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Beyond the Lens - Statistically Speaking

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How bad has it been?

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at San Jose Earthquakes John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Numbers don’t lie. It’s been bad and we all know it. Ownership, the Front Office, the coaches, the players and probably the trainers know it and probably everyone associated with the club. How many want to admit it though?

The eternal optimist will say that the Caps are capable of scoring 3 goals against Portland on Sunday. They’ll point to games where the team has scored 3 goals during the season. They’re not wrong, however, a number of those have come in Voyageurs/CCL play against inferior sides. The last 3 goal victory was back on April 23rd, against Dallas, one of which was credited as a Maynor Figueroa own goal.

Here’s a breakdown of the goals in MLS play scored by month:
March: 6 (4 games)
April: 6 (6 games)
May: 11 (5 games)
June: 4 (2 matches)
July: 6 (6 matches)
Aug: 1 (4 matches)
Sept: 6 (4 matches)
Oct: 1 (2 matches)

Most will look at it and say, yeah, the Caps could win by 3 to win the Cascadia Cup. I mean, they scored 6 in 4 games in September and 11 in May. More concerning should be the Caps have a -1 GD in 2 games vs Portland this year and the fact that they’ve only scored 8 goals in 10 MLS matches since Aug 1.

By my count, the Caps have scored 8 (Waston, Perez, Morales, Bolanos, Techera, Mezquida, Hurtado x 2) and conceded 9 goals from the 80th minute on (Piatti, Saborio x 2, Moor, Nagbe, Pontius, Sjoberg, Morris, Evans), from which 4 points had been gained and 7 points have been squandered for a net loss of 3 points. I know, it doesn’t work that way, but that’s how my math shakes down.

To break all that down, the only goals from the 80th minute on that had a tangible effect on the Caps points total were Perez’s bicycle against Chicago and Hurtado’s stoppage time goal against Colorado. On the flip side, Axel Sjoberg’s stoppage time goal, Morris’ only goal and Evans PK were contributors to the 7 dropped points and potentially the Cascadia Cup.

The rest of the goals either negated an earlier lead, were cancelled out by a later goal, piling on or just lipstick on a pig. I’m not even gonna get into Will Johnson’s last kick goal in the Voyageurs Cup Final.

Furthermore, the Caps have scored 7 of their 41 goals have come from the spot (Morales x 6 and Techera), while 3 have come from opposing team’s own goals (Figueroa, Glad and Sauro). Simply put, 31 goals have come as a result of the ball being directed into the opposing net by a member of the Caps.

Somehow, the Caps managed to score 10 goals in 4 games in CCL play. Granted, Central is not very good and Vermes doesn’t like the CCL scheduling, but when push comes to shove, people will look at the results from the Group Stage and pause for a moment.

We all know Pedro leads the team in goals with 8 as a roaming midfielder. I don’t know what else to call him, when Robbo seems to play the guy everywhere, you know, when he’s not injured or suspended from stupid red cards. The next part is where it gets scary:

The Caps top 5 scorers are not out-and-out forwards.
Morales - 8
Bolanos - 5
Manneh - 5 (hasn’t played since July 9th)
Waston - 3
Mezquida - 3

I guess, Manneh is the closest, but I wouldn’t call him a forward. Hybrid, if anything.

Here’s a few more tidbits to gnaw on:
Bradley Wright-Phillips: 23 goals (0 from PK), 2682 minutes, .77 goals/90 minutes (715K guaranteed)
Diego Valeri: 13 goals (3 from PK), 2544 minutes, .46 goals/90 minutes (605K guaranteed)
Pedro Morales: 8 goals (6 from PK), 1983 minutes, .36 goals/90 minutes (1.47M guaranteed)

I know that BWP vs Morales isn’t a fair comparison as they play different positions and so on, that’s why I added Diego Valeri. Portland’s playmaker vs Vancouver’s playmaker. Guaranteed salaries are included just as a point of reference.

I’ve already beaten to death the Caps lack of discipline so I won’t go back into that cluster of a situation.

Positives? They’re in the CCL Quarter-Finals with their opponents to be determined upon conclusion of the Pumas UNAM/W Connection match on Thursday evening.