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More Thoughts About Crew Forwards

February 3, 2007

I finished entering the Crew stats into the Matchnight stats engine today, so I put together an updated chart of the Crew’s all-time forward stats:

Crew All-Time League Stats: Forwards (including Andy Herron)

Player Games Minutes Goals Assists Points
Brian McBride 161 13973 62 45 169
Jeff Cunningham 182 11380 62 43 167
Edson Buddle 106 6852 42 15 99
Stern John 55 4463 44 7 95
Dante Washington 76 4945 28 14 70
Pete Marino 57 2939 19 8 46
Andy Herron 44 2742 15 3 33
Adrian Paz 27 1810 6 10 22
Jason Garey 26 1783 5 2 12
Joseph Ngwenya 20 1399 5 2 12
Cornell Glen 22 1241 4 4 12
A.J. Wood 16 1272 3 3 9
Knox Cameron 30 1159 4 1 9
John Wolyniec 18 922 3 1 7
David Testo 33 1474 1 4 6
Kai Kamara 19 930 3 0 6
Ante Razov 7 505 1 1 3
Michael Ritch 15 418 1 1 3
Jamal Sutton 9 335 1 1 3
Alex Pineda Chacon 8 325 0 2 2
Marcus Storey 12 382 0 1 1
Jimmy Glenn 5 242 0 1 1
Paul Young 4 139 0 1 1
Silvio Rudman 6 190 0 0 0
Erick Scott 6 143 0 0 0
Rob Jachym 3 95 0 0 0
Devin Barclay 4 91 0 0 0
Ivan Becerra 0 0 0 0 0

So things aren’t quite so bad as the last chart indicated – in Jamie’s phrasing, A.J. Wood isn’t better than any of our current forwards. He’s better than half of our current forwards. Just for curiosity’s sake I’ve added Andy Herron’s all-time Chicago stats to this chart.

After putting together the above table, I geeked out a bit – like I normally do when thinking about soccer and player performance – and started playing in Excel. According to the figures above, McBride scored for the Crew once every 225 minutes of action across his time here. If you include his assists, he contributed to a goal every 131 minutes. Those two figures, frequency of scoring and frequency of contribution, are useful to look at for forwards, I think – after all, its their job to put the ball in the back of the net (or help somebody else do it).

At this point, I have to give the standard caveat that “soccer is more than statistics, so to some extent to reduce the game to numbers is to miss the point”. This is a true statement, but I don’t think it invalidates the pursuit of stats like this – as long as you realize that they’re not a final judgement.

So – here are the all-time frequency charts for the Crew’s forwards. I’m leaving off the players who never registered either a goal or assist.

Crew All-Time Event Frequency (plus Andy Herron)

Player Minutes Goals Goal
Frequency
Events Event
Frequency
Points Point
Frequency
Stern John 4463 44 101 51 88 95 47
Jeff Cunningham 11380 62 184 105 108 167 68
Pete Marino 2939 19 155 27 109 46 64
Adrian Paz 1810 6 302 16 113 22 82
Dante Washington 4945 28 177 42 118 70 71
Edson Buddle 6852 42 163 57 120 99 69
Brian McBride 13973 62 225 107 131 169 83
Paul Young 139 0 0 1 139 1 139
Andy Herron 2742 15 183 18 152 33 83
Cornell Glen 1241 4 310 8 155 12 103
Alex Pineda Chacon 325 0 0 2 163 2 163
Jamal Sutton 335 1 335 2 168 3 112
Joseph Ngwenya 1399 5 280 7 200 12 117
Michael Ritch 418 1 418 2 209 3 139
A.J. Wood 1272 3 424 6 212 9 141
John Wolyniec 922 3 307 4 231 7 132
Knox Cameron 1159 4 290 5 232 9 129
Jimmy Glenn 242 0 0 1 242 1 242
Ante Razov 505 1 505 2 253 3 168
Jason Garey 1783 5 357 7 255 12 149
David Testo 1474 1 1474 5 295 6 246
Kai Kamara 930 3 310 3 310 6 155
Marcus Storey 382 0 0 1 382 1 382

If Andy Herron can continue the productivity he’s shown over his first 3 seasons in Chicago, he should be a vast improvement over our returning forward corps – and close to the contribution levels of the forwards we’re currently pining for.

For that matter, I believe that our returning forwards have some cause for optimism. Ngwenya and Garey both achieved good things toward the end of the season, and if the Crew can keep the midfield quartet of Szetela, Gaven, Thomas and Virtuoso healthy to contribute I think the forwards will get their chances.

We’ll certainly find out – the Crew convened training camp in Florida today, and the games and scrimmages will be coming before we know it. Despite my inherent skepticism, I find myself somewhat eager for the season to begin.

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