Friday, October 30, 2009

MLS Playoffs: Crew at RSL-We'll take the draw.

By El Chupacabra

Their multiple wives may be homely, and they may not dress so well, but the polygimist mormons at Real Salt Lake can play some football and should not be overlooked.

Sure, the Crew have a substantial advantage over RSL in the Luchametric of about 1.6 StandDevs. However, the teams are closer than is comfortable. Except for wins and draws, the teams are virtually deadlocked when it comes to every other measure of team strength. In terms of sheer production of scoring chances, RSL has a slight advantage, creating more Shots and Shots on Goal and Corners than the Crew. However, in the Luchametric measure of Quality Scoring Chances, the Crew are better than RSL by nearly two whole StandDevs. Also, the Crew score a goal 30% of the time when they create a Shot on Goal, RSL scores a goal only 23% of the time. So, in spite of all the shots they get off, the Crew are more efficient and more consistent.

This game will be tough. The two teams split the two regular season matches, each team winning one at home and losing away. A draw at the high elevation of Rio Tinto would be a good result for the Crew. They could then come back to C-Bus and look for some home cooking to send them through to the next round.

Look, no team is as deep as the Crew. But they phoned it in the last month of the season, and RSL is very tough at home. We would assume that Warzycha at this point knows full well who are his best XI and that he will run them out tomorrow night to prove the Supporters Shield was not won by luck but by the talent the Crew bring to the pitch every match. Regardless, El Chupa thinks a draw here is more likely than a Crew win.

We hope he's proven wrong and the Crew put the dirty thugs of RSL (they lead the league this year in discipline) on their backs and score the win. Columbus 'till I die.

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