Weekend Recap: McGlynn shines for the Union, NWSL stats, USL tactics, and more

Quick
Hits
  • MLS: U.S. youth international Jack McGlynn shines for the Philadelphia Union
  • NWSL: The good, the bad, and the unlucky from the regular season so far
  • USL: Interesting tactical trends in the Championship’s Eastern, Western conferences

We’re back with another edition of the Weekend Recap. Every Monday, we make it easier for you to keep up with the most interesting and important things in American soccer. 

Today, we’re taking you through some of the past weekend’s key storylines, including Jack McGlynn’s great performance, stats in the NWSL, and interesting trends in the USL Championship. 

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MLS

Lowery: One standout player and one standout team from this weekend

Another MLS weekend is in the books. Let’s take a look at one standout player and one standout team from the action on Saturday and Sunday.

Jack McGlynn, Philadelphia Union

I don’t want to overstate anything here, but Jack McGylnn put on a borderline masterclass in central midfield against the Revs on Saturday. The 19-year-old central midfielder dropped dime after dime and helped create real chances for the Philadelphia Union in their 2-1 win over New England.

McGlynn, who helped the U.S. qualify for the Olympics at the Concacaf U-20 Championship, hasn’t played much this season. This was just his first start of 2022 for the Union. But especially after a performance like the one he had over the weekend, don’t be surprised when McGlynn pops up in the starting lineup again soon... [Subscribe]

NWSL

Cascone: The good, the bad, and the unlucky from the regular season so far

The 2022 NWSL Regular Season is approaching its halfway point, with teams having played between nine and 13 games of the 22-game season. The league is also entering another (short) break, so now’s a good time to take a step back and evaluate each team’s performance through the first half of the season.

To do this, I took a page out of Eliot McKinley’s book and used American Soccer Analysis data to explore how good, bad, and unlucky teams have been this season.

We determine whether teams have been “good” or “bad” by comparing their expected points per game to the league median. Then, we determine how “lucky” a team’s been by calculating the difference in points and expected points per game for each team. “Lucky” teams over-perform their expected points, while “unlucky” teams under-perform them. Simple enough? Onto the graphic[Subscribe]

USL

Morrissey: The most interesting tactical trend in the Championship’s Eastern, Western conferences

There’s a tendency to overstate the differences between the two conferences in the USL Championship, but two interesting tactical trends have set the divisions apart in 2022. The best and most exciting teams have innovated in fun and distinct ways this year.

East: 4-4-2 pressing systems

There’s no tactical system more classic than a 4-4-2, and some of the best teams in the Eastern Conference are having success by building on the formation’s simplicity. 

Against a team working out of a back four, you can push your wingers high and meet the opposition man-for-man. If the opposition is in a back three, that same aggression can give you a four-v-three advantage. Alternatively, your wide players can drop low and cut out dangerous wingbacks [Subscribe]

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