Stats winners: Lodeiro, Bradley, and the rest of MLS' Wednesday standouts
Most take-ons - Alberto Quintero (7/11)
The final score at Stade Saputo looks one-sided, Montreal having claimed a 3-1 win over visiting San Jose, but the game was close until the match’s final minutes. Had the Earthquakes converted a late penalty kick, San Jose may have stole a point on the road - a result that would have been impossible without Alberto Quintero.
The Panamanian international led the game with four chances created, but it was how he got in position to craft those opportunities that stood out. Whether spurring transition in his own half or forging space to craft a final pass, the San Jose winger was nearly unstoppable on the ball.
The only method Montreal had that worked? Fouling. Quintero also led MLS’ Wednesday in fouls suffered: seven.
Most shots - Chris Wondolowski (6)
For better and worse, it was a very "Wondo" night, with the San Jose captain using his unparalleled instincts to take six shots, five of which game within 12 yards of goal. One of those shots, in the second half, saw Wondo in the right place at the right time to clean up a rebound and give his team its only goal.
Unfortunately for Wondolowski, it's the chance he missed that will be remembered most. Late in the match, after minutes of confusion at the Montreal end line, San Jose was awarded a chance to equalize from the spot. Unfortunately for Wondolowski, who earlier became the fifth MLS player with 100 career open play goals, his spot kick was a poor one. As Evan Bush dove right, Wondolowski shot went directly into his body, allowing Montreal to preserve its lead.
Most ball recoveries - Michael Bradley and Armando Cooper (11 each)
Toronto FC went down to 10 men late during Wednesday's visit from Orlando City, but thanks to its dual ball-winners in the middle, the Reds never relinquished control of the game. The 0-0 result may have been disappointing to a team pursuing the Supporters' Shield, but given Toisant Ricketts was sent off in the second half, the result could have been worse.
Perhaps most notable about Bradley and Cooper's recoveries (besides the sure quantity of them) is their location. Most are in Orlando's half of the field. That not only hints at good work from TFC's pressure but smart positioning in midfield. Bradley and Cooper's recognition helped keep this score level.
Most tackles - Servando Carrasco (8)
So how, with all that possession won in its attacking half, did Toronto fail to score? Servando Carrasco certainly played a part. Orlando's lone deep midfielder, Carrasco made eight successful tackles, tying Seattle's Cristian Roldan's for the night's lead, albeit in fewer attempts.
Again here, the location of the tackles tells part of the story. Whereas you'd expect a bulk of a defensive midfielder's action to occur in front of his center backs, Carrasco had to venture wide on a number of occasions. That ability to do wide and cut off access to Toronto's Jozy Altidore surely helped the Lions take a point out of BMO.
Most passes - Osvaldo Alonso (61/65)
The section header, above, is a lie, as San Jose midfielder Darwin Ceren actually had the most passes on the night, completing 63 of 75 in the Earthquakes' loss at Montreal. You'll forgive us, however, if we focus on Alonso, whose completion rate was beyond his already ridiculous standard. Entering the night with a 91 percent completion rate on the season, best in MLS, the Seattle holder completed 61 of 65 passes (93.8 percent) against Chicago, with his quick side-to-side balls dictating play early in the Sounders' 1-0 win.
As you can see from the charts, Ceren did a great job of providing a consistent focal point for his team, always stationed near the center circle to serve as a way to move the ball from flank to flank. While there's a lot of that in Alonso's game, too, the Sounders needed more from their destroyer in the defensive third. A number of Alonso's passes helped the Sounders transition into their attacking phase.
Most final third passes - Nicolas Lodeiro (26/35)
Lodeiro's 26 completed final third passes was four more than any other player Wednesday, but the real story is in the volume. The Uruguayan's 35 attempts far outstretched the night's next-most prolific player, a testament to how much time Seattle spent at the edge of the Chicago box.
As Cristian Roldan's chart shows, Lodeiro wasn't the only player who found success in Chicago's defensive third. While the second-year midfielder's play didn't feature as many penetrating passes, it does show how easy it was for Seattle to maintain possession near the Fire penalty area. Though Chicago had some isolated chances, the Sounder shutout was earned in the Fire’s half of the field.
Richard Farley is the West Coast Editor of FourFourTwo USA. Follow him on Twitter @richardfarley.