Here is a question that I have been mulling since the WC. It is addressed to all, but hopefully Karl Keller and other BS number crunchers will take an interest. How many goal-scoring opportunities are lost by attackers needlessly fouling on set plays? This may seem like an innocuous issue, but consider that if a defender commits a foul on a corner kick, a PK will likely result. In contrast, if an attacker commits a foul (shirt pull, hold, trip, etc.), the only obvious effect is a free kick by the defenders. What is less emphasized is the fact that all immediate goal-scoring opportunities ended for the moment. How often did this happen in the WC? I had the impression that it was rather a lot. Certainly, it was far more than there were PKs awarded. Therefore, the attacking team was committing more visible (to the ref) fouls than the defenders. So, to return to the question, were the fouls "needless" or not? If the attacerks had committed fewer fouls, how many more goals would have been scored simply because the ball would have remained in play more in the goal area thereby allowing more scoring opportunities? For current MLS examples, consider Ruiz, Kreis and Twellman, the three leading scorers. All are in the top 10 in fouls committed. To what extent are these a necessary assertion of their desire to score vs inappropriate play that actually interferes with total scoring by them or teammates? Particularly on set plays. In the WC, how did various other teams compare to the USMNT with respect to offensive fouls in the attacking quarter?