So, quite a few bad showings in a row for Orlando City SC. Not only are the Lions currently not playing well but it's the exact opposite -- they are really playing poorly. Is this indicative of the players on the field or the tumultuous situation that is currently surrounding the administration and coaching of this club? That may be a question we will not be able to answer in this setting, but what we can do is in this Sunday Statistical Showdown is look at some key statistics that define on-the-field play and who is driving it for Orlando.
Last week in this segment we talked about the current run of form Orlando is on halfway through the 2016 MLS season. On the current pace, the Lions are a bit behind where they were last year and exacerbating that issue even further is the fact that OCSC will be playing away more often in the latter half of the season.
More importantly, just under a month ago we looked at action zones, which define in what parts of the field the team is controlling possession in open play. Using those as a base we can understand that Orlando has regularly used wide play and predominantly controlled possession in the back as well as the midfield.With that in mind, I wanted to look at the current players in the Orlando City pool and talk about how they are playing from the perspective of touch percentage.
Starting with touch percentage, we can define the players in each segment of play in which Orlando not only holds possession but leads the attack as well. Below is the touch percentage look, which means the percentage of team touches taken by the player while he was on the field. The team average left out any players from the average of 8% that fell below 250 minutes played.
As the graphic shows, keeping in mind that the team average is 8%, we can see that there are a few players who have consistently been in the starting lineup and are controlling the team's possession or has been involved in that possession from a touch perspective. If a player is above the average they are highlighted in green. Those players are; Cristian Higuita at 11.7%, David Mateos at 10.7% and Luke Boden and Darwin Ceren, who both hover above 10%.
The issue here is not that these players are driving the conversation in terms of possession, it is that it takes so long to see an attacking player in terms of who has the highest touch percentage. Kaká is fifth on this team with 9.5%, followed by Rafael Ramos and then the rest of what we would consider attacking wide players in Brek Shea and Kevin Molino.
Perhaps this comes back to the argument we highlighted earlier in the action zones that Orlando is currently playing in, as they have been playing in their own defensive third and less so in the attacking third when compared to the rest of MLS. Perhaps there are other issues that have not been outlined and maybe are still left to be uncovered.
What do you think? I invite your comments below.