Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Clark In, Lampson Now Number 2 GK

From what I can tell the Columbus Crew have found their number one goalkeeper for 2014 in Steve Clark.

What of Matt Lampson though? Didn't the Columbus Crew sell him to fans and supporters alike as a more than competent starting 'keeper in MLS? There is little doubt that the this was done. Why it was done isn't clear but does leave open a lot more questions.

Like; Was/is Matt Lampson any good?

The simple answer is that he is inconsistent. Which comes from being young. Which is why Clark is in town.

Bear with me while I dig into some 'keeper stats (something I shy away from), as I think there is value here.

First place to start is a comparison to the guy that played on the same team. Andy Gruenebaum.

Andy started 21 matches this year, Lampson 13.

Goals Against Average
1.33 : Gruenebaum
1.38 : Lampson

Not a whole lot of difference here but it works out to be is almost two goals more a year were Lampson in goal (45.2 Andy, 46.9 Matt) all season.

Starts per Clean Sheet
5.25 : Gruenebaum
2.60 : Lampson

What this means is that Lampson, in his 13 games, only needed about three games to get to a shut out. Shut outs are good but this had me scratching my head. How could Lampson be shutting out opponents at almost double the rate yet have a higher goals against average?

This is where the inconsistency comes in. Lampson struggled on the road.

Save % Away / Home
73.6 / 72.6 : Gruenebaum (2012-13)
60.9 / 86.4 : Lampson (2012-13)

That's pretty stark from Lampson. It's wild, really. That home save percentage (works out to be 0.29 GA) he has might have buttressed Crew Stadium as a fortress but his away save numbers were off the charts low (not good).

In fact, in Lampsons 7 Away starts he has allowed an average of 2.43 Goals Against. During a season long campaign of 17 Away starts that works out to be 41 goals allowed! The Crew allowed 46 all year.

It's entirely likely that Lampson could have improved that number but there is some risk there. Too much for Gregg Berhalter and company to take, apparently.

On the season Lampson had a lower save percentage than Gruenebaum by a couple pts. On the surface it might not mean that much but pulling back and comparing to the rest of the league you can see that the gap is quite wide.

Save Percentage (minimum 10 starts)
78.9% Matt Reis NER
73.8% Joe Cannon VAN
73.2% Nick Rimando RSL
72.6% Donovan Ricketts PDX
71.1% Jon Busch SJE
71.0% Andy Gruenebaum CLB
70.5% Sean Johnson CHI
70.1% Luis Robles NY
70.0% Brad Knighton VAN
69.6% Troy Perkins MTL
69.5% Clint Irwin COL

68.5% David Ousted VAN

68.5% Zac MacMath PHI
68.3% Matt Lampson CLB
68.2% Raul Fernandez FCD
68.0% Jimmy Nielsen SKC
67.5% Michael Gspurning SEA
67.4% Tally Hall HOU
67.2% Bill Hamid DC
66.7% Bobby Shuttleworth NER
64.7% Joe Bendik TFC
62.7% Dan Kennedy CHV
57.4% Carlo Cudicini LAG


Had a short conversation with Bill Vegas (everybodysoccer.com) he seems to think that Clark is a big upgrade for the Crew. From what I can find out there, he seems to be... and for now? Clark is the Crew's number one and comes in as a signing that may turn out to be the biggest of the offseason.

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