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Key MLS stats: Top Cup threats emerge, Columbus Crew struggle & more

LAFC and Inter Miami might be on a collision course and Sporting Kansas City need some introspection.

7 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.

Columbus Crew, 0.77

It’s been almost exactly two months since the Columbus Crew have won a game in MLS play. Let that sink in for a moment.

With their run to the Concacaf Champions Cup final taking priority, it’s understandable why the team is struggling during the season. However, given the Crew’s bye week ahead of their 2-1 loss to FC Cincinnati last weekend, it’s much more difficult to explain away their struggles against their biggest rivals.

So, yes, their continental success has been excellent. But let’s dig into their league play, shall we?

In the seven matches since their last victory, the Crew have the seventh-worst non-penalty xG differential in the league and the fourth-lowest xG during that period. That’s, uh, not what you’d normally expect from the reigning MLS Cup champs.

Here’s where Columbus’ metrics from this stretch last year:

Everything has dipped for the Crew. Cucho’s non-penalty xG during this winless run is sitting at just 0.22 per 90 minutes, which is significantly low for what we know him for. Diego Rossi’s is even lower at 0.13, while Jacen Russell-Rowe’s is at 0.20. Now zooming out to look at the entire 2024 campaign, Columbus sit dead last in MLS in non-penalty xG per shot, while allowing the fourth-highest non-penalty xG per shot in the league.

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