Monday, December 17, 2012

O'Rourke Re-Signs, Improves Playoff Chances

Columbus is going to bring Danny O'Rourke back for 2013 and in doing so, improve their chances of making the 2013 MLS Playoffs. This isn't just because Danny is a good player either, it's because the club is reducing year to year turnover.

Back on October 11th I looked at MLS Year over Year Consistency by club and found that teams that are able to stay together, regardless of talent or pay, were more successful. Danny takes the Crew up to 18 returning players from 2012 to sign up for 2013. If they all see minutes in 2013 that would put them number one on last years list by two players.

What I did was look at the players that saw minutes in both 2011 to 2012 on the same team. Here's how it looked:


16 : Los Angeles*
16 : Houston*
16 : FC Dallas

15 : San Jose*
15 : Sporting KC*

14 : Real Salt Lake*
14 : Toronto FC

13 : D.C.*
13 : Seattle*
13 : Vancouver*
13 : Columbus
13 : Colorado
13 : Portland

12 : Chicago*
11 : Philadelphia
11 : New England
8 : New York*
8 : Chivas USA

Five of the seven clubs returning more than 14 minute gaining players made the playoffs. Four of the five over 15 - and finally, the two teams with 16 were in the final.

Chicago and NY were out of control low but it makes sense because the over spent on talent thinking that is the key when in the end it only proved to make them moderately better than terrible Eastern Conference teams in Philadelphia, New England and Toronto.


It's only about halfway though the offseason and the January transfer window is approaching. Dilly Duka is still a valuable commodity that the club seems intent to maximize and there are rumors out there that have Milovan Mirosevic, who still has a guaranteed year with Columbus, returning to Chile for one last hurrah. For that to happen Major League Soccer would have to agree to a sale which would likely mean allocation money for the Crew.

Even those two players move on the Crew still sit at 16 minute gaining players returning. If the Crew are able to pick up Emilio Renteria? 17.


With the re-signing of Tony Tchani and Danny O'Rourke The Crew have put themselves back into a position to succeed. Again, the key is to keep the players on the club and healthy and for HC Robert Warzycha to keep his head about him. Of course keeping players who wield above average KPIs is preferred (Grossman).

Last year there were a couple key injuries that dropped the teams yr over yr minute gainers down to 13. Even worse if you remove Tom Heinemann's 5 minutes before season ending injury. Chemistry is key in this league. The successful teams prove that.


• Details of his contract were not released but the contract is likely for 1-2 years in the $100k range with about a 15-20% decrease from last year. Carlos Mendes moving on likely kept O'Rourke's salary close to last year.

• When Danny started the team had 9 wins, 3 draws and 6 losses. That's 1.67 Pts pGM, or +0.13 over the team average (GOOD).

• The team averaged 1.44 Goals For (GOOD) and 1.28 Goals Against (SLIGHTLY BELOW AVERAGE) when he was on the pitch.

• In my opinion Danny is one of the best defensive stoppers in the league when he is out there. He is effective at breaking up attacks and has decent ball distribution. He's also a very physical / brave yet fair player. Rare breed in MLS. Elated he's with the Crew another year.

[UPDATE: ESPN's local radio affiliate (97.1 The Fan) reported that O'Rourke signed a one year deal.]

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