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Ship’s Log, April 1: Expecting Goals

The advanced analytics don’t have a happier story to tell.

Last Updated
4 min read
Jen Flores / Sounders FC Communications

You already know the Seattle Sounders offense is bad. You’ve watched games, highlights, stared at stats, read recaps, been on social media.

What’s hard to understand is how bad it’s been.

You know how in years past the xG was good but the actual G was poor? This year isn’t like that. The xG has been mostly bad, too, and then the best attackers are also underperforming those numbers.

Take Raúl Ruidíaz, the scoring leader. His xG so far – dramatically inflated by two kicks from the spot – is 2.56 per ASA. He only has two goals, underperforming a small amount.

Jordan Morris is at 1.37. He’s underperforming.

Josh Atencio is the next regular on the “leaderboard” (scare quotes seem appropriate). He’s second on the team in shots taken with 10. His xG is less than 1.0. He also hasn’t scored. He’s also a young defensive midfielder who missed a game due to suspension.

Cristian and Léo, the two players with the most minutes on the wing, are a woeful 7th and 8th among regulars in xG (they’d be 10th and 11th among all players). Chú’s xA numbers are bad, too.

Schmetzer & Co. have tried to change up the formation and the roles. In Saturday’s loss when they finally had the talent amplifier on the pitch for a full run the team looked decent – not good, but decent.

But they cannot run-in-place waiting for all three talent amplifiers to be healthy. That’s going to be about a month. In a month even the 9th playoff spot would be in doubt.

Creative answers have to come soon. Pushing Cristian back into the center was a way to open up an opportunity for a scoring threat, except that due to injury Seattle doesn’t have a real right-wing scoring threat.

They have roster space, presumably some cap room and an open transfer window. It’s time to mine a team that is going to be certainly relegated for a player who wants an 18-month option to make money later.

Is finding such a player hard? Yes.

Is it necessary? Yes. Because I expect goals.

– Dave Clark

Catching up on Sounder at Heart

Missed the weekend's Puget Sound soccer news? Here are our latest stories

Sounders | 0-3-2, -3 (last in the West)

Reign | 1-2-0, -1 (11th)

Defiance | 2-1-1, +1 (3rd in the West)

Midweek Washington pro soccer schedule

Wednesday - Spokane Velocity host LA Force in the U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m. PDT. You can watch on, and or at ONE Spokane Stadium.

Spokane are 2-2-0, -1 in league play. LA Force and NISA have yet to start their season after originally being scheduled to start their seasons last week.

Purchasing the new jersey or planning to get MLS Season Pass? Use our affiliate links to toss some coin to your bloggers.

Looking back at the weekend’s news

Everything else you need to know.

Former Sounder Ray Serrano is off to a hot 2 goal, 1 assist, 1 drawn penalty, 1 forced own goal season at left wing. Still just 21, the youngster has more than 5,000 pro minutes and looks to be every bit of the truth. Lou City faces Indy on big CBS this Saturday at 1 p.m PDT. Lou City are No. 1 in the league power rankings and at Backheeled.

Mexico City may be in danger of losing the Men’s World Cup.

Vermont Green get the US Soccer focus of this round of the Open Cup.

This list of ten women who changed women’s soccer starts with players who are photographed in black & white. It ends with Megan Rapinoe.

The median attendance for the NWSL on opening weekend in year one was under 3,000. This year it was over 12,000. How is the league growing so well? The Equalizer has answers. It’s stronger attendance, stronger TV numbers, and stronger sponsorship that explains the rise in NWSL team valuation.

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