Friday, August 19, 2005

Offense & Defense: How do MLS teams compare with last year?

I thought it would be interesting to look at the number of points per game for each MLS team, and also look at the goals scored and allowed of each MLS team. We can see who's doing better and worse, and why. I will be sure to update this at the end of the season.

Of course, every returning team should be up a little due to expansion. The average non-expansion team has .176 more points per game this season, and .187 more goals scored per game. Defense is virtually the same. There is an average overall of 0.22 more goals per game. 2005 numbers listed first.


Pts-1.63 vs 1.10
GF-1.71 vs 1.20
GA-1.58 vs 1.47

Defense has actually gotten worse, despite their additions. The improved offense is the reason for the turnaround. Ralph and Razov are gone, but they haven't been missed. I have to believe the midfield has been the difference.

Chivas USA


Heading for the record books. PPG would be the second worst ever (adjusted), and GF and GA worst and fifth worst. Simply awful.


Pts-1.22 vs 1.37
GF-1.26 vs 0.97
GA-1.22 vs 1.07

Pretty much the same story here. Still with a virtually even goal differential. The offense couldn't get much worse, while the defense couldn't really do better. I should note that they are the only team never to have a positive goal differential for any season.


Pts-1.00 vs 1.63
GF-0.90 vs 1.33
GA-1.52 vs 1.07

Much worse in both areas, almost exactly the same decline. Worst decline league wide in both offense and defense. Ouch. Like Chivas, competing to be the worst offensive team ever. Colorado last year at 0.97 is the record.

DC United

Pts-1.73 vs 1.40
GF-1.64 vs 1.43
GA-1.04 vs 1.40

Pretty much an average team for most of last year, they have continued the momentum from the playoffs. Amazing that the defense is so much better without Nelsen, and the offense without Eskandarian. Nowak has the golden touch.

FC Dallas

Pts-1.67 vs 1.20
GF-1.76 vs 1.13
GA-1.38 vs 1.50

Ruiz and company have improved the offense significantly, even taking into account the expansion. They were due after two straight postseasons at home.

Kansas City

Pts-1.65 vs 1.63
GF-1.74 vs 1.27
GA-1.35 vs 1.00

Still winning games, but with offense this year instead of defense. Already involved in seven games where both teams scored two or more goals, which only happened three times last year.

Los Angeles

Pts-1.39 vs 1.43
GF-1.17 vs 1.40
GA-1.17 vs 1.33

Simply a much more defensive team with Sampson in charge, even last year (his 8 games in charge averaged 2 goals per game, Schmid 3). Results have not been better.


Pts-1.39 vs 1.33
GF-1.52 vs 1.57
GA-1.39 vs 1.63

Same results, but defense has improved. That's hard to believe with the guys they have back there.

New England

Pts-1.82 vs 1.10
GF-1.74 vs 1.40
GA-1.09 vs 1.43

They have been awesome, improving in both categories as much as Columbus has declined. I think they just have a group of talented guys who are getting better, and also have avoided injuries for the most part. Last year was the abberation.

Real Salt Lake


Just as bad as Chivas, and also a pretty bad offensive team. Unlike Chivas, they at least play decent at home.

San Jose

Pts-1.73 vs 1.27
GF-1.50 vs 1.37
GA-1.14 vs 1.17

Better without Donovan. The difference this year is that they've been winning the close ones. Last year they were 2-9 in one goal games, while this year they are 8-3. I wonder if like in baseball, luck is the biggest factor? Baseball Prospectus has shown that one run games are mostly the result of luck. Basically, you should win about the same percentage of one run games as the rest of your games. Last year, the Quakes were 7-1 in games decided more than one goal, and again only 2-9 when one goal settled it. So maybe it shouldn't be surprising they are doing so well. Interesting...I must do more research when I have time!


Offense-Biggest Improvement:

1. DAL-0.63
2. CHI-0.51
3. KC-0.47

Offense-Biggest Decline:

1. CLB-0.43
2. LA-0.23
3. MET-0.05

Defense-Biggest Improvement:

1. DC-0.36
2. NE-0.34
3. MET-0.24

Defense-Biggest Decline:

1. CLB-0.45
2. KC-0.35
3. COL-0.15

Comments on "Offense & Defense: How do MLS teams compare with last year?"


Anonymous Oscar M said ... (9:23 AM, August 19, 2005) : 

I hadn't realized that the defense was that much better in DC without Nelsen. Clearly Boswell had stepped in claimed the spot as his own. With Namoff back and the Erpen signing we've got a lot of defensive depth heading down the season stretch.


Blogger scaryice said ... (2:49 PM, August 19, 2005) : 

Edited my post because I had RSL's goals per game wrong.


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