Castrol Index Rating the Players
We knows our readers love to watch and analyze how the top MLS players are performing on the field. The Castrol Index determines rankings for MLS players and we have teamed up to provide a special report on the stars in the MLS. For the 2014 season, this Castrol Index weekly special feature will look at four players who are making an impact in the MLS: Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley and Matt Besler of the U.S. and Jermain Defoe of England.
Donovan extraordinary career holds the record for most goals and assists in MLS and U.S. Men’s National Team history and has included representing the USA in six Gold Cups, the Confederations Cup, the Olympics, and the U-20 World Cup. For a youth player who started in AYSO and then became a member of the inaugural class of U.S. Soccer’s residency program in Bradenton, Donovan has made a huge impact on American soccer. A four-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year, Donovan has captured the hearts of many soccer lovers who will miss his action on the field after he retires from professional soccer.
All MLS season, Landon Donovan’s perfomance as LA Galaxy’s mid-fielder has been rated by the Castrol Index – Here is the scoop on how well this player actual did on the field. Separating hype and fiction from on field action, the report tells it all.
Donovan’s overall ranking for the season is #15 in the league, #1 best LA Galaxy mid-fielder, and #3 best LA Galaxy player. At the end of the season he averaged 676 points per 90 minutes.He also had a season total of 10 goals.
Landon Donovan is a living legend. Here’s the Scoop on the Season:
Donovan is the all-time leading goal scorer for the LA Galaxy, MLS and the U.S. National Team.
Simply put, Donovan is arguably American soccer’s greatest player ever. During his time as a professional, Donovan has made three World Cup appearances for the U.S. National Team and won five MLS cups.
Despite his impending retirement at the end of the current MLS campaign, Donovan’s Galaxy finished just shy of winning the Supporter’s Shield and will be challenging for yet another MLS cup in the coming month.
But behind Donovan’s impressive numbers lies a wealth of deeper analysis.
According to Major League Soccer’s Castrol Player Index report, Landon Donovan’s overall ranking for the season is #15 in the league. Donovan earned the top spot, #1 best LA Galaxy mid-fielder and also claims the #3 best LA Galaxy player. At the end of the season America’s fan favorite averaged 676 points per 90 minutes.
- Matches Played: Donovan played in 31 games out of a total of 33 games overall this season.
- Minuted Played: On field action was a high of 92% for the season. Donovan played a total of 2720 minutes out of a possible total of 2970.
- Donovan earned most of his credit attacking – a huge 94% came from shooting – This means his credit coming from other actions than shooting was close to zero throughout the season, as it contributed only 6% towards his total attacking credit.
- Passing success rate for the season was 78%
- However Donovan’s passing rate in the final third of the pitch drops to 66% for the overall season.
Donovan’s worst ranking position in the Index for this season was when the famed player ranked at number #72 right after the match against Vancouver back in April on the 19th.
Why did Donovan’s ranking suffer? Attacking players that top the Castrol Index, like Bradley Wright-Phillips, Dempsey, Plata or Donovan’s teammate Keane have all scored significantly more goals. A forward’s job is to score goals and Bradley Wright-Phillips earned the “2014 Castrol Index Top Player” distinction by accumulating 918 points, playing for 2,575 minutes.
Donovan final climb the rankings has been since August when Donovan gained three places from number 19 to number 16 and then just spiked one more spot to end up at #15.
Donovan is clearly the best mid-fielder of his team.
Donovan’s passing performance has also been relatively good towards the end of the season. His overall passing success rate for his last 11 appearances is 565/726 passes (78%). Since August for weeks 24 through 33, Donovan’s passing in the final and more important third of the pitch has ranked well: 208/325 good passes (64%).
While on the surface level Donovan’s performances deserve much praise, taking a closer look at his shooting and passing efficiency proves that he is the real deal.
While many legends are more hype and myth than fact, Donovan’s performance ranks high marks and the Index has the stats to back up this living legends accomplishments. Donovan, after a long career was truly firing on all cylinders in his last MLS season. This fact should really come as no surprise to any avid soccer fan who has been watching Donovan’s career.
Donovan career’s started when he burst on the scene in 1998 as a U17 player and ending a professional soccer career at the rank of 15 on the Castrol Index is significant. When Donovan started kicking the soccer ball around as a little kid and joined an AYSO team at age 5, did he ever think he would become a famous pro soccer player? The young athlete who played nearly every sport including basketball, baseball and hockey grew up to change American soccer forever and Castrol Index stats on his performance permanently prove his accomplishments.
This season Castrol Index and SoccerNation News looked at four players who made an impact in the MLS: Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley and Matt Besler of the U.S. and Jermain Defoe of England. Throughout the 2014 MLS season, we will follow these four playmakers and see how their performance each week affects their placement on the Index.
Game Image courtesy of LA Galaxy.