Wahl Dempsey Tchani
Jennifer Buchannan / USA Today Sports Images

Black & Gold by the Numbers: Dynamic defense

​In front of a crowd of 39,473 at CenturyLink Field, Crew SC couldn’t find the back of the net and fell to the Seattle Sounders 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Sounders capitalized on a quick restart, with Jordan Morris finishing a rebound just outside of the goal mouth in the 88th minute for the lone goal of the night. The Black & Gold's loss wasn’t due to a shortage of chances created, so let’s break it down by the numbers…


Crew SC’s defense put in a solid effort, especially considering Seattle’s ability to attack at speed and create chances in different ways throughout the match. The Black & Gold blocked five Sounders' shots and left back Waylon Francis led his team with five interceptions.


Arguably the best performance of the night came from the man between the posts, Steve Clark. He commanded the box, reacting quickly and responding well to Seattle’s multiple attempts. The goalkeeper made seven saves, matching his career-high previously set in Orlando last May. Those seven tallied onto his career total, surpassing a milestone of 250 by three.


Tony Tchani was back in the starting lineup tonight after missing the last two matches, being listed as questionable. His distant distribution was on point but his defensive efforts were there as well, leading his team with eight recoveries.


Although it was scoreless in Seattle for nearly the full 90, it certainly wasn’t “shot-less.” Each team took its fair share of chances with 16 a piece. The maestro Federico Higuaín led the charge for Columbus taking half of its eight total shots and half of its shots on frame (four total). The other two targeted attempts tonight came from Harrison Afful and Kei Kamara.


As aforementioned, Crew SC’s defense did its work. It registered 23 clearances, nine of which came from Tyson Wahl. The defender also impressed with his distribution, leading players with at least 15 passes attempted at 88.89 percent passing accuracy. MLS leader Wil Trapp wasn’t far behind with 88.24 percent and the team averaged 83 percent.


Equal shots. Equal possession of the ball. Saturday night was a fair showing for both teams, with neither side dominating control of the ball. The ball’s proprietorship was split 50-50 at the final whistle.

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