Let's face it everyone, it's been a very quiet week for Whitecaps fans and other than speculating on the new head coach and the 2014 roster there has not been a lot to talk about. Thankfully the kind folks over at MLSSoccer.com released their "Most Accurate Passers of 2013" list yesterday which has stirred things up a little amongst the fans and given us some "news" to discuss.
Based on the criteria of at least seventeen games played this season and a minimum of seven hundred and fifty passes attempted the article breaks down the number of passes completed in a player's own half and the opposition's half and awards each player with a passing accuracy (expressed as a percentage).
After the numbers were crunched it was Seattle's Osvaldo Alsonso who topped the list with an impressive 1,498 total passes (660 own half and 838 in opponent's half) and a pass accuracy rating of 88.58%. These numbers put Alsonso over an entire percentage point ahead of the Real Salt Lake duo of Nat Borchers and Ned Grabavoy, who were second and third on the list at 87.55% and 86.99% respectively.
Four Whitecaps made the list, but perhaps the biggest surprise of those four is Jun Marques Davidson, who came in at ninth. Nigel Reo-Coker (81.91%), the venerable Young-Pyo Lee (81.48%), and Gershon Koffie (81.39%) ranked thirty-eight, fortieth and forty-second respectively.
Davidson's 891 completed passes for the season is more than a hundred less than Koffie (994) and considerably less than Y.P. Lee (1,339) and Reo-Coker (1,542). Interestingly the majority of the completed passes for all four players were made in the opposition's half of the field.
So what can we read into these stats? Although the numbers are impressive and interesting when taken on their own they are not indicative of whether or not the completed pass led to a goal scoring opportunity or conversely whether or not a pass led to a turnover or somehow landed the team in a spot of defensive bother.
Amongst the fans Davidson is a divisive player and he is either loved or hated for the role he plays in the defensive midfield position. Davidson was a favourite of former manager Martin Rennie, who stuck by him through thick and thin. Will the new manager have a role for Jun Marques? Only time will tell, but his stats at any rate do prove he does bring some value to the team.
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