Jun 23, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; New England Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney (8) shoots the ball against Toronto FC at BMO Field. The FC tied the Revolution 2-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
When you look at the numbers of this weekend's Revolution match against Toronto FC you realize one thing very quickly: New England dominated the hosts in just about every major stat category. Not only did the Revs LOOK like they dominated the game, the numbers back it up too.
The Revs had possession, loads of it actually, as well as more than a healthy share of attempts on goal. For a team on the road, the Revs played just about as well as you could without picking up all three points.
In this week's revs by Numbers we're going to how you just how lopsided this affair in Toronto was at times, and break down the areas where things can still be a little better on the field as the Revs push forward in their quest for the playoffs!
New England Revolution
Attempts on Goal
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Open Play Crosses
Duels Won %
Passing Accuracy %
The most lopsided stat? POSSESSION. While most teams trailing on the road will tend to have more of the possession as they try and chase the match, a nearly 64-36 split is incredible. Not only did the Revolution have plenty of the ball, they almost DOUBLED the amount of passes that Toronto FC completed on the night (535-299).
One of the stats that I had really harped on last week was the low passing percentage the Revs put up in their 0-0 draw with Columbus, and in just a week's time, the Revs increased their completion percentage to a whopping 80% against Toronto. Possession is important, and even more important is what you do with it. The Revs took better care of the ball, and it showed in the quality of chances they produced as well as their overall quality of play.
Speaking of chances, New England won that battle as well, with a robust 15 chances at goal, with 10 of them reaching the target. Chances breed goals, and looking at how close the Revs came on several of their chances, you have to walk away from this match pleased with how attractive they played for long stretches in this match.
It's been brought to my personal attention that a few of the key stat categories on MLSSoccer.com 's "chalkboard" feature may be a bit skewed from what the in-game stats may show from Opta, so we'll be a little bit more careful and clear in our analysis this week. While we figure out what some of the stats actually include "like tackled and possession lost", let's just keep to the bigger stats we're all comfortable with.
Chris Tierney was a monster on Saturday any way you slice it. While the chalkboard feature on MLSSoccer.com seems to include just about every touch on the field, there's no denying that a stat of 71 total completed passes is a big night. Chris has been one of the players most often talked about here statistically, and Saturday night showed how much better this team is when he contributes in a big way.
In addition to Tierney, Lee Nguyen seemingly had a strong night too, going 51/56 in passing on the chalkboard, and his heat map shows while he owned the left flank, he also at times helped all over the field. If the Revs can nail down that left flank with strong games from both players, they're a much stronger team.
Lastly, I don't even want to attempt to break down Benny Feilhaber's chalkboard stats. Let's just say he's good. Really good. Benny filled up the sheet in so many different stats it makes my mind hurt. 56 completed passes (3 of them were considered "key passes"), won 4 fouls, a few attempts on goal (the long shot that led to the goal comes to mind as a big moment), and I'm pretty sure I saw him selling popcorn in the stands at one point too. I sound like a broken record, but it bears repeating: this team is so much better with Benny at CAM, and as he goes, so go the Revs.
The style of play is there, the quality is there, now the results need to be there. New England is unbeaten in their last three matches, and as they return home to face Seattle on Saturday, you can be almost certain that another dominating statistical night like this one will definitely put the Revs in the right position for a result.