Stats Summary: Points Per Start

MLS has a ridiculous schedule because they don’t respect the designated international breaks. As a result, we have teams who have played a different number of games. Now we have to try to compare players from teams who haven’t played the same number of games. The way to do this is to normalize it so we have directly comparable data.

In the past, we’ve advocated for using points per 90 minutes played. However, I don’t believe that is the best measure as it inflates players who are often substituted in or out of games. A player who plays 60 minutes and scores 4 points has a PP90 of 6. Compare that to a player who plays 90 minutes and scores 4 points who has a PP90 of 4. They both play just one game so our PP90 metric doesn’t make sense to use. Points per game doesn’t make sense either. If a player plays 2 games but plays 90 minutes in one game and just 1 minute in the other, the points per game will be lower than we would expect that player to actually produce.

The solution is points per start. It ignores those games where a player subs in for just 1 minutes. It accounts for games where a player is subbed out and doesn’t skew the measure higher. The table below shows points per start and also bonus points per start. The sample size is obviously small, which is problematic. However, as the season progresses, this PPS metric becomes more valuable. You can find a spreadsheet of this data (and more detailed bonus point data) weekly here.

PlayerPositionTeamStartsTotal PointsPPSTotal BPBP/Start
GodoyMIDSJ33511.7155
CrognaleDEFCLB1111144
UrrutiFWDDAL2221131.5
MartínezFWDATL33210.720.7
KappelhofDEFCHI2201084
MacMathGKPCOL1101022
LarinFWDORL2201010.5
ValeriMIDPOR4401061.5
GuzmánMIDPOR2201094.5
AlmironMIDATL3299.772.3
AdiFWDPOR4379.341
GonzalezGKPDAL19922
VillaFWDNYC327982.7
MaundDEFRSL19933
BonoGKPTOR19922
OustedGKPVAN19911
MeliaGKPSKC3268.731
SpectorDEFORL2178.563
QuiotoFWDHOU3258.341.3
MedrandaDEFSKC3258.341.3
AsadMIDATL324862
SjobergDEFCOL216873.5
GuillenDEFDAL18822
MorálezMIDNYC324862
WallaceMIDNYC324851.7
FarfanDEFPOR18811
Van OekelGKPRSL18800
MorrowDEFTOR324831
ParkerDEFVAN216884
LongDEFNY4317.8143.5
WattsDEFCOL3237.7103.3
AlexMIDHOU3237.782.7
MoorDEFTOR3237.782.7
O. KamaraFWDCLB4307.530.8
SapongFWDPHI2157.510.5
Gonzalez PirezDEFATL3227.3124
JungwirthDEFSJ3227.382.7
BeslerDEFSKC3227.362
OparaDEFSKC3227.362
AltidoreFWDTOR3227.320.7
ZavaletaDEFTOR3227.382.7
WilliamsDEFCLB17711
HarrisDEFDAL17711
TorresFWDHOU321720.7
RomneyDEFLA214731.5
MolinoMIDMIN321741.3
LadeDEFNY17700
VytasDEFPOR17722
AsprillaMIDPOR17700
LodeiroMIDSEA321772.3
WondolowskiFWDSJ321741.3
LimaDEFSJ321762
BeitashourDEFTOR214710.5
DeanDEFVAN214773.5
GarzaDEFATL3206.772.3
BernierMIDMTL3206.762
NguyenMIDNE3206.720.7
BradleyMIDTOR3206.7103.3
AlvarezMIDCHI2136.531.5
MeramMIDCLB4266.571.8
BendikGKPORL2136.521
AjaDEFORL2136.542
PhillipsDEFRSL2136.552.5
ShippMIDSEA2136.542
AgudeloFWDNE3196.331
FagundezMIDNE3196.351.7
CallensDEFNYC3196.382.7
MedunjaninMIDPHI3196.3103.3
FeilhaberMIDSKC3196.351.7
ZusiMIDSKC3196.393
MearsDEFATL318651.7
AlessandriniMIDLA318672.3
PiattiMIDMTL318641.3
LawrenceDEFNY318620.7
ZizzoDEFNY318651.7
AdamsMIDNY16633
JohnsonGKPNYC318651.7
WingertDEFRSL318641.3
SinovicDEFSKC318641.3
IrwinGKPTOR212631.5
HiguaínMIDCLB4235.871.8
KannGKPATL3175.741.3
ParkhurstDEFATL3175.772.3
MeiraDEFCHI3175.782.7
AziraMIDCOL3175.7113.7
KljestanMIDNY3175.772.3
DempseyFWDSEA3175.720.7
dos SantosFWDLA2115.531.5
CabreraDEFMTL2115.573.5
RoblesGKPNY4225.541
RivasMIDORL2115.510.5
OlumMIDPOR4225.582
PowellDEFPOR4225.592.3
BeckermanMIDRSL2115.563
HorstDEFRSL2115.531.5
HykaMIDSJ2115.521
HurtadoMIDVAN2115.500
VillalbaFWDATL3165.331
FinlayMIDCLB3165.362
BadjiFWDCOL3165.300
ChanotDEFNYC3165.362
OnyewuDEFPHI3165.382.7
BlancoMIDPOR4215.371.8
RimandoGKPRSL3165.320.7
SchulerDEFRSL3165.331
BernardezDEFSJ3165.341.3
HagglundDEFTOR3165.320.7
LarentowiczMIDATL15533
BurchDEFCOL315520.7
HairstonMIDCOL315531
MillerDEFCOL210531.5
FigueroaDEFDAL315572.3
HedgesDEFDAL315551.7
BuescherMIDDC15500
RemickDEFHOU15533
ElisFWDHOU315520.7
KallmanDEFMIN210531.5
MatarritaDEFNYC315541.3
WhiteDEFNYC210510.5
BarnesFWDORL210531.5
BlakeGKPPHI315551.7
NagbeMIDPOR315572.3
AlonsoMIDSEA315593
OsorioMIDTOR210510.5
WastonDEFVAN210584
RoyerMIDNY4194.851.3
PerrinelleDEFNY4194.830.8
FelipeMIDNY4194.8102.5
GresselMIDATL3144.741.3
BavaGKPCHI3144.741.3
AccamFWDCHI3144.731
DeLeonMIDDC3144.782.7
RamirezFWDMIN3144.700
TierneyDEFNE3144.720.7
PirloMIDNYC3144.772.3
SteffenGKPCLB4184.561.5
TrappMIDCLB4184.5102.5
IbsonMIDMIN294.531.5
WarnerMIDMIN4184.541
Perez GarciaMIDORL294.521
ToiaDEFORL294.500
DaviesDEFVAN294.510.5
S WilliamsDEFVAN294.510.5
McCartyMIDCHI3134.362
HarringtonDEFCHI3134.341.3
RaitalaDEFCLB3134.310.3
HamidGKPDC3134.331
CimanDEFMTL3134.393
CaldwellMIDNE3134.341.3
RosenberryDEFPHI3134.341.3
HerbersFWDPHI3134.331
FabinhoDEFPHI3134.351.7
MillerDEFPOR3134.351.7
RoldanMIDSEA3134.372.3
MorrisFWDSEA3134.300
SanchezMIDSKC3134.351.7
NikolicFWDCHI312410.3
VincentDEFCHI312451.7
AbuMIDCLB14422
NaessDEFCLB416451.3
ZimmermanDEFDAL28442
AcostaMIDDAL312420.7
NyarkoMIDDC312451.7
FranklinDEFDC312451.7
KempDEFDC312441.3
CabezasMIDHOU14422
BoatengFWDLA28400
DiopGKPLA28431.5
SaiedMIDMIN312462
OduroFWDMTL312410.3
Wright-PhillipsFWDNY416441
AllenDEFNYC14422
RingMIDNYC312462
JohnsonMIDORL28442
D JonesMIDPHI312451.7
PontiusMIDPHI312420.7
GleesonGKPPOR416441
CharaMIDPOR416451.3
RidgewellDEFPOR14422
AllenMIDRSL14411
BeltranDEFRSL312431
RusnakMIDRSL312431
FisherDEFSEA14422
JonesDEFSEA312420.7
EndohMIDTOR14422
VázquezMIDTOR14422
JacobsonMIDVAN14411
LabaMIDVAN28442
MezquidaMIDVAN14411
ArturMIDCLB3113.762
SarvasMIDDC3113.772.3
DericGKPHOU3113.741.3
SteresDEFLA3113.762
LletgetMIDLA3113.751.7
K. KamaraFWDNE3113.710.3
DavisMIDNY3113.751.7
HarrisonMIDNYC3113.741.3
MarquezDEFPHI3113.720.7
MarshallDEFSEA3113.782.7
FrancisDEFSJ3113.720.7
DawkinsMIDSJ3113.741.3
CooperMIDTOR3113.741.3
CarmonaMIDATL273.552.5
HowardGKPCOL273.521
PowersMIDCOL273.531.5
LamahMIDDAL273.510.5
JeffreyMIDDC273.542
AlexanderMIDHOU273.521
ValentinDEFPOR273.521
CroninMIDCOL3103.351.7
GruezoMIDDAL3103.341.3
BirnbaumDEFDC3103.331
LeonardoDEFHOU3103.362
MachadoDEFHOU3103.362
J. VenegasMIDMIN3103.320.7
BushGKPMTL3103.331
DelameaDEFNE3103.341.3
MovsisyanFWDRSL4133.300
BinghamGKPSJ3103.331
AlasheMIDSJ3103.351.7
FernandesMIDSKC3103.331
HarveyDEFVAN3103.310.3
SolignacFWDCHI13311
JuninhoMIDCHI26310.5
AffulDEFCLB412330.8
MaloneyDEFCLB13322
GashiFWDCOL13311
CermeñoMIDDAL13311
AkindeleFWDDAL13311
AcostaMIDDC13311
HarkesMIDDC26331.5
RoweGKPLA13322
Van DammeDEFLA13322
JonesMIDLA26331.5
K. VenegasDEFMIN13333
BernardelloMIDMTL39341.3
MancosuFWDMTL39300
DuvallDEFMTL39351.7
AngouaDEFNE39351.7
FarrellDEFNE39351.7
RoweMIDNE26321
MuylMIDNY26321
NocerinoMIDORL26310.5
OkugoDEFPOR13322
LennonFWDRSL26321
VelazcoFWDRSL13311
MulhollandMIDRSL39351.7
PlataFWDRSL13311
TorresDEFSEA26352.5
EspinozaMIDSKC39320.7
McKendryMIDVAN13311
TeibertMIDVAN26331.5
SamMIDDC382.731
Joao PedroMIDLA382.731
SchullerMIDMIN382.741.3
ThiessonDEFMIN382.762
OyongoDEFMTL382.731
SunnyMIDRSL382.731
FreiGKPSEA382.720.7
de LeeuwFWDCHI252.510.5
GranaDEFDAL252.510.5
PomykalMIDDAL252.510.5
SeitzGKPDAL252.510.5
DialloDEFLA252.521
DonadelMIDMTL252.510.5
CarrascoMIDORL252.500
SaucedoFWDRSL252.510.5
SchmidtDEFRSL252.531.5
ThompsonMIDSJ252.510.5
TecheraMIDVAN252.500
MensahDEFCLB372.362
ClarkMIDHOU372.310.3
GarciaMIDLA372.331
BedoyaMIDPHI372.320.7
SvenssonMIDSEA372.320.7
DwyerFWDSKC372.331
CampbellDEFCHI12211
FrancisDEFCLB12211
K DoyleFWDCOL24200
HayesMIDDAL12211
MullinsFWDDC24200
OrtizFWDDC12200
BeasleyDEFHOU24221
DeLaGarzaDEFHOU36220.7
SmithDEFLA12200
McBeanFWDLA24200
TaylorDEFMIN36262
DemidovDEFMIN36272.3
KadriiMIDMIN24210.5
MallaceMIDMTL12200
CropperGKPNE36210.3
KouassiMIDNE12200
EtienneMIDNY12200
BilyeuDEFNY12211
SimpsonFWDPHI12200
ZemanskiMIDPOR12211
SilvaMIDRSL24200
FernándezMIDSEA12200
RickettsFWDTOR12200
MonteroFWDVAN12200
RicheyGKPVAN12211
TornaghiGKPVAN12200
MannehFWDVAN24210.5
ColmanFWDDAL351.700
CalvoDEFMIN351.772.3
UreñaFWDSJ351.700
IbarraMIDMIN231.500
GulbrandsenFWDNY231.510.5
GoossensMIDCHI11100
WilliamsDEFCOL11111
BurlingDEFCOL11100
CalvertFWDCOL11100
BarriosMIDDAL22100
VillarrealMIDLA11100
DanladiFWDMIN11100
AlvbageGKPMIN22121
ShuttleworthGKPMIN22121
GiovincoFWDTOR22100
BolañosMIDVAN11100
NerwinskiDEFVAN11100
DavisDEFMIN210.531.5
SheaMIDVAN10011
CamaraDEFMTL1-1-100

Just a couple quick notes. Almost all players with a PPS above 7 will regress. Only 10 regular starters managed to average more than 7 PPS last season. Just 19 averaged more than 6 PPS. Make sure you check the “starts” column to see if the player is a regular starter. And before you even ask, no, Godoy’s scoring isn’t sustainable. Expect something closer to between 5 and 6 PPS – which is still useful at his price.

About Andrew Crollard

Andrew has worked as both an economist/data analyst and as a university and youth soccer coach. Naturally, marrying soccer and data together is a perfect fit.

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One comment

  1. Any chance of including the code that you use to get the numbers from the stat source? Have a couple ideas for player or stadium specific analysis.

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