Home MLS Toronto FC Breaking down TFC’s 2012 season, player by player

Breaking down TFC’s 2012 season, player by player


We broke down the Whitecaps, now we break down Toronto FC.

We looked back at Toronto FC’s disastrous 2012 campaign, but we broke down the games minute by minute. From that, we came up with a goal difference for every player on the Reds, similar to a plus-minus in hockey. And, we also looked at the Reds’ record when each player on the team was utilized as either a starter or a sub.

(For more on our methodology, check out the Vancouver Whitecaps recap. Click HERE)

We did not include the CONCACAF Champions League or Amway Canadian Championship in this statistical snapshot. This only includes MLS regular-season matches.

Reggie Lambe

But this is what we can glean from the numbers:

• Only three players played the full 90 in all five of Toronto FC’s MLS victories: goalkeeper Milos Kocic, striker Ryan Johnson and fullback Ashtone Morgan. Richard Eckersley played in all five wins, but came in as a sub in one of them. Doneil Henry also played in all five wins (two sub appearances)

• Ryan Johnson had the worst plus/minus on the team, at -25. Eckersley came in at -24. Bad numbers, but mitigated by the amount of time they spent on the field playing for a bad team.

• One TFC player actually had a plus performance. In all the minutes Nick Soolsma spent on the field in MLS play, TFC was a +1 in goal difference.

• Eric Hassli didn’t play in a TFC win, but finished even on goal difference. Hassli started and was subbed off in three draws. In two of those matches, he left the game with TFC in the lead — and those leads were enough to get him to even.

• TFC did not win in 14 games in which Reggie Lambe played a full 90. He had the fourth worst goal difference on the team, at -20.

• In just 15 games, eight of them sub appearances, Andrew Wiedeman “achieved” a goal difference of -14.

• If Logan Emory (who had two red cards in 2012) could stay on the pitch for 90 minutes, TFC was .500.

• If Henry played 90, TFC was also .500. His -2 was very respectable in relation to his teammates.

• Darren O’Dea racked up a whopping -10 in just nine matches.

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  1. Stefan Caunter

    December 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    This also correlates with what was seen on the pitch. You are not accounting for the absence of Frings and Koevermans, which would affect things a lot. Soolsma only played with Koevermans on the squad, if I recall correctly, and was certainly a difference maker. O’Dea played with basically nobody helping him, and his numbers reflect that. Hall seems to have been a worse player than Lambe, but again, who did he have in front of him? Lambe could score and make plays, but the team just let in way too many goals. Really interesting analytical system. Is the data that forms the basis publically available?

    • Steven Sandor

      December 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      This was something that The 11 number-crunched, it wasn’t data that was created by someone else. Basically, in an era of Opta stats and possession percentages and pass accuracies, we felt the most important stats of all were being ignored. Does the team win when a certain player appears? Does the team give up more goals than it scores (or vice versa) when a certain player is on the field.

      I agree that some players are mitigated by small game samples (O’Dea) and the absence of other key players when they appeared in matches. But in cases like Lambe and Hall, we have some fairly large spreads of matches played, and the numbers are very negative. The fact that TFC won both games in which Hall started and then was subbed out suggests he’s a player you need to take out when protecting a lead, though that two-game sample is small.

      We just wanted to get fans thinking less about passing percentages and more about how each player contributes to the overall success of the team.

  2. businesstribal

    December 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Reggie Lambe… superb

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