5/30 Regular Season Toronto FC vs. SJ Earthquakes Statistical Review

There are two new features to mention: cumulative shots graphs and cumulative possession graphs.

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Cumulative possession graphs seem to be the best way to show momentum with publicly available data. Inspired by Ravi Ramineni’s graph for Manchester City vs. Bolton

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Looking at the cumulative shots graph, inspired by We Are Premier League, we can see where the teams attempted high volumes of shots.

Looking at the shot graphs, both teams were active between the 15th and 35th minute. Looking at the passing data reveals why. Although the chalkboard does not look too lopsided, Shea Salinas and Jordan Stewart attempted the 1st and 2nd most passes on the team (12 for Salinas, 10 for Stewart, who was tied with JJ Koval). This ties in nicely with the previous article about the impact of Shea Salinas. Also interestingly, Adam Jahn did not attempt a pass over the interval.

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San Jose’s passing, between min 15 and min 35

Consequently, Toronto attacked down the right side. Justin Morrow and Warren Creavalle on the right flank attempted the most passes for Toronto, with 12 for Morrow and 10 for Creavalle. Additionally, Toronto’s center backs were especially effective at spreading play over this interval.

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Perquis and Zavaleta’s passing between min 15 and min 35

Additionally, the Quakes had another good period of shot volume in the beginning of the second half. This is because of the Quakes pressing more higher up the field. Here is a comparison of the Quakes defensive actions for the first 15 minutes compared to the last 30.

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San Jose defensive actions, first 15 mins 2nd half

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San Jose defensive actions, last 30 mins 2nd half

This lead to the Quakes having few passes in their own defensive half, as evidenced by the chalkboard. The best stretch of possession between the 55th and 60th minute had Toronto complete a meager 1 pass.

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San Jose passes, first 15 mins 2nd half

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San Jose passes, last 30 mins 2nd half

Towards the end, San Jose possessed the ball well but Toronto attempted a high volume of shots. Why? As a look at the passing graphs would suggest, Toronto were able to effectively counter through the long passing of Michael Bradley and speed of Sebastian Giovinco. Bradley previously had a usage rate of 11.03% up until the 70th minute. From then on, his usage rate went up to 20.33%. Of course, this is expected and it is surprising that he was so dominant for only 20 minutes given the absences of midfield destroyer Fatai Alashe and Creative Midfield Maestro Matias Perez Garcia.

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Toronto’s passing for the last 20 minutes

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Bradley’s first 70 mins

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Bradley’s last 20 mins

In sum, San Jose was at its best when attacking down the left and winning balls higher up the field. Toronto was at its best when they attacked down the right side and Michael Bradley was involved.

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