Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports
Following the loss to D.C. United on Saturday, Jason Kreis praised his side's response to conceding a goal.
"I'm really, really pleased with how they responded to going a goal down," Kreis said, "There was no feeling sorry for themselves, it was just, ‘Okay, now we got to be a little more aggressive with our decisions,' and I thought the guys had a terrific response."
Let's look specifically at some statistical trends before and after the goal scored and see if we can quantify that response.
Before v. After: The 58th minute
- Shooting: Before: 2 shots, both on target; after: 7 shots, 1 on target, 4 blocked
- Passing: Before: 168/213 passing (79%); after: 176/261 (67%)
- Passing in the final third: Before: 28/45; After: 40/56
- Tackles won: Before: 17/19; After: 9/9
- D.C. United passing: Before: 225/332 (67%); after: 62/99 (63%)
- Left back passing positions: Before — Kenny Mansally passing in defensive half: 24/30 (11/14 attacking); After — Lovel Palmer passing in defensive half: 4/7 (15/20 attacking)
- Luis Gil passing: Before: 10/15; after: 22/28
The big standout for me? Luis Gil's improvement — he demanded the ball a bit more and looked more dangerous after the goal was scored. Also of note is the difference in play between Kenny Mansally and Lovel Palmer, with Palmer pushing considerably further forward.
For a goal that was scored two-thirds of the way through the match, seeing the difference in passing — more passes completed and made during the last third of the match, for example — gives a great picture of the match.
Simply put, before conceding, Real Salt Lake hadn't been strong enough in attack. Is it merely coincidental that the improvement in attack came with Robbie Findley's departure? Perhaps. Gil's improvement isn't down to Findley, though, and that's worth thinking about. There was a big shift, and tying it down to one player would be irresponsible at best.