What Expected Goals can tell us about the best finishers in MLS so far

Maximiliano Urruti is on fire.

The FC Dallas forward has scored three goals in his first two MLS games this season (watch above), including a brace in Dallas' 2-1 comeback win against the New England Revolution this weekend. He did not play against Sporting Kansas City in Week 2, as he was resting ahead of Dallas' CONCACAF Champions League game against Pachuca. He scored in that game too.

"I thought his two goals represent this group well," said FC Dallas' head coach Oscar Pareja after Saturday night's game. "Maxi bleeds for this team. That’s an example for all of us. The more he runs… The more that he works for the team. The more the game rewards him. The goals came because he is working that hard. I don’t have any doubt that we have here, one of the best forwards in Major League Soccer. I hope people give him his credit because he is doing a tremendous job."

His three goals have not been the easiest of chances either, which is proven by expected goals numbers provided by Opta. In total, the eight shots he has attempted have had an xG value of .58, meaning he would not have been expected to score one goal based on the chances he's had. He has outperformed that number by almost 2.5 goals, which is proof of the exceptional finishing he's displayed so far. In fact, it has been the best in MLS so far. 

Player Goals Expected Goals Difference
Maxi Urruti 3 .58 2.42
Josef Martinez 5 2.81 2.19
Romell Quioto 3 1.33 1.67
Anibal Godoy 2 .41 1.59
Erick Torres 2 .50 1.50

Numbers do not include penalty kicks

This is a change from 2016, when he scored nine goals in 30 games. Over the course of those 30 games, he had chances that had an xG value of 10.57, meaning he would have been expected to score at least 10 goals based on the chances he had. That -1.57 difference was among the 20 worst in the league last year. Dallas will hope he keeps this type of finishing up, and not revert to his 2016 self.

Elsewhere in Week 3, New York City FC struggled to finish quality chances against Montreal, resulting in a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium. You can find expected goals numbers for all games below. Two important notes: penalties have a value of .78 and own goals are not factored into the values.

Game Result Home xG Away xG
New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact 1-1 2.27 .90
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC 0-2 .33 .89
Atlanta United FC vs. Chicago Fire 4-0 1.35 .31
D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew SC 0-2 1.07 2.21
Orlando City SC vs. Philadelphia Union 2-1 1.45 1.08
FC Dallas vs. New England Revolution 2-1 .92 .98
Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 .76 .65
Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United FC 2-2 1.28 1.53
Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy 1-2 1.00 .87
Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo 4-2 3.38 2.09
Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls 3-1 2.58 .38

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