Right, I skipped yesterday's post, for which I apologize. I'm trying to work back into a morning-post routine, so that's my reasoning, although I certainly could have found time to do it regardless. Instead, I re-watched the second half of Saturday's match, finding it to be every bit as pleasing as when I was watching live.
Our movement was divine. Paulo Jr., during his short time on the pitch, made some good runs, but when Emiliano Bonfigli came on the pitch, he looked even more efficient in his movement. Bonfigli made different sorts of runs — fewer that led directly to chances for him, but his movement pulled defenders away at crucial moments in the first two goals. It's easy to overlook that sort of performance, but for me, it was an excellent sign. He's perhaps not quite ready for the big time, but the promise he showed in his intelligent movement warmed the cockles of my heart.
That was the major thing I missed — but let's take a look at some statistics that we can derive from the match, because there were some interesting things to be had.
- Kyle Beckerman went on a right tear with 80 of his 88 attempted passes finding a teammate. It's his best performance of the season in terms of raw numbers (two more completed passes than his previous best) and one of the top 10 (indeed, sixth highest) performances of the season. Now, while you might say "It's the quality, not the quantity," let me assure you that the quality was there: Three key passes (no slouch on the ball, that one) and an assist? Yes, please. In addition to his usual safe passing, he was successful in each of his six attempted tackles. What a beautiful thing it is.
- Alvaro Saborio flew into the lead as our all-time leading goalscorer, passing up the absent Fabian Espindola. Saborio's netted 33 times, while Espindola is sitting at 32. The great race begins — but it's hard not to see Saborio as the eventual winner. He's already scored 10 times this season, while Espindola is sitting at 6, and that's not exactly an unusual way for things to be going. Would I love to see the race really heat up, with Espindola finding his share of goals and leading our side to victory? Well, yeah. But while I do think he'll help lead our side to victory, I am not so sure he'll find more goals than Saborio. Go ahead, Fabian — prove me wrong. (Please! We'd quite like it.)
- Our whole defense went on a passing rampage, really. Olave had 45/47 passes successful; Borchers, 49/50; Beltran, 50/59; Wingert, 64/75. When you're not worried about opposition full backs because they're being sat back like wide central defenders, it makes it pretty easy to get numbers like that.
- Three times in a matter of minutes, we saw hard, yellow-card-worthy challenges on Javier Morales. Thankfully, those three were cautioned, but to see a side resorting to such cheap tricks is incredibly unfortunate. There surely must be a better way.
- Luis Gil's influence is growing as a player, even if he doesn't see the ball as often as Javier Morales, and even if he doesn't go on the dribbling escapades Javi does. His passing rate was quite good during his 70 or so minutes, and during that time, he had four successful dribbles. Right, strike that about him not going on those escapades, will you?
Well, I was going to hop off to the Reserves match, but it appears it's been cancelled given travel difficulties for Houston Dynamo. Well, there goes my morning. 'Til tomorrow!