By Charles Barnard
As the emotion starts to die down from the shellacking that RSL received at the hands of the Galaxy, I can return to my look at the end of year stats. This off-season could be one of the most important in club history. Because of this it is even more important to look at these stats as we as a fan base try to figure out what changes we would like to be made.
Today I want to look at the plus/minus stat. This is a stat that has been popular in hockey for years. Recently it has also become a very popular stat to analyze in basketball as well. This stat has also started to make its way into soccer circles. Basically you take the amount of goals scored while a particular player is on the field and subtract the amount of goals given up. With this stat you can get a sense of how well the team played overall while a particular player was on the field.
I feel it is important to include minutes when looking at this stat. It is much more impressive if a player is +5 while playing 500 minutes than if they played 1,000 minutes. To better show this I calculate how much a player’s plus/minus number went up (or down) every 90 minutes played. I also find it interesting to look at the goal differential of the team when the player was off the field which I show in the +/- w/o category. As you will see below, this is also a vital piece of information.
At a point of reference, RSL as a team had a goal differential of +15 this past season. This is the third best goal differential in club history.
I broke the table up between the forwards/midfielders and the defenders to make it a little bit easier to compare and contrast.
Plus/Minus per 90
Kyle Beckerman is easily the one player that jumps out the most. The team was +21 when he was on the field. On the other hand, the team was -6 in the time that he did not play. The difference between those two numbers are incredible!
Another player that really stands out to me is Sebastian Jaime. The team was a +6 in the 261 minutes that he played. Even though he did not score a goal, the team was extremely effective when he played.
On the flip side of things is Luis Gil. RSL was only a +1 in the 1365 minutes that he played. That means in the 1695 minutes that he didn't play this season RSL was a +14.
Among the defensive players, I was surprised to see Aaron Maund was a +4 in the limited amount of playing time that he played. Carlos Salcedo also had impressive numbers when you think he was a -2 after the first 30 minutes he played this season.
What stats stand out to you when looking at the table above?