.