This was probably our best show! The post game of a final makes it easy, especially one this exciting. We talk the Chivas great 1st half, then the Tigres comeback. We had excellent phone calls from several Chivas fans, even one from Chivas del Norte podcast, as well as our regulars, Christian, Ismael, and others. The chat was hilarious, with contributors such as el Tio, Serg, and Soccer Nerds. This was a fun episode!
We discuss the in progress Liguilla in this episode, highlighting the Tigres win over Rayados and how Dueñas is running on all cylinders as well as Gignac coming out of his shell! Just ignore his failed “dab” attempt. We also dive into Chivas and how they are not impressing, even though they have the excuse of some injuries. Finally we discuss Santos and how they are pretty much done, as well as Xolos and how they still have hope in the return leg in Tijuana!
Glad you could listen, stay tuned.
When talking Soccer in the US and referring to Mexico, the phrase “The gap is closing” many times comes up. Meaning the MLS is catching up to the Mexican League, or MLS teams are beating LigaMX teams and challenging them more than in the past. Well at least after weak one of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, this does not seem to be the case. There still seems to be a gap of sorts.
Stats for this week are that 2 LigaMX and 2 MLS teams played at home. The MLS home teams were able to obtain two ties (0-0 and 2-2). The LigaMX home teams were able to both obtain wins (2-0, 2-0). LigaMX teams defended their home turf advantage. The return leg will now decide who goes through to the semifinals.
Last night Tigres played Real Salt Lake in Monterrey. It seemed like a typical away game for an MLS team as Real Salt Lake seemed to play defensive and Tigres could not find the net until the late stages of the game. Damian Alvarez and Gignac had cold games and missed some good opportunities to score. “La Palmera” Rivas participated in the two goals, scoring one and providing the opportunity for Damm on the 2nd.
The final and big game of the night was to be the LA Galaxy vs Santos Laguna. This game took place in front of a home crowd for the Galaxy. Giovanni Dos Santos needed to prove his worth and give Juan Carlos Osorio reasons to call him up to the National Team. It didn’t play out as expected. The game resulted in a 0-0 tie. There were some heated moments during the game, some fouls, some acting and even some insults. Santos goalkeeper Marchesin, apparently insulted Gio by calling him “borracho” and making gestures with his hands as if he was drinking a beer. This of course is in reference to previous occasions where Gio was recorded drunk in a car, while partying.
Y que Marchesín le dice borracho a Gio dos Santos pic.twitter.com/yIsKn91MpH
— Chutinho (@chutinho01) February 25, 2016
Giovanni showed passion and urgency, but could not lift his team. Nor could his star teammates, Steven Gerard, Ashley Cole, Nigel De Jong or Robbie Keane. Juan Carlos Osorio was surely watching Gio in this game to see how his form would be. Luckily it is still early in the MLS Season.
So back to “the gap” talk. My impression is that the gap is still there. Sure the MLS is in preseason form, however to me the MLS seemed more dangerous to LigaMX teams in years past. MLS teams have even beat LigaMX teams in Mexico, which took them a while to do, but they did it. This year, I predict all four MLS teams will fail on the return leg to come back and we will see an all Mexican semifinals.
So Martin Del Palacio has been putting up some great Youtube videos analyzing the statistics side of these Liguilla games. You can find his videos here!
I wanted to review a quick video he covered in text format for you to read. This is what he gathered. Props and credit to Martin:
Pikolin the best goalkeeper in LigaMX?
Stats during Apertura 2015 for Pikolin Palacios (Pumas goalkeeper):
- Most shots received at 126
- Blocked 83 of those shots. (Best in League of all keepers)
- 20 goals received. (2nd Best in League)
Pumas gave up 1 goal for every 15.5 shots on goal.
Stats during Apertura 2015 for Andre Pierre Gignac (Tigres goalscorer):
- 48 shots on goal. (league leader)
- 1 goal for every 4.36 shots. (Last place amongst top 10 goal scorers)
As a reference lets look at Ismael Sosa’s numbers:
- 22 shots on goal.
- 1 goal for every 2.2 shots.
Offense as a team:
- 1 goal for every 10 shots
- 1 goal for every 5.8 shots
So based on these stats, Pumas takes advantage of their opportunities. Tigres creates and has more opportunities, but has a lower percentage of effectiveness. Additionally Pikolin and the Pumas defense has been solid in keeping the ball out of the net. This was displayed in the 1st leg of the America semifinal game, where America dominated but was not able to score on the Pumas defense, even though they had the majority of possession.
It should be an interesting game tonight.
Much thanks to Martin, who you can find on twitter @martindelp