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Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc: NYCFC Fun Facts

From Last Word on Soccer, by Martin Bihl

Prime Minister, novelist, and closet footie fan Benjamin Disraeli once said that there are lies, damned lies and statistics. And never was that more true than in this compendium of curious NYCFC Fun Facts we’ve uncovered. Or manufactured. Or something. They’re all true, of course, but whether they are at all relevant to what happens on the pitch, well…

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc: NYCFC Fun Facts

NYCFC Fun Fact #1: No Hangover.

Never in their history have NYCFC lost a match after they played FC Dallas. In 2015, after losing 2-1 in Frisco, Texas, they came back to the Bronx and beat Toronto FC. In 2016, after drawing FC Dallas in the Bronx, they went on to beat the Chicago Fire there too. So, if history is any indicator, NYCFC should beat RSL, right? Does it matter that those other wins were at home and NYCFC’s next match is on the road? Good question.

NYCFC Fun Fact #2: The Power of a McNamara Goal

NYCFC have only lost the next match after Tommy McNamara scores three times in the history of the club. Or said a different way, they’ve won four times and drawn four times in the game after he scores. Now, I’m sure you saw the amazing goal he netted in the second half against FC Dallas on Sunday. Does that mean that the odds favor NYCFC taking points on Wednesday against RSL? Why not? Though I’ll confess that the fact that RSL have given up 22 goals this season and have a -13 goal differential doesn’t hurt.

NYCFC Fun Fact #3: May Road Trips R Us

In 2016, NYCFC played three straight games on the road in May – against D.C. United, Portland Timbers and Toronto FC – winning twice and drawing once. Which would indicate that as brutal as this Texas to Utah to Florida junket is, they seem to thrive on it. They also had a four game road trip in July last year, which they split – 2 wins and 2 losses. Which could indicate that May is a slightly better month for them for road trips. Or that four games away from Yankee Stadium is too much. Or, it could mean absolutely nothing at all. (In the interest of full disclosure, in 2015 NYCFC played a 3 game road trip only once, at the end of the season and it didn’t go at all well. So, like any good statistician, we’ll just ignore that…)

NYCFC Fun Fact #4: Where did everybody go?

Of the three players who scored goals for Real Salt Lake the last time they faced NYCFC, none of them are on the team this year. Indeed, of the five goals NYCFC have given up in all the matches they’ve played against RSL, only one of the scorers will be suiting up in the RSL kit on Wednesday. Also remember that RSL have scored only nine goals this season. Only Colorado has scored fewer with eight, which is, coincidentally exactly the same number both Erick Torres and Nemanja Nikolic have scored all by themselves. Indeed, Tommy McNamara scored more goals against FC Dallas than RSL has scored since April 23rd. All of which begs the question, where will RSL’s goals come from? Personally, I hope they don’t come at all on Wednesday.

NYCFC Fun Fact #5: I don’t know what to make of this

Both times NYCFC have faced RSL, RSL were coming off of losses. In 2016, they were coming off a road loss to Columbus when they came to Yankee to beat NYCFC. In 2015 they were coming off of a road loss to Montreal, before beating NYCFC at Rio Tinto. This time, they’re coming off of four straight losses, home and away. So does that mean they’re really bad or that they’re going to beat NYCFC four times as badly as they have in the past? (I knew I should have paid closer attention in probability class)

NYCFC Fun Fact #6: Bring it on

After NYCFC played RSL in 2015 they drew the Houston Dynamo at Yankee Stadium, and then went on to beat the Philadelphia Union away, Montreal Impact in the Bronx and Toronto FC at BMO Field in consecutive matches. In 2016, after losing to RSL, they beat Philadelphia at Yankee Stadium, and then the Seattle Sounders in Seattle, and then the New York Red Bulls in the Bronx and finally the New England Revolution in Foxborough. Now, I’m no statistician, but clearly that indicates that, win or lose, the team gets fired up after playing RSL. Does it mean they’ll go on a four game tear? Sure, why not?

What’s it all mean?

Yeah, who knows? Like they say on those financial commercials, “Past performance is no indication of future activity.” NYCFC could win, they could lose, they could draw. And that’s the funnest fact of all.


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