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Sunday Statistical Showdown: Orlando City's Passing

Passing and possession are some of the most telling statistics in the world of soccer. This week we look at how Orlando has fared over the past three matches.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After this past Friday's match at NYCFC, Orlando is now sitting on five points and remains unbeaten over the first three games of 2016. Over the course of the season there will be continual looks into how well the team is playing from key performance metrics. This week in the Sunday Statistical Showdown The Mane Land will be highlighting Orlando's passing over the past three matches, paying attention to the attacking half and asking a question: is Orlando trying to do too much in the final third?

When looking at the past three matches for Orlando from the standpoint of possession, Orlando has seen all three scenarios. Against RSL possession and passing stats at a high level show that Orlando did not dominate the game in possession or passing, however the Chicago game and the NYCFC game show noticeable differences in possession and passing measures.

Below there are two separate graphics for each match, the first graphic shows the total number of passes, passes in the attacking half and the number of passes in the final third. Splitting up these passes can give us an overall look at how many passes were completed and in what area but even more telling is the second graphic for each match where possession is included and the percentage of total passes in the attacking half and in the final third are described. From this you can see where the action was being played throughout the match and can give a better representation of the type of pressure a team was either applying or under.

We can see from the RSL match that Orlando may have only had a slight advantage in overall possession and both teams attempted nearly the same amount of total passes yet the telling story is how many passes Orlando attempted in the final third. Compared to RSL who had 35 percent of all of their passes in the final third, Orlando's percentage of passes in the final third was 53 percent. This brings about the question that surely many heard around the water cooler following the RSL match in that Orlando may be attempting one too many passes when going forward.

Following Real Salt Lake, Orlando matched up at home again with Chicago, below are the possession and passing percentages from that game as well.

In the Chicago game Orlando had a man advantage for the a majority of the match, this is played out in the possession and total passing measures here more profoundly than the RSL game. Again here the story even if not as exacerbated as the previous from a percentage look, Orlando still shows a propensity to attempt more passes of their team total in the attacking half and final third.

The final match saw the possession arrow switch from a positive for Orlando against Chicago to a negative against NYCFC.

Lo and behold, even when Orlando did not see the majority of possession within the match the Lions still completed a larger portion of their total passes in the final third than their opponent. This look is something that again as described earlier could outline what type of pressure a team is applying when holding possession or could simply show that a team is making one too many passes, unwilling to shoot on goal or hesitant in some other way.

Currently Orlando is sitting on five points through three matches, the team has shown the ability to possess well when at home and have attempted more passes in the final third than all of its opponents overall this season. Unfortunately that has not lead to overwhelming confidence in play, those five points we have are a lucky five points and it is time for Orlando to start turning all of the final third passes into goals.