Monday, December 9, 2013

Oduro Returning, Need Efficient Scorer

The Columbus Crew announced today that they have re-signed MLS veteran Dominic Oduro.

The specifics of his contract were not released (they never are) but we can speculate that he likely got a healthy bump over last year. My best estimate would be in the $200-250k range after out playing his $120k contract in 2013.

Picking up Oduro for anything less than a DP contract could be considered a win for the Columbus Crew. After all, there are only so many goal scorers available that you can count on to score pretty regularly in MLS.

But you can also count on Oduro to be a tad bit wasteful and inaccurate in his chance taking.


Oduro was the leading scorer for the Crew in 2013 with 13 goals and also bested his career best. He should have done this, however, because the league's best chance creator (by a long shot) was feeding him the ball in Federico Higuain.

Over the past two years Oduro's Goal per Shot rate of 0.13 ranks 45th out of all players that have a minimum of 30 shots (low, but enough to get general idea). For Dominic Oduro, that works out from 146 total shots and 19 goals.

What that means is that it takes him roughly 7.68 shots to hit the back of the net.

Here are some of the 45 players with a better shot rate over the last two years:

4.80 : Diego Fagundez (NER)
4.88 : Alan Gordon (SJE)
5.30 : Blas Perez (FCD)
5.35 : Eddie Johnson (SEA)
5.40 : Dillon Powers (COL)
6.00 : Mauro Rosales (SEA)

...and 39 more.

If you were to take Eddie Johnson's 5.35 GpSHT rate Oduro would have had 27 goals over the past two years and not 19. This past year, Oduro's total would have been 17 goals instead of 13 if he had Grown Man's rate.

Those four goals alone put the Crew on even goal difference for the year.

It's certainly possible that Oduro's chances came from his flat out speed and that it's quite possible that Higuain benefited from leading the league in chance creation because of Oduro. This doesn't change Oduro's finishing ability, though.

His 7+ shots it takes him to find the back of the net has been a constant though out his career.

7.08 : Last Year
7.68 : Last 2 Years
7.43 : Last 4 Years
7.45 : Career

With the above, you can see the Higuain influence but it still doesn't get Oduro into any sort of elite finishing group.


It'd be really interesting if the Crew went on the hunt for a forward that is good at finding open space and can finish efficiently.

Believe it or not, a player like Danny Koevermans (4.56 shots per goal) or aforementioned Eddie Johnson or even perhaps a chance on a hidden gem like Antoine Hoppenot (5.43 shots per goal) is probably a worthwhile search for the Crew.

Bottom line. A player like Higuain bring out goals from an efficient player. He was able to take a well known MLS quantity in Oduro and help improve his goal per shot rate by a measurable percentage.


For deeper reading on shots take a look at Cartilage Free Captain (MCofA's work). It's excellent.

Adam Uthe also has some great thoughts on Oduro re-signing over at Global Football Today.

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