Alberth Elis

Lowered Expectations: Week 29 by Harrison Crow

Welcome to Lowered Expectations, week 29 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.

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Setting the Table Week 29: Gressel, Guttierez, and getting ready for the playoffs by Eric Walcott

Welcome to Setting the Table. Each week we take some time to focus on the best chance creators in MLS from the last weekend. If you want to see the best chances that were wasted check out Lowered Expectations. Here we focus on chances that ended with the ball in the back of the net.

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Ranking the Wingers by Harrison Crow

We’re all here because someone on Twitter started a discussion pertaining to ranking MLS wingers. I’m certain that my rankings won’t satisfactorally answer that question to everybody’s liking, but hopefully it adds something useful to the conversation. First of all, let’s establish some rules.

1)    The definition of a winger for this context is going to be super vague. Essentially a wide player lined up in the midfield according to the team lineup provided at the start of a match. Argue that however you wish. This just seems easiest.

2)    The player has to have played 500 minutes in the position his season. We’re not doing this “well--he’s been a winger in the past” or “he’s been really good when played out on the wing in a few games”. I’m not playing this game. It’s 500 minutes, meet it or beat it.

3)    If you’ve met the criteria above you get a mention in this.

4)    I’m going to provide some data with these thoughts. That will of course come from American Soccer Analysis. I could have broken things down far enough to where we only consider the advanced metrics, but we have to draw the line somewhere so we’re using numbers agnostic of the position played.

5)    Look. This is a rankings list. We’re not going to agree on all of these. It’s perfectly reasonable for you to think that I am in fact, wrong. That is fine. I might be.

Let’s get on with it.

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Techera Scores, Montreal Can't Stop Others from Scoring, and Other LITTLE THINGS FROM WEEK 13 by Harrison Hamm

Cristian Techera at the back post

As coherent and competent as they have looked this year, the New England Revolution returned to their old tropes in Week 13. Their high-flying draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday was a merger of two eras: the Jay Heaps-led, defensive mistake-filled one and the current Brad Friedel one, in which they have found a definite style (the gegenpress!) and are successfully masking their ongoing defensive issues.

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Houston Dynamo: Doing More with Less by Joseph Lowery

The battle for a Western Conference playoff spot is an absolute dog fight. After Sporting Kansas City, who are currently sitting on top of the West, there is only a four point gap between second place and ninth place. LAFC, Portland, FC Dallas, Houston, Vancouver, LA Galaxy, Minnesota, and Real Salt Lake are all currently sitting together, cramped right in the middle. Out of all those teams, there is one particular organization doing some especially impressive things - on and off the field. In this week’s team breakdown, we are going to take a look at the Houston Dynamo. Houston has managed to do more with less than anybody else in Major League Soccer and people have started to take notice, especially after a very impressive result at home against New York City FC (believe it or not, this article was planned even before that 3-1 win). So, now that eyes are opening across the MLS landscape, we are going take a comprehensive look at just what exactly the Dynamo are doing well and how exactly they are doing it. In order to do so, we are going to start off the field and work our way on to it. Let’s start with the second half of the title.

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Lowered Expectations: Week 10 by Harrison Crow

Welcome to Lowered Expectations, the week nine edition! Each week, we go about posting chalkboards and GIFs of the weekend’s best open-play shot attempts that 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 that led to them.

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Lowered Expectations: Week 8 by Harrison Crow

Welcome to Lowered Expectations, the week seven edition! Each week, we go about posting chalkboards and GIFs of the weekend’s best open-play shot attempts that did not quite live up to expectations. We look at each one and not only evaluate the results, but also the process that led to them.

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Lowered Expectations: Week 7 by Harrison Crow

Welcome to Lowered Expectations, the week seven edition! Each week, we go about posting chalkboards and GIFs of the weekend’s best open-play shot attempts that did not quite live up to expectations. We look at each one and not only evaluate the results, but also the process that led to them.

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Houston Dynamo 2018 Season Preview by Drew Olsen

Last season was a solid if unspectacular one for the Dynamo, as they exceeded expectations in the regular season and made a surprising run to the Conference Finals. With more important subtractions than additions in 2018, they'll hope to tread water in an improved West.

2017 in review

Last year was a surprisingly smooth one for the Dynamo. As evidenced by the mostly slow and steady incline of the season progression chart above, Houston was the Little Engine That Could. They made BBVA Compass Stadium a stronghold, eked out results on the road, and found their way to the Western Conference Finals.

At home, the Dynamo were offensive juggernauts. Buoyed by the best goal celebration in MLS, they averaged 1.8 xGF per game and only 1.04 xGA on their way to 12 wins and only one loss at BBVA. The 40 points they earned were second only to Toronto and their 41 goals and +25 GD at home were both best in the Western Conference. When they turned it on, they seemed unstoppable.

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