Stat Bag

Stat Bag: How do the first three matches compare?

Looking to waste some time?

A lot has been said about individual performances and PTFC’s newfound ability to win in March (at least this year) and rightfully so.  However, other than a random tweet or two, there hasn’t been much said about how impressive Portland’s goals and wins compare to their first six seasons in MLS.  So, if you’re looking to waste some time reading useless stats while you wait for PTFC @ CLB to start, look no further!

Matches to 9 points and 10 goals

Three matches into the season and PTFC has 9 points (most in MLS) and 10 goals (2nd most behind Atlanta).  While three matches doesn’t seem like a lot, it is 8.8% of the total matches for the season and, assuming that you use 50 points as the magic playoff number (even though 48.3 points is the average point total for Western Conference playoff teams since Portland joined MLS), PTFC’s 9 points puts them 18% of the way to 50.  PTFC needs 41 points in the next 31 matches to get the magic 50, which is 1.32 ppg (just for reference 1.32 ppg would give you 45 total points at the end of the season).  This seems beyond doable and, while people shouldn’t get too excited after three matches, there should be at least a little hope.  After all, championships are built on hope.  Here is how three matches to 9 points and 10 goals compares to previous years:

Impressive to say the least.  PTFC’s best season as far as these stats are concerned was 2013 when it took them 6 matches to get 9 points (2.00 ppg) and score their 10th goal (1.67 goals/match).  When you compare 2017 to the 2011-16 average, it just makes you smile.  Also, knowing how CP’s teams tend to gel a little bit more as the season goes on, this team could be scary good as the season goes on, which makes me continue to smile.

GF & GA during the first 3 matches

These stats aren’t as fun or impressive, but I looked them up and if haven’t already closed the window to go look at some PTFC GIFs on Instagram (cheap plug!), you might be interested.  Over the first three matches this season, PTFC has 10 goals for and 3 goals against.  Yes, one match was against an expansion team and another against a 10-man struggling Galaxy team, but they’re still MLS matches and everyone will be playing those teams (COL only scored 2 v. MNUFC and allowed 2!).  I’d also like to add that one of the Houston goals allowed was off a bullshit-ish handball call in the box and another was on a quick strike counter in stoppage time of the first half, so it isn’t like there are many goals happening during the run of play.  Anyways…here are the stats for GF & GA from 2011-16 compared to 2017:

Alright, I know, I know…five of the goals for came against Minnesota, but four of them came against a ‘hot’ Dynamo team that many thought would test PTFC.  And, I’ve mentioned this as often as possible at /r/timbers, on FB, and on Twitter, but PTFC has played with a different backline every match and for the last two matches, they’ve been using 3 backups in the backline (and one of those matches they had a 3rd string option in).  Even against an expansion team and a 10-sided team, it’s still impressive for backups to only allow 1.00 goals per match, especially when you think back to ’14 when backline backups consisted of players like Rauwshan McKenzie (shudder).

What does this mean?

Nothing really, but you’re welcome for helping you waste a few minutes while you wait for kickoff!  I’ll plan on doing an updated article similar to this as we get a little further than 8.8% of the way through the season…

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