With wins over Columbus, Philadelphia and Chicago in 3 of their first 4 games to start the 2012 MLS Season, Colorado seemed to be moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, that all came to a halt this past weekend when RSL ran rampant in the second half, possibly in part to a makeshift formation.
Drew Moor played midfield for the first time since I don’t know when and Tyrone Marshall filled in as if everything was just fine and dandy. Moor played alright – with 87 touches (second most among all players), winning nine of his 13 duels and completing 44 of 59 passes (75 percent). All in all, he was quite active.
Now let’s dig a little deeper and examine some graphics produced by the Opta Chalkboards that show Moor’s presence (in the defensive third), in every game so far this season. Let’s select clearances, blocks and interceptions by Moor in Colorado’s first five games and what Marshall did when he filled in vs RSL.
You can see what Marshall did – or didn’t do – against RSL (he has #34 inside his circles), but can you pick the corresponding image for Moor in that game as well?
If you haven’t guessed which graphic represents Moor’s production from the Real Salt Lake game, it’s the top right. Marshall’s clearances, blocks and interceptions vs RSL are shown in the bottom right image.
Put together the images from both players’ vs RSL and it still doesn’t equal the defensive production Drew Moor has had in any previous game this season. Colorado has to make adjustments soon because Moor’s absence on the backline could prove to be quite costly over time.
(Image below) CBAI’s for Zapata, Marshall, Wynne and Kimura vs RSL
Playing Together? – Larentowicz and Moor’s Positioning vs RSL
As seen in the graphic below, Colorado lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Drew Moor and Jeff Larentowicz playing as duel holding midfielders.
If this was the plan from Head Coach Oscar Pareja, everything went awry. After playing around with the Opta Chalkboards, you can see that Larentowicz and Moor played much different roles. The image below shows all passes completed by the two midfielders from box-to-box – Larentowicz on the left and Moor on the right.
Larentowicz seemed to play his normal role regardless, but Moor acted as if he was told to play right mid. How do players – that start the game in similar positions – end up with completely different outcomes?