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

13 May 6:20 de la tarde

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

By Matthew Doyle

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:

Team Passes Opp Half
Real Salt Lake 3,255
Portland Timbers 3,180
New York Red Bulls 3,147
Sporting Kansas City 3,090
San Jose Earthquakes 2,683
Columbus Crew 2,603
Houston Dynamo 2,541
Colorado Rapids 2,459
D.C. United 2,352
LA Galaxy 2,343
Vancouver Whitecaps 2,303
Seattle Sounders 2,199
New England Revolution 2,185
Toronto FC 2,167
FC Dallas 2,087
Philadelphia Union 2,022
Montreal Impact 1,987
Chivas USA 1,899
Chicago Fire 1,893

So, there's your context. The Timbers are defending from the front, holding the ball as far up the pitch as possible, for as long as possible.

And it's working.