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Key MLS stats: Inter Miami’s high press, Carles Gil's drop-off in New England & more

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9 min read

Former FC Dallas data analyst Arman Kafai breaks down a set of insightful stats from around MLS.

Stats courtesy of FBref, Opta, and American Soccer Analysis.

New England Revolution, -0.81

The New England Revolution have had a tough time since things went full chaos-mode with Bruce Arena last season. They eventually hired seasoned MLS coach Caleb Porter and have started off the season in brutal fashion, with just four points in their first seven matches.

Now, it’s important to get to the context here. The Revs had been playing in the Concacaf Champions Cup, where they, uh, also did poorly: they made it to the quarterfinals and lost to Liga MX giant Club America 9-2 across the two legs. Historically, we know MLS teams can have an entire year derailed due to the competition. Just think about the Seattle Sounders missing the playoffs in MLS after winning CCL (now CCC) back in 2022.

So, New England’s poor start is, at least in part, explainable.

Analyzing the Revs on a very macro level, they currently sit 20th in non-penalty xG and 26th in non-penalty xG allowed in MLS. They’re 28th in xG differential, with -0.81. They’ve had two matches where they’ve allowed more than three xG (and lost both handily). Their goalkeepers, Henrich Ravas and Earl Edwards, have been performing as expected. Offensively, they’ve scored around 2.5 goals below expected, with the bulk of that under-performance coming in a 1-0 loss to Toronto FC last month.

It’s a really small sample size, but Carles Gil has not been playing to his MVP caliber-self at the moment.

His non-penalty xG + xAG per 90 is the lowest it's been since the pandemic season in 2020. Looking at American Soccer Analysis’ goals added metric, Gil’s 2024 number is again the worst of his MLS career. His worst category? -0.06 in the receiving category, which quite literally measures the value a player adds by receiving the ball in dangerous areas.

So where was Carles Gil getting the ball in their most recent match, a 2-0 loss to New York City FC? Let’s take a look.

The answer: not in Zone 14 and really not at all past the edge of the final third. 

Tying the above map with ASA’s goals added metric, you can see that New England hasn’t been putting Gil in optimal situations – or that he’s fed up with the lack of talent around him and has started dropping to run the show, only to be let down again in the final third by his attacking teammates. Looking at all of Gil’s MLS matches in 2024, his shot-creating actions are high, but his key passes (or direct shot assists) are again the lowest of his MLS career. 

The Revs have to prioritize getting Gil more involved on the offensive end or else the team will continue to struggle. 

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