Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stumbled Upon: MLS Danger men

Digging into chances can be murky waters but something was uncovered today. Who is creating the most real chances for their team. Chances as in Shots on Goal. It's a tricky stat in that; what is really a shot on goal. Does it have to be within the goal mouth? One that the opposing goal keeper has to get a paw on?

For soccer across the land shots on goal are a stat forged out of 100+ years of following the game. Major League Soccer tried and failed at creating their own rules in the past, but in recent years has gotten better. This year, for example, they have taken large strides in making shots on goal (and all other stats) fall more in line with what the rest of the world is doing.


MLS welcomed in Opta Stats this year and it's paying off. Data can now be measured equally and fairly with other major news and athletic outlets.

Where am I going with this? Oh, Dangermen. Who prey tell, in the mighty MLS, is creating real chances on goal, as in, Shots on Goal?

First thing to do is eliminate outlying data. As in; Guys that have 2 shots in 4 minutes. In doing so I choose to go with players that have more then 10 shots on goal this season. I thought it seemed reasonable considering the MLS season is now almost half way done.

Wow, that really trims it down. Only 38 (out of 419 that have seen time) players in the league have 10 accurate shots? Ummm, Okay.

Next up; who has the most in the shortest amount of time. No problem. Let's dig in. Deep Dive.

Wait... The MLS leader in chance creation is Tom Heinemann for the Crew? Yep. 1.8 shots on goal per 90 minutes. Best in the league. Yes. Heinemann. It could be argued but he is the most dangerous striker in the league when looking at it in this simple way.

Who are the rest? Well, you are about to become in the know. Shots on Goal per 90 on the left.

1.8 : Tom Heinemann
1.6 : Charlie Davies
1.6 : Marco Pappa
1.6 : Chris Wondolowski
1.4 : Fredy Montero
1.3 : Andres Mendoza
1.3 : Will Bruin
1.3 : Justin Braun
1.2 : Teal Bunbury
1.2 : Luke Rodgers

The Crew have 2 players on the list. That plays out in terms of the increase in goals over the past month. What about players converting Shots on Goal in to actual goals? NO GOALS OFF PENALTY KICKS INCLUDED. Here are those converting SOG at a rate over 50%. AKA, guys that are not only hitting the target, but putting it in the net. These are the guys to bottle up.

62.2% Thierry Henry
56.9% Danny Mwanga
55.6% Andres Mendoza
55.4% Landon Donovan
55.0% Chris Wondolowski
50.4% Luke Rodgers

31% is the average conversion out of the 38 players with over 10 SOG this year. Chance Creation. It takes 11 to do it, but these are the guys making it happen and finishing the job.


David Burgin said...

Remember the days when my grandma could get credit for an assist in MLS? Wonderful times those were for old mama. Heinemann needs to add a little obfuscation to his game, most notably his finishing.


Larry W Johnson II said...

Agreed. Hoping more experience in the league improves his finishing. He's close. I like that RW is giving all this playing time recently. At the very least its opened things up for Mendoza and made the Crew a team to be more feared attacking side.. for now. Time will tell if that sticks.

Thanks for the comment! Honored even, your Crew coverage the best out there.

Smitty said...