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MLS Statistical Analysis: D.C. United, 3.15

Who were the best players statistically for D.C. United this season?

Having already looked at MLS as a whole, let's look more closely at D.C. United. Only players who played for United and were on the roster at the end of the season are included. Players with no stat to show are shaded red in those areas, and the leaders (minimum 750 minutes) in each category are blue. Let's start with basic scoring and shooting:

Minutes / Goals / Assists / Shots / Shots on Goal / Goals per 90 / Assists per 90 / Shots per 90 / Shots on Goal per 90 / % of Shots on Goal / % of Shots = Goal / % of Shots on Goal = Goal


In terms of sheer production, Chris Rolfe stands out. His 10 goals, 71 shots, and 32 shots on goal led the team. Fabian Espindola's 7 assists led the team, but Taylor Kemp was just behind him with 6. Scoring two goals in 65 minutes over his last three games increased Alvaro Saborio's G90 number to 0.46, leading the team. Jairo Arrieta was the most accurate shooter, finding the frame 57.14% of the time.

Moving on, there are more offensive numbers, not related to goals.

Passes / Passes completed / Key Passes (pass directly leading to a shot) / Attempted Dribbles / Successful Dribbles / Offsides / Unsuccessful First Touches / Dispossessed / Loss of Possession per 90 (combination of UT and DISP)


Perry Kitchen may be on his way out, but leading the team in passing is nothing to sneeze at. Meanwhile, Espindola was not nearly as accurate, but he made 48 key passes, and no other player was within 1.50 per 90. Davy Arnaud's incredible 80% dribbling success rate at the All-Star break fell to 67%, and it's not much of a surprise that it was unsustainable. Avert your eyes from Taylor Kemp's 67.07% passing, which actually improved from 62.5% at the All-Star break.

In the most unsurprising development, Arrieta led the team in offsides with 32, and 2.28 per 90, which admittedly feels low. Saborio put up a good fight, logging 2.08 per 90. For something that actually is surprising, how about Rolfe leading the team in both unsuccessful first touches and being dispossessed? His per 90 rate of 4.14 losses of possession did not match Arrieta's 5.70.

Now let's go to the defensive numbers:

Attempted Tackles / Successful Tackles / Interceptions (stopping a pass from reaching its intended target) / Attempted Aerials / Successful Aerials (balls won in the air against an opponent)


Kemp edged out Kitchen for the team lead in attempted tackles by 1, but Kitchen was much more successful, leading the team with 88.41%. Neither of them could match Conor Doyle's 2.59 successful tackles per 90 minutes, which led the team.

Bobby Boswell led the team in total interceptions with 115, but his per 90 number of 3.48 paled in comparison to Steve Birnbaum's 4.05. Add that to Birnbaum's aerial domination and Birnbaum looks pretty good. I said in my roster prediction piece that I believe Kofi Opare to be better than Boswell, and at least statistically that seems to be the case when comparing the three center backs.


Opare is the better tackler of the three in terms of success rate and per 90, and he's just behind Boswell in terms of interceptions. Where Opare is much better than Boswell is aerial success rate and aerials per 90. Obviously these are just numbers, and you can't quantify things like positioning, but I maintain my belief that Opare and Birnbaum are the best two center backs we have.

With Kitchen possibly moving on this offseason, I also wanted to compare he and Halsti:


This is a surprise. Kitchen's passing is obviously better, but despite Kitchen's better tackling percentage, Halsti had more successful tackles per 90 than Kitchen. Halsti is also better when it comes to both interceptions and aerials. This is a much closer comparison than I initially thought it would be.

Let's go on to goalkeeping very quickly:


Bill. Hamid. What more can we say? Dykstra (and Worra, to a much lesser extent) filled in ably when Hamid was out, and the three combined to put together a very good goalkeeping season, despite facing a high number of shots. Please give us one more year, Bill.

That's it for 2015 MLS Statistical Analysis. Who are your favorite performers from the past season?