By Harrison Crow (@harrison_crow)
I've come to the harsh realization that this week my ideas within Major League Soccer are a bit different from the rest of yours. It's not that my ideas are better or worse, again, just different. That's not an effort to be politically correct or validate both of our (yours and mine) opinions, rather it's just two different methods of analysis.
Most fans kind of follow the week-to-week business. Who wins on the weekends, who losses and those that come up kind of even in draws. While this is the way more seem to kind of analyze soccer (right or wrong) I approach it from the perspective of what each club did during the game and meaningful moments or goals that come.
A specific example is the fact that the Columbus Crew are sitting sixth overall in the Eastern Conference. A conference that many believe to be the weaker conference. If you sort by points per game they drop to seventh place and out of playoff contention. This is not good and it's easy to understand why most people are losing their boil about the Crew in the last few weeks.
As for me I argued this week that they're probably the second best team in the Eastern Conference behind... New England, the other team that hasn't one in a while. This isn't about declaring random things and arguing over them because that's what I do. Though, I'm sure there are plenty of people that agree with this notion about me as a person.
It's not just the ratio to which they create shots over their opponents, it's also the quality of shots as well as the volume. It's about finding great opportunities and capitalizing on them. These are sustainable things that often define clubs and make them stand out from each other; where three or four months down the road we see the whole picture rather than proclaiming Chicago to be a "terrible" attacking offense a few weeks. What idiot would do a think like that?
Okay, let's talk about the imaginary game that looks very similar but you play and experience through other people. FOR REALZ.
This list above is basically the top-100 (and change) of the top 30 scoring players for each positional segment in MLS. I took a step further and added in $/Points Scored to see what came from it and there are some interesting little notes.
While it's hardly surprising that goal keepers rack up tremendous amount of value, there are some really solid and affordable field players, as well. Identifying some of these players is especially important to think about as we get closer to the Gold Cup and US Open Cup competition.
The Weekend Match-ups
Montreal Impact (1.4 PPG) AT New York City FC (0.79)
Prediction: As good as NYCFC had hoped to be, they're just simply not good. But, they're also surprisingly not bad to watch. You take what you can get.
LA Galaxy (1.31) AT Columbus Crew SC (1.14)
Prediction: Let's bottle this crazy talk about LA and think about the fact they still are having a better season than Columbus who are winless in their last five matches. Right now LA has 5 wins, 5 losses and 6 draws all while playing over 900 minutes tied against their opponent, most in MLS. Yet they're in a four way tie for second to last place. I'm going to give this to the draw master and walk away.
Chicago Fire (1.08) AT New England Revolution (1.4)
Prediction: A couple weeks ago I called Chicago a good team. That was probably an overstatement. It's not that they're not not good so much as they're just also not bad. New England needs a win. I think they get it here.
FC Dallas (1.57) AT Seattle Sounders FC (1.86)
Prediction: I've told two different people this week that I would trade Obafemi Martins for Dom Dwyer and instantly they were caught off guard. I think the Sounders are bound for some mid-season rough patch. Bound like Jennifer Tilly. I'm a bit tossed on whether or not to take a draw or just give this to the Hoops at this point. Tie goes to the draw?
DC United (1.75) AT Orlando City Soccer Club (1.21)
Prediction: OCSC with three points, because its still unclear how DCU ever wins games. I feel like there is some due monologue about Kaka creating more shots than the entire DCU team. But it doesn't matter because DCU will probably find some way to win... because #grit.