Friday, April 10, 2009

There's been a lot of really terrible defending in the first three weeks of the MLS season. The hat tricks scored by both Robbie Findley and Conor Casey last week should carry asterisks indicating the massive contributions of Will Hesmer and the entire Los Angeles defense respectively. Toronto, D.C., Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles all seem to have significant problems in the back.

I was thinking that this porous defending had resulted in an early season goal-scoring bonanza. But the numbers don't really back up that sentiment. Through the first 22 games of the MLS season there have been 62 goals scored. That works out to an average of 2.8 goals per game. By comparison, there were 70 goals scored during the first 22 matches of 2008, or 3.2 per game. Over the course of the entire season, however, that average dropped down to 2.8 goals per game -- exactly where it is so far this campaign.

Which isn't very revelatory at all. And I apologize for wasting your time with this insipid analysis. But it does lead me to one (perhaps dubious) conclusion: a disproportionate number of goals scored so far this year have been the result of Andrew Boyens-esque defending.