Game of the Week Recap: Dynamo at Galaxy

The Los Angeles Galaxy’s Landon Donovan blew a PK in the 25th minute, and the Houston Dynamo managed a goal in the 56th, stealing three points in LA. Definitely not what our expert panel of misfits projected on Saturday’s podcast.  The Galaxy controlled possession (59.3%), won more duels (55%), and earned more attempts (19 to 14), but earned nothing in the standings for its work.

Here’s a chronological summary of Houston’s shots:

Houston Dynamo shot times - May 5 2013

There are actually two shots taken in succession there before Houston’s opponent missed a PK, but the disproportionate bulk of Houston’s shots, including its goal, still came after it almost went down 1-0. That’s probably just random, but interesting nonetheless. Here’s something that’s almost surely not random. Though the Galaxy won the attempts battle, many of those attempts were blocked, and many of those blocked attempts occurred after Houston took the lead. Observe:

LA Galaxy's blocked shot times - May 5 2013

It seems the Galaxy began to get desperate, and this brings up the concept of game states which we discussed in the above podcast. Teams are likely to employ different strategies depending on the score of the game. While the Galaxy out-attempted the Dynamo during the game, many of those attempts appear to have been of the low-probability type.

The Dynamo jumped up to third in points per game, and the updated tables can now be seen here!

*Thanks to Opta and MLS Soccer for the sweet images!

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