Inside The Numbers: Sounders vs. MLS vs. Europe

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Stylistically, how does Seattle stack up with the rest of MLS? What about the major European leagues?

In the first post on this subject we looked at how MLS looked - from a statistical perspective - compared to the major European leagues (La Liga, Ligue 1, EPL, Bundesliga, Seria A). Of course, that analysis is not necessarily useful as it was taking league averages from approximately 20 teams per each league of varying quality. Also, it is very debatable how informative statistics like shots per game and even passes per game really are. That said, if taken with a grain of salt, there is certainly knowledge to be gleaned.

This post will look at how MLS teams compare to one another. Additionally, the rank next to each metric reflects that MLS team's rank compared to all 117 teams that comprise the five European leagues (in addition to MLS). Note: these statistics do not take into account the games played over the weekend of June 15/16. Also, long ball %, short pass %, and cross % are represented as % of total passes. The % may not total to 100% exactly because I excluded "through balls" from this analysis as they were insignificant.

Team Shots pg r Shots OT pg r Shots conceded pg r Possession% r
CD Chivas USA 10.2 109 3.5 104 15.9 111 47.5 78
Chicago Fire 12.6 62 4.1 69 12.6 50 44.5 105
Colorado Rapids 12.6 60 3.7 93 12 37 49.2 60
Columbus Crew 13.7 35 4.8 35 11.8 31 48.9 63
DC United 9.8 114 2.8 117 14.4 93 50.8 46
FC Dallas 11.9 79 4.9 28 12.4 46 47.1 82
Houston Dynamo 12.6 61 4.1 67 12.9 58 49.6 55
L.A. Galaxy 13.8 33 4.9 32 9.8 8 52.5 37
Montreal Impact 12.1 73 5.1 25 15.7 106 48.4 70
New England Rev. 9.9 113 3.5 105 12.7 52 45.5 98
New York Red Bulls 12.6 59 4.1 70 12.4 45 51.4 44
Philadelphia Union 12.9 52 4 79 12.8 56 48.4 69
Portland Timbers 14.4 26 5.2 21 11.8 29 57.1 11
Real Salt Lake 14.7 19 5.9 12 12.3 44 57.3 9
San Jose Earthquakes 13.5 40 4.2 64 11.3 24 48.9 64
Seattle Sounders FC 11.2 89 3.8 88 13.8 78 51 45
Sporting Kansas City 14.6 22 4.4 51 8.5 2 56.1 16
Toronto FC 9.8 115 3.2 110 12.5 49 47 84
Vancouver Whitecaps 13.7 34 4.8 37 13.3 67 47.1 81

Team Open Play Goals % r Pass Success% r Cross % r Long Balls % r Short Passes % r
CD Chivas USA 76.9% 13 71.6 112 5.1% 37 16.4% 25 78.0% 96
Chicago Fire 66.7% 56 73.1 106 5.4% 27 13.9% 71 80.2% 55
Colorado Rapids 53.3% 104 75.0 91 4.4% 81 16.5% 20 78.8% 89
Columbus Crew 53.8% 99 74.0 100 3.9% 105 16.6% 17 78.5% 92
DC United 50.0% 110 75.9 84 4.8% 57 16.4% 26 78.3% 94
FC Dallas 47.8% 112 74.7 95 5.1% 39 16.8% 14 77.3% 103
Houston Dynamo 70.6% 39 74.3 97 5.0% 44 14.9% 50 79.9% 64
L.A. Galaxy 61.9% 79 77.0 77 5.4% 28 14.9% 48 79.0% 84
Montreal Impact 72.7% 32 78.1 61 3.1% 116 14.4% 62 81.3% 36
New England Rev. 80.0% 7 73.7 102 3.3% 112 15.6% 38 80.5% 48
New York Red Bulls 65.2% 63 78.6 50 4.5% 79 12.5% 94 82.4% 23
Philadelphia Union 52.6% 105 75.8 88 5.0% 41 14.5% 58 79.7% 68
Portland Timbers 68.2% 50 80.0 33 4.6% 70 12.0% 101 82.8% 18
Real Salt Lake 78.9% 8 79.8 35 3.3% 113 12.3% 97 84.0% 10
San Jose Earthquakes 69.2% 46 72.3 111 6.7% 3 17.1% 10 75.9% 112
Seattle Sounders FC 77.8% 12 77.6 71 4.3% 88 13.6% 77 81.3% 35
Sporting Kansas City 50.0% 109 77.7 67 4.7% 64 15.9% 33 79.3% 76
Toronto FC 66.7% 55 72.4 109 4.9% 48 17.6% 5 77.3% 104
Vancouver Whitecaps 81.3% 4 78.2 58 4.8% 54 15.7% 35 79.0% 83

Team Aerials Won pg r Dribbles pg r Fouled pg r Offsides pg r Tackles pg r Interceptions pg r Fouls pg r
CD Chivas USA 14.8 83 7.2 62 11.7 86 1.9 103 18 107 22.9 16 15 40
Chicago Fire 16.4 51 8 51 11.1 97 2.7 49 20.3 64 24.8 11 11.3 102
Colorado Rapids 20.6 7 6.4 78 11.7 88 2.6 54 19.6 76 20.3 27 13.1 72
Columbus Crew 19.5 15 5.2 104 12.8 67 2.1 93 20.5 61 28.3 5 12.8 79
DC United 14.6 86 6.1 86 11.5 92 3 24 20.1 67 26.2 7 10.3 114
FC Dallas 16.9 42 7.1 64 13.4 50 2.6 52 17.9 110 25.3 10 11.5 97
Houston Dynamo 18.9 20 5.2 107 10.3 109 1.9 106 19.7 73 23.1 14 11.5 98
L.A. Galaxy 13.4 102 5.8 91 12.5 70 1.5 117 18.8 97 22.4 17 11.8 94
Montreal Impact 12.8 109 8.1 45 12.3 75 4.1 2 18.8 95 27.1 6 10.5 111
New England Rev. 14.0 94 8.2 42 11.8 85 2 99 19.1 90 29.6 2 13.2 71
New York Red Bulls 16.1 56 7.1 66 9.2 116 3.4 13 19.9 72 24.3 12 12.9 76
Philadelphia Union 12.1 114 7.7 57 11.0 99 1.9 104 20.3 63 25.4 9 13.8 58
Portland Timbers 19.8 10 7.6 58 12.0 81 3.4 11 20.3 65 23 15 12.4 83
Real Salt Lake 13.2 105 5.7 95 10.6 105 1.8 112 19.7 74 23.9 13 11.3 103
San Jose Earthquakes 24.1 3 6 87 11.6 91 2.5 64 21.5 46 25.5 8 11.9 91
Seattle Sounders FC 19.8 11 8.5 37 12.1 77 3.3 17 22.6 32 32 1 12.6 82
Sporting Kansas City 22.8 4 6.5 76 12.6 69 1.7 114 20.8 57 29.4 3 14.9 42
Toronto FC 18.7 22 7 68 12.2 76 2 98 21.7 42 19.2 38 13.8 59
Vancouver Whitecaps 15.2 75 8.4 39 11.1 96 1.8 111 16.8 115 28.5 4 11.8 93

I even found a European doppelganger for Seattle, based on a similarity score algorithm I ran: Torino.

Team Possession% Shots pg Shots OT pg Dribbles pg Tackles pg Cross % Long Ball % Short Pass %
Seattle Sounders FC 50.3 10.8 3.7 8.3 23.4 4% 14% 82%
Torino 49.6 11.3 3.8 8.1 23.7 4% 14% 82%

Bonus: Updated Sounders Passing Chart (with pass distance)

POS PLAYER Minutes Succ. Passes / 90 Min Total Passes Pass % Avg Pass Distance (Meters) Total Long Balls Long Ball % Succ. Pass Usage Rate / 90 minutes
M Alonso 682 55 475 88% 20 70 79% 14.1%
M Joseph 310 53 220 83% 19 21 71% 14.4%
M Rose 532 34 255 79% 18 19 47% 9.7%
M Martinez 470 32 215 79% 20 24 58% 9.3%
M Carrasco 701 32 318 78% 21 50 58% 9.2%
D Gonzalez 1062 32 516 72% 21 65 32% 9.8%
M Evans 660 32 298 78% 18 23 43% 9.1%
D Scott 462 31 209 76% 23 41 71% 9.1%
D Burch 223 29 111 65% 28 28 25% 10.1%
F Zakuani 468 28 174 84% 15 11 73% 7.5%
D Yedlin 1169 27 458 78% 19 40 35% 7.9%
D Hurtado 900 27 311 86% 20 33 55% 7.0%
F Estrada 254 26 91 80% 12 1 100% 7.2%
F Johnson 690 25 247 77% 14 8 75% 7.2%
M Caskey 341 25 122 77% 17 13 54% 7.2%
D Traore 1170 24 394 79% 23 63 44% 6.8%
M Rosales 871 22 282 75% 18 17 35% 6.5%
F Martins 546 22 168 79% 14 10 90% 6.2%
F Ochoa 175 22 53 79% 14 3 67% 6.1%
F Neagle 743 16 198 68% 15 10 30% 5.4%
GK Gspurning 1170 10 225 58% 41 145 39% 3.9%
Totals 345 5340 78% 20 695 50%
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