Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is Arabe Unido the Dirtiest Team in the CONCACAF Champions League?

Over the last two years I've developed an overwhelming hatred of Panama's Arabe Unido. The strategy in their 2009-10 home leg against Houston consisted of two-footed tackles and overall hackery. This year's performance against Real Salt Lake alternated between thuggery and the worst display of "ow my spleen" time-wasting I've ever seen. If E/R was still running we might have seen a number of their players on gurneys as extras. With nine yellow and one red card in just two games this year, it made me wonder if they were the dirtiest team in the CONCACAF Champions League.

In order to study this I combed through last year's discipline stats. While Arabe Unido had the most red cards of any team in the 2009-2010 edition of the tournament, they weren't even in the top five as far as yellow cards per game. After factoring out the teams that only played twice, these teams rose to the top:
             YC/G  RC/G
Pachuca 3.70 0.00
Houston 3.17 0.17
Toluca 3.00 0.00
Cruz Azul 2.90 0.10
DC United 2.63 0.25
Columbus 2.38 0.13
Arabe Unido 2.30 0.30
So three Mexican teams, three American teams and then Arabe Unido. Perhaps there's something about playing American teams that brings out the worst in Arabe.

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