Defense improving, Offense must follow

Neagle, Dempsey should be joined by Johnson and Martins to produce fancy numbers in the final 12 games. - Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

At two-thirds through the season Seattle's defense has improved since the early issues, but the offense is still lagging. Clint Dempsey and health should help the push in the final third of the season.

Aolsh over at TempoFreeSoccer did a favor for Sounder at Heart and broke out his famed TempoFree charts for the last 11 matches of all teams and their first chunk (making the total all matches played to this point in both charts). There is some interesting data in the charts. Seattle Sounders FC's last 11 matches played show that they are a good team with a weakness in offense.

Last_11_ssfc_medium

click to embiggen

Sounders FC is clearly riding the defense. With a backline and midfield that limits shots it is easier for the keeper to do their duty. Even with backup keepers for so long Seattle is a slightly better than average team. But there are holes in the attack. It is purely mediocre. But the evidence exhibited in the last two matches shows that the addition of Clint Dempsey should help. Getting off more shots is an easy path to netting more goals. For example, while Dempsey did not score yet, he was involved in 7 of 20 attempts on goal against Houston. That's a path to success.

What is made most clear is that in the early season Seattle had much better results than expected.

First_11_medium

Then Seattle had a below average defense and an even worse offense. Now, with a trendline heading up the club can look at exactly what it needs to do to continue a positive curve. Take more shots, put them on goal and finish.

The stout defense is good enough. The multi-headed attack should perform. Paperwork is merely evidence of this though. On Sunday night, powered by 68,000 or so a monster with fleet feet, big foreheads and a little craftiness should be able to continue scoring at a near league leading rate at home even though the opponent is a good defensive squad.

Moving up to an average attacking team on the season would mean a surge in the stretch run that is full of boom-boom, flips and choreographed celebrations.

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