Misc Soccer News

By the Numbers: Rhode Island FC Continues to Build on Positives in Its Inaugural Season

Rhode Island FC unveils club identity, colors, crest

June 7, 2024 – United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Rhode Island FC News Release

While a 1W-3L-8D record may not have been the ideal start for Rhode Island FC more than one-third of the way through its inaugural season, a deeper look into the statistics show several positive trends that point towards the Ocean State club turning a corner. From a tight defensive unit to an attack that has displayed dangerous potential, the numbers show that it’s only a matter of time before the goals, and wins, start flowing. Broken down into each third of the field, here are just a few reasons to get excited about the future outlook for Rhode Island FC.

Locking it Down in the Defensive Third

Taking a look at Rhode Island FC’s recent string of results, it comes as no surprise that its stout defensive unit is one of the club’s strong suits through 12 matches. While its league-leading eight draws on the season may not seem particularly positive, RIFC has taken points from each of the USL Championship’s top four teams this season. The impressive quartet showing included a pair of shutouts, one against a Louisville City FC side who had previously scored in 14 straight matches, and another against a Charleston Battery squad who currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference. The pair of resilient results were two of four total shutouts on the year, and goalkeepers Jackson Lee and Koke Vegas have combined for three Team of the Week nods between the sticks to show for it.

Vegas and Lee have commanded a tight penalty area through the first 12 matches, as RIFC sit below the league average in both shots faced (134) and shots on target faced (49). Facing an average of just under five shots on target per match, the two keepers have combined to save a strong 66 percent of those efforts.

Controlling the Middle

For much of the season, a major part of why the USL Championship’s most dangerous attacks have struggled to score against RIFC isn’t because they are missing shots, but instead because they never get to take them in the first place. Take RIFC’s most recent home match against Louisville, for example. In a 0-0 draw against a Louisville City FC attack that had notched a league-leading 28 goals coming into the match and hadn’t been shut out all season, the visitors managed just three shots on target, and struggled to create chances as a result of being out-passed and out-possessed in the midfield by the Ocean State club. Against LouCity, Khano Smith’s side…

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