How about one more overview before the final few matches of the regular season? With only four matches left, there is still a TON to play for. The Central Division is far from a lock for Louisville City. Let’s dive right into it.
LouCity held a six-point lead over the Birmingham Legion when the data was pulled for Part 3. That lead has evaporated to only two points. Two road draws from Morados was all the Legion needed to make it a tighter race. Home field has been officially secured for the first match of the playoffs, but the fans and the organization want more. Snagging as many points as possible and snagging first will certainly help with that. Although FiveThirtyEight currently favors City, it could very well come down to the last match of the season, BHMvLOU. Yikes. See the links below for the matches that have occurred since the last check-in.
Let’s dig into the numbers. As usual, I have pulled data from American Soccer Analysis. For those who are unfamiliar with “expected goals”, or xG, I recently posted a piece explaining this advanced metric using LouCity examples. I’d encourage you to check it out!
First up, goals for (GF), goals against (GA), and expected goals (xG). Louisville City’s GF and xGF have both crept up to 1.96 per match. Still one of the best in the league only trailing PHX. Their attack is lethal and, based on GF/G-xGF/G, pretty much exactly what we would expect. GA and xGA, however, are a little bit different of a story. GA went up 0.01 to 1.14 per match and xGA went up 0.02 to 0.82 per match. The difference between the two, GA/G-xGA/G, is now up to 0.328 which you will see a little down the page is unlucky. One of the unluckiest, in fact. Both individual values are great, the gap is just unfortunate. LouCity has done a fabulous job of limiting chances, but the opposition has found more goals than we would have expected.
Looking at shots and goals, City scores at one of the highest rates and manages some of the most shots (but Phoenix Rising dominates that stat). The above-average shot-to-goal ratio is always something you love to see.
Points per game have remained steady at 1.96 while expected points per game have crawled up to a league-leading 2.16. An unfortunate testament to the missed opportunities and unlucky breaks. Had LOU managed to close the gap between Pts and xPts, we could have been talking about a potential regular-season crown, but alas, that was not to be.
In Part 3, I shared the “Good-Lucky” concept that assesses xPts/G with Pts/G-xPts/G (GF and GA as well) to demonstrate if teams have been “lucky” or “unlucky” and “good” or “bad”. Based on what has been shared above, it was easy to guess that City is “good” but not without some unfortunate luck. Scoring hasn’t exactly been the problem, but conceding has been (in the “lucky” vs “unlucky” context).
The summary shared previously still holds very true; “Louisville City is good, but not without its flaws. On paper, they stack up to almost all other teams in the league and look like they have a reasonable shot of continuing City’s historic trend of success in the playoffs.” But before the playoff run commences, there is still a job to be done in the regular season. With Danny officially retaining control (#CruzControl), I hope that has the boys focused on the objective ahead so that they can enter the November playoffs confident from their ability to close out the regular season.