Match statistics

Philadelphia Union

Defensive Statistics: Union 2-1 NYCFC

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A look at defensive stats from the Union's win over NYCFC.

Final review: Castrol Index vs. PSP player ratings

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A look at where Union players finish the season on the Castrol Index and the season averages of PSP's player ratings.

Big tallies

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Over the previous five games, the Union have scored 2 or more goals 3 times, winning twice. They've also conceded 2 or more goals twice for 2 losses. What's happening statistically when the Union have conceded or scored 2 or more goals?

Castrol Index vs PSP player ratings: How do they compare?

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One is an objective measure of player performance, the other is a subjective assessment. How do the rankings of Union players in the Castrol Index compare with the average their PSP postgame player ratings?

1-1-1 against TFC: What was going on?

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The Union went 1-1-1 against the worst team in the league. We look at some match stats to try to understand why they didn't go 3-0-0.

When a loss is the best game

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You could hear it being said by the fans as we all walked out of PPL Park, you could hear it from the players themselves in post-game interviews.

Even though the Philadelphia Union lost 3–2 to New York, that was the best game the team played all year.

How was that so?


When we talk about the team having a good game, we mean just that—not just a typically strong defensive effort, but also a good offensive effort, a total team effort.

How Zac and the D are getting it done

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

Zac MacMath recorded his third consecutive shutout on Saturday night, a feat never before accomplished by a Philadelphia Union goalkeeper. (The Union had back-to-back shutouts three times in 2011, twice with Faryd Mondragon and once with MacMath. They didn't record a shutout in 2010 until Brad Knighton's on September 11, the only other of the season coming 2 games later.

Visualizing Union passing stats

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Photo: Earl Gardner

Yesterday we looked a basic passing statistics over the first four games. In the scatter plot below, we can see a simple pattern emerge along positional bands, much as Rolando De Aguiar demonstrated in a post last December looking at passing statistics from 2011.

Offensive struggles

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Striking out

Danny Mwanga recorded no shots against Chicago in 65 minutes of play. Against Portland he recorded no shots in 30 minutes of play. In the home opener he recorded 2 goal attempts, one of which was on target, in 90 minutes of play. In other words, one shot on target in 185 minutes of play.

How did the Union offense improve?

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After the dispiriting effort in Portland that saw only 5 attempts on goal, 2 of which were on target, the Philadelphia Union offense showed signs of life against Colorado. Although that game also was a loss, the Union did manage 20 attempts on goal. While that is a cause for celebration, it is important to remember that 10 of those attempts were off target and 5 were blocked.

Timbers 3-1 Union: Looking at some numbers

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Well, that wasn't very pretty, was it?

What can we learn using the match stats from the Chalkboard at's Match Center about the Philadelphia Union's 3–1 loss to Portland Timbers in Monday night's season opener?

Passing and shooting

Portland had a greater number of passes and a better passing accuracy percentage with 482 passes with a passing accuracy of 72 percent.


Wins, losses & goals

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After ten games, the Union's record under John Hackworth stands at .500. PSP looks at some of the numbers.

The Union’s 2011 passing game, by the numbers

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Featured image: Paul Rudderow

When I was gathering the season stats for all of the Philadelphia Union players to share with the PSP writers for our forthcoming 2011 season review series I realized no passing stats were available, either for the club or for individual players. Actually, that's not precisely true; you can find passing percentages for the team on a game-by-game basis by clicking on the Stat tab for each game's MatchCenter page at MLSsoccer.

Statistical analysis of Union at Houston

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By the end of the first half of the first game of the playoff series against Houston it was clear that the Philadelphia Union's defense was not adequately familiar with the new formation deployed by Peter Nowak against the Houston Dynamo at PPL Park. In the second half, the Union reverted to the tried and tested four man backline that had been so instrumental in seeing the Union advance to the playoffs in the first place.

That new formation in stats

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

When asked on's Extratime podcast what he thought when Peter Nowak introduced the five man backline to the team, Danny Califf said, "To be honest, you know, I was a bit surprised. Most of the time, come playoff time, it's not the time to be experimenting and trying out new things and new personnel and things like that.

Union at NY by the numbers

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

It was as poor a performance as we've seen from the Philadelphia Union this season against a New York team that, with rare exceptions, did not look at all good.

With the obvious exception of the number of goals, when looking at the match statistics, there appears to be as much parity to be found as there is advantage.

Drawing: an overview

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

The joy of the Philadelphia Union making it into the playoffs for the first time in only their second year in existence was somewhat dampened by the fact that the match against Toronto ended as a 1–1 draw. Sure, we all wanted the last regular season home game to end in victory for the team that has provided us all with so much over the course of a season that in many ways has exceeded all reasonable expectation for such a young club.

Seven things the Union did better in Seattle

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The last time the Philadelphia Union played in Seattle it was their debut game as an expansion team, a game that ended as a 2–0 loss. When asked after Saturday night's 2–0 victory over Seattle what had changed in the 18 months since then, Peter Nowak replied bluntly, "The result changed. That's more important than anything.

Stat chat: the winless streak

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Photo: Paul Rudderow

In the past two home games, the Philadelphia Union recorded 42 attempts on goal—including 13 shots on goal, 18 shots off target and 11 blocked shots. They also had 12 corner kicks, 46 open play crosses, a duels won percentage of 52.5, completed 691 of 892 passes for a passing accuracy of 77.

Stat chat: Mondragon

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

With the prospect of no Carlos Valdes in the back line to face Real Salt Lake, last week we looked at the defender statistics for the Philadelphia Union through the first 24 games of the season. In doing so, the numbers confirmed what was already a generally held opinion: the Union defense has suffered since the departure of Jordan Harvey.

Stat chat: The Union defense

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Photo: Nicolae Stoian

The question of consistent selection with the Union starting lineups has vexed the team's supporters from the start of the season. Except for the defensive starters. The defensive starters have been comfortingly predictable, apart from three occasions involving illness or suspension—one of which happened to overlap with a transfer that came out of nowhere and resulted in a new back four.

Stat chat: Union at Columbus

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The Union slump worsened on Saturday with the 2–1 loss to Columbus. The Union's record on the road now stands at 3–5—4. Overall, they are 8–6–10 with a 5–1–6 home record.

The Union are now winless in five games, having gone L–D–D–D–L since their last win on the road in New England on July 17, which also happens to be the last shutout the team has recorded and the last league game Carlos Ruiz played for the club.

Stat chat: Union v Dallas

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In addition to the two PK goals Sebastien Le Toux recorded on Saturday in the Philadelphia Union's 2–2 draw with FC Dallas, Le Toux led the Union in shots on goal with three. Danny Mwanga and Keon Daniel each recorded a single shot on goal.

Le Toux's tally on Saturday brings his total of PK goals to three—all of Le Toux's goals have come from penalty kicks this year—the same number as Eric Hassli, Dwayne De Rosario, Jack Jewsbury and Alvaro Saborio.

Stat chat: Too many draws & the consistency question

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One of the criticisms you hear about soccer from Americans who don't know/understand/like the sport is that there are too many draws. I've always liked that draws are possible in soccer and find the need of some American sports fans to have a clear cut winner and loser frankly incomprehensible. For myself, I know I've probably had more draws than wins or losses in the game of life so why should the sport I love most be any different?

Stat chat: Union at Chicago

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In Chicago on Wednesday night, it was another ugly showing by the Union.

In 90 minutes of play, the Union managed one shot on goal. Fortunately, Veljko Paunovic made no mistake with the shot. Recording three shots on goal in six appearances, he has now scored two goals.

With a little time away from the emotions of the match, it is perhaps easier to accept that a point on the road is a good thing (even if three points are what should be expected when the Union plays one of its games in hand against a last place team).

Stat chat: Union v Rapids

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What a terrible first half.

While the Union tallied 20 attempts on goal by the end of their 2–1 loss to Colorado, only four were made in the first half. Of those, none was on target with Keon Daniel hitting the crossbar. Of the two Union forwards, Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga, only Le Toux registered an attempt on goal in the first half.

Stat chat: Union v Real Madrid

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I thought it would be informative to compare the performance of the Union starters to those of the Union's subs in the Everton and Real Madrid friendlies. After all, much of the exciting offensive action for the Union was produced in the second half of each of those games, the highpoints being young Marfan's cheeky chip against Real Madrid and the finish of the even younger Hernandez against Everton.

Stat chat: Three road wins

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You gotta love a road win, especially against a conference rival.

Sunday's emphatic 3–0 win over the Revolution—only the third time this season the Union have scored more than two goals and the fifth time they have scored more than one—puts the Union back on top of the Eastern Conference where the Union are undefeated against conference rivals with a 5–0–2 record.

Stat chat: on the road

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Heading into Sunday's match against New England (7pm, CSN), the Philadelphia Union's their tenth road game of the 2011 season, the Union's 2011 away record is 2–4–3.

Some of us may grumble that some of those draws should have been wins and some of those of those losses should have been draws.

Stat chat: Union at DC

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For the second game in a row, the Union entered the second half down a goal and battled back with multiple goals—against DC one of their two goals was a Perry Kitchen own goal— to secure points.

Having been out shot, out crossed, as well as out possessed by nearly 20 percent in the first half, the Union took it to DC in the second half.

Stat Chat: Union v Chivas USA

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You know the old line, "It was a game of two halves." And so it was on Saturday.

In the first half the Union managed five shots, only one of which was on goal.

Keon Daniel's placement at left fullback seemed to offer a steady assuredness from the back that resulted in fewer long balls over the top and, consequently, over the midfield.

Stat chat: Vancouver v Union

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In the wake of the Union's listlessly ugly loss to Vancouver on Saturday, comments appeared on the PSP and elsewhere describing the Union's performance as their worst since the loss to Dallas. As might be expected, there is truth in the obvious.

Looking back over the past nine games (detailed match statistics became available on MLSSoccer.

Shat chat: Union v RSL

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Why didn't the Union earn three points at home against Real Salt Lake? Peter Nowak told reporters after the game that "We talked in the locker room about pushing for a second goal. That was my point to the guys...We gave [Real Salt Lake] a chance to come back and in one shot, that's it, the game is over.

Stat chat: Rapids v Union

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The Union won an important road point in their 1–1 draw with the defending MLS champion Colorado Rapids on Saturday. It's probably safe to say that many Union fans, myself included, thought Philadelphia had a real shot at a win. Danny Mwanga said after the game that the dodgy PK call served as a motivator for the team.

Stat Chat: Toronto v Union

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It was the offensive explosion for which we've all been waiting.

Against Toronto, the Union nearly doubled its goal total for the year. And it did so with multiple goal scorers—four in total—with two of the goal scorers scoring four of the team's six goals on the day.

More attempts = more shots on target = more goals

Through the first nine games of 2011, the Union scored only six goals.

The Rest

Quantifying early 2013 MLS season ugliness

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Shots and goals are down in 2013 while fouls are up. Earl Reed explores how play at the start of the 2013 MLS season been uglier than in 2012.

The defense is back and so is Le Touch

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Much of the focus following Saturday's win over Columbus Crew was on a starting lineup that included seven starters and three substitutes who were 23-years-old or younger. And why shouldn't it be, it's an exciting story that bodes well for the long-term future of the team. In the short term, however, the bigger story was the continuing return to form of the defense and Sebastien Le Toux continuing return to the score sheet.