Offside not always off target
Sometimes, statistics in sports are just a conversation piece; something for fans to talk about around the water cooler.
But sometimes, they tell a story.
WATCH: Arnaud beats the offside trap vs NY
If you examine the stats from the Impact’s 3-1 victory over the Red Bulls, you would see a pretty even board. Duels won were 50%, New York had the slight edge in possession at 53%, while the Impact held the advantage in corners 5 to 1. Both teams had the same number of attempts at goal, and the Impact had the slight edge in shots on target 5 to 4.
But, an interesting statistic is that the Impact was called offside nine times to just once for New York. How is that interesting you may ask? Here’s why.
On most of those offside opportunities, the Impact was pressing the Red Bulls back line, pushing them onto their heels. Eventually, pushing the offside line led to a break down of the trap on two occasions: Di Vaio’s first goal of his MLS career, and the game’s opening marker, as well as captain Davy Arnaud’s fourth of the year, the game winner.
Di Vaio found space to the right of the defense, while Arnaud straddled the line before a chip out him through alone on goal. In both instances, they held their runs to perfection.
The home side was able to keep putting pressure on the Red Bulls, who did get beat twice by trying to play the offside trap.
The last time the Impact met the Union in Philadelphia, the road team dominated in attempts at goal with 14 to 8 and won 54% of its duels, but were called offside only three times (same number for the Union).
If the trend continues, supporters should hope the Impact hit double digits in offside calls this Saturday in the rematch versus the Union.