The refrain was admirable, if not entirely predictable.
Upon introducing Oscar Pareja as Gary Smith’s replacement in January, the Colorado Rapids declared the hire a transition away from the Englishman’s pragmatic approach to a flowing, possession-oriented style of play, one with some attacking panache that would be built upon a 4-3-3 foundation.
Pareja preaches possession in Colorado
As the revolution in soccer statistics has spread across the globe, we have gained access to not just a larger volume of data – but also more granular data.
Perhaps one of the most useful contextual insights MLS has gained from this surge is the specific on-field locations of every attempted pass, which are elegantly graphed through OPTA's chalkboards.
The Philadelphia Union may not have grabbed three points against the Red Bulls last weekend, but they may have gained something more important in the long run: a forward who’s confident in front of net.
It’s a claim as old as the MLS incarnation of the Seattle Sounders: Osvaldo Alonso is the most underrated player in the league, a midfield pit bull overshadowed by flashier, attack-minded players.
These days that claim doesn’t hold much water, at least when it comes to labeling Alonso underrated. The 26-year-old is past flying under the radar; gone are the days when he was long on contribution and short on recognition.
This was the performance Real Salt Lake fans had been waiting for.
After several weeks of coming so, so close to breaking games open, seeing chances pushed just wide or the opposing 'keeper make a wonder save, Álvaro Saborío finally broke through. The veteran center forward produced both RSL tallies in this past Saturday's 2-1 win over New England at Rio Tinto Stadium, keeping his team in the Western Conference hunt and reminding everyone exactly why he's been one of the league's best forwards since donning the Claret-and-Cobalt.
Sitting in the stands last month at Red Bull Arena, watching New York face New England, I had the chance to see Thierry Henry's fantastic, looping finish over Matt Reis – quickly followed by the Frenchman pulling his hamstring and being replaced in the 25th minute. While New York continued on to a victory against the Revs, consensus was that’d be the last three points RBNY picked up for quite a while.
Each week, MLSsoccer.com and OPTA will highlight one aspect or trend from that weekend’s action using analytics and events during the match to explain what forces are at play and how they pertain to the big picture.
When you look at the track record of former Toronto FC players, what Maicon Santos is doing this year for D.C. United isn’t all that remarkable.
After all, guys like Edson Buddle, Conor Casey, Dwayne De Rosario, Jeff Cunningham – believe me, the list goes on, and on, and on – have gotten the post-TFC career bump, resulting in Golden Boots, MVPs, Supporters’ Shields and MLS Cups.
In Week 6, David Beckham's curling, 91st-minute golazo put the LA Galaxy ahead of the Portland Timbers 3-1. This goal was spectacular – vintage Beckham – and won the AT&T Goal of the Week by collecting 73.8 percent of the votes. However, Beckham's shot overshadowed the absolutely crucial go-ahead goal scored by his teammate Juninho just a few minutes earlier.
On the score sheet, each of these goals count as a single tally for each player. But are each of these goals truly worth the same?
À en croire les déclarations de l’entraîneur et des joueurs de Montréal avant le match de samedi dernier, Portland est une équipe physique très menaçante sur coups de pieds arrêtés. Vraiment ?