How can Seattle Sounders beat Los Angeles FC?
While the European football leagues are about to begin, the Major League Soccer season has been in full flow.
As we head into match week 23, the CONCACAF Champions League holders Seattle Sounders find themselves a point behind the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
In this post, we use the Opponent Analysis Application to see how they can beat league leaders Los Angeles FC in the heavyweight clash at the weekend.
Los Angeles FC maintain a narrow lead in both the Western Conference and the overall league table of the regular season of the MLS.
The club have lost just once at home in 11 matches, and now with the addition of some big names from Europe, they look like an unstoppable force.
This weekend, they come up against a Seattle side who have shown that they can defy the odds, but they will need to be on top of their game in all areas to have any chance of taking something away from the match.
As the games come thick and fast, our Opponent Analysis application can be used for a wide range of pre-match analysis including, a quick overview of the opposition’s tactical trends, key players to watch out for and much more.
This data-driven method of analysis can act as a quick starting point for the analysts before moving to video footage. For instance, the tactical insights from the report can highlight a certain area of weakness in the opposition that can then be passed on to the coaches.
There are several key findings from our report on LAFC.
So far this season, the Black and Gold have proved to be a dominant attacking side and have scored the second-most goals in the MLS (42). Further, they have shown the ability to create their chances in a variety of different ways.
Figure 1. Overview of how LAFC create their chances
This is reflected in the data by looking at how LAFC behave in chance creation. You can see in the above figure that over the last 5 games, they tend to create a bulk of their chances from dribbles into the box and from shots outside the box.
But the Los Angeles based club also show tendencies to create chances from the center and from the flanks. This versatility can be very difficult to defend against.
Figure 2. LAFC’s top contributors in our selected criteria
Our report also highlights the top individual contributors in the above-mentioned areas. As you can see Acosta and Rodriguez are not just the team’s best performers but also dominate the league rankings.
New signing Gareth Bale notched his first goal of the season last weekend for LAFC, and his addition will make them even more lethal and dominant in these areas.
This means that Seattle should plan to close LAFC down quicker in their own third and ensure that their wingers track back and help curtail the threat from wide areas.
FULL OPPONENT ANALYSIS REPORT
The Sounders have never missed the postseason since entering the MLS and a win this weekend in Los Angeles would go a long way to insure that streak continues.
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