Monday, November 28, 2005

Three (goal stats)

Scoring three goals in a game seems to be the point where you're having a great offensive game. Likewise, allowing three goals means you're having a defensive nightmare. In MLS, with an alltime goals per game average of 3.10, you're going to score and allow about 1.5 goals per game. So reaching the three goal mark on either side is a special occasion. In the 2005 MLS regular season, there were 192 games. There are two teams in each game, so out of 384 opportunities, a team scored three goals 67 times. That's 17.4%, or 1 out of 6. It's not the norm, but definitely not too crazy.

But, when you start racking up the games without either scoring or allowing three goals, it's the sign of a pathetic or great team. I used my MLS Lineup Database to find all the streaks of 15 games or more for each of those categories (regular season only). There were 32 such streaks without scoring three goals, and 26 for not allowing three goals. Let's take a look at the top ten in the first category (the other to come later on):

(The longest current streak is Chicago, 15 games)


Most League Games Without Scoring 3 Goals

9t) 2000 Los Angeles Galaxy: 19 games (7-5-7).

This was definitely not a pathetic team. But it wasn't as good as the past two seasons, nor as good as the 2001 edition. It was the first full year of Sigi Schmid, and also the year of Luis Hernandez (aka Don Garber's biggest mistake) coming to MLS. He arrived in the middle of this streak. They did well during the streak though, because for the majority of it they were also in the midst of the 11th best streak of not allowing 3 goals (20 games).

9t) 2004-05 Los Angeles Galaxy: 19 games (5-7-7).

This encompasses the last 10 games of Sigi's tenure, and the first 9 of Steve Sampson. They beat RSL 3-1 in the second game this year to end it. Obviously Sampson isn't an offensive genius, because he had another 18 game streak this season. But he likes to play things tight. And also Jovan Kirovski was there. He played 16 games out of the 19, scoring only 3 times.

6t) 1996-97 Colorado Rapids: 20 games (4-12-4).

That record, like almost all that I use on this site, counts shootouts as draws. The last 7 games of 1996, where they failed to make the playoffs, began this streak, and the first 13 of 1997, where they made the MLS Cup (unbelievably), ended it. Roy Wegerle did not produce, while the team's other weapons like Wolde Harris, Shaun Bartlett, and Paul Bravo were not scoring goals. They were getting goals from other places, though, and were better during the 1997 portion.

6t) 1997 Columbus Crew: 20 games (6-10-4).

The 1997 Crew got to the Conference finals, but were not a good team. As usual, Brian Mcbride was injured, only playing 6 of the 20 games. Sadly, A.J. Wood could not pick up the slack. Next season would be a different story with Jeff Cunningham and Stern John.

6t) 1999-00 Columbus Crew: 20 games (7-9-4).

They had all the guys they needed during this run: Cunningham, John, McBride, Washington. But I guess they lost the crushing offense that they had during most of 1999 somehow. They were still pretty decent, scoring twice 9 times out of 20.

5) 2005 Columbus Crew: 22 games (7-12-3).

Otherwise known as Andrulis' last stand. During the long unbeaten run in 2004, the Crew were not blowing teams out, but rather grinding out the points. So when they started 2005 with an impressive 3-0 win over the Galaxy, it seemed like they were back with a vengaence. But then came the Ante Razov bickering, Jon Busch's injury, and generally a season from hell. Andrulis was fired after the 15th game of the streak, which was broken finally with another 3-0 win, over Chivas USA. Wow, being a Crew fan is fun! I'm not, thankfully. I could imagine though...that is, if I wanted to torture myself.

4) 1999-00 Metrostars: 23 games (2-17-4).

Only the final game was in 2000. The 1999 Metros were beyond awful, as any supporter will tell you. At least Tim Howard made his debut got his first real experience during this time, starting 8 games (he actually made his debut in 1998).

2t) 1996 New England: 25 games (6-11-8).

And now we have the other team to miss the playoffs from the first season. This is the first 25 games in Revs history. Joe-Max Moore made his debut in the second half of the season, and promptly went on a scoring tear. They finally broke the streak with a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay, and there would be another 16 games without 3 goals after that. It's not like they couldn't score, but they just didn't do it in bunches. That's the case for most of these teams. The 1999 Metrostars were the only really pathetic bunch.

2t) 2003-04 D.C. United: 25 games (8-10-7).

Last 13 of 2004, first 12 of 2005. Basically, this was the time before the emergence of Alecko Eskandarian. Stoitchkov, Cerritos, Martins, and Adu all could not get the job done. Meanwhile, Jaime Moreno could not do it all by himself.

1) 1999-00 Colorado Rapids: 27 games (11-11-5).

The team with the second longest scoreless streak has the record for futility here. They actually were winning a lot of games before that happened. But they just shut down and tanked the 1999 season. They lost to San Jose 3-4 on June 3, 1999, and the last 22 games of 1999 and the first 5 of 2000 followed before a 3-2 win over Columbus on April 22, 2000. That was the game with the Balboa bicycle kick.

Comments on "Three (goal stats)"

 

Anonymous MetroFanatic said ... (9:25 AM, November 28, 2005) : 

Howard's debut was in 1998, not 1999...

 

Blogger scaryice said ... (5:43 PM, November 28, 2005) : 

That's right, he played one game in 1998.

 

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