Houston Dynamo statistics, the plusses and minuses.

Jermaine Taylor ranks at the top of the Houston Dynamo 2013 +/- list. Surprised? - Ned Dishman

Taking a look at the Houston Dynamo roster with a focus on +/- over the course of the entire season is an interesting way to breakdown the player's individual influences on the season.

Every professional sports scout knows there are two undeniable truths to finding talent.

  • The value of a player's skills can be determined through statistical analysis of the player's performances in certain game situations when factored over the course of an entire season.
  • The value of a player's intangibles cannot be determined through the same means.

The scouts, coaches and managers develop entire analysis systems around the figuring of a player's value. For the most part, those systems are pretty decent, but also pretty complex to the average fan. Take for instance Billy Beane and the Money Ball phenomenon.

His system...ok well, if you watch MoneyBall the movie you will see that it was never really "his" system but actually a system developed by an MBA who originally worked for the Boston Red Sox, but I digress.

His system broke down players into numbers, but more importantly it highlighted their individual influence on each game. A player, for instance, could positively or negatively impact games by how well they hit, how many runs they scored, how often they hit into double plays, how often they turned a double play, how many strikeouts they threw, etc.

The key to Billy Bean's system is what any professional scout knows, players are streaky, but over the course of a season or even multiple seasons the statistics will tend toward an average of the player's true ability. In other words, over time, a player's statistics will average out and you will be able to see their true talent.

Obviously, there will always be the importance of that second thing all professional scouts know, and that is also the single most difficult "stat" to analyze. Truth be told, that is why teams employ professional scouts and are willing to spend millions of dollars on player development. Super stars are born, but teams are developed.

The point of all of this is to introduce you to yet another evolution of Dynamo Theory as we strive to bring you not only the best place for Houston Dynamo news and updates, but also a place where fans can dissect the game together, and however they like to do so. Personally, I am not a stat hound, but I love to look at a player's impact over the course of a season.

With this in mind, over the last few days I asked Francisco, one of our beloved readers who happens to love numbers, to work through the entire season and break down player's into a +/- stat. This stat is used heavily in hockey to determine a player's influence on how a team performs when he is on the ice versus when he is not.

The +/- statistic is figured by assigning a + or - when a player is on the field and either his team scores a goal (+) or concedes a goal (-) . To visualize this, if Kofi Sarkodie is on the field for an entire game and the Dynamo score two goals while conceding one goal, he would end up with a +1 for the game. If Brian Ching came into the match with the score line at 0-1 in favor of the opposition, and was on the field for the two Dynamo goals then he would up with a +2 for the game. The same holds true for the opposite results, too.

Instead of sharing the whole spreadsheet right now, I wanted to offer up just a simple list of the entire Dynamo roster who have seen the field at some point this season (in MLS matches only, no USOC or CCL) ranked by and including their overall season +/-.

Fear not, I will post the entirety of the spreadsheet in the offseason, at which point Francisco will also hopefully have made progress through breaking down all of MLS by +/- for our statistical devouring.

For now, feast your eyes upon the below list, and let me know your thoughts.

1)                  Jermaine Taylor

+10

2)                  Boniek Garcia

+10

3)                  Ricardo Clark

+5

4)                  Bobby Boswell

+3

5)                  Corey Ashe

+3

6)                  Brad Davis

+2

7)                  Cam Weaver

+2

8)                  Tally Hall

+1

9)                  Kofi Sarkodie

+1

10)               Brian Ching

+1

11)               Omar Cummings

+1

12)               Servando Carrasco

+1

13)               Will Bruin

Even

14)               Adam Moffat

Even

15)               Anthony Arena

Even

16)               Luis Camargo

-1

17)               Brian Ownby

-1

18)               Alex Dixon

-1

19)               Warren Creavalle

-2

20)               Giles Barnes

-3

21)               Eric Brunner

-3

22)               Andrew Driver

-4

23)               Jason Johnson

-4

24)               Mike Chabala

-4

25)               Alexander Lopez

-4

Looking at this list, do you see any that really stand out to you? Any speculation on the discrepancies for some players compared to others?

UPDATE: There was a calculation error by our StatMan. Moffat should be a +2 and Creavalle should be a -3. Our apologies.

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