The Seattle Sounders have taken fewer shots than their opponent in 8 of 10 games, including Saturday's 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Nevertheless, the quality of shooting - as indicated by expected goals models - regularly favors Seattle:
xG map for Vancouver-Seattle. Seattle with just a third of the match's shots but all three of its best chances. pic.twitter.com/q7WfgsHOQ2— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) May 17, 2015
It is very difficult to prevent an opponent from taking bad shots, and still harder to do so when playing conservatively. Expected goals metrics that summarize a full game can conceal changes in game state. The Sounders rank second (as of 5/11) in expected goal-differential when the game is even. The figure at the head of this article demonstrates that the shooting disparity in favor of Seattle's opponents is mainly an artifact of playing with a lead.
Step 1: Score a high-quality chance.
Step 2: Let your opponent waste possession in the offensive third by taking shots 30 yards from goal.
Step 3: profit.