As some of you may know, I've been trying to collect spreadsheets with essential Vancouver Whitecaps statistics for this season. I collated similar statistics for the 2010 season, and it was just basic stuff: minutes played, goals scored, assists recorded, and how often player scored per minute. The rough goal was to say, for example, that Randy Edwini-Bonsu should play more because he scored much more frequently than Cody Arnoux; to collect sometimes aggravating-to-find statistics in one place, to know exactly what role each Whitecap has played throughout each season and to compare our offensive players on more than just raw goals scored. Last October, I posted the 2010 numbers in a somewhat-simplified-for-public-consumption form.
I keep running track of the 2011 leaders in minutes played for the Whitecaps with a panel on the right-hand sidebar (and by "running track", I mean "I just updated it today for the first time since the Toronto game"). My spreadsheet this year is a bit more thorough than last, including things like yellow and red cards. Having just updated my collection, and as I'm starving for something interesting to post, I thought that you might be interested in a few curious statistical trends asserting themselves five games into the 2011 Major League Soccer season.
Obviously, five games is far too few to draw any sort of conclusion. But that doesn't mean numbers have no value. After the jump, a couple odd statistics that come leaping out of my spreadsheet.
Teitur Thordarson likes to have a few core players, particularly defenders, who he plays the hell out of in all situations. These guys wind up way up the playing time list, you'll be unsurprised to hear. But, obviously, the injuries and suspensions this year have muddled Teitur's plans.
The Vancouver Whitecaps outfield players leading in playing time so far? Defenders Alain Rochat and Jonathan Leathers (450 minutes each; every minute of every game), forward Atiba Harris (442 minutes; he came out after 82 minutes in the season opener), defender Michael Boxall, and defender/midfielder Blake Wagner (360 minutes each; every minute of four games and not a millisecond in the fifth). Do you know what I think when I see Leathers, Harris, Wagner, and Boxall as four out of the five leading players on a team? I think holy crap, are our good players all hurt? Except for Rochat, the numbers say the answer is "yes". 1-2-2 doesn't look so bad when you see that.
Who is the Whitecaps leader in goals per ninety minutes? You'll be unsurprised to hear it's Eric Hassli. You may be more surprised to hear that, with three goals in 148 minutes of soccer, Hassli scores 1.824 goals per 90 minutes. What that means is that Eric Hassli has an individual goals-per-minute higher than fifteen entire Major League Soccer teams, including the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Obviously, this isn't a significant number. If Hassli hasn't been asked to take that penalty against New England, for example, he'd have scored 1.216 goals per 90 minutes (which is actually still a hell of a lot). Still, if it seems like Hassli is some sort of deranged French god who shows up, scores a bunch of goals, then gets sent off, you know why.
Speaking of which, Eric Hassli averages a red card every 74 minutes of playing time. Seventy-four. He averages yellow every 29.6 minutes. My god, he is Eric Cantona.
From the "productive strikers who don't also terrify you with their horrifying randomness" department, Camilo Sanvezzo is averaging 1.059 goals per 90 minutes. The miniature Brazilian played a combined 16 minutes in our first two games of the season against Toronto and Philadelphia, but since then has been both omnipresent and productive. Sanvezzo also has an assist in 255 minutes of action.
The most accomplished assist-getter in the Whitecaps lineup is winger Davide Chiumiento, who's played only 157 minutes but rung up three assists, good for 1.720 assists per 90 minutes. Bear in mind that Major League Soccer is very generous scoring assists (they give two on most goals, like this were hockey) but still, that's pretty impressive. The next-best dishmaster is Nizar Khalfan, with two assists in 328 minutes giving him 0.549 assists per ninety minutes.
Which Whitecap has played the fewest minutes while getting on the field at all? Yes, it's our main man Long Tan, who played three minutes in Philadelphia and hasn't sniffed the pitch since.
The following Whitecaps have appeared in all five games so far this year: Leathers, Rochat, Harris, and Khalfan. Four guys. So if you're looking for the most vivid description possible of how much turnover there's been in this lineup, that's your answer. Four players in all five games. And Khalfan was a substitute in two of his five games played.
For curiosity's sake, seven Whitecaps have played only one game each: Joe Cannon, Jeb Brovsky, John Thorrington, Kevin Harmse, Mouloud Akloul, Omar Salgado, and Long Tan.