What was the cause of the up and down season? Injuries played a huge role and National Team call ups were a factor as well. By the end of the year RSL had used 8 different center back pairings and 3 different keepers in MLS play. The team ended up giving up 41 goals on the season or a goal every 74.63 minutes. All things considered, it is really remarkable that RSL did not give up more goals than they did.
Here is a breakdown of how each player did over the course of the year. MpCG stands for "Minutes per Conceded Goal" or how long it took for a goal to be scored while they were playing. Unlike my Minutes per Team Goal stat that I use for offensive players, the higher the number the better with MpCG.
With how he has been playing in the playoffs, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Chris Schuler led the team in MpCG. He was the biggest reason that the team had the defensive turnaround towards the end of the season. In fact if you only look at the games he has played since coming back from injury (including playoffs), RSL is only giving up a goal every 150 minutes!
Next is a breakdown of how the team played when a particular player was not on the field. The "difference" column is the difference between when a player played compared to when he didn't play.
|Player||Min not played||Goals||MpCG||Difference|
It is pretty crazy to think that the team gave up a goal every 55 minutes when Beltran was not on the field. I decided to take a closer at this. Beltran missed 9 games on the season. In 6 of those 9 games the team gave up 2 or more goals. Although he did struggle in a couple games down the stretch, Beltran is a pretty vital piece of the defense.
The other thing that I found interesting in looking at this is that the team actually played pretty well when Borchers was not in the match. This somewhat surprised me.
Finally, here is a look at the centerback combinations that played this season.
It should come as no surprise that Schuler and Borchers were RSL's best centerback duo. They have wonderful chemistry and have been playing great together in the playoffs. It is a bit surprising that the team gave up so many goals when Borchers was paired up with almost anyone else.