Lowered Expectations: Week 18 / by Harrison Crow

July 5, 2018
By Harrison Crow (@harrison_crow)


Welcome to Lowered Expectations, week 18 edition! Each week, we go about posting chalkboards and GIFs of the weekend’s best open-play shot attempts which did not quite live up to expectations (and rarely do we update this paragraph). We look at each one and not only evaluate the results, but also the process leading to them.

One to grow on...
Rasmus Schuller, Minnesota United, 45th minute, 0.356 expected goals
Assisted by: Darwin Quintero
Keeper: Jesse Gonzalez
Passes in sequence:

xGSchuller.gif

First, I’m not really looking to expand this column. There is a lot of overhead each week in collecting data, parsing it out, capturing the GIFs... it takes time to do this and I really appreciate both Drew and Ian who put a lot of effort into this one a weekly basis.

But this sequence happened while I was on treadmill on Friday and I nearly ran off it with how amazing it was. Then I find the chance ranked sixth overall on the weekend and thought “Yeah, this has to be an honorable mention”.

The pass by Quintero, basically on faith that Schuller was going to continue the run, is just picture perfect. Schuller, in a bit of different situation than what Silva was in last week, maybe should not have have the extra touch but instead should have tried to redirect it on frame.

But regardless of the outcome, this was brilliant way to start things off.

#5 - Joe Mason, Colorado Rapids, 18th minute, 0.423 expected goals
Assisted by: #NA
Keeper: Brian Rowe
Passes in sequence:  3

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 10.35.13 AM.png
xGmason.gif

The blocked shot comes down right in a great spot for a running Joe Mason to direct right at Brian Rowe. Mason didn’t have a great game but he’s had a couple of moments (this included) that make me think he may have potential in this league. 

#4 - Florian Jungwirth, San Jose Earthquakes, 42nd minute, 0.561 expected goalsAssisted by: Magnus Eriksson
Keeper: David Bingham
Number of passes in sequence: 4

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 10.47.34 AM.png
xGJungwirth.gif

Forget about the “shot”, which is a sad combination of sincere let down by Florian Jungwirth and surprisingly good last ditch defending by Michael Ciani (you won’t hear that frequently enough LA Galaxy fans so throw that GIF into a treasure bin or time capsule. But the real moment here is the first touch on the ball by Jungwirth off the pass from Magnus Eriksson to get around David Bingham in goal. It’s truly spectacular.

#3 - Derrick Etienne, New York Red Bulls, 73rd minute, 0.567 expected goals
Assisted by: Connor Lade
Keeper: Alex Bono
Number of passes in sequence: 2

xgEtienne.gif

Connor Lade makes a brilliant move here to navigate with the ball in traffic and to find enough daylight to make a pass towards goal. Toronto's defensive struggles are once again apparent here as none of the six players in their own area can deal with the pass or pick of Etienne. Bono does incredibly well here to get a hand on this. It hasn't been Bono's best season, but here is a nice reminder of what he's capable of. 

#2 -  Julian Gressel,  Atlanta United, 12th minute, 0.594 expected goals
Assisted by: Hector Villalba
Keeper: Joe Bendik
Number of passes in sequence: 22

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 11.30.27 AM.png
xGGressel.gif

This pass sequence is absurd and I don’t really have any commentary on the shot by Gressell besides simply summoning my best Ron Swanson voice and ask “what in the hell just happened?”.

Let's not get too hung up on the shot when we can focus squarely upon the pass before the pass that lead to the shot, which was provided by none other than Michael Parkhurst. It’s seriously stunning.

#1 - Joe Mason, Colorado Rapids, 43rd minute, 0.912 expected goals
Assisted by: #N/A
Keeper: Brian Rowe
Number of passes in sequence: 5

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 11.47.35 AM.png
xGMason2.gif

This is eventually scored an own goal Marcel de Jong but I can’t believe the amount of just ... I don’t know. Mason could have placed the shot just about anywhere except where he did to score. This now takes the place Ola Kamara/Jimmy Maurer shot sequence back in May as the highest expected goal shot that didn’t become a goal.

This week’s lowest shot probability which actually culminated in a goal being scored...
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, New York City FC, 36th minute, 0.023 expected goals
Assisted by: Maximiliano Moralez
Keeper: Richard Sanchez
Number of passes in sequence: 2

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 11.52.47 AM.png
xGTajouriShradi.gif

This is one of a half dozen shots I’ve seen this weekend that allowed the attacker to cut towards the goal and take a shot. Jorge Corrales turns his hips much too early and maybe even at the direction of Dax McCarty who was there to provide help but couldn’t stay in front of the shot by Ismael Tajouri-Shradi. In fairness I feel like the ball moved oddly and I’m not sure if it’s because of the spin put on the shot or the grass on the field. Either way I don’t feel like it’s a fair bounce for the keeper Richard Sanchez who gets his hand on it but can’t drive it away.

Top-10 individuals in Expected Goals from the last week (excludes PKs)

PlayerTeamShotsDistxGxPlace
Joe MasonCOL2.05.71.30.2
Adama DiomandeLAFC3.07.01.10.4
Kei KamaraVAN8.014.40.80.3
Chris WondolowskiSJE3.014.10.8-0.1
Fabrice-Jean PicaultPHI1.04.80.70.1
Albert RusnakRSL4.014.80.7-0.2
Miguel AlmironATL4.021.50.70.2
Jonathan SpectorORL1.03.70.70.3
Julian GresselATL3.026.70.7-0.7

That’s all for this week’s edition of Lowered Expectations. I hope it lived up to yours. An extra big and very special thank you to my podcast mate and @TotalMLS twitter personality Ian L. for providing the high quality GIFs for this post.