Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just happy little pigs in slop are we.

I am referring, of course, to how us Americans get giddy rolling around in sports stats.What follows (to a large extent) are the top six in various stat categories among Americans Abroad. I parenthetically say large extent because there are a few holes in the count. I was unable to come up with the three defensive categories at the bottom for 2.Bundesliga players. I also have no numbers past goals and assists for the productive Mr. Romero over in Armenia.

A few notes first. This list only includes league play, and is up to date - raw number listed first, followed by an average-per-game count in parentheses once we get past the first two rankings. Also, this list does not include summer schedule leagues that just started, such as Norway and Sweden. And Sacha Kljestan would still rate on the charts for goals and assists this season (among other things), but since he left Anderlecht several months ago, I just removed him altogether.

Now have at it, ya mugs - there are more than a few surprises to go around.


Romero, FC Pyunik 23
Wooten, Sandhausen 8
Jóhannsson, AZ 5
O'Brien, Wien. Neustadt 4
Boyd, RB Leipzig 3
Rubin, FC Utrecht 3
Wood, 1860/Aue 3

Yeah, I know this looks rough after the last few years. Just try to remember how nearly all of our big Euro-based attackers either recently went home to MLS or have been out injured. And the fact that most of our attackers playing in Europe are rather young.

Romero, FC Pyunik 8
Johnson, 'Gladbach 7
Morales, Ingolstadt 5
Rubin, FC Utrecht 5
Jóhannsson, AZ 3
Ream, Bolton 3

The way things are going lately, Johnson looks a decent bet to win this crown at the end of the term. Rubin seems to be getting his second wind for the final few games, as well.


Morales, Ingolstadt 62 (2.1)
Wooten, Sandhausen 51 (1.9)
Rubin, Utrecht 40 (1.5)
Bedoya, Nantes 35 (1.3)
Williams, Reading 29 (1.2)

, AZ 24 (1.3)

You did not see that one coming, huh? By the way, the recovering Mr. Boyd took 1.7 shots per game over his first seven games at RBL - food for thought.

Passing %
Williams, Reading 87.6
Johnson, Gladbach 81
Rubin, Utrecht 80.4
Ream, Bolton 77.2
Bedoya, Nantes 76.5
Johannsson, AZ 75.9

Williams almost never gets credit for being the possession monster that he is. And that Ream makes this list largely playing left back is incredible. Brooks and Cameron just baaaaarely miss the top six here... for now.

Chances Created

O'Brien, WNeu 29 (1.2)
Rubin, Utrecht 29 (1.1)
Ream, Bolton 25 (0.6)
Bedoya, Nantes 23 (0.8)
Lichaj, Forest 23 (0.6)
Chandler, Eintracht 22 (0.9)

Not every league or stat site counts this general topic the same exact way. Some do limit strictly to actual shot assists (that is, a pass that directly tees up a shot) and created chances do not exclusively result directly in shots, but it is all close enough. The low numbers on this particular board hurts my heart. Really, it does. Cmmmmon guys, a fit Mr. Gatt would lead this table given just 10-12 games.

FKs Won
Morales, Ingolstadt 74 (2.6)
Wooten, Sandhausen 46 (1.7)
Rubin, Utrecht 45 (1.7)
Chandler, Eintracht 29 (1.1)
Williams, Reading 27 (1.2)
Lichaj, Forest 23 (0.6)

I bet you did not see that one coming - Part Deux. Johnson, O'Brien and Bedoya are currently just outside this list, which for all they do I find fairly disappointing.


Lichaj, Forest 98 (2.3)
Ream, Bolton 93 (2.2)
Chandler, Eintracht 64 (2.5)
Bedoya, Nantes 59 (2.2)
Cameron, Stoke 48 (2)
O'Brien, WNeu 44 (1.9)

Speaking of slight disappointments, Brooks is seven shy of making this chart in seventh place. I did not even see that one coming.

Pass Interceptions

Ream, Bolton 104 (2.4)
Lichaj, Forest 88 (2.1)
Brooks, Hertha 72 (3)
O'Brien, WNeu 70 (3.1)
Spector, Birmingham 66 (3)
Chandler, Eintracht 63 (2.4)

It is at this point that I would care to discuss the perception that Championship players cannot be so much of an asset at a World Cup, when in actuality they are as prepared for the grind and pace of play in big tournaments as players in any league. In other words, more USMNT calls to Bolton, please.


Lichaj, Forest 208 (4.9)
Ream, Bolton 155 (3.8)
Brooks, Hertha 149 (6.2)
Spector, Birmingham 99 (4.5)
Whitbread, Derby 69 (7.7)
Cameron, Stoke 66 (2.8)

Seriously, how is Lichaj not given chances with the USMNT? Aside from one shift in the middle and a few red-card-induced stints in a three-man backline, folks, he has done this all from right and left back. And geez, is it not a real shame that Whitbread is an injury magnet? He makes this list with just nine games played.

- Greg Seltzer


Unknown said...

Nicely done. I'd like to find a way to take this further by weighting these by strength of opponent or strength of league, and finding a way to combine these stats into an overall rating. Where do you normally get your data sets from?

Tony M said...

The lack of opportunities for Ream (at the expense of out of position mids) has driven me insane... something I have demonstrated here time and again.

What amazes me is that Ream has a sophisticated skill set, but it is of no interest to the guy who is supposed to sprinkle Euro does on our players

Greg Seltzer said...

@ justin: It is virtually impossible to do that weighting. And I would not look at it so much for the ranking aspect, and more as finding the club/league value of these players right now.

Stats from various places like Opta, WhoScored, Squawka, the official Austrian Bundesliga site and Bild.