2007 vs 2006: PPG, GF, GA
|This post will take a look at how each MLS team has performed this past season in terms of PPG, goals scored, and goals allowed, and I'll also be comparing each team's 2007 season with their 2006 season, to see exactly how things have changed. Finally, I'll post how each team's season ranks historically compared to their previous incarnations.|
First things first. The average PPG per team leaguewide was 1.372 this year compared to 1.354 in 2006, slightly higher due to fewer draws (25.64% vs 29.17%). The goals per game was virtually the same as last year: 2.66 vs 2.62 in 2006. So for the rankings below, scoring or allowing 1.33 goals per game would be the average figure for an offense or defense.
Notes for below: Offense and defense are goals per game scored or allowed. Obviously, a decrease for defense would be good. The all time ranks are based on PPG (shootouts counted as draws), then GD per game followed by GF per game.
The Fire were a slightly below average team this season. The defense improved slightly, but the offense crashed. Despite the struggles of the strikers, that's likely due to the injuries to Justin Mapp and to a lesser extent Chris Rolfe. Certainly you would expect that number to rise next year with a full season of Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
The coaching switch to Juan Carlos Osorio paid dividends. The splits for Sarachan/Hamlett vs Osorio are striking: 1.07/0.87/1.47 vs 1.60/1.20/0.93. Still a below average offense, though, but the defense improved considerably. Wilman Conde's arrival certainly helped, but Osorio is known for his intense practices and demeanor so maybe he instilled greater discipline in the Fire players.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 8th out of 10 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 79th out of 135 seasons
Already above average on both sides of the ball last year, they improved each this year and it led to a fantastic season. The defense goes down as the 4th best in MLS history. They lost nothing in the switch from Bob Bradley to Preki, and they played some very pretty soccer for a while there.
Maykel Galindo turned out to be a much better goalscorer than Palencia, and getting Shavar Thomas from the Galaxy was an absolute steal. Those two moves combined with the natural improvement of the team's quality young players led to the better record. They didn't even need Amado Guevara.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 1st out of 3 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 18th out of 135 seasons
Time to fire Fernando Clavijo, indeed. Three years and no winning season, he has to be gone. There are so many questionable trades for the team in recent years as well. But according to the latest reports, he'll be back. I look forward to the Rapids starting out like Chicago or RSL next season and making the change halfway through when it's pretty much too late.
Last year, the Rapids were bad on both sides of the ball. This year they managed to improve the defense, but the offense became even worse. In three years with Clavijo, they've been below average on offense every year. Also, the total number of goals in their matches (both for and against) was 2.10 per game. Second lowest total of all time, behind only 2004 Colorado. In addition to the results, is that what fans want to see? (although in fairness 2007 Houston and 2007 Chicago are 3rd and 4th all time)
While the Rapids may have made the final four in the playoffs in 2005 and 2006, they were never a great team. Slightly above average in 2005 and slightly below average in 2006. It probably made them look better than they really were. This year, they just plain sucked. They have so many mediocre to decent attacking players, yet they can't seem to get anything out of them. There's Ballouchy, Cancela, Casey, Clark, Gomez, Hernandez, Kirovski, and Peterson; guess they couldn't find the right combination (aka the one without Kirovski). This is a team that needs a good coach to make sense of the talent.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 10th out of 12 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 108th out of 135 seasons
Offense improved tremendously as they found a star in Guillermo Barros Schelotto. However, it was still only right around average and they never got a star forward to bang in the goals. Unfortunately the defense went backwards and they missed the playoffs for the third straight time. Relying on veterans Ezra Hendrickson and Rusty Pierce was not optimal to say the least. Chad Marshall's injury didn't help.
Sigi Schmid will get a third season to turn things around. Does he deserve it? Probably not. Should it really take three years to improve a team in MLS? His LA teams were always great defensively but that hasn't been the case here. His drafting has left a lot to be desired as well.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 9th out of 12 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 94th out of 135 seasons
Year one of Steve Morrow's reign and the results were decent (5th overall), even if the stats don't look good. They suffered a few big losses which makes things look worse than they were. Faded down the stretch as usual for the franchise. Offense way down as Ruiz and the forwards were disappointing.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 5th out of 12 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 52nd out of 135 seasons
Still the league's best, which is surprising. Not because people expected something different, it's just that rarely in MLS does the expected actually happen. Or else we would've had Columbus vs LA in the 2003 MLS Cup. They looked to be better on paper thanks to the additions of Luciano Emilio and Fred and they were, as the switch to Tom Soehn didn't mess anything up.
They're getting to the point now where it will be hard to do any better.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 4th out of 12 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 10th out of 135 seasons
Their Defense was vastly improved from an already above average unit, helped by the stealing of Richard Mulrooney from Toronto. Greatest goals against average in MLS history. That made up for the fact that Brian Ching and Dwayne De Rosario weren't as good.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 1st out of 2 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 20th out of 135 seasons
Pretty average. They scored as many goals as they let in, although their games were high scoring. So as a result the offense is above average and the defense is below average. Now if they only had a reliable scoring threat besides Eddie Johnson. This collection of players has been together for a while now, but I can't see them winning a title unless they add a few impact guys.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 7th out of 12 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 76th out of 135 seasons
Heh. Yes, it could and did get worse. The defense was worse than the offense, and that's what you get when you start an unheralded rookie for almost every game. And you also trade a talented, cheap, younger foreigner (Thomas) in favor of an older, washed up, unmotivated foreigner (Xavier). The injury to Chris Albright didn't help.
The good news is that this team isn't as bad as they looked. When you look at their record in all matches (which means regular season plus Open Cup & Superliga), their numbers were 1.32/1.42/1.55, way better.
With a full season of Albright and David Beckham (and a coach that knows how to handle the spotlight), it shouldn't be hard to see an improvement.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 12th out of 12 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 111th out of 135 seasons
Very interesting, as they went from being a successful defensive team to being a successful offensive team, and they were even better this season. That's despite losing Clint Dempsey, though they did draft well. They then reverted to their usual selves in the playoffs, with the same result. You can't replace Steve Nicol, since he's done so well year after year. This felt like the year though.
Twellman had a great year, scoring 23 times in 33 games, compared to 15 in 40 last season.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 2nd out of 12 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 27th out of 135 seasons
The defense, much worse under Bruce Arena? Hard to see that coming. Too much tinkering. Offense way better thanks to Juan Pablo Angel. And we all know about Reyna's season. How about using one of those SI spots on defense for once?
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 4th out of 12 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 56th out of 135 seasons
REAL SALT LAKE
Back to among the worst of all time. The tinkering by Kreis had better pay off in 2008. They weren't going to be horrible with the roster they had. I mean, they weren't going to be great either, but the team was torn apart.
The offense was worse, but they'll need to focus on defense as well due to Eddie Pope's retirement. They still have a way to go until they're above average. Hard to see it happening next year.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 2nd out of 3 seasons
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 127th out of 135 seasons
Only way to go from here is up.
2007 All Time Franchise Rank: 1st out of 1 season
2007 All Time Overall Rank: 129th out of 135 seasons