Tuesday, July 21, 2009

El Douche-o

By El Chupa

We at El Luchador have decided to weigh in on the Beckham problem. Is he a douche? In our view, yes. Is he good enough for the league to bring him in under special conditions and pay him more than other players in the league who are far more productive? Hardly. Is he worth all the free publicity? Probably. But once a douche, always a douche we says. And we can prove it.

There are a number of issues obviously, from how El Doucho acted on the field and in the locker room with the Galaxy last season, to the MLS' decision to bring him in to help the league in the first place, to the basic question of just how much talent he actually brings to the Galaxy.

Let's take the last question first.

The chart below represents the top 30 offensive players in the MLS in 2008. It includes only those players who scored and who either played a minimum of 1300 minutes or scored a minimum of 5 goals. The Luchametric institute has developed a measure of player production that takes into account goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, the percentage of shots the player puts on goal, and the percentage of SOG the player converts to actual goals. As you can see from the data below, the top scorers not only take more SHT and SOG, they also convert a much higher percentage of their scoring opportunities into actual goals than do average scorers. The Player Production metric thus gives players credit for how many scoring opportunities they create (assists), how many they create and/or are given by their teammates (SHT and SOG), the percentage of SHT they convert to actual SOG or actual quality scoring chances, and the percentage of SOG they convert to actual goals.

Notice that Beckham is ranked 25th, above many scorers and typically above the league averages, but also far below the actual best players in the league such as Donovan, Cooper, Schelotto and others. His number of assists is up at the top, but taken with the other measures it becomes clear that, yes, he's good--but he's not good enough for all of the attention lavished on him by the media. Notice that his Pro/GM is right at the league average, and that his SOG% is below the league average, meaning that when he either creates a shot, or is the recipient of a shot opportunity by one of his teammates, he muffs it more often than does an average scorer in the league. The word for that my friends is Eurotrash.

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