Los Nerdes Verdes: High Expectations in High Altitude

Surveying the Field

Happy 4th fellow Nerdes! This week we take on the Colorado Rapids, a team that is average in just about every category.  Over the last 5 games, they’ve fallen in the standings — picking up just one win and one draw on their way to 12th in the West. While most of their stats are fairly mediocre, we found a few stand outs. 

First, expect a good amount of chances from Colorado as they are 10th in the league in xG/90. However, they are sitting at 24th in the league in actual goals per 90 minutes (1.06) and 22nd in goal creating actions per 90 minutes. We understand this to mean that the opportunities they do create are good, but they don’t convert them often. With Stuver in goal, we anticipate this trend to remain the same. Colorado has the 3rd highest long passes attempted in the league and 9th highest completion percentage for long balls. Watch for passes over the top to try and take advantage of a CB pairing we haven’t seen play together often. 

Colorado sit 6th in the league in midfield tackles — anchored by Mark-Anthony Kaye who leads the side in tackles. Most of their pressure comes from the defensive or middle third- they are just 23rd in tackles won in the attacking half and 27th in the league in pressures per 90 minutes. That should give the Austin CBs and whichever midfielder is dropping in deep the time on the ball they need to get the offense going. 

The Rapids have also accrued the 4th most yellow cards this season. Austin could find itself with a numerical advantage by putting their defenders in tough spots and giving Felipe the green light to be an instigator. 

Lastly, Colorado is 13th in the league in goals against per 90 minutes, having only kept 6 clean sheets out of 16 games. For an Austin FC team that has been held scoreless just twice this season, we like our chances.