Friday, August 28, 2015

Report Card: 2015 Crew SC Signings

With a number of good signings and heavy lifting completed last year, it looks like the 2015 class of Columbus Crew SC signings are turning out to be a mixed bag. Here's a look at how Crew SC transactions have gone over the last 18 months.

PART I: The Ratings. Using Squawka, and my own rating system, let's take a look at each of the players Gregg Berhalter and company brought in to play the 2015 season.

How the score is calculated: I take each player's rank by position in the three systems and averaged them up. A table at the bottom of the post will list them all out. Again, this is not a grade on how well they are filling their role, it is strictly a grade on impact to the first team.

Grade Scale. Anything in the top 10% of all players is an A. Top 25% is a B and top Half is a C. Anything below 50% is failing(not making an impact on the 1st team).

A (97%) Kei Kamara (10/7/14 - allocation)
C (50%) Mohammed Saeid (10/29/14 - free)
F (22%) Sergio Campbell (3/2/15 - SuperDraft)
F (17%) Chris Klute (12/16/14 - traded from Colorado)
F (06%) Kristin Steindorsson (12/11/14 - free)

[players receiving an incomplete grade]
I (12%) Cedrick Mabwati (1/30/15 - transfer from Real Betis)
I (10%) Harrison Afful (7/30/15 - free)
I (--%) Jack McInerney (8/4/15 - trade from Montreal)
I (--%) Gaston Sauro (8/6/15 - transfer from FC Basel)
I (--%) Ben Swanson (10/15/14 - Homegrown)

[dropped / left team]
X (--%) Kalen Ryden (3/2/15 - SuperDraft)
X (--%) Sagi Lev-Ari (3/2/15 - SuperDraft)
X (--%) Hernan Grana (1/23/15 - free)

What I am looking for here is how much these guys are contributing to season results. Mohammed Saeid, for example, played a significant role early in the season filling in for an injured Wil Trapp and Chris Klute, for all intensive purposes, was brought in to deepen the roster.

For comparison, here is a look at transactions in for Crew SC during the 2014 season. Taking out the Homegrown and college picks, it was a successful season in regards to signings.

B (88%) Michael Parkhurst (1/13/14 - rights acquired from New England)
B (83%) Emanuel Pogatetz (9/9/14 - free)
B (76%) Steve Clark (12/16/13 - trade from Seattle)
F (20%) Hector Jimenez (1/14/14 - trade from LA Galaxy)

[players receiving an incomplete grade]
I (--%) Brad Stuver (11/25/13 - Waiver Draft)
I (--%) Romain Gall (8/7/14 - weighted lottery)

[dropped / left team]
X (--%) Matt Wiet (11/26/13 - Homegrown)
X (--%) Daniel Paladini (12/12/13 - trade from Chicago)
X (--%) Ross Friedman (1/8/14 - Homegrown)
X (--%) Matt Walker (1/8/14 - Homegrown)
X (--%) Ben Sweat (2/14/14 - SuperDraft)
X (--%) Kingsley Baiden (2/14/14 - SuperDraft)
X (--%) Adam Bedell (3/5/14 - SuperDraft)
X (--%) Álvaro Rey (6/6/14 - trade from Toronto)

Two players that are exceptions, to the way I'm looking at it, are Giancarlo González (2/21/14 - transfer from Valerenga) and Waylon Francis (11/26/13 - Discovery). Giancarlo turned out to be a win for the Crew and Francis was discovered by Brian Bliss and the previous regime.

Afful, Mabwati have played but are midseason arrivals.

PART II: Roles and Responsibilities 

Players like Brad Stuver, Romain Gall and Sergio Campbell weren't brought to Columbus to be starters. Be it age, talent level or soft skills, they were brought in to play a different role with the team other than week to week starter. Even though playing on the first time should be the goal, it isn't quite fair to grade them on the same scale as some of their peers.

So, in this second part I am going to dive into the things that aren't measurable by a rating system that only looks at games. Whether you call it "soft skills" or "core competencies," it is part of the overall picture of the player that is important.

General Observation


Over half of the Crew SC roster (15/28) is now Gregg Berhalter signings. Players like Kei Kamara, Michael Parkhurst and Steve Clark have been huge hits for him and it's looking like Gaston Sauro and Harrison Afful will be as well.

As with every team, there are hits and and misses. Alvaro Rey, Daniel Paladini, Hernan Grana, Kristin Steindorsson and Emanuel Pogatetz a currently on the list (projecting on the latter two) of misses. That said, the overall record is pretty decent and his immediate jettison of homegrown and down roster "superdraft" players last year was a stroke of boldness that was much needed.

Berhalter and company set the bar pretty damn high last year. It'll be interesting to see which from this year's group, particularly the midseason signings, wind up by season's end.


It's been sorta fun going through recent Crew SC transactions. I think next steps would be to match up specific player skills with the two parts above to get a well rounded and fully painted picture of each player. "Sports," particularly in the US, often seem like they drift into the marketing / hero worship side of things as opposed to the competition side but that can be measured as well.

Measure, measure, measure. Rule 1, 2 and 3 in regards to improvement.

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