Home > Uncategorized > An Interesting Stat – Second Half Scoring

An Interesting Stat – Second Half Scoring

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Big Lead’s scathing criticisms of U.S. Soccer included a striking set of numbers:

Against big-time opposition (Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy), the USMNT was 1-5.  They outscored those teams 5-3 in the first half.  They were outscored 13-1 in the second, when teams adjusted tactically.

I would add a little more to this observation:  while the U.S. has never fielded the most tactically sound teams, the sheer grit, determination and fitness of MNT players has often allowed us to outlast opponents.  So, it is unlikely that the current crop are physically unable to endure the full 90.

If your players can play even with four of the top teams in the world and have historically been capable of enduring for 90 minutes as well as, if not better, than their opponents then why are you losing 13-1 in the second half?  I’ll agree with The Big Lead here — strategy is the logical answer.

Bradley’s Bucket is not designed to score goals.  It’s designed to prevent them.  And yet it has conceded 13 goals?  So, we’re relying on a strategy that doesn’t prevent goals and doesn’t score goals.  Frankly, you couldn’t pick a more apathetic approach to a match.

On the subject of apathy, Altidore’s disallowed goal against El Salvador has never been adequately explained.  The Honduran referee disallowed a goal that wasn’t offsides and didn’t otherwise appear to be problematic (though he did seem to call fouls on whomever won a ball in a challenge, even if it was a challenge against thin air).  And the U.S. now trails Honduras on Goal Differential.  Shouldn’t the U.S. Soccer Federation demand an actual decision on the goal be enunciated by the official?  That goal was important and had El Salvador scored a second goal, I’d hate to think about our chances of qualifying for the World Cup.

And while on the subject of the El Salvador match, watching a confident El Salvador march into our country and start a match like they expected a victory (especially in front of a pro-U.S. crowd) was unfortunate.  But when you throw away your unbeaten streak at home (as the U.S. did in the Gold Cup final), you lose the aura of invincibility.  And intangible things like that make a difference in close matches.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 23, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Tony Brown

    • Michael
      December 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm

      Tony, sorry it took so long to get the comment approved. It got filtered as spam and I just came across it. Hope you’ll return in the Spring when the blog gets going in earnest again.

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