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?

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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?

Did Charlie Austin and Danny Ings deserve an England call-up?

The England national team are set to take on Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifying match at Wembley on Friday night in a game where manager Roy Hodgson will be expecting his side to cruise to victory.

The Three Lions will then travel to Turin to take on Italy on Tuesday, March 31, where Hodgson could rotate a few players and trial any new ideas.

The England boss always faces a tough decision when it comes to team selection and he has undoubtedly left a few players disappointed at not being selected despite their valiant efforts this season.

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In terms of attacking options, here are the four strikers Hodgson has selected: Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck.

The most notable attacking players to miss out are Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Saido Berahino as all of them have had excellent season’s.

Danny Ings has been selected for under-21 action, as was Saido Berahino but the West Brom forward has since been removed after he suffered a foot injury at Manchester City on Saturday, so he will be unable to play anyway.

But how do the selected strikers compare statistically to those left out?

England strikers

English strikers in the 2014/15 Premier League season (stats via Squawka)

There is no doubting that Harry Kane is worth his selection as both his performances and statistics this season are second-to-none having scored more goals and contributed more goals-per-game than any other player.

Wayne Rooney is the country’s captain and therefore automatically fills a spot – that’s not to say that he isn’t worth his place as the Manchester United man has still contributed an impressive amount considering he’s been deployed in midfield for large periods of this season.

The man who will be most disappointed is QPR‘s Charlie Austin. The 25-year-old has contributed more goals than any other player besides Harry Kane, and has also got the best shooting accuracy out of anyone.

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With 15 goals in the Premier League this season at a club that looks set to be relegated, it’s an impressive achievement and he may have been expecting a phone call from Hodgson, but it wasn’t to be this time.

It’s worth pointing out that Austin has seen a dip in form in the last three months with just three goals in 11 appearances, which could be a crucial factor that’s affected his chances and something Hodgson will have noticed.

Danny Ings has performed similarly at Burnley and may feel slightly unfortunate not to get the nod having contributed more goals-per-game than both Sturridge and Welbeck.

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Saido Berahino is the weakest candidate statistically out of the three most notable absentees from the squad, but as previously mentioned, he would’ve been unavailable through injury in any case.

It appears that Hodgson has gone with the tried and trusted experienced players combined with new addition Harry Kane who he couldn’t leave out based on the Tottenham striker’s form this season.

Austin and Ings will continue to chomp at the bit and if they can fire either of their sides to safety then maybe they’ll get a chance next time round.

Kane and Giroud most productive Premier League strikers in 2015 so far

Another entertaining weekend of Premier League fixtures saw yet more twists and turns in the race for the title, European qualification and the battle to avoid relegation with strikers playing a key part once again.

Every club knows how important it is to have a talisman consistently leading the line to an excellent standard in order to reach the targets each club sets, whether it be winning the league or purely league survival.

The 2014/15 season has seen new stars emerge and make a name for themselves such as Englishmen Harry Kane and Charlie Austin, to name just two that have been an excellent revelation.

So how has each Premier League striker fared in 2015 since the turn of the year three-and-a-half months ago?

Premier League goal contribution in 2015 (showing only strikers who have contributed a minimum of five goals this year)

Premier League goals contribution in 2015 (showing only strikers who’ve contributed a minimum of five goals this year)

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been the stand-out performer with an incredible 11 goals in ten games to go with his two assists.

The list of original superlatives left to describe the 21-year-old is running very thin indeed and he will surely be in with a big shout for Premier League Player of the Season.

Kane has played a part in nine of Tottenham’s last 14 Premier League goals and who knows where Spurs would be without him?

Arsenal‘s Olivier Giroud has contributed the next most goals out of any striker in 2015 having netted six and assisted three.

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The big Frenchman is often subjected to criticism, particularly when he was hauled off after 60 minutes in the first-leg of Arsenal’s Champions League last-16 game against Monaco when he had what can only be described as a nightmare performance.

Take that game out of the equation though and Giroud has been excellent for the Gunners since returning from injury in November and has scored six goals in his last eight Premier League appearances.

Diego Costa notched another goal on Sunday in Chelsea‘s 1-1 draw with Southampton taking his 2015 tally to five. The Spaniard is the top goalscorer in the Premier League this season with 18 goals.

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Love him or hate him, Costa has undoubtedly been one of the star performers. The Blues are in an excellent position to ensure they win the title this season and his goals are certainly one of the reasons why.

Sergio Aguero, Danny Ings and Saido Berahino have been the next most productive strikers in 2015, while Charlie Austin has managed three goals from nine appearances this year and also remains the fourth top-goalscorer overall in the league with 15. The race for the Golden Boot looks set to go to the wire.

Seattle Sounders head coach Schmid hails “sublime” Martins and Dempsey

Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid has talked up the ability of strike partners Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey following their 6-0 preseason win over FC Tucson on Wednesday.

Dempsey bagged himself two goals in an emphatic performance, and although fellow forward Martins wasn’t on the scoresheet, he did play a hand in the first two goals, which has pleased Schmid.

“Some of the combinations, the goal where they combined on the 2nd goal, as a coach you just sit there and what do you say?” Schmid said while talking to the Seattle Sounders YouTube channel.

“I can’t teach that, we can’t diagram that and show them that. That’s just their instincts. And their ability to play off of each other is just so sublime.”

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The lethal partnership contributed an astonishing 55 goals between them via goals scored and goals assisted in the 2014 regular season and it looks as though they mean business again in 2015.

“I was happy for Clint, happy for the goals that he got because as a goalscorer you always want to get your confidence there. Oba (Martins) will be back on the board as well sometime soon,” Schmid added.

Lamar Neagle and Kevin Parsemain also both helped themselves to two goals each on the night.

How important will Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins be for Seattle Sounders in 2015?