Better goal-scoring distribution?

Discussion in 'New England Revolution' started by Crewbasher, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Crewbasher

    Crewbasher Member

    Jul 7, 1999
    The Enemy Base
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As I was reading an article on the Revs-Mutts game (it's posted on the postgame thread, but for convenience sake: ), I noticed the passage that Heaps, Ralston, and Cancela all scored their first goals of the season. That's not surprising for JH, but it struck me as bizarre that Stevie and Pepe did not have a single goal between them for the first 13 games of the season. So I was thinking of who has scored for us (thanks to mlsnet's stat page):

    Noonan 8
    Dempsey 6
    Twellman 6
    Cancela 1
    Dorman 1
    Heaps 1
    Ralston 1
    Leonard 1
    Smith 1
    Joseph 1 (PK)

    Now, I'll take goals however they come to us: Free kicks, PKs, own-goals (but we can't always play LA) :D. My question, though, with the Gold Cup and future WC qualifiers on the horizon, is this: would you guys rather see a more even distribution of goals among our players? Obviously it's great to have three different players with 6 goals each, since it forces the defense to be extremely wary and play honest. But the fact that, through 14 games, the rest of our squad has only scored 7 goals worries me. Where are our goals going to come from while Dempsey and Noonan are away? (And before you say TnT, remember, defenses are probably going to tighten the clamps on him and not give him half the chances he would normally have with Demps and Noonan). Obviously, there are a lot of factors for why the goal-scoring distribution is the way it is, but wouldn't it be a little nicer if someone on the team besides Clint, TnT, and Pat could score more than one goal by nearly the midway point of the season?

    Maybe I'm overreacting here (quite possible) ;) , but I can't help but feel a little uncomfortable when looking at that stat. What do you guys think?
  2. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think things are just fine the way they are. When you lead the league in scoring it's hard to say we have a "problem".

    I suspect with their track record we will see Ralston and Dorman pick up a few more goals over the season. I suspect we will see Joey get one or two on a Free Kicks and most likely Riley will open his book as he gets more playing time.

    The real question marks are Smith and Edozien (or some of the other Reserves) and their ability (or inability) to score when playing first team ball.
  3. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Member+

    Apr 25, 2000
    SE Mass
    I, on the other hand, think this is a major problem for exactly the reasons you mentioned. The #1 reason why Twellman isn't on the USMNT is that he can't make goals happen unless the opposition is distracted by other threats. With Smith and Edozien now recognized as non-factors, and no credible attack from the left side, prepare for a long evening of bunker-and-counter.
  4. Dan B

    Dan B New Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Marlborough, MA, USA
    I agree that this is a problem, especially with 2 of the 3 goal scorers away with the US Nats.

    While we are tied with the Hoops in Goal prodcution, 2 of our 3 multi goal scorers are away again. We need more from the wings.

    Ralston has been playing better of late, but he seems to have saved his best stuff for the National team this year. Riley was playing better before his hamstring injury. Leonard with one exception all season has not been a threat, and the Smith/Edozian forward combination does nothing to help. We don't have dominant center backs that are dangerous on set pieces, and we don't have anyone who can score on a direct free kick (OK, maybe on a PK).

    But ... This is a generic problem with the 3-5-2! While you do have 5 in the midfield, the wings have to cover a tremendous amount of real estate. They are not as free to move forward as in a 4-4-2. If they get caught playing too far up the field, then the 3 man back is exposed on the counter.

    If your wings (in a 3-5-2) are fast, and a "credible threat" to round the corner, then the opposing team cannot advance easily on that side of the field. We wind up playing defensively on the wings because our real threat is up the middle with Twellman, Noonan & Dempsey (making runs), and that's where we play the ball.

    If you watch off the ball, you will see that Leonard, and Riley (especially against the Mutts) get acres of space, but both are reluctant (Nicol's choice?) to take the ball deep into the corner. When they do, it's more a part of a slow buildup, and not something done with pace to unbalance the defense. We leave this function to Dempsey who makes those runs through the midfield. Just think what we could do if our wings were able to make those runs themselves.
  5. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You may be right Jon or we may all be surprised that SN has---a plan that we haven't though of. He's known for months that this National Team call-up stretch was coming and you can bet with his tactical savvy he's worked something out. We frankly won't know what he's got up his sleve till the team takes the field on the 4th and we see their formation. Thankfully we don't have a lot of matches during this stretch (and only one in our Conf) and as long as we come away with at least 5 points I'd be satisfied.

    For example we could well see a 4-5-1 with Joseph sliding back to help Parkhurst and Edozien playing in a withdrawn position where he seems to be more comfortable than up top.
  6. mosler

    mosler Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    Mashpee, MA
    There's also the fact that the Revs play 2 forwards and those 2 guys have accounted for lots of our goals. When those guys plus Dempsey are on the field, there's not too much room for someone else to step up and take a chance themselves. I would think their teammates would essentially be focusing on getting those 3 guys service. We saw some of this "deference" in Noonan when he was first paired with Twellman, he seemed unsure of whether to take it himself or be looking for Taylor.

    I'm hopeful that some steady starts for the second forward will allow him to settle in and shoulder his half of the scoring burden. Likewise having Clint out of the midfield may give Riley or Dorman (dare we dream, Cancela) the freedom/room/inspiration to alter their feeling of purpose on the field and start looking to score themselves.

    Now there seems to be some sentiment that Smith and Edozian have already shown that they're not able to step up and score goals. And if you feel that way then I guess we're looking at grinding out a few 1-0 wins at best. Personally I've been dissapointed in Smith and have not formed an opinion on Edozian. But I haven't given up on either.
  7. brianzappa

    brianzappa Member

    Oct 21, 2003
    In a big country
    I agree it's of some concern, but when you look at the top 10 scorers chart for the league, we've got 3 guys on there, and other teams have no one or just one major scoring threat, exept Dallas, who has 2, with O'Brien at #10...
  8. goussoccer

    goussoccer Member+

    May 23, 2001
    Avon, CT
    OK...I am on too many conference calls where I don't need to pay close attention..but here's some quick analysis of other's goal distributions. I took the top three from each conference:

    Dallas: 7,5,5,3,3,2,2,1

    KC: and 4 at 1

    Chicago: 6,4,3,2,2, and 9 at 1

    LA: 6,4,4,3 and 3 at 1

    San Jose: 5,4,4, and 6 at 1

    Revs: 8, 6, 6 and 7 at 1.

    In reality we are similar to San Jose and LA in goal distribution and not really that far off from Chicago (if you assume that having 10 people scoring vs. 14 isn't the main issue here.)

    The ones that are quite different are KC and Dallas. KC has a very egalitarian scoring distribution whereas Dallas has a shape like ours, but with more people at 3 and 2.

    While the KC 'parity' is nice, I like our ability to depend on particular people to score. That 'will to win', 'nose for the goal', whatever you want to call it is a talent. What will be interesting to see over the next month is whether we get some of the 'non-scoring-focused' people to break through. That will be the key and I think, we'll do fine. With Dorman and Cancela on the pitch we'll get good shots and set-ups. While I will agree that Khano hasn't stepped up like we want, I also think one of his shots last weekend was an absolute laser that just missed the post. (The fact that Noonan was wide open across the box, doesn't take away from the quality of the shot taken....).

    While there is risk with how we have scored to date, I can't and won't question the results we have achieved as a result. Plus, with 10 people having scored, Chicago is the only team who has more people who have scored than we do. Let's see how the team adjusts before we get too worried. They have stepped up very nicely to every challenge thrown their way so far.
  9. goussoccer

    goussoccer Member+

    May 23, 2001
    Avon, CT
    PLUS...we have the lowest Goals Against in the league...that can cover a lot of scoring difficulties...
  10. rkupp

    rkupp Member+

    Jan 3, 2001
    Yes! It takes a lot of guys more than a couple of starts to settle in to a position - especially one that's used to a couple of very different personalities.

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