by Taylor Sorrels (@taylorsorrels)
Y’all may not know it, but we’re already past the quarter-season mark in USL. It’s true! Thus, the sample size for data collected thus far in the USL is finally starting to reach a point where the statistics are becoming meaningful. That, plus this chart posted in Reddit today (subscribe to /r/LouisvilleCityFC!) inspired me to take a look at the USL stats page and jot down these notes:
- Lauren Conrad is 7th in the league in shots (105), but thanks to unbalanced and kinda random USL scheduling, they’re actually 3rd in average shots per game with 13.12. I have a feeling the 24 shots the Purples took on Saturday against TFC II push that statistic upward a bit, as it’s actually the most shots taken in a game in the league so far this season. Tulsa Roughnecks lead the league with 13.50 shots per game.
- Louisville City is tied for 5th in goals scored (14) and goals per game (1.75), and are tied for best in the league with Rochester for goals allowed (4), while sitting second for goals allowed per game (0.50). We’re also second in the league behind Rochester for shutouts, with four in eight games played.
- We all know Rochester’s defense is stingy. They’re also pretty foul-y: 123 fouls in 9 games for a 13.67 foul-per-game average. Louisville City is way down the list in that category at 19th with 72 fouls, 9 per game on average. City is tied for 22nd in yellow cards, too, having just earned seven so far.
- If there was some kind of award for “most corners in a season,” Louisville City would be the prohibitive favorite to win it. City have won 63 corners so far, and average 7.88 per game. The next closest teams have 47. City has to find a way to score on corners, not having done so yet this season. Good news is LC’s only given up 18.
- City players are almost never offisde! That’s nice.
- Expected Goals: NULL SET*
- Total Shots Ratio: USL doesn’t keep this stat, but it’s so easy they should. Quickly, TSR is a rudimentary figure that shows how teams dominate a match. It stands to reason that the team that takes more shots scores more goals on average.We care about TSR for teams because it has a reasonably strong correlation to points and goal difference. – See more at: http://statsbomb.com/stat-definitions/#sthash.tvBY30w4.dpuf.
|Team||Shots For||Shots Against||TSR|
|Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC||108||74||0.593|
|Louisville City FC||105||78||0.574|
|Sacramento Republic FC||115||90||0.561|
|LA Galaxy II||109||89||0.551|
|Seattle Sounders FC 2||109||93||0.540|
|Real Monarchs SLC||92||82||0.529|
|OKC Energy FC||84||77||0.522|
|St. Louis FC||73||78||0.483|
|Tulsa Roughnecks FC||108||116||0.482|
|New York Red Bulls 2||101||112||0.474|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||61||72||0.459|
|Wilmington Hammerheads FC||72||90||0.444|
|Arizona United SC||77||99||0.438|
|Portland Timbers FC 2||68||88||0.436|
|Toronto FC II||77||123||0.385|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2||78||129||0.377|
- Rochester leads the league in this stat with a TSR of .710, which is obscene. Ob. Scene. That’ll happen when you surrender just 45 shots, or just about five per game. Ridiculous. Louisville City’s TSR of .574 is really good, and they’re fifth on the list. Other things this tells us: Toronto II is worse than I thought, St. Louis is perfectly average, and the West might be appreciably better than the East.
- Fondy’s our top shot-taker with 22 so far. Dane Kelly with Charleston Battery leads the conference with 25. Pittsburgh’s Rob Vincent and Kevin Kerr are the East’s top goal scorers, with six and four respectively. That pair also have 4 assists each (Bryan Burke has 3, not bad). Thinking we might have dodged more than one bullet at Highmark Stadium earlier this season.
- Kadeem might be creeping up there on Matt Fondy and His Hair, as he took eight shots in the Toronto game.
- The most amazing statistics individually among Louisville City players rightfully belong to Scott Goodwin. Goodwin, who is made of bricks and mortar plus eyes, hands and feet, is second in the league in goals scored against with four and a .50 per game average. The category leader, Rochester’s Brandon Miller, has played 135 fewer minutes than Scott “Force Field” Goodwin. Scott “Might Actually Be Thibault Courtois in Disguise” Goodwin leads the league in save percentage (0.84) and is tied for the league in shutouts (4). What’s really refreshing is that he’s not had to make a ton of saves per game, 2.62, and doesn’t even crack the top 10 in that stat, meaning the defense isn’t making him do all the work. City’s given up 78 shots on the season, only 28 of which were on target, and Scotty “Manchester United’s Next Goalkeeper” Goodwin’s saved all but 7 of those, with just 4 being converted into scores. No idea what happened to the other 3. They didn’t go in, so who cares.
*About Expected Goals: I seriously want to start tracking this stuff, but to be honest, it’s super painstaking. That and now somebody at Deadspin says it’s kind of a junk stat, anyway. You’d need to go back and watch each shot taken in a game, record where it was taken from, who took it, where the goalkeeper was, and what the result was. Play-by-play charts help to know when the shot was taken, but I started on the Toronto game and gave up very shortly afterwards when I realized there were 31 shots taken in that game.
MLS actually keeps this stat themselves, which is great, but USL just uses the hard data and doesn’t go past simple division to put their stuff together. Maybe someday they’ll have an Opta guy start doing all this stuff, otherwise it’s on schlubs like me. I’ll probably try again in the offseason or something, but it’s a huge undertaking.