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.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Minutes per Team Goal- Review

I love stats. That should be no surprise to anyone that reads my blog on a regular basis. One of my favorite stats to analyse is Minutes per Team Goal (MpTG). This is a stat that I created on my own to get a basic understanding of how individual players are contributing to the team. I thought it would be a good time to review the numbers again for each offensive player on the team.

For those that are unfamiliar with MpTG let me explain what it is. First, I take a look at how many goals were scored by the team while a player was on the field.  Some simple math gets me a number showing how many minutes on average it takes for the team to score while the player is playing. Next I look at how many goals were scored while that player was not on the field. From that I can see how many goals per minute are scored when that player is not playing. This gives a basic look at how well the team plays with and without each player.

First lets take a look at the forwards. I have kept an update of the MpTG for the forwards on the side of my blog all season, but it is nice to take a closer look at all the numbers. As a point of reference, the team as a whole is scoring at a rate of a goal every 48.46 minutes.

Player Min Team Goals MpTG Min not played Team Goals MpTG Difference
Saborio 1081 19 56.89 1439 33 43.61 -13.29
Findley 1070 19 56.32 1450 33 43.94 -12.38
Plata 1397 29 48.17 1124 23 48.87 0.7
Sandoval 704 15 46.93 1727 31 55.71 8.78
Garcia 831 21 39.57 1595 27 59.07 19.5

There are a lot of interesting things to take away from the numbers above. One thing that I find very interesting is the distribution of minutes among our forwards. It is pretty crazy that out of our five main forwards (not counting Benji Lopez) the one that has played the least still has played over 700 hundred minutes! The depth we have on the front line is incredible. It has to be a planning nightmare for opposing coaches as we have so many different combinations that we can use.

Garcia's numbers continue to blow me away every time that I look at them. Not only does he have the best MpTG among the forwards, the difference between when he plays and when he doesn't play is also the highest. 

Now lets look at the midfielders. I didn't include Cole Grossman or John Stertzer due to the limited amount of minutes they have played so far this year.

Player Min Team Goals MpTG Min not played Team Goals MpTG Difference
Gil 1625 31 52.42 899 21 42.81 -9.61
Grabavoy 2220 48 46.25 300 4 75 28.75
Morales 1976 47 42.04 544 5 108.8 66.76
Velasquez 802 18 44.56 1718 34 50.53 5.97
Stephenson 717 13 55.15 1713 35 48.94 -6.21
Beckerman 1831 38 48.18 689 14 49.21 1.03
Alvarez 747 12 62.25 1742 40 45.80 -16.45

There are a lot of interesting pieces of data coming out of the numbers above. Beckerman's numbers somewhat surprised me. The difference in the offense when he plays compared to when he doesn't play is almost non-existent. I would have expected the offense to score much more when he is on the field as he seems so vital to our passing attack out of the midfield. 

If you need proof of how valuable Javier Morales is to this team all you have to do is look at the "difference" column. It takes us 66 minutes longer to score a goal when Morales is not playing. Until writing this article, this is something that I didn't realize and it is something that I want to take a closer look at. Watch for an article early next week on this subject. 

This is one of the reasons that I love stats so much. They allow you to make comparisons among the players. They also allow you to see things that you might have missed otherwise. Do they tell the whole story? No, they don't do that. But they tell a story that your eyes might have missed the first time.


  1. This is cool. It would be interesting to see this same thing from the defensive perspective. I think that's where you'll see Beckerman be more relevant. I feel like when he goes to the US team, we cough up more.


  2. Wow! Javi's almost off the charts.

    I look at these stats and two thoughts jump out at me:
    1) How do other creative midfielders in MLS stack up?
    2) With our play out of the back, I wonder how our defenders' stats look.