This Open Cup Match could not have been any more hotly contested. Goals came in the opening minutes and final minutes of the match, it went to extra time along with penalty kicks, and there was a total of 11 yellow cards including a second yellow. It was as intense and brutal as soccer can get. In the end though, almost nothing could compare to the result we got Wednesday night for this team and this fan base. This team works together in so many ways that it seemed important to highlight some specific stats from this match for each player to show just how this team is built and fits together.
El Gato Naranja, what more could be said about the legend that is this team’s goalkeeper? His penalty saves in PK’s helped seal what will probably be one of the greatest wins in New Mexico United history, and was only one of five saves he made throughout the game. One of his best stats was his 70% pass accuracy, which is one of his best all year. It helped represent how Cody can play from the back. His near 40% long ball accuracy shows he can also bypass the midfield and create attacks himself as well.
Schmidt’s dominant defensive presence is always noticeable. Routinely against Colorado, he ran down forwards and cut off the Rapids attack cleanly. The most noticeable number for him was his team-leading five clearances, no doubt stifling what could have been dangerous attacks against United.
Hamilton was physical and tough to manage for Colorado in the back of the pitch. An impressive number from him was his nine possessions gained, where he turned the ball over cleanly for our team. That’s almost double the next best defender and was the highest in the team overall.
The defensive wing presence that Sampson has brought to this team is remarkable. He is a fantastic defensive fullback, and was continuously taking physical challenges to the oncoming Rapids attack. He led the team in duels (21) and aerial duels (14), and furthermore led the team in duels won (86%) and aerial duels won (93%) amongst players that had at least more than one duel.
United’s left-back is an extremely multidimensional player, providing both defensive and offensive benefits for the team. He owned the left flank against the Rapids, with a team-leading 119 touches. That’s more touches than his direct Colorado opposition players, right back Sebastian Anderson (63) and right winger Johan Blomberg (57), combined (110). After that, he also had the best passing accuracy of any starter from New Mexico United of passes in the opposition half (92%). His role in this team can’t be understated.
Padilla was a late regulation sub in the match, and his ability to thrust an attack out of the defensive side of the team has been beneficial all season so far. This can be most notably seen in his passing discipline. While putting up a respectable 81% pass accuracy overall, he was the only player who put up a better passing percentage in the opposition half (89%) than his overall pass accuracy for the game.
Guzman is a peerless defensive midfielder. Tough and reliable, his greatness translated into the game last night as well. He has the second highest passes of any player on the pitch (96) with an absurd 97% passing accuracy. He also had a team topping 5 tackles, preventing many Rapids attacks from turning into goals.
Saalih Muhammad was a sub in extra time, but that does not mean his role was lessened in any way. He topped the team in passing accuracy of 100%! This facilitation was pertinent to the retention of possession which allowed for further attacks from United and keeping the Rapids from countering.
Attacking thrust from the central midfield, Beez was in form on the day, leading the team in some important attacking categories. One of the most surprising is he topped the team with 11 crosses. Opta, the statistics website that analyzes most soccer stats around the world, has a statistic that defines a “good cross.” No one on the team had a cross rated a “good cross” by the website except Chris Wehan who scored a 6 in their ranking.
Brucey performed well across the board on the right wing, playing up and down his side of the pitch with dominance. Something noticeable from the numbers in his game was him leading the team in five fouls won. This in no way is indicative that he is a flopper or goes down easily, but it seemed to more represent he consistently found space to attack and force the Rapids into making fouls to prevent his attack to develop further.
Moar was incredibly strong in the game, even though he didn’t record a goal. His 8 shots crushed the rest of the team’s numbers, making it almost surprising none of his shots went in, including his shot at the final seconds of the match. He was also second in the team in key passes, which are passes that lead to shots at the goal.
Continuing to pound attacks in at regular pace, Devon Sandoval lead the team with two shots on target, of course with one of them being the opening goal of the game. The other one was a wonderful header that almost skipped under goalie Clint Irwin, who put up a great save on the ball to prevent a goal. He also forced a team-leading three blocked shots, forcing the goalie to make plays in order to stop his intense attacking nature.
Numbers can’t encapsulate what his goal in 90’+4’ means to this state. It will be a defining moment in history for us and is a cause for much celebration. It must be noted the role that Kevaughn plays for this team goes beyond just scoring goals. A huge take away of this can be seen in his touch map alone; making defensive challenges in our box, going back to play off possession passes with center backs, dribbling up the field to create chances for the squad, and, of course, firing in those shots.
This is such an impressive team. It is obvious looking at some of these numbers just how well this squad is built, and how well they work together. After Wednesday night, we all have an idea of what they can attain for this state and our die-hard fandom.
Tag(s): Community News