Wednesday, September 23, 2009

LA vs Crew Preview: To Parity and Beyond!

By El Chupa
As the numbers to the left reveal (click to see a larger image), the Crew and LA are tied in virtually every category. The Crew have a narrow lead in total points, and points earned per game. And they have more home wins (HW), but they have only one more win overall than the Galaxy. The Crew have 38 Total Goals to the Galaxy's 35, and they both have virtually the same number of Shots and Shots on Goal. They also are basically tied when it comes to Shots on Goal per Game, Corners Taken, Shots on Goal Allowed, and Corners Against. QSHT is a raw measure of the number of SOGs above the league average that each team has created that were indeed high quality scoring chances, and again the difference is negligible. Most importantly, the Luchametric has them separated by a mere .3 of a STDEV. That amounts to a deadlock. Finally, it must be noted that LA's numbers don't reflect a full season with Beckham in the lineup.

This game will come down to tactics, individual match-ups, home field advantage, and whether each team performs to its full potential. We fear the Crew are staring another draw in the face, with which they should probably be satisfied. The pressure to send a message to LA and the league by earning a full three points is high, however, and the Crew are running out of home games. The pressure not to give up three points, however, is even higher. We'll be doing a comparison of each team's scorers later today or tomorrow.

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