While numbers never give an all encompassing picture of a soccer match, they can be great indicators of good things happening. Let’s take a look at five quick stats that show why good things are happening for Real Salt Lake.
1 - Shots on target do not always equate to goals. However, shots off target never had a prayer. We out shot our opponents sixteen to thirteen which is not rare, but we did put 50% of them on frame. Even Dunny mentioned how both Rusnak and Plata were putting greats shots on target. Everything changes when we force the keeper to make difficult saves and today we did that and it payed off.
2 - Tony Beltran was back and boy did he put in a shift. Beltran seemed to be everywhere, always in the attack yet somehow able to make those long runs back to stop the cross. That is why he is such a valuable and incredibly underrated player. He also had seventy eight touches of the ball, more than anyone else on the team. the only one that comes close is Plata at seventy four. Total team touches came in at 593 which means he had 13% of all touches.
Whether getting those touches after amazing defensive feats or while springing forward to press the attack, it is obvious that he is an integral part of the team.
3 - We have all heard or read about Yura Movsisyan speaking out on not getting playing time. It has been five games since Yura has started and played a full match. Yura has only started one of the last four games and has a combined 104 minutes. He is only averaging twenty minutes per game when being subbed on. Do those kinds of minutes indicate Petke’s position regarding Yura’s performances this season?
4 - Jefferson Savarino definitely brings fantastic skill and speed on that right wing. Not only is he an amazing attacking player but he also made some great defensive plays. Savarino started for the second time and got himself another assist.
Savarino has played in four games so far and each time he starts he gets an assist. On that same note, of the four games he has played in, we have won two and lost two. Can you guess which two we won? Yep, the games he started. Hopefully Petke plans on starting him for the rest of the season.
5 - Blocked shots is an interesting statistic because it can mean a lot or very little depending on how the game was played. Matt Montgomery talked about blocked shots in”Malfunctioning RSL struggling with long passes, blocked shots”. In his article he talked about how when we concede early, most teams sit back and defend deep which gives them much more time and more bodies to block our shots. Though we still had two shots blocked they were of a very different kind. They were not from having four defenders all clumped but from individual defenders diving to make the save. This was certainly attributable to not conceding early. Hopefully we can start of trend of scoring first and then who knows, maybe even regularly keeping clean sheets.