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Analytical notebook from victory over Tigres

Not much can be taken from a match played up a man for so long, but there are a couple of lessons for future matches.

Jane G Photography

Diving deep into the numbers behind such a unique match would be unlikely to be productive. Instead this is a "notebook" post with a couple of intriguing things from Seattle Sounders 3-1 victory in leg two.

  • Osvaldo Alonso is learning new things. We already knew he was quite important, mainly due to his absence, but this year he is doing even more. He gets forward more and is even an option to take corner kicks. Somehow he is covering more ground than ever.
  • Steve Zakuani was the most effective Seattle player at creating chances. And if not for fouls he would have created more. It was also a very Zakuani performance. Times of weak defense, times where he would fade from sight and then two blocks of minutes where he would burst forward and change the game.
  • Perspective matters. There is an angle of the moment when Yedlin was knocked down that makes it look quite a bit like a foul. No referee will ever have that angle. Their eyeballs do not see through players. This is also true for players trying to pass the ball or keepers trying to save it. A ref can not call what they don't see. A player can not pass to a player they don't see. A keeper can not save a shot they don't see. This is reality.
  • Shots from distance are more likely to be blocked. This seems obvious, but it is also part of the reason why the Sounders have so many of their shots blocked. While goals from distance through crowds are amazing, they are also rare. It worked that time. It is not likely to work again. Will you remember the five shots blocked from outside the 18?

Again, little deep analysis of a match under the unique circumstances of away goals and being a man up will apply during the regular season, but there are a few lessons that will apply in the rest of the 2013 season.

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