The pseudonymous Dummy Run over at Twitter wrote the NYCFC Playoff Preview for ASA. Dummy is no dummy, and the article is great. It is also long. It is dense. It has a lot of charts. I mean, even by his standards, it is chart heavy. You will learn a lot. Go read it. Maybe twice. There is a lot of good stuff there.
But I have one big problem. Really big. The first chart in the article is a Vieira/Torrent comparison, covering many regular and advanced stats, and it shows that NYCFC is better under Torrent on basically all the advanced stats while behind on the regular ones. This is known as bad luck. This point frames his entire discussion, which covers so much more, including how NYCFC responds o pressure when it plays from the back, how it transitions into attack, and identifying specific style differences in play under Vieira and Torrent, all illustrate with graphs, charts, and video. The opening and closing theme of the piece is that Dome had the team playing better and it was bad luck that the results did not follow.
But. This is a big but. And I’m disappointed Dummy didn’t notice this, or actively chose to ignore it, but the frame he imposes — comparing all of Vieira’s games to all of Torrent’s games, masks the extreme seesaw nature of Torrent’s time at NYCFC. As Dummy lays out in the chart I mentioned (it’s the ones with the photos of Vieira and Torrent) , Expected Goals For NYCFC went up from 1.57 to 1.73 when Dome took over, and Expected Goals Against went down from 1.32 to 1.17. So the team got better, right? Here’s a simpler table with just those stats (some of my numbers are just slightly different because of different rounding algorithms I think):
Yay better. All good. But let’s compare these 2 coaches:
Coach 1 has results better than Torrent. Coach 2 is worse that Vieira. And — big reveal — they are both Dome Torrent, split between his his first 9 games (through the Toronto Away game) and his last 10 when the team was much worse. According to Expected Goals, the longer Torrent was in charge, the worse NYCFC played. The results were not bad luck. They matched the run of play. The only reason Dome’s results look better than Vieira’s is that before he changed things up so much, and brought in his guys, the team had it’s best xG run of the season. So the ASA article basically masks the correlation between advanced stats and results by treating Dome’s 19 games as a consistent run of play, which they were not. There was no bad luck. The team had good results for Dome when xG says they played well, and poor results when they did not. In Torrent’s first 9 games with an Expected Goal Differential of +1.08 the team went 6-2-1 for 2.11 PPG. Then when the same differential dropped to +0.4 the team went 2-5-3 for 0.90 PPG.
The Home and Away splits show that the big difference was Away, though the team got worse at Home also.
First, Home. “Dome” is his record as a whole. “Dome1” represents his first 5 Home games, “Dome2” his last 5:
It is pretty consistent, but though the differences are small, the team actually performed better under Vieira, and the Expected Goals Against did increase by a meaningful amount in the final quarter of the season under Dome. In sum, Home defense got worse, according to Expected Goals.
Now Away. NYCFC played 9 games Away under Dome. The Dome1/2 split is First 4, last 5.
Holy crap on a stick. At first, NYCFC improved a lot on the road when Dome took over, and you may remember they won 2 Away games after a long dry spell. Arguably they should have done even better. The Expected Goal DIfferential for the 2 losses in this set of games was +0.88 (Chicago) and +0.99 (Seattle). But after that, Expected Goals For went down an entire goal per game from 1.89 to 0.90. That’s massive. At the same time, Expected Goals Against went up by 0.6 for a swing of 1.59 in Expected Goal Differential in the wrong direction between the first half of Torrent’s tenure and the second half playing Away.
What excuses are there for this? Schedule? Injuries? I cannot go with injuries because the first half of Torrent’s time coincides almost perfectly with Villa’s long absence, while the crap run overlaps with a missing Medina. That doesn’t really explain anything.
Finally, I understand that 5 and 4 game samples are really small (although that is just the H/A breakdown). Maybe Dome had an anomalously great short run to start, then a similar bad run. Maybe next year averages out all good. But the thesis that Dome simply improved the team and the poor results do not coincide with how he had the team playing does not hold up when you break it down. When you change the framing from (1) Vieira vs Torrent to (2)Torrent’s Good Start vs Torrent’s Bad Finish you see that Dome pretty much got the results he deserved. He won when the team played well, and lost when they deteriorated. That’s true whether you go by the eye test or xG, and bad luck doesn’t really play into it. Maybe the team deserved to win a little more over the last 10, as the xGD was barely on the positive side overall. But when play objectively worsens, I’m not very sympathetic to the complaint that results should not have been quite as bad as they were. Expected goals says NYCFC certainly did not deserve a strong record at the end of the season, and any analysis of Torrent has to consider why the team did so much worse the longer he was in charge.
Current Position: Third 53 Points
Unable to Climb Higher
Remaining Games at DC United, Home Philadelphia Union. H/A adjusted Opponents’ PPG 1.80 (second hardest)
Teams Who Can Catch NYCFC
1. DC United
12 points back, 4 games to play.
Home Dallas, Home TFC, Home NYCFC Away Chicago. H/A adjusted Opponents’ PPG 1.11 (7th easiest-tie)
DCU has to win out, and NYCFC lose out. That will put them tied on Points and Wins. GD status currently NYC +14, DCU +6. But if NYC loses out and DC wins out, NYC will be at most +12, and DCU at least +10. So DC would have to pick up an additional 3 GD, either by winning by >1 or NYC losing by >1, and then DC leads here. Next tiebreaker is Goals For. Teams are current tied, so if DC makes up the points deficit they would win this tiebreaker, meaning they only need to pick up an additional 2 GD to win.
Bottom line: any result for NYC or dropped points for DC and NYC stays ahead. Barring that, however, tiebreakers favor DC.
5 points back, 2 to play.
Away Orlando, Home Minnesota. The easiest remaining schedule in the league. H/A adjusted PPG 0.79.
The Crew have to win both to have a chance, but the schedule is ridiculously easy. If they win out and NYC gets 1 point it is a tie. Any NYC win clinches. If they draw on points they will be tied on wins. Crew GD is -2, which is 16 behind NYC, so they have to win each game by 7-9 goals to overtake NYC.
Bottom line: any result for NYC or dropped points for Columbus and NYC stays ahead, given the tiebreakers, with a minuscule chance of Columbus winning a GD tiebreaker.
3 points back, 2 to play.
Home Red Bulls, Away NYCFC. Adjusted H/A Opponents’ PPG 1.94.
The Union need at least to match NYCFC in Week 33 and then control their destiny on Decision Day. If they fall behind by one more point it is over. If the teams finish tied on points, Philadelphia will have more wins.
Bottom line: getting more points than the Union in Week 33 is key.
I’m just assuming Columbus beats Orlando and Minnesota. OTOH, if DC drops points in the next 2 games against Dallas and Toronto, that solves DC. But even assuming DC wins the next 2:
A win in DC guarantees that NYC finishes ahead of DC and Columbus, and no lower than 4th.
A draw in DC guarantees NYC finishes ahead of DC and no lower than 5th. If Red Bulls also beat the Union, then NYC finishes no lower than Fourth. If Orlando beats or even draws Columbus the world ends, but NYC finishes ahead of the Crew as well. Also NYC finishes ahead of CLB in GD tiebreaker barring oodles of goals by Columbus.
A Loss in DC means Decision Day is really scary, unless (1) DC first drops points to either Dallas or Toronto, and (2) Columbus drops points to Orlando.
I started looking into Vieira/Torrent splits and found some interesting things. Some offer obvious conclusions, but others not so much.
All NYCFC defensive actions this season under Patrick Vieira versus Dome Torrent. pic.twitter.com/KfKHc9MCth
— Dummy Run (@thedummyrun) October 6, 2018
Click on the images in that tweet and you will see that NYCFChas been much more active on defense under Torrent. His graph does not seem to offer a H/A split, but I think it is likely most of this activity is in Away games.
At home, every number has moved in the wrong direction. Home goals per game and xGoals per game are both down (though the latter by an insignificant amount). Also at home, opponent Goals and xGoals have gone up.
Away, however, NYC goals are down but xGoals are up by a meaningful amount. Opponents goals also are down, while their xGoals are way, way lower.
Under Vieira in 2018, NYCFC gave up an average of 1.7625 xGoals per game Away, and that is down to 1.2975 under Dome. Under Vieira, road opponents never accumulated fewer that 1.4 xG per game in 8 games. Under Torrent, they only exceeded 1.4 xG twice in 8 games.
This chart also shows that in all 4 areas: Home goals for and against, and Away goals for and against, the actual goal change has been worse for Dome than the xGoal change.
I do believe that the improvements in Away xGFor and xGAgainst are big enough that it shows real improvement, especially because Torrent has discussed his emphasis on improving road form. NYCFC’s xG differential has improved by 0.801 per game on the road. I tend to give people credit when they say “my goal is to improve X” and then X improves.
Next I focused on how NYCFC has performed relative to xGoals under Vieira and Torrent. The results are not surprising given the table above, and everything we have seen and discussed the last 2 months.
First 2 lines show the difference between actual goals per game and xGoals per game. In every instance + means the team did better than expected and – means the team did worse than expected. This is where the big dispute comes in regarding whether you think performance relative to Expected Goals is mostly luck, or not. Because again in all 4 categories the team was “luckier” under Vieira than for Torrent, and for NYCFC’s Home goals scored, the difference is massive. Can bad luck be this consistent? I honestly don’t know. Logic cuts both ways. On one hand it seems unlikely that luck would point the same way in all contexts and subdivisions, unless there was a reason outside of luck. On the other hand, there is no reason why the non-lucky explanations should correspond with each other. For example, you might explain the poor results relative to xG scored as being due to a less aggressive, vertical offense in transition. But just because that is true does not suggest a substantive reason for why the club should also underperform on defense. Whether you think it is luck, or there are substantive explanations, you might expect them to be independent.
For additional context, I note that for the entire season, only 5 MLS teams are underperforming relative to xGoals at home. That’s pretty normal. In 2017 6 teams did that, in 2016 – 5, 2015 – 8, and in 2014 – 4 teams. Simply put: Most teams outperform xGoals at Home. Further, underperforming xG at home by -0.443 per game is very unusual. Since and including 2014 through 2018 to date, only 4 teams have underperformed xG by worse than -0.3 per game over an entire season. Now, Dome’s NYCFC team has done this over just 9 Home games, not a full season. Extreme and unusual results are more likely over half seasons than over full seasons. But I still think it is fair to say this result is anomalous. Being so much worse at scoring Goals at Home than accumulating xG is just wrong and unusual.
As a bit more background, it is not unusual for a team to have a wild swing in its performance relative to xG in the middle of a season. For example, here are the GD-xGD figures for 2016 NYCFC and 2017 FCD in the first 17 games compared to the last 17 games:
NYCFC 2016 GD-xGD -0.176/0.759 Swing 0.935
FC Dallas 2017 GD-xGD 0.410/-1.091 Swing 1.501
And here is the split and swing for 2018 NYCFC under PV and under DT:
NYCFC 2018 PV/DT GD-xGD 0.484/-0.478 Swing 0.962
GD-xGD combines both offense and defense, and Home and Away. Are these big swings due to luck or something else? You can explain 2016 NYCFC based on the team getting used to PV’s new system. You can explain this year with the coaching change. I confess I am less familiar with 2017 FC Dallas than either NYCFC iteration, but they had no coaching change and they had an important player, Mauro Diaz, return from injury about 40% into the season. Yet they had an enormous negative swing with no clearly obvious cause. So is it mostly luck, really? Are the NYCFC splits that seem to be based on coaching changes just a pair of big coincidences?
Also, The H/A weighted PPG of opponents facing PV was 1.42, and for Dome to date it is only 1.30. But Dome had more injuries, and a lot of odd double game weeks and rough travel.
I think the data supports enough variations in conclusions that people can argue, but I believe the following with various degrees of confidence.
I think the improved xG figures, on both offense and defense under Torrent, represent something real.
I believe the deteriorated results relative to xG is based both on luck and controllable factors.
I think Torrent has focused on Away form, and controlling possession in the midfield, and defending in the midfield.
I think the poor results relative to xGoal is based on lack of performance in the final third on both ends.
I believe NYCFC’s attack is less direct and gives teams more time to get in front of their goal.
On defense, I look at 3 of the worst games relative to xG (at Chicago, at Seattle, and at Minnesota), and can remember individual plays where an opponent broke us down and/or an NYCFC defender messed up, leading to easy goals against the run of play.
I think this combination of effects can be in sum caused by a team that is uncertain of how to play a new system, combined with a technical emphasis on midfield play.
I fully expect this to improve.
Despite a half-season under the new coach, I believe that whether this does or does not improve in time for the playoffs will mostly be luck, if only because of a super small sample size.
I strongly expect this to improve next year.
I fear it might not improve early, due to roster turnover and a guess that Dome is — believe it or not — holding back, and that next year will bring even more changes for the team to acclimate itself to.
Both Red Bulls and NYCFC lost coaches this midseason.*
Both clubs are part of worldwide soccer organizations.
Both Red Bull GmbH and CFG have adopted a uniform playing style for all of their organizations and boast of plug’n’play interchangeability for coaches and players.
Jesse Marsch spent part of his 3.5 years at RBNY training his replacement.
Patrick Vieira spent the last 3 months of his 2.5 years at NYCFC looking for another job and took his most trusted assistants with him.
Marsch left RBNY under terms set by Red Bull GmbH.
Vieira left against the wishes of CFG.
Red Bull GmbH has a plan for all of their clubs and personnel.
CFG hired Pep Guardiola for Man City and left Vieira twisting in the wind when he saw they were working on a Pep extension.
Red Bull GmbH brought Marsch in as an assistant to their flagship club after 3.5 years at RBNY and elevated his RBNY assistant who knew that team well.
CFG let Vieira walk after 2.5 years because they had no plan for him to move forward, then hired Pep’s Man City assistant for NYCFC, who was unfamiliar with NYCFC, and has publicly expressed confusion about MLS scheduling and other quirks. He then tinkered with a team that was 15-9-8 when he arrived to the point where they have managed to earn less than a point per game over their last 11 chances.
Armas just coached a game without his two most important players (not by his choice) against the best team in the league and won 2-0.
Torrent just coached a game without his 2 most important players (by his choice) against the 16th best team in the league and lost 2-1.
RBNY earned 32 points in 16 games under Marsch, 2.00 PPG.
RBNY earned 30 points in 15 games under Armas, 2.00 PPG.
NYCFC earned 28 points in 15 games under Vieira, 1.87 PPG.
NYCFC earned 25 points in 17 games under Torrent, 1.47 PPG.
RBNY and Red Bull GmbH had a plan for RBNY. CFG/NYCFC have a plan for Man City, and afterthoughts for NYCFC. Sure, maybe Torrent and NYCFC turn it around for the playoffs. There’s no sign of that but it could happen. Even if it does, though, the CFG claims of interoperability and synergy have been revealed as a joke, and as nothing more than vacuous corporate jibber jabber.
* I realize other teams have changed coaches during this season. But all the others (except Orlando) have come late in the year and all others, with no exception, were due to the more common situation of firing someone for basic poor performance.
Last year NYC finished the season very poorly, with just 7 points in the final 7 games. So unless the current very poor run continues, the 2018 version is likely to outperform 2017, by a small bit probably.
But another way of looking at it is that NYCFC is basically a good but not very good team over it’s last 34 regular season games, and just mediocre with the exception of the 5-0-1 start of this year. In the last 34 games NYCFC is 15-9-10 for 55 points and 1.62 PPG. Back out the first 6 games of this year, and NYCFC is just 10-9-9 for 39 points over 28 games, and a weak 1.39 PPG.
As I’ve said multiple times lately, it is unfair to exclude any team’s best run of 5-8 games from it’s record, but I also think this demonstrates that following this team has been has been very disappointing, compared to expectations, for an entire year now, alleviated by just 6 good weeks in March-April this year. There was another nice run driven mostly by playing 6 of 7 at home, fully offset by the times when we played mostly Away. Really the only time this team has looked like it could be excellent in the last 12 months — both home and away — was a month and one-half at the start of this year. EVen including those best 6 games, 55 points is basically “best of the rest” after you exclude the top 2-3 teams each year. It is also a team that has not shown meaningful improvement since its 54-point 2016 campaign.
Throw in the playoff loss and USOC failure, and, this does not look anything like an elite team. It’s a good team, but not elite. NYCFC fans reasonably expected an elite team in 2018 and it has not happened.
I’m getting tired of seeing people slam Maxi every time he fails to convert a chance.
He has already exceeded his best career goal scoring season by 33% Among the top 10 MLS assist leaders, he is behind only Diego Valeri and Almiron for most goals, and behind only Kaku for most assists. He is tied with Giovinco for goals scored. The only players besides Valeri and Almiron with more goals than Maxi are pure scorers who don’t run the offense and don’t create assists (and Maxi has more assists than those 2). To be honest I never thought we’d see a season like this from Maxi. I would not be either shocked or consider it a failure if he didn’t hit net again this season, and I doubt he repeats it next year. The problem is Villa is hurt and aging, while Medina, Berget, and even Shradi provide only sporadic relief for Villa’s missing goals.
There is no case for having a reasonable expectation that he should be doing better and the reflexive complaints seem kind of empty. I get that he has missed a good number of very solid chances. But nobody in MLS is doing better than him right now in his role.
It is easy to spot that NYCFC has the league’s best Home record right now at 10-0-1, earning 31 of a possible 33 points. But even the most devoted NYCFC fan might not be aware of this cherry-picked bit of data: over the last 36 home games, going back to June 2016, NYC is 27-2-7, earning 88 out of a maximum 108 points, 2.44 PPG, and a +51 Goal Differential. The last loss before this streak was to RSL at home on June 2, 2016. The only 2 home losses since then were to Orlando last April and Portland in September. The 36 games is a bit more than 2-years worth of home games.
Even crazier is how sudden and extreme was the change in NYCFC’s home performance. Before this run started, in 2016 the team was 1-3-5 at home. The schedule was front-loaded with home games, and they dropped points like crazy. After the 2016 RSL game the team PPG was 1.31 overall, which projected to 45 points at season end. Many people, including me, thought they would not make the playoffs. Then they finished 7-0-1 at home, and ended with 54 points and 1.59 PG. NYCFC’s combined 2015 Home record plus 2016 through RSL was 7-10-9 for 1.15 PPG and a -7 GD.
What Led To The Switch
What happened? Here are some thoughts. The 2015 team was, of course, not very good. It is no surprise that its home record was poor. The 2016 team was a substantial improvement, but they had a difficult adjustment to the play-from-the-back style that new coach Patrick Vieira implemented and had a 3 bad habits giving up goals off set plays, and at the end of either half. Many of these incidents led to disappointing draws.
March 13 Toronto – TFC scores in extra time on a free kick at the end of the first half to cut NYC’s 2-0 lead in half, ends 2-2 draw
March 26 New England – The Revs tie the game on a free kick, score remains 1-1
April 27 Montreal – The Impact even the game at 90+1 on a free kick
May 29 Orlando – the Lions earn the draw at 90+4
This accounts for 4 of the 5 draws in the first 9 home games of 2016. Whether this was just a run of bad luck that inevitably would change, or chronic lapses of concentration they were able to cure, it stopped. The team also improved in running its new system, and the streak began. It is also worth noting that the pre-streak home goal differential of -7 includes the Red Bull Wedding game, meaning its Goal Differential apart from that game was even and the team probably underperformed at home to that point.
Why This Is Not More Widely Noted
The best parts of the streak are the 2 partial seasons: the 7-0-1 at the end of 2016 and 10-0-1 to date in 2018. During the only full season in the streak, NYCFC was merely solid at home, tied for just the ninth best home record in the league. Because the 2016 and 2017 overall home records were not particularly great, the team’s strong start at home in 2018 seems like more of an aberration than it really is. You do have to limit the data to this somewhat contrived stretch to see how good the team has been at home for more than 2 years. It is a justifiable contrivance, though, because of its length. I wouldn’t start looking up t best 36-game home stretches in MLS all time, but a record that long and strong is worth noting just for itself.
I started quantifying NYCFC offensive production beyond Villa. I know many players do important things that don’t result in goals or assists. I try not to be the guy whose answer to my team’s woes is “We need more people who score goals. All the goallzz!” But damn, NYCFC needs more people who score or create goals.
Here are the top 5 goal scorers for every East playoff team, plus Portland and Seattle. The first line is the team name and its total goals for the season. Below that the columns go Player|Goals|Pct. of Team Goals|Assists. Then I added salary info for selected individuals. I left the labels off to save space:
Where to begin. First some stuff not in these charts.
- Our second highest goal scorer Harrison scored 7 of his 10 in the first half of the season.
- Wallace scored all of his 4 by Game 13. Yes, our 4th highest goal scorer was goalless over the last 21 games.
Now let’s compare:
- With 5, 4 and 3 goals our 3rd, 4th and 5th best goal scorers compare mostly to Chicago and the Red Bulls. With everyone else there is a clear gap.
- With 10 goals our second best goal scorer is even with Portland and behind everyone else.
- NYCFC is the only team besides Chicago in this group without a double digit assist generator, though 9 and 9 from Villa and Maxi compare favorably to most teams’ top 2.
- Remember that on 2 metrics Chicago is one of the few teams NYCFC compares favorably with and they are eliminated.
To make it clearer, the next tables show (1) the ranking of the same teams by how many goals their 3-5 top scorers made, then (2) the ranking of the same teams by how many goals their 2-5 top scorers made. NYC comes in next-to-last and dead-last respectively. The last column in each chart is what percentage of each team’s goals that group generated:
Again, I love the guys who do the work that don’t make the scoring stats, but somebody does have to score the freaking goals. And NYCFC doesn’t have those guys beyond Villa.
Let’s look at previous editions of NYCFC. This is depressing.
- Our total goals this year are down by 6 from 2016. The difference between a half season of Lampard and his DP replacement is a loss of 7.
- I included Pirlo in 2016 just to show he is our only double digit assist maker in 3 years.
- 2017 McNamara is 2015 Ballouchy.
- 2017 Moralez is 2015 McNamara with more assists. Significantly more assists, but still. Both were the 3rd highest goal scorer with 5 goals. Maxi makes 10 times what TMac makes in 2017.
- With 3 goals, McNamara should not be in the 2017 top 5, but that’s not his fault. The problem is NYCFC doesn’t actually have 5 better goal scorers than him. Plus, he only played 53% of the team’s minutes. How does NYC not have 5 higher goal scorers than a guy who played barely more than half the time? Or 4 goal scorers better than that PLUS a guy who was goalless over 21 straight games?
- Shelton 2016 was a fluke or he regressed horribly. Take your pick. Or a combo pack.
- Who did Reyna and Vieira think would replace Lampard’s goals in 2017? Harrison? Moralez? Remember how much the team improved the second half of 2016 after Frank and Jack showed up? First half of 2016 27 goals. Second half 35. NYCFC needed that production.
- Jack played 21 games in 2016 and had 4 goals and 7 assists. The latter let Shelton edge him slightly which is why he’s not on the list. Jack played 21 games. Projected to 34 games you get 6.5 goals and 11.3 assists. He outperformed those projections on goals and under on assists. I can live with that type of development. He also came nowhere near to being a goal replacement for Lampard and it was crazy to think he would be. But if he was not supposed to do it, then who?
- Project Frank’s stats to 34 games and you get 21.5 goals and 5.4 assists. Project to the 29 games Maxi played and it comes to 18.3 and 4.6. Instead NYCFC got Maxi with 5 and 9.
- Maxi did not have an off year. Here are his stats from whoscored. I don’t know why the 2017 numbers differ from MLS but this is what we have:
- Maxi 2017 is exactly Maxi every other year. Actually better than some. There’s no reason to expect a jump up next year.
- Again. Maxi does lots of great things that don’t get him a goal or an assist, but he cannot be our 3rd highest goal scorer and 3rd highest paid player.
- Can Jack improve, so he gets 7 goals in both halves of the season, assuming he stays? Maybe. I can’t count on it.
- Maxi was a disastrous DP signing. Maybe he could have worked if NYCFC didn’t already have a DP who scored 1 goal in his only full season of contributions to us and was about to become fully useless. But a DP like Maxi is a luxury at best if you are already stacked with goal producers. As NYC does not.Maxi gives us half of what Vazquez creates for 3 times the price and a DP slot. Meram, Higuain, Villalba, Asad, Royer, Blanco all created more goals for less. Hell, Roldan is competitive at about 6% of the salary and no DP slot.
- Maxi can be a great contributing player on a team without MLS salary limits. Or maybe he can be like Bradley, a DP on a team with 2 DP scorers and a TAM who also produces. I don’t know what the hell he is doing here at this cost with this roster.
What does NYCFC do now?
- We’re not cutting Maxi. On top of what I wrote a few days ago about how it will hurt the team’s credibility, I have no reason to think the club is willing to eat $2 million.
- Our Pirlo replacement has to be a goal producer. I have no interest right now in a defensive DP, or some guy who is great at starting a buildup, or goes box to box but doesn’t score, or anything like that. This is even more true because Villa turns 36 next month and we have no idea when he will start to fade. I think one more year of excellence is likely, but far from a given. If he does fade even a shade next year and NYCFC does not get a true goal scorer, the team is toast.
- Do something with TAM. Do we even have a TAM player? After the DPs the highest paid player on our 2017 list is Mix at $770k and he doesn’t count. The next highest is Chanot at $383k. Where is our Vazquez for $700k? What are we doing with it? Why are buying down nobody?
- Maybe try playing Lewis?
- The only reason I wouldn’t can Reyna is the hope we sign his kid in the next 12 months.
In the 14 games in which Pirlo has played 50 or more minutes NYCFC scores 1.21 goals and gets 1.07 PPG.
In the 16 games where Pirlo does not play 50 minutes NYCFC scores 2.06 goals and gets 2.31 PPG.
In the 16 games in which McNamara has played 50 or more minutes NYCFC scores 1.47 goals and gets 1.53 PPG.
In the 14 games where McNamara does not play 50 minutes NYCFC scores 1.87 goals and gets 1.93 PPG.
In the 25 games in which Ring has played 50 or more minutes NYCFC scores 1.76 goals and gets 1.76 PPG.
In the 5 games where Ring does not play 50 minutes NYCFC scores 1.20 goals and gets 1.60 PPG.
In the 10 games in which Herrera has played 50 or more minutes NYCFC scores 2.10 goals and gets 2.50 PPG.
In the 20 games where Herrera does not play 50 minutes NYCFC scores 1.45 goals and gets 1.35 PPG.