Home > Confederations Cup 2009, Forwards, Tournament Statistics, World Cup > The McBride Era — A Look Back

The McBride Era — A Look Back

Ryan’s new post over at The Post, “Brian McBride and the Era of the Target Striker,”  got me curious:  how did the 2002 U.S. team led by Brian McBride up top compare with today’s US team which generally tries to run a similar offense?  In particular, I wanted to know what the statistics would look like if we compared the 2002 U.S. World Cup team and the 2009 Confederations Cup team.  So, I pulled out the FIFA match reports for all our matches in both tournaments, compiled our stats and those of our opponents and put them together.  The results were not quite what I expected:

THE DATA

Here are the U.S. stats from 2002:

  Shots SOG G FC CK Off Poss % Result
US – Port 10 5 3 20 4 4 43 W
US – KOR 6 5 1 18 0 3 42 D
US – Pol 17 8 1 11 8 2 63 L
US – Mex 10 6 2 18 3 1 33 W
US – Ger 11 6 0 23 6 4 58 L
                 
Sums 54 30 7 90 21 14    
Averages 10.8 6 1.4 18 4.2 2.8 47.8  
Min 6 5 0 11 0 1 33  
Max 17 8 3 23 8 4 63  

 

And here are the stats from our opponents:

  Shots SOG G FC CK Off Poss %
Portugal 12 3 2 20 7 2 57
Korea R. 19 10 1 17 7 3 58
Poland 8 7 3 22 3 4 37
Mexico 12 6 0 17 9 5 67
Germany 6 2 1 14 6 2 42
               
Sums 57 28 7 90 32 16  
Averages 11.4 5.6 1.4 18 6.4 3.2 52.2
Min 6 2 0 14 3 2 37
Max 19 10 3 22 9 5 67

 

And now the 2009 Confederations Cup, the U.S. stats:

  Shots SOG G FC CK Off Poss % Result
US – Italy 10 5 1 19 1 1 42 L
US – Braz 9 2 0 14 3 1 41 L
US – Egy 16 10 3 12 1 0 47 W
US – Spa 9 2 2 9 3 4 44 W
US – Braz 9 4 2 17 5 1 41 L
                 
Sums 53 23 8 71 13 7    
Averages 10.6 4.6 1.6 14.2 2.6 1.4 43.0  
Min 9 2 0 9 1 0 41  
Max 16 10 3 19 5 4 47  

 

And the 2009 Confederations Cup opponent stats:

  Shots SOG G FC CK Off Poss %
Italy 22 12 3 14 9 3 58
Brazil 23 11 3 11 6 1 59
Egypt 13 5 0 9 8 5 53
Spain 29 8 0 13 17 7 56
Brazil 31 13 3 11 10 6 59
               
Sums 118 49 9 58 50 22  
Averages 23.6 9.8 1.8 11.6 10.0 4.4 57.0
Min 13 5 0 9 6 1 53
Max 31 13 3 14 17 7 59

 

ANALYSIS

A couple things immediately struck me about the numbers:

First, the U.S. took about the same number of shots (54 in 2009 and 53 in 2002) and scored almost the same number of goals (8 in 2009; 7 in 2002), but put significantly fewer shots on goal (23 [43%]in ’09; 30 [56%] in ’02).

Second, the U.S. conceded more than twice as many shots in 2009 as they did in 2002:  118 compared to 57.  That works out to permitting an average of 12.2 more shots per match by opponents.  And while Shots on Goal is a little better, the U.S. still permitted an average of 4.2 more Shots on Goal than it did in 2002.  With an extra 21 SOG conceded, it is somewhat surprising that the team conceded only 2 more goals in 2009 than in 2002 (9; 7).  And when you look at the individual matches, the 2002 squad permitted only one team (Korea, 19) to take more than 12 shots.  The 2009 U.S. team conceded 13 to Egypt and at least 22 to every other opponent.

Third, while both the 2002 and 2009 squads ended with a time of possession average less than 50% (2009: 43%; 2002: 47.8%), the minimum and maximum numbers vary wildly.  In 2009, U.S. possession ranged from 41% – 47%.  In 2002, U.S. possession ranged from 33% – 63%.  Check out the breakdown by results:

2002 Possession:

  • In Wins:  33% and 43%
  • In Draw:  42%
  • In Losses: 58% and 63%

2009 Possession:

  • In Wins: 44% and 47%
  • In Losses:  41%; 41% and 42%

From these statistics, it appears that the 2002 squad was much better at holding possession and building up attacks in losses than the 2009 squad was.  There are two possible explanations:

  1. Both the 2002 and 2009 teams utilized long passes to target strikers, but the 2002 squad converted more of those passes into sustained possession, or
  2. The 2002 team built up attacks when it was behind, whereas the 2009 team resorted to long passes to target strikers.

We don’t have access to the video of the 2002 matches to know which is true.  If you do, please let us know.

Fourth, we have consistently taken fewer corner kicks and been called offsides less often than our opponents.  But in 2002, the differences between us and our opponents were much smaller:  a -11 CK differential and a -2 differential on Offsides.  In 2009, we had a -37 CK differential and a -15 Offsides differential.

Finally, even though the 2009 U.S. team was one of the dirtiest teams ever, their matches involved significantly fewer fouls than in 2002.  And in 2002, our opponents committed the same number of fouls that we did.  But in 2009, we outfouled our opponents by 13 fouls (2.6 per match).

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  1. June 27, 2010 at 3:03 am

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