VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC came away with a 2-2 draw with first-place Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday. As Erik Hurtado told reporters after the match, it was a disappointing result but not by any means a disappointing performance.
Here are four interesting statistics (courtesy of Opta Sports) that back up Hurtado’s statement.
A look at Gershon Koffie's "touchmap" (courtesy of the 'Caps App). Click to enlarge.
Gershon Koffie was named the Budweiser Man of the Match on Saturday and for good reason. Considering the following statistics, it may have been his best match ever.
The 22-year-old Ghanaian set new career-highs in touches (95), shots (8), and tackles (8) on Saturday. No player on either team had higher totals in any of these categories. In fact, no player had more tackles in all of Major League Soccer on the weekend and LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane was the only player who had more shots (9).
Also of note, Koffie completed 58 of 63 passes for a 92.06 completion rate, which was the best in the match among starters. Finally, he was involved in 23 duels (defined as a “50-50 contest between opposing players) and he won 17 of them – both league-highs on the weekend.
After the match, Koffie told reporters that he felt he needed to raise his game playing against his counterpart Osvaldo Alsonso – one of the best holding midfielders in MLS. And that’s exactly what he did.
Clearances in purple and interceptions in blue (courtesy of MLSsoccer.com). Click to enlarge.
A lot of the post-match talk surrounded Whitecaps FC centre back Jay DeMerit and his controversial penalty, which left the 'Caps skipper "devastated," but the numbers suggest DeMerit put in a strong performance against Sounders FC.
The 6-foot-1 centre back had a combined 12 clearances and interceptions, which was more than any player on either team. Five of his eight clearances were headers.
DeMerit also completed 32 of 35 passes for a 91.43 per cent completion rate, which was the second best among Whitecaps FC starters.
Morales' key passes in yellow and assist in blue (courtesy of MLSsoccer.com). Click to enlarge.
That’s how many chances Pedro Morales created for his teammates against Seattle.
To put that number in perspective, the most chances created by any MLS player in a single match this season is eight (courtesy of Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales and San Jose Earthquakes winger Shea Salinas).
With his assist on Hurtado’s goal, his third of the season, the Chilean midfielder is now tied for the team-lead with striker Darren Mattocks. He’s also tied for the team-lead with three goals.
The only MLS newcomer with more combined goals and assists this season is Chicago Fire rookie Harrison Shipp.
Check out the shot chart from Saturday's match (courtesy of the 'Caps App). Click to enlarge.
The ‘Caps outshot Seattle by a 24-8 margin on Saturday. At +16, that was Vancouver’s largest shot differential since joining MLS in 2011.
As Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said after the match, the next part of the team's progression is to start finishing more of these chances. However, he also rightly noted that it would be more concerning if the team wasn't creating chances at all.
It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.