NYCFC head coach Domenec Torrent had a few choice words about his team’s missed goal-scoring opportunities in their 2-1 win against Colorado.
A good quote is nothing new in the soccer world.
“Some people think football [soccer] is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.” — former Liverpool F.C. player Bill Shankly.
“Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.” ex-English striker, now broadcaster Gary Lineker.
“We must have had 99 percent of the game. It was the other three percent that cost us the match.” — one-time Ballon d’Or winner Ruud Gullit.
These are three of the most popular and comical quotes in the soccer world via Planet of Success.
New York City F.C. head coach Domenec Torrent might have inherited the gene that produces humorous but profound quotes.
NYCFC outshot Colorado Rapids by 11 on Saturday but only won the match, 2-1. Torrent made it clear that despite what the score shows, one of the teams had more chances to find the net.
“I said this many times, this is not basketball,” he told the club’s website. “Basketball you have the same opportunities with your opponents but maybe you missed [some shots]. But in soccer, maybe you have more opportunities than the opponents.”
Is Torrent actually right?
Of course, the Spaniard mastermind is right. Last season in the NBA, the team that took the most shots, the Oklahoma City Thunder, only averaged 10 more field goal attempts per game than the team that took the least shots, the Memphis Grizzlies.
This means, two teams with similar shot attempts faced each other quite often.
In the MLS, the difference between the team that took the most shots and the team that took the least goes up to 143 this season. Los Angeles F.C. took a league-leading 385 strikes while Vancouver Whitecaps shot the ball 242 times.
What does this mean? When you aren’t getting many chances, you have to score. Conversely, if you’re the team with more chances, it’s the same concept—you have to score. Taking advantage of your opportunities is crucial.
The Boys in Blue were good enough to avoid the pain of losing because of squandered chances. New York took 29 shots compared to Colorado’s eight.
The Rapids were playing down a man, which explains NYCFC’s dominance. However, they didn’t score the winner until the 83rd minute after being up a man starting in the 33rd minute.
“We created many opportunities and we had to finish,” Torrent said. “It’s the most important thing. Sometimes you don’t play well, I accept that. Maybe you don’t have a lot of opportunities.
“But when you play well, you have to use that. And you have to finish, it’s very important when you have clear chances.”
But, looking at the whole season, New York is doing a good job at taking advantage of their chances. They’re the eighth-best scoring team in the MLS despite only shooting the ball the 12th most times in the league.
Torrent used an example from a hated rival to illustrate his point about capitalizing on chances. Out of all the MLS teams, the 57-year-old picked New York Red Bulls’ last match as an example. And yes, Torrent watches Red Bulls games.
“I watched Orlando’s game versus the Red Bulls and that happened,” he said, “Orlando maybe could’ve scored more goals but after that the result was 1-0 for Red Bulls.”
Orlando outshot RBNY 18-13.
Moral of the story, soccer isn’t basketball and teams don’t get about the same amount of chances to score. So if you’re the better team who worked to have the major advantage of taking the most shots, make them count, as NYCFC did against Colorado but nearly too late.
NYCFC’s next game is against Sporting Kansas City on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET home at the Yankee Stadium.