Thursday, July 20, 2006

Odds & Ends

Just a few various things today.

1) First of all, if you haven't read Peter Goldstein's World Cup statistics columns, then you need to do so. Part one and Part two.

2) You know what World Cup stat I'd like to see from this year? I have all the goals from 1998 on my computer. I was looking through them all, and I only counted about 6 times where defenders raised their hands looking for the offside call. I bet that in 2006, that number would be tripled.

3) I notice that the Elias Sports Bureau has been putting out some MLS stats on ESPN's site. Yesterday they had a good one:

The Red Bulls defeated the Crew 2-0 in Columbus. It was the 13th consecutive home game -- dating back to August 20, 2005 -- in which the Crew scored fewer than two goals, by far the longest streak in MLS history. The previous record of 10 was set by the Rapids spanning 1999-2000, and tied recently by the Galaxy.

Somehow I don't think adding another German lower division guy is going to solve this...

4) The percentage of draws this year in MLS is 27.1%, which is 4 percentage points higher than last season. That's not surprising because this is the year after expansion, and those teams have improved. It's still lower than 2004.

5) Goals per game is at 2.61, which is the lowest average in MLS history, just slightly worse than 2004. Last year was 2.87. I don't consider this a problem, though. More goals are still scored in MLS than in the top leagues.

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