“I think we tried to attack just like in every game, but sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in. That’s football. But we always try to attack teams and score goals, but today the ball didn’t go in.” - Santiago Sosa
Poker is a game of skill and chance. Sometimes no matter how good a hand you get—no matter how skilled you are at betting, bluffing, and statistical analysis—you could still lose everything to the guy with a royal flush.
The same is true of soccer. A manager can have the perfect game plan, and the players can execute it to perfection, but sometimes things still don’t go your way.
Or as future Atlanta United legend Santiago Sosa said after the team’s loss to the Union on Tuesday night: “Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in. … That’s football.”
I’m going to ignore the second half in the post, mostly for my own mental health, but the first half was an especially egregious exercise in finishing futility. Atlanta had chance after chance during the first 45. According to DSS data guru @TiotalFootball, Atlanta had 1.2 expected goals to Philly’s 0.1.
Moreno, Josef, and Damm all had great chances. Yet as Ray Hudson said this morning, Andre Blake played like a “one-man octopus,” making seven saves on the night.
The shot map for the night tells the story:
Sometimes the reward for playing beautiful attacking soccer is … zilch. That’s the way it goes. Who knows, maybe the result would’ve been different if one of the many solid chances had gone in.
“The worry would exist if we didn’t have the chances,” said Gabriel Heinze. “More than worry, this means we need to keep working to finish chances. The final result is a concern. But my concern goes a different way.”
So don’t worry (that much), Atlanta fans. The team looks good, and if my calculations are correct, those chances will start to go in more frequently.