Analyzing the Recent Revolution Venom: The Potency Index

USA TODAY Sports

What's gotten into these Revs? We look at some statistical trends with our boys in blue we try to sort out what's been going right for the Revs as of late.

They say nothing destroys a team faster than poor passing and nothing builds a team's confidence more rapidly than accurate passing. Let's take a look passing accuracy, possession and passes per game so far in the chart below.

Total Passes as been a roller coaster this year and doesn't really follow any trend, but seems to follow the Possession line as expected. Possession is a deceiving stat as each game has it's own strategy and story line that might change how often a team actually attempts to possess the ball. When playing on the West Coast the Revs sport an abysmal possession rate of 32%. The two games in question are away to Portland and Seattle; two games few us believed the Revs would come home with any points from. The Revs tied both clubs while employing a game plan focused on absorbing pressure and counterattacks, not maintaining possession.

Passing accuracy on the other hand should be important in every match and the Revs since the season opener (where it sported Donnie Smith at LM, remember that?) continue to improve and trend upward. This can be contributed to a more consistent lineup and the adherence to the 4-1-4-1/4-3-3 formation. Based on the data so far it appears that the surface on which they play on has no impact on passing accuracy.

Potency and Venom

The Potency Index is my attempt to devise a way to manipulate match data show how effective the team is playing. We're passing well, possessing great, but what are we doing with it? Granted every game is a different story and strategy changes in specific situations; for example playing from behind or on the road as mentioned above. Overall I'm looking to show how many passes on average do the Revs make before they create an attempt on goal. What percentage of these attempts on goal yield shots on target? About two games ago, my data started to really marry up with our form and after yesterday's destruction of LA 5-0 the stats further improved.

For every attempt on goal it can be one of three qualifiers: Shot on Target, Shot Off Target or Blocked Shot. I assumed that if Shots on Target made up a higher percentage of the attempts on goal matrix that it would surely marry up with winning results and would really indicate that the Revs were creating and taking better chances on offense. This is the red line which during our early season scoring drought was erratic and has since found a consistent upward trend. Following the trend in opposite direction is the blue line, the number of passes per attempt on goal. The thought with this stat is to show potency. What are the Revs doing with their possession? Does it lead to offensive chances? How dangerous are we when we have the ball? How often? Based on the recent results and data, we want this blue line closest to zero and the red line as close to 100% as possible.

The Revs are 4-1-2 since their 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union. They've adopted a formation and strategy using a combination of Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo out wide unpredictably overlapping forward and creating havoc. They've looked dangerous, making good use of their possession and creating better chances with it by improving the percentage of attempts that go on target.

The Revs hit their max potency when over 30% of their attempts on goal are shots on target and for roughly every 100 passes an attempt on goal is created.

Other Random Stat Nuggets:

1. West Coast Possession Rate = 32%

2. Pass Accuracy on Grass vs Turf = 75% / 72%

3. Season Goals For / Against = 1.15 / .69

4. Fouls Committed vs Suffered = 13.08 / 12.85

5. Average Home Attendance (tickets sold) = 13,599

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