As I’m sure you know by now, the Minnesota Thunder announced yesterday that Steven DeRoux used a buyout clause in his contract so he could move to Montreal. While writing yesterday’s post for IMSconcerning the pro’s and con’s of DeRoux’s play, I stated that he only had 4 points for the season which really isn’t a very high number for an attacking minded midfield player. So to be fair, I thought I’d take a look at all other Thunder midfielders and compare them to each other. I also thought it would be interesting to know who was the most effective midfield player that Minnesota had in the 2008 season. Keep in mind several things. First, these statistics are from USL.com. They do not consider friendly exhibitions or U.S. Open Cup games. Remember, I’m primarily looking at points here as you would always love for your midfielders to score, but their primary objective is to win and then advance the ball to set up the forwards to score.
So lets look at the chart. I’ve crudely charted and listed these midfield players from top to bottom by minutes per point. What does that mean? I took the total number of minutes played (by that particular player) in the 2008 season and divided it by the number of points they had at the end of the season.
Example: 1000 min. played / 6 pts = 166 minutes played to every point accumulated.
• It’s no surprise that Ricardo Sanchez with his 10 goals and 4 assists ends up on top with 24 pts. and a 90.04 minutes per point average. However, I do think some of the others in the list are surprising.
• Dale Weiler, who deals with chronic arthritis in his knees and had limited play time because of it, ended up second on the team with 162.80. I like Dale’s play and he has the ability to lash in an excellent left footed cross.
•Tighe Dombrowski, also didn’t see as many minutes as some of the other midfielders but evidently made the most of them.
• Jeremiah Bass, a holding or defensive midfielder. You wouldn’t expect him to have a high point total but 9 pts wasn’t shabby. He had the second highest minutes played of any midfielder on the team.
• Luchi Gonzalez, a true #10 type player. Only 1 goal but 5 assists as you would expect. But he ends up #5 of 6 midfielders listed. I would have liked to see his numbers a bit higher.
• Stephen DeRoux, most minutes played on the team except for keeper Nick Platter, and the lowest rated midfielder, with 633.15 minutes played for every point. Over doubling the number of the closest midfielder, Gonzalez.
So one might conclude that this isn’t fair because DeRoux was more of a defender and he did spend a good deal of time early in the season in the left back position. So I figured I’d look at the other two outside defenders who spent a fair amount of time on the field. They were Brian Kallman and Kevin Friedland, and as you see, both of those players also had lower minutes per point average that DeRoux.
Yesterday, someone made a comment on a discussion board that he felt like a number of us were trashing DeRoux. I know it could appear that way, but I liked DeRoux and talked to him a lot last season after games. He warmed up to the fans here in MN and helped us out with some great causes like Nothing But Nets, when we put together a benefit for the organization. As well, according to Manny Lago’s DeRoux liked playing here, but the appeal of playing Champions League was just to much for DeRoux to pass up. My point here is just to let the facts make their own case. As stated yesterday, DeRoux was one of the most exciting players to put on a Thunder uniform in years, but his overall contribution to the team is clearly seen in this chart