In Friday's entry, I made the point that Portland have climbed toward the top of the standings by both dominating the ball, and by doing so upfield. They lead the league (comfortably) in passing completion percentage in the opposition half.
As many pointed out, both on Twitter and in the comments section, Vancouver were second in that same metric. And the 'Caps are nowhere near the top of the standings.
Here's the difference, though:
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:
Opta Spotlight: Ryan Nelsen calls Toronto FC "soft," but is that what's behind their late-game collapses?
This one's pretty easy:
It took two games for Roy Miller to become a punchline this season, but since his return to the lineup in mid-April, the New York Red Bulls have gone 4-1-0. Here's a chart that should give you some idea as to why:
Choisissez trois joueurs de MLS autour desquels vous bâtiriez votre nouvelle équipe : la question lancée par Frédéric Lord a inspiré l’équipe, à nouveau renforcée par Olivier Brett, pour la thématique de l’émission Coup Franc de cette semaine (à écouter ici).
Some games, like the recent United States vs. Mexico World Cup qualifier at Estadio Azteca, are so tense that even long-time fans have a hard time grasping the game objectively.
While spectacles like USA vs. Mexico are more than a simple match, on paper, it is still a game. And with the help of MLSsoccer.com's Opta Chalkboard, we can step back and strip away the emotion and fanfare to grasp the important aspects of this crucial Hexagonal match.