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Sounders FC attack lacking, please come back

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Sounders FC's offense is sputtering. A mere three goals since the World Cup break ended is not just low for Seattle, it's downright awful for any MLS team. There are a lot of reasons why the goals aren't coming, some of them make sense.

Service says!
Service says!
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The defense seems to be getting the focus of the issues lately. Lacking Chad Marshall and Djimi Traore makes the goals against fairly simple to explain, but for the past two matches the best two Seattle Sounders FC forwards started and the goals didn't come. There are a few reasons why the attack is having issues.

Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place! - Marvel Comics


Sigi's attack comes from the wingers, forwards and the right back. But lately the Ideal Five in those positions have not been consistent. The former hydra looks to be replacement level rather than a mighty beast. Three different players started at right back, two at right mid and there have been four different forwards. Only Marco Pappa started all five of the matches without offense.

There are essentially two ways to judge the sustainability of an attack - chances created and shots taken. Chances created (key passes + assists) tend toward stability. Unlike goals and shots on target, shots are also relatively stable and a decent indicator of future goals.

Shot data from WhoScored.com for Sounders FC for starters during the streak indicate that Seattle's attack is taking the shots at a generally expected rate (excluding Martins).

SHOTS at DC at YVR v PDX v LA at SJQ POST BREAK ON SEASON Over/Under
Dempsey 5 4 7 5.3 4.9 Over
Pappa 1 4 5 1 2 2.6 2.1 Over
Martins * 2 0 1.0 2.1 Under
Neagle 0 1 4 0 1.3 1.9 Under
Cooper 1 3 2.0 1.4 Over
Barrett 3 1 1 1.7 1.2 Over
Anibaba 0 LB CB CB 0.0 0.4 Under
Evans 0 CM 2 1.0 0.3 Over
Yedlin 0 0 2 0.7 0.3 Over

Oba's lack of shooting post injury is a bit of an issue, but there is depth that could be succeeding and is not.

The bigger issue is that the one time leader in assists is not as creative as he was to start the season. To add onto that concern is that Clint Dempsey isn't the creator he was. Prior to the World Cup break Obadempsey Clintins was two MVP candidates. Now they've faded behind others on hot streaks. Bradley Wright-Philips could break the scoring record and Dom Dwyer isn't too far behind that pace on a team challenging for the Supporters' Shield.

A similar table as the one above but for Chances Created shows just how lacking the service is. It starts up top were the drift compatible forwards look weakened. Their replacements during the injury and World Cup fared even worse.

CHANCES CREATED at DC at YVR v PDX v LA at SJQ POST BREAK ON SEASON Over/Under
Martins * 1 1 1.0 2.0 Under
Dempsey 0 3 2 1.7 2.0 Under
Pappa 2 1 3 1 1 1.6 1.4 Over
Neagle 1 0 5 0 1.5 1.2 Over
Yedlin 2 0 1 1.0 1.1 Under
Evans 0 CM 1 0.5 1.0 Under
Cooper 0 0 0.0 0.7 Under
Anibaba 1 LB CB CB 1.0 0.6 Over
Barrett 0 1 0 0.3 0.6 Under

Now, it isn't likely that two good players that had a great half season are more like their last three games than their first 10+. They are probably still good players going through a slump due to injury, fatigue and the fact that all but the best players go through poor streaks.

Is it really hard to imagine that Demtins gets his mojo back? Probably not. It could even happen soon.