Featured Image: Kyle Mahnke

Heat Maps: USLSoccer.com / Opta

Through three matches, San Antonio FC (2-1-0) has put five goals into opponents’ nets while remaining undefeated. After a 2016 season that saw goals become a true premium, the scoring streak has to be a welcome sight for fans and the club alike. With the help of Opta stats and heat maps, we can start to paint a picture of where this team has found its touches. 
In the team’s season opener at RGV, the heat map tells us that SAFC was most effective at getting touches along the wings. While some touches came in front of goal, the majority came from the right side of the field. 

A closer look at the individual halves help paint a more accurate picture of how the match played out. Where San Antonio did well to utilize the entire field in the first half… 

…the second half saw San Antonio forced to defend their goal significantly more often: 

Moving to San Antonio’s blowout 3-0 victory over Los Dos we see again a squad very effective in front of their own goal, in the central third of the field and along the edges. Two of the clubs three goals came from directly in front of the opponents goal, while the final goal came from just inside the left corner of the penalty area.

Finally, last week’s brutal 1-1 draw against Colorado Switchbacks shows that the Texas club was effective in a significant portion of the field while getting little to show for their work. With play occurring across nearly the entire field, SAFC may benefit from the extra day’s rest coming away from this Friday match against Colorado Springs.    

Heat maps don’t perfectly capture the story of a match, but it does help to see where the action took place. The partnership USL has with Opta only encourages deeper analysis by both casual fans and stat nerds alike. Let us know in the comments or on social media what has been your favorite thing about having the Opta stats at your fingertips.

Posted by Kyle Mahnke

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