FanPost

Can The Dynamo Stay Competitive?

If you had told me at the start of the season that the Dynamo would be sitting in 6th place in the Western Conference, I have to admit I would be thrilled and surprised (Still am). But is this sustainable?

Zach Beery's Dynamo Match Day 6: By the Numbers - Dynamo Theory was a great analysis critiquing the attacking play of the Dynamo and certainly brings questions to the sustainability of the Dynamo's current position. But how does the team look relative to the rest of the Western Conference?

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Data source: fbref.com

Right now, they're sitting in 6th with not a lot of breathing room above or below. Vancouver and Real Salt Lake are only 1 point back. But if we start to look at some underlying expected goal statistics from fbref (xGD - expected goal difference, xG - expected goals scored, and xGA - expected goals allowed), questions begin to arise. A grain of salt should be applied here since the sample size is still small and the Colorado game most likely skewed the results xGA data.

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Data source: fbref.com

xGD has the Dynamo all the way in 2nd to last, just barley ahead of the Whitecaps and barley behind Austin FC. Vancouver, Houston, and Austin are all in a league of their above -3 xGD and nobody else below -2. This is where I think the Colorado game really had an impact, as prior to this the Dynamo hadn't coughed up a crooked score line. If we take a look at xG and xGA, the picture is similar.

xGA_STANDINGS.0.png

Data source: fbref.com

XGAASTANDINGS.0.png

Data source: fbref.com

Their xG is not great at 6.1 and is ~1 xG ahead of last place Salt Lake, but also just behind Vancouver and Austin. While their xGA of 10 isn't great either, it is good enough for 10th place.

As previously mentioned, the Colorado game probably had a substantial impact on the current metrics and is likely making the xGD look worse than it really is. But there are still questions to be had. Because as of right now, the Dynamo have perhaps one of the worst offenses in the Western Conferences based on xG. I do not think that stat is a fluke, even with a small sample size. Their offense has struggled to finish in the final 1/3rd across every game, and based on the Zach Beery's post I do not expect that to change soon. However, this only makes their defensive play more critical. The Colorado game may well very end up being a fluke as many starters were missing, fatigue was in play, and the game took place at altitude. But if they want to stay relevant and in the hunt the Western Conference, than they will need to find a way to prevent blow outs like in Colorado and have more shutouts like against Kansas City.

All data sourced from fbref.com

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