Welcome to From The Upper Deck, my blog about RSL and soccer in general. I have a lot of passion for the beautiful game. I am just a fan that likes to sit in the upper deck and take it all in.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Statistically Speaking- Robbie Findley

One of the best things about statistics is that they are emotionless. When a fan is thinking about or analyzing a player emotion gets involved. That emotion, either positive or negative, can affect the analysis that is going on. You don't have that in statistics. The numbers themselves have no emotion. The key is when you are looking at the numbers is to try and be as emotionless as possible.

There is no player on RSL that will bring up so much fan emotion and debate as Robbie Findley. It is safe to say that all RSL fans want Findley to do well. But some fans have a much more positive view of Robbie Findley than others. I have seen many debates on Twitter and various forums about Findley. He won in my poll that I conducted about who should start with Alvaro Saborio. Today I wanted to step back, take emotion out of the equation, and try and analyze Findley on a statistical level.

On the season, Findley has scored 6 goals and has 2 assists to his credit. On a whole those are pretty good numbers. The 6 goals ties him for second best in his career (he scored 12 in 2009). He is also second on the team with those 6 goals. He is scoring at a rate of a goal every 156.33 minutes which is also second best in his career. He is currently taking 2.69 shots for every 90 minutes he plays (4th on team) and is getting 1.25 shots on goal for every 90 minutes (3rd on team). He has a shots on goal percentage of 46.43% and 21.43% of his shots are hitting the back of the net (both 2nd best on the team). His COR score has dropped significantly in the past month and is now at 9.39 (the lower the score the better).

All of these numbers point to a player that is having a successful season. But not all of Findley's stats come out looking great. One of the stats that I like using the most is Minutes per Team Goal (MpTG). This shows me how well the team plays while a particular player is either on or off the field. When Findley is on the field RSL scores at a rate of a goal every 67.00 minutes. This is the worst goal scoring rate for any of the forwards on the team. When Findley is not playing, RSL is scoring at a rate of a goal every 48.59 minutes. And Findley particularly doesn't play well with Saborio. When the two play together, the team is scoring a goal every 92.25 minutes.

I thought I would take a look at how Findley does as a starter compared to how he does coming off the bench. When he is starting, the team scores at a rate of a goal every 76.27 minutes which is the worst rate among all starters. When Findley comes off the bench as a sub, the team scores every 33.00 minutes. That number sounds great, but it is also the worst rate among all forwards coming off the bench.

In the debate among fans, some people point out the fact that Findley does positive things that do not show up in the stat line; things like wearing down opposing defenses so when the fresh players come in they are able to be more effective. Findley has started 13 matches on the season. In those starts, RSL has scored 11 goals after Findley came out of the match. How many of those goals were scored due to Findley's hard work on the field? That is a good question and one that I don't have an answer to.

What is my opinion of Findley? Looking at the statistics I am torn about what to think. In my mind, this is a case where the stats don't tell the whole story. Think back to each of the goals that he as scored. Each of his six goals came from what I call a reaction play. It was a play that Findley didn't have time to think about what he was going to do, he just did it. Findley has problems when he has time to think about what he is going to do. That is when he seems loses confidence and ends up making a bad play. When he just plays and lets his athletic ability take over, he has been great.

I would love to hear what you think about Findley.


  1. Your final analysis is spot on; pointing out that when Findley only has to "react" he scores goals otherwise when he has time to think and has to decide to either take on the defender, shoot, or pass he doesn't fare as well.

  2. Stat's don't lie. For fun, go run this analysis for Donovan/Keane and then see what it tells us, i bet it shows that Finley is not as effective a player.