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Cascadia Cup Rivalry Week: Timbers vs Sounders a statistical look

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My contribution to rivalry week will be based solely on the product on the field this year. We will be looking at each team stats to see who has the better defense and offense.

So lets look at numbers in General first:

Club GP Gsort icon A SHT SOG FC FS OFF CK PKG PKA











Portland Timbers 8 12 9 95 32 84 113 33 37 0 1
Seattle Sounders FC 10 12 14 134 49 152 110 24 50 2 2

So as you can see the number is some differences in the numbers between the two clubs which some can be accounted for if you look at the games played. For the rest of the discussion we are actually only going to look at Shots on goal for and against as well as goals for and against.

More after the jump.

Shots

Shots for

Shots against

Shots for avg

Shots ag. Avg

Portland

95

88

11.875

11

Seattle

134

106

13.4

10.6

As you can see from the chart that the Portland Timbers give up just slightly more than the Seattle Sounders. Seattle is one of the highest teams in the shots for category, most of this stems from the fact that they had 26 shots against Houston. If you take the Houston game out there average drops down to 12.

Conversion rate

Shots are great and all but if you can't put the ball into the net and convert then you lose or draw more often than you win. To find the conversion rate you just need to take the number of goals and divide it by the number of shots, if you want a different conversion rate you can remove Penalties from both shots and goals, I did not do this as I could not find a definitive answer as to whether or not MLS counts PK's as shots.

Team

Conversion rate

Portland

12.60%

Seattle

8.90%

Looking at those numbers you can see Portland does hit a pretty good clip. If you do this for all of the teams Portland has the 3rd best conversion rate, with only Colorado Rapids and DC United ahead of them, while the Sounders have the 14th.

Defensive Production:

Defensive production is looking at how many goals are produced from the shots given up. It is calculated the same same was as conversion rate but here the lower the number the better.

Team

Defensive Production

Portland

0.147727

Seattle

0.09434

There really isn't a lot of surprises here as most of us knew Portland's number would high because of the fact that they gave up so many goals early and just posted their first two shutouts in the their last 3 games.

Analysis

So what does all this mean. Well despite what some experts thought Seattle is actually better defensively than they are offensively. Their Conversion rate is something that has been one of the areas they needed to improve upon but have failed to do so. In other words their strikers like to shoot but find the net less often compared to the rest of the MLS. Portland on the other hand is the exact opposite as they have converted better than most teams in the MLS but have also given up more goals.

In the end this Saturday it will come down to who puts the ball in the back of the net and numbers lean slightly in Portland's favor. However defensively they lean towards Seattle's. If Portland can eliminate the mistakes in the first 15 minutes of a game then I predict a Portland win or a Draw. Especially since you can frustrate Seattle if they are playing from behind or haven't scored yet. This frustration leads them to be even tighter and miss shots, however if Seattle scores and gets to defend they are tougher to crack than some teams.