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Opta Stat of the Day: What "Porterball" is, by the numbers

10 May 4:49 pm

Opta Stat of the Day: What "Porterball" is, by the numbers

By Matthew Doyle

You've probably noticed that the Portland Timbers are pretty tough to beat. They're one of only two teams in the league with just a single loss, and it's not because they're bunkering.

On the contrary, they'll holding the ball higher up the pitch, and defending from the front better than anyone in the leauge:

Team Passing Accuracy in Opp Half: 2013 Passing Accuracy in Opp Half: 2012
Portland Timbers 74.1 69.86
Vancouver Whitecaps 72.48 68.55
Sporting Kansas City 71.7 69.81
Real Salt Lake 70.92 73.21
New York Red Bulls 70.74 72.21
Seattle Sounders FC 70.35 69.28
LA Galaxy 69.25 70.82
D.C. United 69 68.47
Montreal Impact 68 70.31
Colorado Rapids 67.51 72.11
Columbus Crew 67.14 69.18
Philadelphia Union 65.85 69.87
Houston Dynamo 64.8 74.13
Toronto FC 64.63 65.15
FC Dallas 64.25 64.45
Chicago Fire 64 71.68
New England Revolution 63.26 67.6
San Jose Earthquakes 62.64 69.92
Chivas USA 60.31 75.42

That's what coach Caleb Porter has instilled from Day 1: Defend the ball, not the goal. And his team has taken to it with aplomb thus far.

If you want to understand what "Porterball" really is, that's where you need to start.

P.S. We'll get to that outrageous 2012 number for Chivas USA at a later date. Statistics, remember, can often be damned, dirty lies.