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Seattle Sounder Lose to Houston Dynamo: Chart and Chalkboards

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Seattle Sounders at Houston Dynamo Chart
Seattle Sounders at Houston Dynamo Chart

The win expectancy chart doesn't look pretty. A two goal rally is rare and difficult, more so on the road. Particularly when the weather and the referee shift it to a slow, physical game. That isn't the only chart like device that makes things worrisome. Look at how few times Seattle was inside the 18 with trackable actions (passes, shots, possession) by key offensive players.

 Chalkboard_offense_18_medium

One of those is a penalty kick, another a backwards pass. And for all the criticism levied for the substitution pattern Saturday evening, they were the ones that created more opportunities per minute than those they replaced. Yes, one of Nate Jaqua's was missed pass (that's why he's red), they were still more active. Pat Noonan and Roger Levesque both had shots blocked - a re-ocurring problem for the Sounders.

Generally it is unconcerning if forwards don't get in the box. There may be a strategy of having them drop back with attacking mids getting forward. In fact looking at Fredy Montero's chalkboard it is clear that he was in an even more withdrawn role, but very active in it.

There is a problem though when the none of the attacking players (Forwards, wide mids and the box-to-box in this system) get in there in a trackable manner. It is a problem of service, and a problem of angles. Seattle's offense is again locked into the pattern it was when Montero had his cast on his wrist. There is a lot of strong passing in the central third, leading to good possession and passing numbers. But the action in the most dangerous part of the pitch is lacking and often attempted backwards. Close in threats were too rare Saturday night, and the starters were the problem.