Since beating Tulsa 1-0 to open the season, the Energy have lost four games in a row. This is their longest losing streak since their inaugural season, back in 2014. They have scored a grand total of three goals all season, and have conceded 10.
That’s bad. Really, really bad.
So, why are they struggling? On paper, their lineup is pretty solid and they have some talented kids on loan from FC Dallas. They’re using the same 4-2-3-1 formation that worked effectively last year. Looking at the heat maps, touch charts and average position diagrams from their last three games from the 2017 regular season along with the first game of this year, everything seems pretty consistent. We can’t blame red cards either, as they haven’t received any. And only one red card has been issued to an opponent, near the end of the opening game against Tulsa.
But compare some of the statistics from those four good games to their four most recent, and we see some highly troubling patterns.
The Energy tend to bury their opponent in shots. For the four good games, they averaged a total of 18.25 shots, with 8.25 on target. That’s a shooting accuracy of 45.2 percent, meaning nearly half of their shots were on target and proper goal scoring chances. The four bad games? Just 7.75 shots per game, with 1.5 on target. In the most recent game against Timbers 2, Energy FC did not put a single shot on target.
But on the other hand, their distribution numbers look alright. Good passing accuracy, good passing accuracy in the opponents’ half and they’ve led possession in three of the four losses. The defensive numbers are also looking fine, if a bit skewed against them, but that’s to be expected for a team that’s playing from behind.
This is one of those curious things about soccer. Maybe it’s luck, maybe it’s coaching, maybe it’s a new lineup still getting used to each other.
But it’s not good.
Follow John on Twitter: @JohnMLTX.
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