2020 vs 2019, A Look at the Stats
Fans know, this season has been hard. It's been difficult on the field, off the field, not in the stands, and from behind computer screens. Supporters Groups last week displayed their disapproval with the direction of the team with a banner-less match against Columbus. FCC beat Columbus that match, then followed up the next weekend with a loss to last place DC United.
Everything coming out of the Front Office is that this project will take time. That they are seeing progress on the field, and if only fans could be there to see it, they too would see the progress. In fact the club has relied on some sophisticated statistics to prove their point. Ariel duels won is a common stat brought up in the post-game show and Expected Goals, "xG" if you see it on a stat sheet, indicates how many goals a team is expected to have scored based on the shots they took.
So here is a look at a comparison between the 19 regular season matches in 2020 vs the 34 matches of the 2019 season. This does not include the Portland penalty since it does not count as a regular season match. I also chose to compare FCC from 2020 to 2019 since that's where we should see improvement, not necessarily against league averages.
There's 1000 ways to spin these numbers, but here are my takeaways.
The defense has greatly improved. This one is obvious, but the team deserves credit here. Not only are they not giving up as many goals, there are fewer goals being expected to be scored which indicates the defense is preventing more high quality chances.
Bu the offense is bad. There are just not enough scoring chances being produced. When you combine the expected goals numbers with the passes into the final third and passes into the penalty area, it clearly shows that this team is incapable of getting the ball into dangerous positions. To add insult to injury, the team is not capitalizing on the good chances it does create, with far fewer goals than they have been expected to produce.
One area that is an improvement is passing. This is largely an indication that the quality of player on the FCC roster has improved from 2019 to 2020. The team is attempting about 50 more passes a match and they're more accurate with those passes. The passing completion rate passes between 5 and 25 yards also shows the team is improving. This metric shows us an average pass, which the team is better with.
But the takeaway here is this, this team isn't improving by very much. If at all. A large portion of the roster has been changed over and a new manager has had plenty of time to work with the players. Perhaps a miracle can't be performed overnight, but the offense has actually regressed according to these statistics.
Speaking of, all of the statistics are being gathered from fbref.com who uses Stats Bomb for some of the more sophisticated statistics. If anyone, including the team, would like to point me in the direction of more accurate numbers, I would be happy to use them.
What do you think these numbers tell you?