Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Right, a short one today as I'm sure we're all rather anxious to get on with things, so let's have at it. But whatever shall we talk about? Well, given my propensity for stats, I thought perhaps I'd compile a list of interesting things I've gleaned from my vast database of statistics (I'm not actually kidding — the database is reasonably vast) and we could go from there.
- The most subbed-on Real Salt Lake player is Jonny Steele, who has averaged 18.7 minutes per substitute appearance. He's also nabbed a couple goals during those times, and he's frustrated a few people, too. By my count, that's not too bad. I'd rather have a player frustrate me late on with a giveaway when we're chasing play than not realize a player is even in the match. Not to make excuses, of course. Anyhow, I don't think he's been nearly as bad as he is sometimes made out to be, such is his scapegoaty status at times.
- The player to average the shortest substitute appearances? You'd be forgiven for thinking it's Emiliano Bonfigli, but it's actually Yordany Alvarez, who has played 28 minutes during his six substitute appearances — an average of 4.7 minutes per substitute appearance. This does mean, however, that he's been trusted for the full 90 minutes in all three of his starts, as he's got 298 minutes on the clock this season. It is perhaps the nature of the position playing into things.
- Our most accurate long-ball player (With over 20 accurate long passes) is Kwame Watson-Siriboe, with 20/23 long passes successfully finding their target. To compare, Kyle Beckerman is at 75 percent in the middle of the park, Chris Schuler is at 79 percent (I so can't wait for his return), and Nick Rimando is worst off, with 45 percent accuracy. That he is worst off on the squad isn't surprising: Goalkeepers around the league are the lowest in this stat, with critically acclaimed keeper Dan Kennedy at 43 percent, Sean Johnson at 42 percent, Troy Perkins at 34 percent, and Josh Saunders (on a long-ball team, mind) at 26 percent. There are, of course, others in there, too. My favorite? Todd Dunivant at 36 percent and Sean Franklin at 38 percent — the lowest two outfielders on the list. Heh.
- Here's one that surprised me a bit. We have a few players that have taken at least 20 shots — the top three being Will Johnson (31), Alvaro Saborio (66) and Fabian Espindola (51). Of those three, Will has the highest accuracy, with 48 percent on target, while Sabo is at 44 percent and Fabian is at 39 percent. Below them, we've got Kyle Beckerman (7/28) and Javier Morales (7/21). I was a bit surprised to see Will so high up on that list, but there you go.
- Our most effective clearer of the ball? Nick Rimando, with 90 percent of his clearances effective, putting him fourth in the league. Our second-most effective? Will Johnson, with 66 percent effective. Those who have made at least 20 clearances range from Kwame Watson-Siriboe (48 percent effective, with the same number of clearances as Kyle Beckerman in a fraction of the minutes) to Tony Beltran (59 percent effective), just below Will and Nick.
- Across the league, Colorado Rapids lead, with 62 percent of their clearances effective, while we're a bit nearer the bottom, with 54 percent of our clearances effective. Toronto FC is dead last, with 44 percent effective. What does that say about our play? I'm not entirely sure, but it's worth considering that San Jose is second-worst in the league, with just under 50 percent effective clearances.
- Of all teams, we have the least accurate crossing rate — a measly 17 percent. However, our crossing accuracy improves significantly in the second half: 21 percent then, signaling, perhaps, a change in our playing style from the first half to the second half. I know some make a habit of criticizing our crossing of the ball, and perhaps there's something to that, but there are a number of factors at play here — including our generally narrow, vertical attacking patterns.
Right, that should tide you over for a bit. 'Til tomorrow!