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MLS Statistical Analysis: D.C. United, 1.15

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Let's gaze deep into the stats of DCU.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I went over MLS as a whole, so today I'm diving into the stats for individual D.C. United players. There are three graphics, all featuring any player that has featured for DCU this season, even Bill Hamid, even though we're not covering goalkeeping specifically because we went through that yesterday. All graphics are arranged alphabetically. The red cells are for players with no stat to show, and the blue ones are for the leaders (in all cases, the highest number) in the statistic (minimum 180 minutes played). Let's do it.

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

DCUs1.15

First up you will see that five players have played every minute of every game -- Hamid, Bobby Boswell, Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, and Sean Franklin. Kitchen is the leading scorer off of his brace last weekend, and leads G90 because Silva has only played 30 minutes. Chris Rolfe is the leading assist man, as well as the most frequent and accurate shooter per 90 minutes. Chris Pontius has a similar shot frequency, but is 20% less accurate. It's interesting to me that Jairo Arrieta only shoots 1.23 times per 90 minutes, while Rolfe and Pontius are the guys who are shooting. #freeAguilar

On to the next set of offensively focused numbers. Just assume that the 90 suffix is "per 90 minutes" and the % is percentage of success in the stat from here on out.

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

DCUo1.15

Nick DeLeon edges out Steve Birnbaum in pass accuracy by .06% for players with 180 minutes or more. Michael Farfan lurks on the edge with 123 minutes played and a better number than both of them. Surprisingly low on this list is Rolfe's 72.99%.

Pontius is leading the KP90 because Luis Silva has just 30 minutes of play under his belt, but it's worth noting that Silva has tallied two in just 30 minutes. In the next set of stats you'll find dribbles, which are defined as an attempt by a player with the ball to beat a defender. The shocking leader here is Arnaud, who is 7 for 7, and I cannot wrap my head around the fact that he both has the most attempts (tie) and has yet to be stopped. Obviously the 100% success ratio is unsustainable, but this is something to monitor.

We have now reached the Jairo Arrieta portion of the program. He's offside far more than any other United player, which is both a function of his position and his discipline. He's been better the past couple of matches, but I was still surprised to learn that it's only been 10 times total, but that number is still the highest in MLS. The next closest player is two behind him (Gabriel Torres from Colorado.) Next, Arrieta is barely outpacing Chris Pontius for most losses of possession per 90 minutes. I think this is misleading, because there have been a lot of balls out of the back in the air, and neither Pontius nor Arrieta are considered particularly tall or adept at winning aerials (we'll get to that in the next stage). I think that accounts for both of their unsuccessful first touches, at the least. Arrieta's 14 dispossessions are not explained away by balls out of the back. Hanging around with a number that I initially ignored because he hasn't played that much is Michael Farfan, who loses possession 5.85 times per 90 minutes. 123 minutes is a small sample size, but it's a worrisome rate for a guy who figures to be a major role player off the bench.

Now we move onto 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)

DCUd1.15a

First of all let's give a nod to Perry Kitchen, whose 10 for 10 tackle ratio is solid, and gives him the lead over DeLeon's 5 for 5 because Kitchen's attempted more. That said, Davy Arnaud has made more successful tackles than any United player has attempted, while maintaining an 80% success ratio. I always thought Arnaud was a hard worker, whose effort made up for any offensive shortcomings he may have at this point in his career, but between this number and the dribbles, I have to give him his due.

The interceptions category has my favorite number, which is Jared Jeffrey's 270 per 90 minutes. This, of course, is because of his misleading 1 minute of action this season, and because he still gets credit for anything he did in stoppage time. Leading the category is Pontius, which I also think is a surprise. While we're here, Conor Doyle has only 117 minutes of play to his name, but he is coming on and intercepting balls (8), tackling guys (4), and winning aerials (4), which may be justifying Ben Olsen's propensity for throwing him on as late game defensive help on the wing, which are words that I never thought I'd say.

Speaking of aerials, Chris Pontius (45) and Jairo Arrieta (27) have very high numbers of attempts, which again is attributed to the long ball. Pontius at least is serviceable in the air, winning 46.67% of his duels. Arrieta wins 22.2%, which is probably more than we should expect given his size. The stars in this category are Steve Birnbaum and Kofi Opare, who are 13 of 14 and 14 of 15 respectively in aerial duels. Combined, they've played all 450 minutes, and if you made a Stofi Oparbaum out of the two of them, he'd be 27 for 29 in the air (93.1%), which is an untouchable number for any centerback with anything close to or higher than that number of attempts.

That does it for the first edition of MLS Statistical Analysis in 2015. I'll be back close to the midway point of the season.