Who was the Best "Finisher" in MLS This Season?

Discussion in 'Statistics and Analysis' started by Karl K, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    So, who was the best "finisher" in MLS this season?

    Of course, we could talk subjectively for hours about this, but just to create some interesting discussion, I though I'd look at some...ahem...numbers.

    You'll find my "Scoring Efficiencey" table below. Now I put this together in about an hour, cutting and pasting from MLS.net and sorting like crazy, so there may be some errors in there.

    Here was my methodolgy.

    First, I determined I only wanted to use run-of-play goals, so I adjusted shots and goals for PKs made and attemped to get a "run of play" set of numbers.

    Second, I arbitrarily included players who scored a minimum of 5 run of play goals. (That eliminated, for example, guys like Jeff Cunningham).

    Third, I normalized key numbers for 90 minutes.

    Fourth, I looked at percentages as evidence of "efficiency." Who is (a) putting the majority of their shots on frame and (b) putting the majority of their on-frame shots in the back of the net?

    And answer is....Alejandro Moreno.

    OK, OK...I know that sounds really goofy...and it probably is, since he just had a few goals. But he was awfully awfully efficient.

    To me, there are other more interesting things in this table.

    Table in next post below.

    I'll deal with that in a subsequent post.
  2. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    Scoring Efficiency Table
    G=Goals (includes PK goals)
    R=Run of Play
    RG = Run of Play Goals
    RSHT = Run of Play Shots
    SOG=Shot on Goal (i.e., Frame)

    FWD	Alejandro_Moreno	1117	6	19	12	6	0.48	1.53	31.58%	63.16%	50.00%
    MID	Dema Kovalenko	2401	6	26	14	6	0.22	0.97	23.08%	53.85%	42.86%
    FWD	Pat Noonan		1646	10	44	24	10	0.55	2.41	22.73%	54.55%	41.67%
    FWD	Landon Donovan	1882	12	53	30	11	0.53	2.49	21.15%	54.72%	37.93%
    FWD	Zizi Roberts	729	5	27	16	5	0.62	3.33	18.52%	59.26%	31.25%
    FWD	Edson Buddle	1509	10	59	26	10	0.60	3.52	16.95%	44.07%	38.46%
    FWD	Taylor Twellman	1893	15	90	47	15	0.71	4.23	16.85%	52.22%	32.61%
    FWD	Igor Simutenkov	1435	7	43	25	7	0.44	2.70	16.28%	58.14%	28.00%
    MID	Brian Kamler	2322	6	37	18	6	0.23	1.43	16.22%	48.65%	33.33%
    MID	Chris Klein	2527	6	37	16	6	0.21	1.32	16.22%	43.24%	37.50%
    FWD	Mike Magee		1709	7	44	25	7	0.37	2.32	15.91%	56.82%	28.00%
    M/F	Brian Mullan	2723	6	38	19	6	0.20	1.26	15.79%	50.00%	31.58%
    MID	DaMarcus Beasley	1969	7	45	16	7	0.32	2.06	15.56%	35.56%	43.75%
    FWD	Brian Ching	1235	6	39	17	6	0.44	2.84	15.38%	43.59%	35.29%
    FWD	Brian McBride	2183	12	68	34	10	0.41	2.72	15.15%	47.06%	31.25%
    FWD	Jason Kreis	1543	7	42	21	6	0.35	2.33	15.00%	47.62%	31.58%
    M/F*	Chris Brown	1327	5	35	18	5	0.34	2.37	14.29%	51.43%	27.78%
    MID	Mark Chung		2639	11	78	39	11	0.38	2.66	14.10%	50.00%	28.21%
    FWD	John Wolyniec	1385	5	39	20	5	0.32	2.53	12.82%	51.28%	25.00%
    FWD	John Spencer	2265	14	81	37	10	0.40	3.02	13.16%	40.74%	31.25%
    FWD	Damani Ralph	1985	11	91	36	10	0.45	4.08	11.11%	38.46%	28.57%
    FWD	Carlos Ruiz	2331	15	84	51	8	0.31	2.93	10.53%	52.38%	18.60%
    F/M	Clint Mathis	2019	9	84	35	8	0.36	3.61	9.88%	40.48%	25.00%
    MID	Preki		2678	12	92	34	7	0.24	2.89	8.14%	31.52%	25.00%
    FWD	Ante Razov		2270	14	119	67	9	0.36	4.48	7.96%	52.10%	14.75%
  3. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    Some random observations.

    --Just by virtue of efficiency alone, along with goals scored, I think Pat Noonan has strong case for Rookie of the Year, partial as I may be to Damani Ralph. As many Run of Play goals as Ralph with half the shots. And Ralph was a starter, while Noonan played the sub role, and part of the time as a nominal midfielder.

    --Dema Kovalenko had an excellent scoring campaign, considering how he was a d-mid often, I believe. When he took the few shots he did, he made 'em count.

    --Is there any doubt Taylor Twellman can score in this league? His .7 run of play goals per game, and 15 run of play goals total, strikes me as really high relative to everybody else, though it would interesting to run some more descriptive statistics on this one.

    --Ante "I never met a shot I didn't like" Razov is extraordinarily inefficient in his shooting. Plus his numbers are padded by penalties.

    --Preki "I too never met a shot I didn't like" Rad...was also quite inefficient...and also had his numbers padded by penalties.

    --Carlos " I never met a dive I didn't like" Ruiz is ANOTHER player in the Preki/Razov mold. PK scoring, lots of Run of Play shots, lots of misses.

    --Is there any doubt Clint is a shadow of his former self?? Take a gander as THOSE efficiency percentages. Yikes.
  4. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    beineke, voros, and I had a similar discussion at this thread.

    As for Mathis - he does appear to be completely off his game:

  5. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great, great work. I've noticed on MLS Wrap that Moreno takes his shots from in close.
  6. TomEaton

    TomEaton Member

    Mar 5, 2000
    Champaign, IL
    I've done a little bit of work on this. One thing I've noticed is that there are more players who are consistently poor percentage shooters than there are players who are consistently good percentage shooters. One year, guys like Mauricio Cienfuegos or Steve Ralston or Alex Pineda Chacon will score on around 25% of their total shots. Then the next year they miss so often that they don't score enough goals to even show up on the charts.

    The important question that I don't yet have the answer to is, What does it MEAN? Preki has consistently been a poor percentage shooter since the day he entered the league, but you could make a credible argument that he's been the best attacking player in the history of MLS. The same goes for Razov. Is the lesson then that if you want to be a consistent scorer you should shoot more, or does it just mean that some guys score better by striking it on goal every chance they get, while others do better by positioning themselves for the very best shots?
  7. mpruitt

    mpruitt Member

    Feb 11, 2002
    E. Somerville
    New England Revolution
    Wouldn't you love to see the raw data on that in relation to the stuff that was in the MLS media guides. I wonder if we should really start petitioning MLS for deeper and deeper stats.
  8. mpruitt

    mpruitt Member

    Feb 11, 2002
    E. Somerville
    New England Revolution
    great work by Karl too btw. Only thing is though both Kovelenko and Morejeno both have the (some of the) fewest Shots on Goal of of that list you mentioned. I wonder what you think about that other than the obvious?
  9. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    Thanks for the props.

    It was a lot of fun to do...and pretty easy, I must say.

    Moreno of course had just 1100 minutes in the league this year, which was the second lowest number on this list. Were he to replicate his efficience over, say, 2000 minutes, he'd be one of the top scoreres in the league, and an all-star. Superdave is right, in that he really likes to "close with the enemy." I believe that playing forward is about good positioning, good timing on runs, and ability to shoot accurately. That's why Mike Magee will likely have a decent career in MLS, despite his lack of size and speed.

    Kovalenko played a lot of forward for Indiana, and took a bunch of turns up top when he played for the Fire. His shot is hard, low, and accurate, -- I simply can't recall any time I saw him with the Fire that a shot skyed over the crossbar. And when he played an attacking position, he was really a run right at 'em kind of guy, and not afraid to take players on.

    He is extremely versatile, but is probably playing out of position at d-mid.
  10. whip

    whip Member

    Aug 5, 2000
    Primo Karl...Primo !!!
  11. Serie Zed

    Serie Zed Member

    Jul 14, 2000
    A theory on some of this...

    Guys with a big shot, who crank from range, are going to have a much larger "standard distribution" around the averages we're looking at here. So the year-to-year fluctuation would be higher.

    I'd expect this would be especially true for midfielders who are not in the box as much.

    Just a guess.

Share This Page