Martyn Bailey’s By the Numbers returns with his latest three-piece installment looking back at last season’s numbers and comparing how they stack up historically for Toronto FC. Enjoy Part 1 of 3 below with Parts 2 & 3 coming later this week.
TORONTO, Ont.—It’s been 59 days since Seattle and it’s 52 days until San Jose, which means we’re in the homeward stretch of this offseason!
The question is: With an uncharacteristically-long 111 days between matches, what success can a refreshed and retooled Toronto FC lineup find in 2020?
Let’s take a look back at some of the numeric achievements of 2019 and see where they might improve.
From a Goals Scored/Against point of view, it may take many years before Toronto FC sees another campaign like 2017. As it turns out, 2019 seems to nestle in quite well with the other non-treble seasons of the Vanney Era.
Once again, the Reds scored 50 league goals, the fifth season on the trot...
...and the 1.53 goals conceded per game in MLS play is fairly average, but a stark improvement on their franchise-worst 1.88 from the year before...
Anyone watching TFC this season will know that the second half the season was markedly better than the first half in the goals allowed category.
And when you add in the three cup competitions from 2019, the numbers hold up. With CONCACAF Champions League, Voyageurs Cup and MLS Cup Playoffs mixed in, the goals scored was still a top-four output...
and goals against was an average total...
Taking into account the quality of the Reds backline in the second half of 2019 (see Gonzalez, Omar), and add a fully rested Alejandro Pozuelo, a fit Jozy Altidore, and a dynamic yet-to-be-named attacking third DP, there’s every reason to assume that both categories should improve in 2020.
Moving on, those 74 goals scored by TFC in 2019 were spread across the shoulders of 17 men...
...which happens to be an all-time record for breadth in team scoring!
Last year also marked the third time that the club has had three double-digit scorers in the same season—Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore were joined by Victor Vazquez in 2017 and Jonathan Osorio in 2018. What a great signing Nick DeLeon was.
When play kicks off in February, there are a couple milestones to keep your eye on.
Greg Vanney will have is second opportunity to pick up win #100. His first attempt was in Seattle last season, though the details of that match conveniently don’t seem to come to mind at the moment.
That somewhat mentally-blocked match in Seattle was also captain Michael Bradley’s 200th as a Red. When the newly TAM’d MB laces up in San Jose (you know he will), it will be his 200th start as a Red. His 199 starts from the club sit between franchise leader Justin Morrow (202) and Jonathan Osorio (194).
Last season’s road to Seattle was marked with 13 consecutive league matches without a loss for the Reds—eclipsing the previous franchise mark of 11.
Such a run in 2020 (and converting some of those draws into wins) will help cement TFC at the top of the increasingly competitive Eastern Conference.