Three stats to know after NYCFC's Knockout Round win against Union

New York City FC defeated the Philadelphia Union 3-1 Wednesday in an Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoff match. Here are three key stats to know from their win.

Tajouri-Shradi's sterling finishing continues

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi provided a wallop of an opener in the 10th minute, finishing off a sequence that was started by an ill-fated Mark McKenzie pass. He struck the ball first time for his 13th goal of the season across all competitions.

Tajouri-Shradi overperformed his expected goals total by 7.26 during the regular season. His 4.74 figure meant that he would have been expected to score that amount of goals on average based on the quality of chances he's had. The 7.26 discrepancy is the highest of any player in MLS this season.

Player Goals Expected Goals G-xG
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (NYC) 12 4.74 7.26
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA) 22 15.75 6.25
Aleksandar Katai (CHI) 12 6.29 5.71
Romain Alessandrini (LA) 11 5.34 5.66
Cristian Penilla (NE) 12 6.64 5.36

Herrera's impact

There's little doubt that Yangel Herrera's absence had a massive impact in NYCFC's swoon in the second half of the season. Just how much of an impact is tough to tell considering the other absences from their lineup during that span and Dome Torrent taking over the team.

But the numbers say NYCFC are a different team with the Venezuelan international on the field. The table below represents the Cityzens' per 90 numbers when Herrera was on and off the field.

On/Off Goals per 90 Goals against per 90
On 2.3 1.1
Off 1.2 1.3

That story continued on Wednesday as he was on the field for all three of NYC's goals and the Union's goal came three minutes after his departure. NYCFC's record improved to 9W-3L-2D when he starts. It should be noted that correlation and does not equal causality, so these numbers aren't solely due to his presence, but they are an indicator as to his importance.

Union attack faltering

The 2018 Knockout Round match was almost the exact same story as the one in 2016, which the Union also lost 3-1 at Toronto FC.

Not only was the scoreline the same, but their offensive output was eerily similar. The Union managed just seven shots, including two on target, at Yankee Stadium (those seven shots were also the Union's fourth fewest in a match this year).

Against Toronto FC two years ago, they took eight shots with three ending up on target.