Goal Scoring Chance Analysis: FC Cincinnati (h).
This week's analysis is going to look a little different. Regular readers will know that I like to delve deep into the statistics, heat maps, pass completion percentages. All of it. However, to do that one usually needs to have seen the game. This weekend, in my role as a disabled children's support worker, I found myself working a double shift. As such, I was unable to watch the game live. So, I did what I normally do and set my devices up to record the game. Did it work? Nope. We got as far as the pre-game, before my technology decided to kark it.
So. I decided, it might be fun to analyse a selection of the goal scoring chances Orlando City created in this game. Or at least, the ones the MLS YouTube highlights are showing me. It seemed a fairly comfortable evening for Oscar Pareja's Lions. A 3-0 win, over a hapless FC Cincinnati team, has lifted them to 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings. I don't normally give any credence to the standings, this early on. But, still. It's nice isn't it? Anyway, I've selected a handful of the Lion's goal scoring chances to dissect. That's the general gist of this piece.
Oh, what was that? What makes me qualified to talk about scoring chances? Pretty much the same thing that qualifies me to talk about soccer in general. I used to do OK on the school yard, at lunchtime. I also once assisted a goal in a charity match at Nottingham Forest's City Ground. I shouldn't brag. I then got told off by Craig Armstrong for passing a high ball across my own box. Who's Craig Armstrong, you say? He played 29 games in the Premier League for Forest. I felt he was a little harsh. I then got laughed at by Jason Lee for missing a header. Jason Lee. Jason. Freaking. Lee. Laughed at me. If you don't know the significance of that, watch the clip below (after you've read my piece, obvs). Anyway, I digress. Let's get cracking...
Tesho Akindele... GOAL
I love this goal. It encapsulates everything Tesho is about. Akindele has come under a lot of fire recently, and to be honest, it's not been unwarranted. The Canadian has cut a forlorn figure just recently, bereft of confidence. This goal, though. This is the real Tesho Akindele. He chases down the defender, almost in anticipation of the subsequent error. The back pass is horrific, but Tesho is ready for it. He then displays a coolness which belies a striker with only 3 goals in his last 19 competitive fixtures. He carries the ball into the area, opens his body and curls a perfect shot beyond the reaches of Przemysław Tytoń. Great goal.
Junior Urso... MISS
There will have been two Brazilians upset with how this particular play turned out; Ruan and the erstwhile Corinthians midfielder affectionately know as the Bear. An inch perfect cross from the right hand side was headed wide by Urso. I like his movement, and the timing of his run for this chance. Instead of blindly running into the box, he arches his run between two defenders and attacks the space well. I also love this cross from Ruan. His final ball has been a long standing bone of contention for many City fans. He got this one perfect, however. Hopefully there are more to come.
Tesho Akindele... MISS
Another big chance fell the way of the former FC Dallas striker on 14 minutes. Fresh off the back of his opener, he should really do better. That being said, it's not the glaring opportunity some have made it out to be. Reading some Tweets, you'd think he'd rolled one wide from a yard out.
Some great interplay between Nani and Kyle Smith, results in the former Louisville man firing a low cross into the mix. A deflection takes the ball off the deck, which means Akindele has to get the ball under control before attempting the half volley, on his weaker left foot. He's leaning back, and as a result he sends his shot sailing into Parramore. Big chance squandered, but it's not as awful a miss as some would have you believe.
There's just a certain level of disrespect to this goal; a goal that evoked memories of his strike against New England Revolution, back in 2019. Nani has no right to score from there. It's not even a chance. Most players wouldn't even try it. It's an inspired display of poise and shooting ability. Nothing to analyse here. Just sit back and enjoy. Wonderful goal.
Nani came close to doubling his tally, with a glancing header that cannoned back off of the post on 22 minutes. The ball works it's way to Chris Mueller on the right flank, who sends a high, hanging cross to the back stick. Nani has the presence of mind to peel away from his marker at the back post. He's then able to use his neck muscles to flick the cross goalwards with his head. I think he's just unlucky here. He does everything right in terms of the timing of his run, and his positioning. He then does the only thing he can really do, which is glance the ball towards the bottom corner. The keeper is beaten all ends up, and the post comes to his rescue. A few centimetres the other side, and this game is over as a contest.
Junior Urso... GOAL
I can actually see this being a season where Urso gets his fair share of goals from midfield. He's timing his runs into the box exceptionally well right now. As soon as the ball goes wide, to Nani, Urso is darting into the area in anticipation for the service. Mani's cross goes deep, to the back stick, where Perea is on hand to hear the ball across. The Bear is alert, he doesn't switch off for a second. As a result he is able to dig the ball out from under his feet and apply a neat finish. What I like about this goal is he stays alert the whole time. It's quite easy, to see a cross go deep and think 'oh, this isn't going to come to me', and then lose focus. He doesn't, and it pays dividends.
That's a wrap from me. Let me know what you think via the usual channels. Vamos!