If you haven't already, give this morning's OPTA Spotlight on Danny Koevermans and his contributions to Toronto FC over the past year a quick read.
Here are some diagrams (the first a plot of the result of each of his shots this season and the second a map of his shots on target) that show how Koevermans has scored each of his nine goals in 2012. As you can see, he's almost exclusively been a poacher that relies on proximity to goal rather than pinpoint finishing to be successful.
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Michael Bradley made his first appearance for Roma on Tuesday, but another American stole the show.
Terrence Boyd, who is starting his first season with Rapid Vienna, scored a spectacular bicycle kick from a save popped up by the Roma goalkeeper.
Just check out the video below. My words can't do it justice.
After Sporting Kansas City's scoreless draw with Houston on Saturday, Carlos Bocanegra gave some insight into a situation still developing some 4,000 miles away in Glasgow, Scotland.
Like his Rangers teammates Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya, Bocanegra faces a decision about his future at Rangers after the club went into administration and is on the verge of being forced into Scotland's lower divisions. Unlike his teammates, though, the US defender has been consistently linked with MLS and spoke to SKC play-by-play man Callum Williams about that very possibility.
Watch the video above to see what Bocanegra has to say and check out this report with more insight into his thoughts on the current state of the club and Scottish football.
Timbers Army brought the heat this weekend at JELD-WEN Field, adding another epic tifo to the growing list of massive displays that seem to serve as the precursors to Portland-Seattle matches. (See Portland's King of Clubs and Seattle's Decades of Dominance for example.)
As you can see above, the banner stretched across the entirety of the north end of the stadium, creating an absolutely stunning tribute to the city of Portland and its soccer past. The Timbers Army hit all the right notes with this effort: the Portland skyline, city and cascadia flags and Clive Charles right smack in the middle as a focal point. That's soccer art, for sure.
I'll leave you with one more image from the match, which had no shortage of talking points.
Let's be honest, even Philadelphia fans didn't see that coming.
And while all the plaudits for Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of Sporting KC will go to Jack McInerney and Antoine Hoppenot, I can't help but think Carlos Valdes is getting the short shrift. The guy, not singlehandedly it must be said, shut down a front line in Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong that makes most defenses look, well, defenseless at least a couple times per game.
On Saturday, there was none of that at PPL Park. Valdes cleaned up any mess that entered his area, kept Zac MacMath from having to do much other than boot the occasional goal kick and generally bossed the area of the field SKC was trying to exploit. So in homage to Valdes performance, we've put together a highlight reel of his second half contributions. Frankly, it was the least we could do.
So sit back and enjoy, unless you're a Kansas City fan of course.
Since this week is dedicated to numbers here at MLSsoccer.com, I figured I would pass on some of the raw data and illustrations collected over the past few weeks in the hunt for fresh Opta Spotlight* ideas.
*On Friday, I'll examine the magnificent season Columbus' Andy Gruenebaum has put together with Will Hesmer sidelined.
Below are the touch charts for Clint Dempsey in the quarterfinal and semifinal at last summer's Gold Cup as well as the most recent qualifier in Guatemala under Jurgen Klinsmann's direction. Duece scored in all three matches.
What do these illustrations say to you? Is Dempsey playing a different role under Klinsmann than he did under Bob Bradley? I'll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions in the comment section below.
vs. Jamaica (2-0 victory - June 19, 2011)
vs. Panama (1-0 victory - June 22, 2011)
at Guatemala (1-1 draw - June 13, 2012)
Other than to say it looks like Sporting KC's ambition knows no bounds, I'll let Peter Vermes do the talking on this one.
The Kansas City manager begins discussing the club's pursuit of the Mexican national team starlet around the 3:30 mark in the video below.
After watching from afar as Jimmy Conrad and Kick TV cavort around Poland enjoying Euro 2012, I'm pretty much at a loss for words.
Life isn't fair, that much is clear to me now. Of course, that sentiment is also coming from someone who has watched all but one game of the tournament, so I'm sure there isn't going to be much sympathy coming my way.
Still, the tournament looks like a blast apart from a few scattered incidents, and fortunately Conrad has been kind enough (it's his job after all) to send back regular reports from the front lines, where Zywiec flows freely from the taps, song crops up around every corner and faces rarely go unpainted.
If you haven't been paying attention for the past few days, check out Jimmy's horse-drawn carriage interview with Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl and his afternoon of revelry with Croatian fans. Let's just say he seizes the day in Poznan.
Italy is embroiled in another soccer scandal, and Impact striker Bernardo Corradi has no sympathy for any player found guilty of the ultimate sin: match-fixing.
ExtraTime Radio was in Montreal on Thursday to talk to the Impact about the opening match at Stade Saputo, and the guys passed along Corradi's answer to a question about his thoughts on punishment for those who sully the game via match-fixing. The veteran striker certainly didn't hold back during a scrum with local reporters.
“I have my idea on this situation: I think that if someone bets on his matches, he has to be banned, and not just for 10 months or 12 months," Corradi told reporters. "For me, he cannot play soccer anymore. If you are lucky enough to be a soccer player and you earn money, and you train. … I think a lot of guys would like to play soccer for a job. You’re lucky when you’re doing this, and if you waste everything by betting on your games, you have to be punished. That’s my way of thinking.”
It's certainly black and white for Corradi, although it must be mentioned that new Impact signing Marco Di Vaio is scheduled to return to Italy in the coming weeks to testify in the probe.
2012 hasn't been particularly kind of FC Dallas on the field, but it seems the return of El Capitán, the cannon awarded to the winner of the Dallas-Houston rivalry, could go a long way toward increasing morale.
At least that's the message I'm getting from the club's most recent video offering, an immensely enjoyable dub over featuring many of the squad ahead of Saturday's match on ESPN2.
Although there is some debate around MLS Digital HQ about FC Dallas' dance moves – the feelings range from envy to embarrassment – I've got to give Schellas Hyndman's side credit ... they really embraced the concept.
My favorite moment from FC Dallas' ode to El Capitán? The scene from 1:35 until 1:59 with David Ferreira waltzing in from left to right to start things off and Jair Benítez flashing a megawatt smile throughout.