Long time followers of this site know that I’m a sucker for statistics. Now that the USL has partnered with Opta, I have actual numbers and charts I can look at to dissect the game, rather than just rely on my eyes, which get blurrier as the game goes on. Opta/USL unfortunately won’t let me copypasta their data into this page. Let’s have a look at the numbers against last week’s opponent, St. Louis:
First, let’s settle the debate about Elsie’s formation: it’s the standard 4-2-3-1. Speedy Williams played most of the game around the center circle, breaking up play, while fellow D-Mid Paolo DelPiccolo was just in front of him attempting to pull the strings. City’s attacking four spent most of their time in St. Louis’s half, which is obviously good. Cameron Lancaster played again as a solo striker, but sat a little to close to his attacking midfielders for my taste. Louisville City attempted 380 passes on Saturday, but only completed 68% of them. That will need some work. City also had 21 shots on the day, eight of which were blocked, and six on target. That’s not bad, and it’s a shame none turned into goals.
Back to the central mids for a second. Speedy had a very good game and completed over 75% of his passes, most of which were in front of him. Williams also won four of his seven duels, and beat out his defender on 3 of 4 aerial balls. Paolo, playing more as a distributor/circulator/deep-lying playmaker, didn’t do quite so well, only completing 60% of his passes, and only 36% in St. Louis’s half. He was also just 2 for 16 on crosses. Those things need to improve. That said, PdP was responsible for two chances on the day, and if he’s going to be the more offensive central mid, that’s good. Neither player did a lot defensively, but that’s probably because St. Louis didn’t have much of the ball.
A lot of you might have been surprised to see Cameron Lancaster starting at lone striker. I know I was. However, his passing statistics on the day were the best on the team, 80%. Cam was 8 of 18 on duels, which isn’t great, but he did have six shots, four of which were blocked, and was 50% on aerials. Luke Spencer subbed on for Lancaster in the 84th minute and was a pretty busy dude during that time. He was 5/6 passing, all of those passes being in the attacking half, 4 of 7 on duels, and won both of his aerials. While Luke didn’t have any shots, he did create 2 chances in his 16 minutes. More of that, please.
Finally, let’s talk about two of the new guys, Oscar Jimenez and Richard Ballard. Ballard won Man of the Match for his high-energy performance, and the numbers back that up. He’s not much of a passer with just eleven attempts, and he only completed seven of those. However, he won 8 of his 12 duels, and absolutely wore out St. Louis’s starting right back, Ryan Howe to the point he was subbed out with more than a half hour left in the match. Richie also created two chances on the day.
Oscar Jimenez led the team in chances created on Saturday with three. I’m as pleasantly surprised as you are! He’s apparently James O’Connor’s go-to guy on corner kicks on the left side, and he delivered twice, requiring saves from Devala Gorrick. Oscar was so-so on duels, and his passing could improve, but otherwise the numbers look very favorably upon him.
Tarek Morad had a very solid game as usual, and Brian Ownby was sneaky-effective as well, winning more duels than any other player on the day. Again, this was a positive performance from Louisville City. If the team can clean up its passing, I feel good about that sort of thing leading to goals.