STATS: How do Liverpool and Chelsea legends compare to current MLS stars?

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard and Chelsea hero Frank Lampard have completed their Premier League seasons and will make the move to Major League Soccer at the beginning of July, but how do they compare to the current MLS playmakers?

Having made the move prior to the current MLS season, Sebastian Giovinco and Kaka have hit the ground running.

Lampard and Gerrard have been superb in the Premier League over the years but making the move to MLS is not as easy as it seems. So how do they compare?

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Using the Squawka Comparison matrix, we found the following:

Stats (Per 90 Mins) Benny Feilhaber (MLS 2015) Kaka (MLS 2015) Sebastian Giovinco (MLS 2015) Frank Lampard (Premier League 14/15) Steven Gerrard (Premier League 14/15)
Goals Scored 0.25 0.42 0.51 0.54 0.36
Assists 0.42 0.17 0.41 0.09 0.04
Chances Created 2.68 1.93 2.26 1.35 2.09
Key Passes 2.26 1.76 1.85 1.26 2.05
Pass Completion 79% 83% 81% 85% 85%

It’s hard to compare between these five playmakers as they are playing in separate leagues, but it’s important to see that at current form, the MLS stars hold their own and the onus is on Lampard and Gerrard to hit the ground running.

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The important statistic we found is the goals scored-per-90 minutes – Lampard’s and Gerrard’s goal production will be expected to improve as they are both likely to play in a more advanced role for New York City and LA Galaxy respectively.

Will Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard be effective in Major League Soccer? And who will do better once they arrive?

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Should these two MLS strikers have joined United & Arsenal stars in England team?

England manager Roy Hodgson has just announced the squad for the upcoming international matches against Ireland in a friendly and Slovenia in the European Championship qualifier, but once again, no players from outside English football have been selected.

Charlie Austin of QPR and Jamie Vardy of Leicester City have both been included in the squad for the first time and complete the list of strikers alongside Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney, as well as Arsenal‘s Danny Welbeck.

But should Hodgson have looked further afield than just the Premier League? It’s unlikely that Rooney or Welbeck were going to be dropped, so how do Austin and Vardy’s performances this season compare to two Englishmen in MLS over the course of 2014 and 2015?

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New York Red BullsBradley Wright-Phillips and Sporting Kansas City‘s Dom Dwyer are two of the most prolific striker’s in MLS, so here is a breakdown of their numbers weighed up against Austin and Vardy’s:

Austin and Vardy vs BWP and Dwyer

Austin, Vardy, Wright-Phillips and Dwyer’s stats in 2014/15 (Stats via Squawka)

The stats show that Bradley Wright-Phillips has contributed to an incredible 0.85 goals-per-game, which is more than double the amount that Jamie Vardy has for Leicester.

Dom Dwyer also contributes to more goals-per-game than Vardy but isn’t quite as productive as Charlie Austin has been for QPR.

Many will point to the fact that MLS is arguably a weaker league than the Premier League but it’s worth noting that the quality of play in MLS has risen considerably in the last few years, therefore making Wright-Phillips’ and Dwyer’s achievements extremely impressive.

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The last time a player outside of the English football league system featured on international duty was when David Beckham played in a 3-0 win against Belarus in October 2009 while he was playing for LA Galaxy – also an MLS side.

Could the next player from outside English football to feature at international level also be from Major League Soccer?

Revealed: The stat that makes 2015 a record year in MLS

We might only be a third of the way through the 2015 MLS season but it’s already been a record year because of these bizarre statistic.

There have been two games this season without a single save being made by either goalkeeper, with only a total of four matches in MLS history boasting that stat.

The two games this year saw contrasting results, which makes the statistic all the more shocking.

The 0-0 draw between FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders in March saw zero shots on target and therefore no saves, only the first time since 2009 that a game ended without a single save being made.

Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo then played out what is probably the most entertaining game of the season in April in that 4-4 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium.

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Staggeringly, that game saw just eight shots on target, with all of them ending up in the back of net.

Luis Marin and Tyler Deric failed to make a single save between them and that means 2015 has seen two games end without a save – the same number of games as in the 19 previous seasons.

This table below shows the four MLS games in history that have ended without a single save being made:

Date

Match Result

Shots On Goal

May 18th 2005

Real Salt Lake 2-0 Chivas USA

2

April 4th 2009

LA Galaxy 2-3 Colorado Rapids

5

March 28th 2015

FC Dallas 0-0 Seattle Sounders

0

April 25th 2015

Houston Dynamo 4-4 Sporting Kansas City

8

Interestingly, there has never been a game without a save after the month of May and so the chances of another one of these bizarre games this season look slim.

STATS: Who is the most prolific striker in MLS?

With the 2015 MLS season well underway, it’s a great time to look at the top goalscorers in the league and just how prolific they really are.

Using statistics from Squawka, we take a look at the strikers who have scored five or more goals so far this term, and how their conversion rates compare:

Striker Goals Scored Total Shots Conversion Rate (%)
Clint Dempsey 7 18 39
Kei Kamara 7 43 16
Obafemi Martins 6 16 38
Octavio Rivero 6 43 14
Chris Wondolowski 6 34 18
Giles Barnes 6 38 16
Bradley Wright-Phillips 5 31 16
Jozy Altidore 5 16 31
Blas Perez 5 13 38

According to the statistics above, Clint Dempsey is the most prolific striker out of the pack as he has a conversion rate 39%.

There is a clear advantage with the Seattle Sounders going forward as both their forwards register conversion rates over 35% – further proof that Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey are an incredible strike force.

However, notice must be taken of how prolific Blas Perez has been for FC Dallas (38% conversion rate) as has Jozy Altidore on his return to MLS (31% conversion rate).

Who do you think has been the best striker in MLS this season?

The reasons why 2014 was the most entertaining MLS season for nine years

Fans of the game don’t need to be told how entertaining the most recent Major League Soccer campaign was in terms of the tension, adrenaline, jubilation and despair that it created.

Having been through the emotional roller coaster of supporting your club through a season, most will now be at peace with how their team performed in 2014 – whether they are pleased or disappointed is another question entirely.

In terms of entertainment value, MLS has come up trumps once again as the 2014 season saw 924 goals hitting the back of the net – the most ever scored in a regular season.

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Since 2012, MLS has seen more matches being played over the course of the season due to more teams being in the league and format adjustments, so it would be easy to say that the only reason we’ve seen the most goals is because there are more games.

While that is true, it’s important to bear in mind that 2014 managed to produce the highest average goals-per-game ratio since 2005 and that the standard of play in the league is now far higher than nine years ago.

MLS, year by year:

mls season stats

A closer look at the numbers will also tell you that the 2014 season saw the highest average attendance in the history of Major League Soccer.

The average attendance is up by 554 on last season and is 341 higher than the previous record of 18,807 that we saw in 2012.

With New York City and Orlando City joining in 2015, it’s clear for all to see the growth of MLS and if ever there was proof needed that the league was on the rise, then the attendance figures for this year just about confirm that fact.

Is Major League Soccer becoming one of the biggest leagues in the world?

How will New York Red Bulls cope with life after Thierry Henry?

Losing a player of Thierry Henry‘s quality and presence is never an ideal situation, but it’s the one that New York Red Bulls are now currently faced with.

Henry scored 10 goals in 2014, but perhaps more importantly, he made 15 assists over the course of the regular season and the MLS playoffs combined.

A large proportion of the credit for the Red Bulls success last season will have been given to Bradley Wright-Phillips for his scintillating goalscoring form, but it will be interesting to see how he manages now that his key creator is no longer around.

Thierry Henry played the role of provider for nine of the goals that Wright-Phillips scored last season which accounts for just under one third of his overall combined total of 31.

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Upon equalling the record for most goals in one MLS regular season, Bradley Wright-Phillips has since been rewarded with a designated player contract.

And with no clarification over Tim Cahill’s future as yet, there may still be two DP slots available should he decide to move on to pastures new.

It will then be down to whether or not the Red Bulls choose to fill the spaces, but it certainly allows them the option to bring in world-class talent in an attempt to replace the legendary Frenchman.

The assumption would be that New York are currently on the hunt for an attacking player to partner BWP in 2015 as Henry has played such a crucial role for the last four years, so that void will certainly need to be filled.

Can New York Red Bulls cope with life after Thierry Henry?

Stats: Thierry Henry puts in most influential performance since 2011 as Red Bulls beat Sporting Kansas City

Thierry Henry helped the New York Red Bulls to seal a 2-1 comeback victory against Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference knockout game last night, and the Frenchman put in a fine display.

Going into the game, many wondered if Henry would even play as he was struggling with achilles problems on both ankles, but he started and starred against last year’s MLS Cup winners.

The Frenchman’s future with the Red Bulls has been up in the air recently as speculation about his retirement after the playoffs continues to rumble on.

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But he let his footballing ability do the talking last night as he had the most touches of the ball in a single game since 2011, with 112.

He set-up Bradley Wright-Phillips for the equaliser and made four of his side’s seven dribbles in the game from the left-wing.

The 37-year-old showed signs of tiredness, but was influential as ever as he helped the Red Bulls win a home playoff game for the first time ever.

New York now host DC United on Sunday night in the first-leg of their Eastern Conference semi-final, and they will need another big performance from Henry in that one.

Highlights via MLS on YouTube:

Player ratings: Seattle Sounders 2-0 LA Galaxy

Seattle Sounders clinched their first ever Supporters’ Shield with a gutsy 2-0 victory over Western Conference rivals LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field.

They battled through a fiery opening 30 minutes, with possession largely dominated by the Galaxy.

Pure grit, determination and passion got them through those early stages and their tactics were spot on as a frustrated LA couldn’t find a way through.

When chances came their way late on, they made the most of it and in the end they probably deserved the victory.

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[Seattle Sounders had already tasted glory this season when they won the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup]

Seattle Sounders:

  • Stefan Frei (Goalkeeper) – 7/10 – Despite LA’s early dominance of possession, they didn’t create much which left Frei with little to do. The one occasion he was called upon came when Landon Donovan tried to latch on to a through ball but Frei did well to close the angle down and leave Donovan with no time to think.
  • DeAndre Yedlin (Defender) – 7/10 – He was reliable and solid for the most part but did look susceptible at times on the outside flank. His work-rate was excellent.
  • Chad Marshall (Defender) – 8/10 – He was influential at the back and was the glue that kept the Sounders unit tied together. He won everything in the air and was tidy on the ground with great passing accuracy. (80% according to whoscored.com)
  • Zach Scott (Defender) – 7/10 – A faultless performance at the heart of defence. His partnership with Marshall played a crucial role in keeping a clean sheet.
  • Leonardo Gonzalez (Defender) – 7/10 – The Sounders full-backs had to be alert and aware of the threat LA posed from out wide as they looked to expose the flanks but Gonzalez was more than wise to those kind of tactics.
  • Brad Evans (Midfielder) – 6/10 – You can’t be too critical of the Sounders defence as they stuck to their task so well but his poor passing accuracy of 56% (according to whoscored.com) makes it hard to award higher than a 6.
  • Osvaldo Alonso (Midfielder) – 8/10 – He was instrumental in the execution of the game plan. He was consistently good with his passing throughout and wasn’t wasteful in possession in the same way that some of the Sounders players were.
  • Gonzalo Pineda (Midfielder) – 7/10 – He played with aggression, fight and determination. He was perhaps guilty of letting it spiral out of control at times but he was a terrier in the middle of the park and consistently hounded the Galaxy midfield when they were in possession.
  • Lamar Neagle (Midfielder) – 6/10 – He stuck to his defensive duties well but struggled to find teammates with his passing, particularly in the first half.
  • Clint Dempsey (Forward) – 7/10 – He wouldn’t let the LA defence relax and he was a nuisance to deal with in the second half.
  • Obafemi Martins (Forward) – 8/10 – He’s hunting down the MVP award and he certainly didn’t harm his chances here. He was strong and confident and played the crucial killer pass in to Marco Pappa for the first goal that took all the wind out of LA Galaxy’s sails.
  • Marco Pappa (Forward) – 9/10 – Man of the match and he was only on the pitch for 20 minutes. He made the difference with a composed finish for the first goal. And with seconds remaining on the clock, his never say die attitude saw him hound the Galaxy ‘keeper, Jaime Penedo, steal the ball and scoop it into the net for the second.
  • Djimi Traore (Defender) – 6/10 – He was on the pitch for all of 30 seconds so had no chance of making an impact.

LA Galaxy:

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  • Jaime Penedo (Goalkeeper) – 5/10 – He made a shocking error for the second goal. He didn’t have a terrible game beforehand but allowing an opposing player to dispossess you when you play in goal is unacceptable. He certainly won’t want to see it again.
  • Dan Gargan (Defender) – 6/10 – He linked up well with the Galaxy midfield but his positioning was questionable for the first goal and he’ll be disappointed that he wasn’t able to do more in order to prevent Marco Pappa.
  • Leonardo (Defender) – 6/10 – The Galaxy back line had relatively little to do throughout this game in terms of defensive work, so to concede two goals is disappointing for the centre-backs.
  • A. J. DeLaGarza (Defender) – 6/10 – He will be disappointed with how open they left themselves for the first goal with the game so delicately poised at 0-0.
  • Robbie Rogers (Defender) – 7/10 – One of the better performers on the day for LA Galaxy. He put in a real shift but to no avail.
  • Baggio Husidic (Midfielder) – 6/10 – He was reliable on the ball but struggled to make an impact from the wide areas.
  • Juninho (Midfielder) – 7/10 – The midfield maestro was strong in possession and shifted the ball about nicely but it wasn’t enough to carve an opening through the solid Sounders defence.
  • Marcelo Sarvas (Midfielder) – 7/10 – He battled well and his passing was brilliant. He didn’t shy away from challenges and provided great support for fellow midfielder, Juninho.
  • Stefan Ishizaki (Midfielder) – 6/10 – LA would have hoped for more from the Swede. His passing was disappointing for a position normally associated with accuracy. (70% accuracy according to whoscored.com)
  • Gyasi Zardes (Forward) – 6/10 – He made good runs in behind and worked tirelessly to create an opening but it wasn’t a good day to be playing up front for LA Galaxy with such limited opportunities.
  • Landon Donovan (Forward) – 6/10 – The club legend almost appeared to be trying too hard to make something happen for his side. You can’t fault his work-rate and effort, but it just didn’t come off for him in his final regular season game.
  • Alan Gordon (Forward) – 5/10 – LA Galaxy’s best chance of the game fell to his feet late on but it’s fair to say that he somewhat fluffed his lines.
  • Jose Villarreal (Forward) – 6/10 – He only entered the field of play for the last few minutes of the game so he couldn’t impose himself on the game.

Attentions will now turn to the playoffs for these two sides and there is a strong possibility that they could meet each other again in the Western Conference finals.

Which team will go further in the MLS Playoffs, Seattle Sounders or LA Galaxy?

Player ratings: New York Red Bulls 1-3 Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew deservedly ran out 3-1 winners over New York Red Bulls on Sunday night with a brilliant performance that silenced the crowd.

How did each player fare at the Red Bull Arena?

New York Red Bulls:

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[Lloyd Sam: The stand-out player for New York Red Bulls]

  • Luis Robles (Goalkeeper) – 5/10 – It was a tough day at the office for the Red Bulls ‘keeper. He will be disappointed with the second goal after he managed to get a touch on it but couldn’t keep it out.
  • Armando (Defender) – 5/10 – The Spaniard was turned inside-out in the early stages and you could see that his confidence took a hit as he never really recovered from it.
  • Jamison Olave (Defender) – 5/10 – He tried hard but couldn’t stay consistent throughout the course of the game. He was a bit of a rabbit in the headlights for The Crew’s first goal and didn’t react quickly enough.
  • Richard Eckersley (Defender) – 6/10 – He didn’t have too bad a game but there was a breakdown in communication with his fellow defenders for the third goal which allowed too much time and space in the box for Columbus and particularly Schoenfeld.
  • Roy Miller (Defender) – 5/10 – He didn’t make any crucial errors but gave the ball away too frequently with a passing accuracy of just 72% (according to Squawka).
  • Dax McCarty (Midfielder) – 5/10 – He’s normally so reliable in the middle of the park but he was certainly not at his usual high standard and didn’t provide BWP with enough to feed off.
  • Eric Alexander (Midfielder) – 6/10 – It was a soft performance from Alexander as he allowed the Crew’s midfield to carve through the middle too easily without putting in enough challenges.
  • Lloyd Sam (Midfielder) – 8/10 – Easily the most creative player for the Red Bulls. He scored a wonderful solo goal and created numerous chances for New York. If there was any positives to take from the game, Sam’s performance is one of them.
  • Peguy Luyindula (Midfielder) – 5/10 – It was a very subdued display from Luyindula. He struggled to impose himself on the game and really was fairly ineffective.
  • Thierry Henry (Midfielder) – 6/10 – It’s strange to see a performance like this from the Frenchman because he wasn’t his usual self. He seemed to look slightly off the pace and confused by the quality of Columbus.
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips (Forward) – 6/10 – He barely had a touch of the ball which is very disappointing considering that he is chasing down an MLS record for all-time top goalscorer in a regular season. With that said, the service from midfield left a lot to desire.
  • Ambroise Oyongo (Defender) – 7/10 – He was very influential when he came on and really brought New York to life. He was certainly one of the brightest sparks and tried his best to change the game.
  • Ruben Bover (Defender) – 6/10 – He didn’t stand a chance of impacting the game with only 11 minutes to do so.

Columbus Crew:

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[Ethan Finlay was outstanding for Columbus Crew]

  • Steve Clark (Goalkeeper) – 9/10 – A marvellous performance between the posts. He made countless brilliant saves and was dominant in the penalty area, claiming everything that came his way with confidence.
  • Bernardo Anor (Defender) – 7/10 – He joined in with attacks in the first half and helped overrun the Red Bulls defence down the flanks.
  • Hector Jimenez (Defender) – 7/10 – It’s so hard to criticise either of the Columbus centre-backs as they were both very good.
  • Michael Parkhurst (Defender) – 7/10 – Mr. Consistent at the back and once again, he was very solid.
  • Tyson Wahl (Defender) – 6/10 – He had a decent game but was beaten by Lloyd Sam far too easily for the goal.
  • Ethan Finlay (Midfielder) – 9/10 – It was a dream game for Finlay. He took his goal brilliantly and had wonderful build up play in the second half which lead to the third goal. He was a constant threat and looked dangerous throughout.
  • Federico Higuain (Midfielder) – 8/10 – He put in a real shift and had great link-up play with Finlay for the 3rd goal. A special mention must go to his fantastic passing accuracy of 91% (according to Squawka).
  • Justin Meram (Midfielder) – 7/10 – He wasn’t influential on the game but when you don’t seem to notice a player, it usually means they’re putting in a good, solid performance that’s free of mistakes.
  • Tony Tchani (Midfielder) – 8/10 – The definition of being a beast in the middle of the park. It was a Yaya Toure esque performance. He drove with the ball well and played a wonderful pass to Finlay for the second goal.
  • Wil Trapp (Midfielder) – 7/10 – Trapp was a real team player in a real team performance. He didn’t put a foot wrong for his side and covered every blade of grass.
  • Aaron Schoenfeld (Forward) – 9/10 – A superb performance, giving you everything you ask your centre-forward for – he ran the defence ragged and bagged himself two well taken goals.
  • Chad Barson (Defender) – 7/10 – He had a good performance to sure up the game for the Crew and stem the flow of New York attacks.
  • Emanuel Pogatetz (Defender) – 6/10 – The half-time substitute should have closed down Lloyd Sam quicker for his goal. Other than that, he did enough at the back.
  • Eric Gehrig (Defender) – 6/10 – A late substitute so he didn’t have an influence on the game. He didn’t make a mistake though and that’s the key.

New York Red Bulls will travel to Sporting Kansas City for their final game of the regular season next weekend, while Columbus Crew will host Philadelphia Union.

The pair are likely to meet in the MLS Playoffs as they are currently sitting in fourth and fifth place in the Eastern Conference, and New York will be disappointed to have lost their last home game of the season.

Who will get further in the MLS Playoffs – New York Red Bulls or Columbus Crew?

Robbie Keane: The goal machine

The playoffs are now fast approaching and other than their defeat last weekend, LA Galaxy have been in a superb run of form going in to it, so they will be full of confidence.

They have lost just 3 of their last 24 games and went on a 10-game unbeaten run from 29th July to 5th October.

LA Galaxy’s last 24 games: Played 24 – Won 15 – Drawn 6 – Lost 3

Much of the attention for their achievements so far this season have focused on club legend, Landon Donovan, and rightly so.

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But with all eyes on Donovan, it’s allowed forward, Robbie Keane, to go about his business quietly but extremely efficiently.

He is the Galaxy’s top goalscorer with 19 and is the third highest across the entire MLS this season, behind only Red Bulls record-chaser Bradley Wright-Phillips (25 goals) and Dom Dwyer (21 goals) of Sporting Kansas City.

The Irishman has contributed an almost record-breaking 33 goals this season (19 scored – 14 assisted).

The record for most goals contributed in one MLS season is currently held by Chris Wondolowski when he notched 27 goals and 7 assists for San Jose Earthquakes in 2012, making it 34 in total.

Other notable efforts were that of Jason Kreis – he contributed 33 goals (18 scored – 15 assisted) for FC Dallas in 1999.

Cobi Jones, also of LA Galaxy, contributed 32 goals (19 scored – 13 assisted) in the 1998 season.

Most goals contributed in an MLS season

  • 34 – Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – 2012
  • 33 Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) 2014
  • 33 – Jason Kreis (FC Dallas) – 1999
  • 32 – Cobi Jones (LA Galaxy) – 1998
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It all means that if Robbie Keane can either assist or score one more goal in his last two games, he will equal the record for most goals contributed in any MLS season – two more goals would see him set the record.

It comes as no coincidence as his maiden voyage in Major League Soccer saw him play a hand in 25 goals when he scored 16 and set-up 9 in the 2012 season.

The 2013 season saw him involved in 27 goals with 16 scored and 11 assisted, so he has been very consistent for three years running now and it certainly deserves a mention.

Will Robbie Keane set the record for most goals contributed in an MLS season?