Friday, May 6, 2011

An Afternoon Off

Well, not quite an entire afternoon, but a few hours home early.

Got Keepers ranked now. I didn't actually mean to assign any efficient scores to the position but with new stats come surprises.

Billy's Computer Machine has crunched the numbers and this is what he got for the top 5:

3.21: Faryd Mondragon: Philadelphia
2.83: William Hesmer: Columbus
2.67: Tally Hall: Houston
2.54: Kasey Keller: Seattle
2.42: Matt Pickens: Colorado

Admittedly this is heavy on the Goals Against category. But isn't that what the position is all about? The position has to be the maestro out there. Mondragon (10 saves) has not been nearly as busy as Kasey Keller (23) and poor Stefan Frei has had to try and keep out 35 shots. I've got him ranked 9th.

Nick Rimando (6th in my world) has been having an outstanding season. If I were to look at the position only and strip out all other aspects of the game he would probably be the best. 88% save rate on 17 shots. But stripping out the rest of the game would be a disservice to the beautiful part of the Beautiful Game. As the season goes on and more data points are available I'll be able to see if my rating system can hold for GK position.

I do think great individual players can lift an entire team on an individual game basis but over the long haul the game of soccer is a team game. This is what makes the lack of playoffs in the EPL understandable. It's not just the starting XI or even the short list of regulars on the bench. It's about the entire team right down past the reserves.

If you were to suspend all reality and imagine a player like Messi on a MLS team, then what? Would that team just dominate the league like having a superstar over in the NBA on your team like a Kobe or LeBron? No. Of course not. But were Messi's MLS team to make the playoffs would that teams chances increase in winning the title as opposed to having the most wins during the season? Highly likely.

A player like Messi does not nor has not existed in the MLS. But Charlie Davies this year is on pace to have an amazing year. If DC can sneak into the playoffs then we may see some weirdness happen.

On another note, the "beta" tag has been added to the MLS logo over at Good.

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