Stats on stats on stats
1 game shy of the midway point of the season and the Charlotte Independence are in a position to host a playoff game, my only wish each season! A 5 game winning streak has seen the Jacks climb from 12th less than a month ago to 3rd in the table, 1 point back of Louisville.
In addition to Charlotte’s hot streak, teams like Tampa and Rochester have dropped off the pace with Charleston and Louisville maintaining a consistent return.
While the winning streak has mostly included lower table opponents, the performances have been between anywhere between nervy (Rochester) to professional (Harrisburg, Richmond) to downright dominant (Pittsburgh, Saint Louis).
The remaining schedule is roughly average (9th hardest in East), though it does get hairy towards the end with 4 of the last 6 against the current top 4. Ideally, Charlotte finishes Labor Day weekend with a comfortable gap ahead of 5th.
Since we have a decent sample size, lets take a look at the Independence strengths and weaknesses statistically. We’ll be using per game for each category as the games played ranges from 15 to 18 and overall totals would skew team’s rankings easily.
Can’t Win If You Don’t Score: Charlotte rank 4th in goals scored (2nd in East behind Charleston
Defense Wins Championships: Charlotte rank 13th in goals allowed (10th in East) — apparently the West don’t like to defend…except San Antonio, more on them later.
So good offense, average defense? Maybe.
You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don’t Take: 20th overall, 10th in East
Shots Allowed: 25th overall, 13th in East
Wait, so if they’re in the bottom 3rd in the East for shots, how are they 3rd?
Test the Keeper: 7th overall in Shots on Target, 4th in East
Try and Test Cody: 16th overall in Shots on Target Allowed, 9th in East
What do we know so far? Charlotte are decent at getting shots away but not great at denying our opponents from getting shots. However, Charlotte are very good at getting a high percentage of our shots on target and our opponents are merely average at hitting the frame.
Shot Conversion: 2nd overall in converting shots into goals and 4th overall in save % on shots. Now we are looking elite
Shot on Target Conversion: 7th overall in converting shots on target into goals and 13th in saving shots on target.
San Antonio are ridiculous
- Allowing league low of 0.44 goals per game (2nd is nearly double at 0.80)
- Allowing the 4th lowest shots (9.2)
- Allowing 4th lowest shots on target (3.3)
- Shots allowed are being converted at ridiculous 4%, league average is 12%
- Shots on Target allowed are being converted at 13%, league average is 30%
One area Charlotte could certainly look to improve is taking more of their shots inside the box. They rank only 17th in taking 59% of their shots from inside the box. Defensively, they’re sound in forcing their opponents to take the 3rd most shots from outside the box.
So what it comes down to for Charlotte, is that what they lack in quantity, they make up for with quality. Is that sustainable? Only time will tell, but we can all enjoy the ride.