Monday, October 17, 2005

Offense & Defense: 2005 vs 2004

I looked at this before, but now that the season's over we can fully analyze how teams compare to last season. This is a look at goals scored and allowed per game, as well as points per game. 2005 numbers are listed first. Overall this season, there were slightly more goals scored, up 0.16 per game.


PPG-1.53 vs 1.10
GF-1.53 vs 1.20
GA-1.56 vs 1.47

This season the offense has improved greatly, despite a lack of a consistant goalscorer. Rolfe, Jaqua, Herron, Reiter, Barrett-none of them has been productive on a regular basis. But this season they have Thiago and Ivan Guerrero setting them up, with an improved Justin Mapp. The defense is a mess; once again they have lacked a consistant lineup. That hurts you worse in defense.


PPG-1.41 vs 1.37
GF-1.25 vs 0.97
GA-1.16 vs 1.07

PPG virtually the same as last year, as they ended up in their usual average position. That's a little disappointing with the two expansion clubs in the same division. The defense and offense predictably got worse and better respectively, after the extreme lows last season. Cunningham is a nice addition, and they finally had a positive goal differential.


PPG-1.19 vs 1.63
GF-1.06 vs 1.33
GA-1.41 vs 1.07

The worst offensive decline and the 2nd worst defensive decline, it was definitely a year to forget in Ohio. They seemed to put it together at the end, but it was far too late. Andrulis predictably could not repeat last season's magic, and now next season a full year without him could see an improvement.


PPG-1.69 vs 1.40
GF-1.81 vs 1.43
GA-1.16 vs 1.40

Nelsen and Stewart (plus Eskandarian) were replaced, and yet the team improved greatly on both sides of the ball. They have gotten the most from little known talents like Boswell and Walker, plus a full season from Gomez. Nowak has kept the momentum going from the championship run last year.


PPG-1.50 vs 1.20
GF-1.63 vs 1.13
GA-1.38 vs 1.50

Ruiz and Johnson played half the time, but Dallas still managed to score a bunch of goals, posting the best offensive improvement of any team. Mina, Thompson, and Nunez provided the depth they previously lacked. The second half has seem them slip, so this offseason will be critical if they want to keep it up.


PPG-1.41 vs 1.63
GF-1.63 vs 1.27
GA-1.38 vs 1.00

It looks like it was easier for Gansler and company to win games with defense than offense. The worst defensive decline of any team. They were still in the middle of the pack, though. But down the stretch, the offense fell off, and their defense didn't help them out. Zero wins in the last eight games.


PPG-1.41 vs 1.43
GF-1.38 vs 1.40
GA-1.41 vs 1.33

Virtually identical to last year in all categories. That's not good enough in an expansion year. Donovan and Dunivant were great acquisitions, but were balanced out by Naldo, Pando, etc. The only team other than Columbus to decline offensively.


PPG-1.47 vs 1.33
GF-1.66 vs 1.57
GA-1.53 vs 1.63

Slightly improved on both offense and defense, they were good enough to make the playoffs in a tough race. Probably should've done even better if not for their tendancy to throw games away late. I don't how their defense got even slightly better, but it did. Although they did get rid of Kenny Arena...


PPG-1.84 vs 1.10
GF-1.72 vs 1.40
GA-1.16 vs 1.43

Most improved defense, and a similar jump on offense. The talent was always there, and now they're putting it to good use. Parkhurst has stepped right in and been huge.


PPG-2.00 vs 1.27
GF-1.66 vs 1.37
GA-0.97 vs 1.17

Just a great team. Two points per game is makes them the third best MLS team of all time, behind only the 1998 Galaxy and the 2001 Fusion. What can you say? Appropriately, they have the third best defense of all time as well. And they can score as well as anybody. I doubt they can equal this next year, so expect a decline, but what a season.





And now, the expansion teams. Almost mirror images, they were both incredibly horrible, among the worst in the league's history. Not much to say other than that. For next year, defense is the most important thing. That's probably a quicker route to respectability. Both should post big improvements, almost by default.


Offense-Biggest Improvement:

1. DAL-0.50
2. DC-0.38
3. KC-0.36

Offense-Biggest Decline:

1. CLB-0.27
2. LA-0.02
3. MET-positive 0.09

Defense-Biggest Improvement:

1. NE-0.27
2. DC-0.26
3. SJ-0.20

Defense-Biggest Decline:

1. KC-0.38
2. CLB-0.34
3. CHI-0.10

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