The weekend before last Thorns FC struggled through a tough loss. Defensive lapses, scoring difficulties, and an…unhelpful, shall we say?…center referee handed the team a real stinker of a home defeat.
When it’s tough at home, what’s a team to do?
Unfortunately, sometimes even those turn out…suboptimally.
I’m getting so sick of this shit.
I wanted to post this just because I thought you readers might be interested in seeing behind the scenes of the glamorous soccer-blogging lifestyle. It’s not just hanging out with the players in trendy nightclubs or hob-nobbing with the wealthy owners.
Sometimes it’s all about the boring, dry stats, baby. Stuff like this:
That’s from the OPTA stats on the Timber’s match against San Jose back in early June.
OPTA has tons of this sort of great stuff; heat maps, player actions, average team position…while I won’t pretend that “stats tell the story” it helps to get a big picture of a team or a player’s actions, successful or otherwise, to get some sort of sense beyond just your feeling “Gee, seems like Kat Reynolds is getting beat a lot” or “Is Chara pushing up more in the second half, or an I just seeing him more there than when he drops deep?”
As you know, I’ve been using Richard Hamje’s “plus-minus” ratings this season to try and give you a sense of what the Thorns are doing on the pitch.
Actually, I keep more notes that I give you here; the basic numerical PMRs are just the Clif’s Notes version, the digested form, if you will.
(I have no idea whether you care about how I do this, but I’ve come this far so bear with me for a moment and I’ll tell you what goes into these little bunches of numbers.
An own goal, a PK, another own goal, a goalkeeping blunder, two red cards, two next game suspensions. Am I missing anything? Oh, yeah, we lost.
So far this season Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC have played four halves of soccer. The aggregate score is 3-3. But there are halves, and there are halves, and, unfortunately for PTFC the Joisey Goils have had the better of three of the four.
Almost two weeks ago Thorns FC nicked an away win at Sky Blue by hanging on through a brutally ugly second half on strength of A.D. Franch going into Insane Keeper Brute Mode and the inability of SBFC to find the location of the big rectangular frame with the net thingie inside it.
Last Saturday it was Portland’s turn to lose track of that goal thingie, and Sky Blue’s turn to deal out the punishment.
With some help from the Man in Black.
Did Saturday’s game come down to two plays? Two mistakes that occurred within two minutes of each other? I’ve been pondering the idea. If you change Adi’s miss in front of goal, then change Gleeson’s charging out of goal two minutes later, the Timbers probably spend the majority of the second half with a 2-0 lead and probably finish with the full three points.
As always, soccer is a cruel sport.
Once a year, the following events occur:
1.) The Fourth Round draw for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is held,
2.) Merritt complains about it on Twitter,
3.) I (or someone else) accuse him of not taking the competition seriously,
4.) Merritt gives his accusor a nickname. I’ve been “Susan” for quite some time as a result of this.
Fanendo Adi has ended his long, dysfunctional relationship with the woodwork, and has gotten back together with his old flame, the back of the net. We’re all thrilled. Those two are great together.