Audi Player Index Playoffs Analysis

Audi Player Index Playoffs Analysis: Questions for all four teams

Sebastian Giovinco - Toronto FC - Audi 2

Before the Conference Championships begin on November 22, here is how each team collectively performed on the Audi Player Index during the Conference Semifinals, measured by compiling the individual scores of all players on that team:

Avg. Audi Player Index score over both legs
Audi Player Index score from each leg
4709, 7253
5955, 3604
3148, 2790
2375, 2929*

* = scores taken prior to penalty shootout

With the start of two new series — the Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders vs. the Colorado Rapids – it is only right to ask which trends will roll over from the previous round and which have run their course. Below are four questions about expectations for the four remaining teams.

Will Toronto continue to be so prolific going to goal?

Toronto’s killer performances against New York City FC were no fluke and neither was their average score of 5981. But there is no way they are going to be averaging anything as high as that or score as many goals against Montreal.

This is simply because the Reds’ press and desire to regain possession as close to goal as possible will not be as effective on bigger fields. Toronto had tremendous success at the barely 70-yard wide Yankee Stadium field. But playing against Montreal in the Olympic Stadium, which is much wider (and has turf making the ball bouncier and play quicker), TFC will find it significantly more challenging to clog passing lanes or crowd opponents in parts of the field crucial to their defensive scheme.

Can Montreal count on Piatti and Mancosu?

And in the same vein, expect Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti and Matteo Mancosu’s offensive outbursts to continue. Toronto often press with seven players, running the risk of leaving their three defenders exposed. Accordingly, it seems inevitable that Piatti or Mancosu will find a way to isolate one of those three backs for a 1v1 situation. And we have seen the kind of damage those two can do in front of net when they have time or space against a single defender— and sometimes even against a whole backline.

Can Colorado continue to win without a prolific attack?

Through the season, the Colorado Rapids found success grinding out close and often low-scoring games without tallying intimidating Audi Player Index scores. That pattern certainly played out against the Galaxy as well. However, the ability to continue to do just enough to win with reliably unimpressive Audi scores is likely to catch up to them. With the probable loss of goalscoring magician Shkelzen Gashi, it is safe to anticipate their side’s performance and results will dip against the Sounders. 

Will Lodeiro be enough for the Sounders?

The Colorado Rapids were already unlucky to lose Gashi during their second-leg win against the LA Galaxy; Tim Howard’s injury with the US national team creates an even steeper hill for them to climb. The Rapids most likely err on the side of caution, as they did for much of the season, without their starting goalkeeper. This will invite more pressure from the Sounders and it will only be a matter of time until the dynamic Nicolas Lodeiro breaks through, picking up just where he left off against FC Dallas.