Warning... long depressing stat heavy post incoming: We've talked a little bit about this throughout the season. The nefarious numbers runner @zman31 has alluded to our goal scoring problems in multiple game threads. We see only Zardes and Higuain with more than one goal this season on our roster. Of Higuain's 4 goals, 3 have come the penalty spot. Only Zardes has more than one goal from open play on this team. We have 33 goals on the season. Of teams in playoff positioning only Seattle has less with 32. They have played one less game. Our overall goal difference on the year is zero after 26 games. While our defense has improved our inability to score makes any error by Mensah, Abubukar, Williams or Steffen that much more glaring. I know xGoals are a bit of a controversial stat. Nonetheless I looked at how the indiviuals on the team were performing vs their xGoals at American Soccer Analysis. https://www.americansocceranalysis.com/player-xg-2018/ As a team Columbus has 37.3 xGoals this season. So we are underperforming that by about 4 goals. That 37.3 number is about mid table in the league (11th) behind such juggernauts as the Philadelphia Union. The only players that are out performing their xGoals are Grella (1goal, .70 xGoals), Trapp (1 goal, .09 xGoals), and Mullins (1 goal, .48 xGoals). Everyone else is underpreforming, even Zardes (15 goals, 15.63 xGoals). Other notables include Higuain (4 goals, 5.26 xGoals), Santos (1 goal, 3.03 xGoals), mod favorite Niko Hansen (1 goal, 2.88 xGoals), Afful (1 goal 2.08 xGoals), and Artur (0 goals, 1.97 xGoals). This depressing reading brought up a few questions for me.... 1. Has Berhalter's system been found out a bit? In past years we talked about how many chances we created and how the attractive soccer leads to goal scoring opportunities. This season we not only are not scoring, we are not creating scoring opportunities like in years past. We are very middle of the pack. 2. What on earth does Pedro Santos bring to this team? How on earth a DP winger who is almost never substituted has only one goal, and only 3 xGoals in that stat is shocking. I can't wrap my head around why he is a first choice player for us, or any team in this league. 3. Is Meram the answer? It's difficult to say. He's been poor this season 1 goal vs 4.35 xGoals. Hopefully a return to Berhalter's system energizes him and the team. 4. When will we see new blood? The dearth of scoring chances and the inability of Higuain (or anyone else not named Zardes) to actually score from open play screams for a new playmaker to come into the fold. It won't happen this season. But, Lord Guillermo willing, if the Crew remains in Columbus next season it's probably time to take the keys from Higuain and give someone else a chance to drive. This has been, and will continue to be, The Unhappy Return of The Goals Will Come Era.