Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crew Defense Stats: Another Luchametric Exclusive


Yesterday we looked at the Crew's attack, today we look at the team's defense.  What we see is troubling.

The grid to the left provides us with every SHTA and SOGA the Crew have faced over the first three games. It does not include PKs or free kicks.  Notice that virtually every SHTA and SOGA is right in front of the goal and inside the penalty area.  In other words, far from forcing teams to shoot from outside or take low-percentage shots, teams are getting right up in the Crew's grill.  The other numbers look even more problematic.  Check out the table below:

The Crew have given up only 2 GA so far.  Obviously, that is a good thing.  "EGA" is Expected Goals Against, or how many goals the team would be expected to give up, given how many SOGA they've allowed.  This is calculated by taking the number of SOGA the team has faced and multiplying it by the percentage of SOGAs that result in goals across the league on average.  Currently in the MLS, 18% of SOGAs result in Goals.  This is low and will go up over the course of the season to anywhere from 26% to 30%--the latter are the historical averages from 2008 and 2009 combined.  So, the Crew have actually given up fewer goals than expected given the number of shot opportunities they have allowed to be created against them.   Why?  Two words: William Hesmer.

The data clearly shows us that the Crew's back four aren't preventing scoring opportunities and are, in fact, allowing more scoring opportunities than the average MLS club.  Further, the very quality of shots they're giving up is alarming.  And yet the number of GA is low and the Crew have eked out two wins and a draw.  The only explanation is our boy Hesmer, whose save percentage of 80% puts him third in the league as does his .67 GAA.  William, we dub thee Billy Jack.  Thou art truly massive

The other important numbers in the last three columns support our assertion and love for His Royal Majesty King Hesmer.  As you can see, although the Crew are giving up more SHTA and SOGA than the league averages, the percentage of SOGAs that result in GA is a very low 13%.  This is very good given the current league average of 18%, and excellent given the historic league average of 26% or so.  Once again, Billy, we salute you.  Hagado Columbus! Till I die....

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