Friday, April 18, 2014

...more +/- (subs), PPG back to 2011

To expand upon what I was writing about in my last post, I'm going a couple steps further to look at sub +/- and take Points Per Game (PPG) earned as starter back to 2011.

Starting off with Substitutions because I think it can tell us a bit about the Crew that we may or may not have already known. Some observations:

 1. Since the beginning of 2012 the Crew Subs have a -23 aggregate goal difference. That works out to be -0.11 per match. That might not be too surprising to some Crew fans. Most of these games were coached by Robert Warzycha and he has something of a reputation for not using the right subs.

 2. The overall negative goal difference for subs points to the Crew losing ground once the bench gets called upon. What that -23 goals represents is basically dropping 23 goals after the 60th minute over the last 73 games played since March 2012.

 3. A lot of the subbed players since 2012 is a virtual wasteland of "could have beens" and "never was".

 3a. The most subbed on player since the beginning of 2012 gas been Ethan Finlay with 29. Right behind him is Justin Meram with 26.

29 : Ethan Finley
26 : Justin Meram
17 : Tony Tchani
13 : Aaron Schoenfeld
11 : Emilio Renteria

 4. There are eight players who have been subbed on more than 10 times since 2012, here's how they did:

GOAL DIFF : NAME (subbed on)
+0.18 : Emilio Renteria (11)
+0.15 : Justin Meram (26)

0.00 : Tony Tchani (17)
0.00 : Kevan George (11)

-0.09 : Ryan Finley (11)
-0.23 : Aaron Schoenfeld (13)
-0.27 : Konrad Warzycha (11)
-0.28 : Ethan Finlay (29)

 5. Berhalter and the 2014 Crew have, so far, kept control of games after subs start entering. His 15 subs through 5 games are +2 goals. Good.

 6. The other guys:

+0.67 : Tyson Wahl (3)
+0.50 : Adam Bedell (2)
+0.40 : Julius James (5)
+0.20 : Joshua Williams (5)

0.00 : Jairo Obando Arrieta (7)
0.00 : Cole Grossman (5)
0.00 : Matías Sánchez (4)
0.00 : Nemanja Vukovic (3)
0.00 : Dominic Oduro (1)
0.00 : Kirk Urso (1)
0.00 : Milovan Mirosevic (1)

-0.14 : Bernardo Anor (7)
-0.25 : Eric Gehrig (4)
-0.25 : Shaun Francis (4)
-0.33 : Ben Speas (9)
-0.50 : Danny O´Rourke (6)
-0.50 : Dilly Duka (6)
-0.50 : Olman Vargas (4)
-0.50 : Federico Higuaín (2)
-0.50 : Matt Lampson (2)
-0.67 : Chad Barson (3)
-1.00 : Chris Birchall (1)
-1.00 : Tom Heinemann (1)

 6a. Highlighted Williams, Anor and Arrieta because they are regular starting rotation guys this year. The team has been able to hold there own when they have entered. Considering the + goal diff and combined amount of times the two have entered sort of shows they are starting MLS quality. Not the be all end all but it doesn't hurt their case.


In yesterday's post I looked at % points earned per player start since 2012. I chose that year because I felt that going back any further was pretty irrelevant. I've changed my mind though, for a few reasons, but mainly because 2011 was the team's last playoff year.

Here's the list of everybody over 10 starts...

PPG per Start : Name (starts since 2011)

2.00 Carlos Mendes (12)
1.71 Matt Lampson (14)
1.67 Kevin Burns (15)
1.59 Chris Birchall (17)
1.56 Federico Higuaín (45)
1.51 Bernardo Anor (35)
1.51 Eddie Gaven (71)
1.50 Tom Heinemann (12)
1.50 Joshua Gardner (22)
1.50 Justin Meram (24)
1.50 TOP 25% (26)
1.48 Wil Trapp (21)
1.46 Sebastián Miranda (68)
1.44 Jairo Obando Arrieta (41)
1.42 Joshua Williams (57)
1.40 Emilio Renteria (30)
1.39 Chad Barson (18)
1.38 Dejan Rusmir (13)
1.38 Julius James (39)
1.38 Emmanuel Ekpo (29)
1.35 Dilly Duka (31)
1.35 Agustín Viana (20)
1.35 MEDIAN (37)
1.34 Andy Gruenebaum (56)
1.33 Nemanja Vukovic (12)
1.32 Milovan Mirosevic (25)
1.31 Chad Marshall (87)
1.30 Tony Tchani (33)
1.28 Danny O´Rourke (43)
1.28 Eric Gehrig (18)
1.24 Will Hesmer (33)
1.24 Robbie Rogers (25)
1.23 BOTTOM 25% (16)
1.23 Gláuber Berti (13)
1.23 Andrés Mendoza (26)
1.22 Dominic Oduro (37)
1.21 Tyson Wahl (24)
1.18 Shaun Francis (11)
1.17 Rich Balchan (18)
1.09 Ben Speas (11)
0.80 Matías Sánchez (10)

The Crew median of 1.35 over the past 3+ years obviously doesn't cut it. The measure of success in MLS seems to be the playoffs, which means finishing top half. That usually means a 1.50 PPG or better. For the Crew this has been difficult to achieve. Above, you can see that only the top 25% are there.

If one were to put together the best starting lineup based on PPG earned as a starter since 2011, it'd look like this...


This lineup, were it healthy, would earn you 1.52 PPG (even better if you played your subs well). That 1.52 is good enough to get you into the playoffs but not that much better. The talent here is probably better than that number but the coaching was suspect.

Some out there are immediately going to point to Burns. I'm there, too. It's surprising but I remember looking at this back in 2011 and thinking team results with him playing were good. At worst, people can have opinions on his back passing or play on the ball, but what you cannot argue with are the results he got when he started. His common look and weak demeanor probably held him back with some of the fans.


Next up (in the yellow kit) is a lineup with that only get you about 1.21 PPG were you to use it regularly in MLS. These are the guys that didn't perform well when starting games. Not that many surprises. The 1.21 PPG number is enough to put a team way down the table though.

Hesmer is a bit of a surprise but that 2011 year (the only one I'm counting with this post) was not a good one for him. He's a legend, no doubt. But if you look at some of the guys in this lineup you can see why he has been a little critical of the team of late.

Other guys on this list like Shaun Francis (most assists from LB since 2011) and Tyson Wahl (...) highlight how difficult it's been for the Crew to fill that LB spot. I was a little bummed to have to include Mendoza on this lineup but these are numbers I've been tracking and know he didn't get results when he started.

On Mendoza though. He had an amazing left foot. Some of his goals are of the best quality we've seen in town this side of Higuain. His talent was undeniable and I enjoyed watching him but he was the complete opposite of his head coach.


This feels like an old school Helltown type post about a post about something that only makes sense to me so I best be moving on, but before I do;

DC United in town tomorrow and Jairo Arrieta should start.

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