The 5 worst missed chances of the 2020 MLS season so far

Raul Ruidiaz - on the turf - in frustration

Watch this funny old game long enough and you'll eventually see a player miss a chance in front of goal that makes you think three things, in no particular order:

  1. That was easier to make than to miss.
  2. I mean really, I could have scored that myself.
  3. Why do I support (insert profane adjective followed by team here) again?

There is no amount of information that could effectively answer the third question. But as for No. 1 and No. 2., the expected goals analytic (xG) measures the probability of scoring from any particular chance based on previous data from other similar chances. And in this case, it tells us when an opportunity was in fact harder to miss than make. Mayyybe you could've even scored those chances yourself. If your general practitioner allowed you onto a field with 21 professional athletes, and if your loved ones either failed to talk you out of it or don't actually like you that much.

Anyway, here are the five worst misses so far in the 2020 MLS season, according to Second Specturm's xG calculations.

5) Miguel Ibarra: 58.3% chance of scoring


Ibarra perhaps deserved his first goal in a Sounders jersey for his early attacking play, but he was denied twice, including on a seemingly wide open look on a loose ball following a corner kick. He was at least spared that Seattle still managed to take a 2-1 victory over the Fire.

4) Justin Rennicks: 64.4% chance of scoring


Perhaps no one will feel more fortunate to make a new beginning on the 2020 season than the Revolution, who took only one point from their opening two matches despite a pair of clear chances that could've seen them make it four points. Rennicks will be having nightmares for years about this miss on a potential stoppage-time winner.

3) Nick Besler: 67.2% chance of scoring

REAL SALT LAKE vs. New York Red Bulls

The broadcasters didn't even catch it in live action, but Besler will rue not connecting better on a corner kick with a chance to tie older brother Matt (and many others) on the career MLS scoring list with his third goal. It could've also helped earn a win for RSL, who instead settled for a draw against the Red Bulls.

2) Raul Ruidiaz: 72.1% chance of scoring


It's hard to blame Ruidiaz for guiding his backheel on short notice directly into the near post. Still it will be a frustrating one for the Peruvian national team striker, who hit double digit goals in each of the previous two MLS campaigns.

1) Tajon Buchanan: 88.0% chance of scoring


When the second-year speed merchant does finally come through with his first MLS goal, he'll laugh about this chance he missed for a late equalizer. Until then, he and provider Brandon Bye — who also served up Rennicks' miss at No. 4 — might shed a tear each time they see the highlight.