Crunching Numbers: An Examination of Louisville City Player Statistics
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
I enjoy statistics (which you may be able to tell from the content of my tweets) so digging into player stats has been something I’ve been wanting to do. I’ve recently gotten ahold of a data set which I used to put together a few visuals I thought I’d share along with a few of my thoughts on them. Hope you enjoy!
A few notes on these stats; these are the numbers according to FBRef.com for the 2015 – 2019 regular seasons (no playoff, Open Cup, etc. data). While there is (more expansive) data available on the USL website, it does not contain 2015 and 2016 which I really wanted included. I am not aware of and historic data made available on the clubs website (hoping they eventually rectify this). I’ll be continuing to look for better data sources and hopefully repeating this exercise again with more data at my disposal.
Matches Played and Starts
In a league with fairly heavy annual roster turnover, I am happy that we have been a club that have been able to maintain a consistent core of players at any given time. In the above chart, you will see many of the club’s staple players such as Niall, George, and Oscar. I found it interesting to see the starts discrepancies between the regulars and some of our super subs like Ilija Ilic, Luke Spencer, and Richard Ballard. A number of these players are still on the roster so it will be fascinating to see how this breakdown evolves over times.
Shots On Target
The data set that I got ahold of did not have shot counts for the entire time range; However it did have shots on target (SoT) and that is more interesting anyways. Many names that you would expect lead in this category. What I really caught my eye was the variation in the SoT per match. My eyes are instantly drawn to Matt Fondy’s very high1.86 SoT per match. Only two others break 1.0 (Cameron Lancaster and Chandler Hoffman). That spike really is a testament to how dominate he was in the one season he spent with us. Lucky Mkosana was not on the team for a long time but he did manage a higher rate at 0.8. Current players like Abdou Thiam and Antoine Hopppenot also have averages creeping up; However all three do suffer a bit from small sample size. We’ll see how that normalizes over time for those still with us. The second interpretation of SoT help to even further drive home how many more SoT Cam has compared to the rest and how big of a gap there is between Fondy’s rate compared to everyone else.
Goal totals are likely nothing shocking to the regular Lou City follower. Cameron Lancaster continues to add to his total with each passing game. Before putting this together, I did not realize how many goals George Davis has contributed to the squad. Brian Ownby is conspicuously absent from the upper half (Kyle Smith and Paco Craig are both beating him here). When you look at it from a goals per match perspective, again, Matt Fondy’s 2015 season jumps right off the page. Magnus’ rate was a bit less than I would have guessed it to be. Napo’s little outlier average on the far right is another intriguing observation. Curious to see if that slightly inflated rate is something that can be maintained.
Goals Per Shot On Target
Now let’s take a look at goals and SoT. The goal leaders’ averages are about what you would expect. It’s the infrequent scorers’ numbers which is interesting here. Napo’s goals per SoT is a wild 0.83, 0.2 more than the next closest. Oscar has one of the lower ratings although he operates more in a defensive capacity. He is tied with Brian Ownby who should be much higher. It’s not all about shots and goals but for someone who spends most of the time on the offensive end you’d like to see that come up a bit.
Oscar is the team’s assist leader with 22 and a respectable 0.23 assists per match. Ilija Ilic was a bit of a surprise to me coming in at 3rd. Unfortunately, 3 of our top 6 assist leaders are no longer with the club. Bryan Burke’s assist per match rate of 0.36 is impressive but another surprise on this visual with Matt Fondy with the 2nd highest.
Fouls and Yellow Cards
Here is a category where we would like to see the number low. Before getting the fouls visual together, 3 names came to mind and lo and behold all 3, Lucky, Napo, and Paco Craig, lead the pack. Lucky played with such intensity and physicality I was always afraid that he would get carded in the first ’15. Ownby’s rate was higher than anticipated. Paco ran away from the pack with his total yellow card count. Paolo Del Piccolo is also a frequent offender here. Pat McMahon has a pretty high rate; I hope that he doesn’t continue to keep pace with Paco.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this data! You can always tweet at me at PurpleSDF. It’s not everything I wanted to work with but interesting nonetheless. Perhaps I can find some more data to assess or just examine some of the info narrowed down to the season-level. Keep an eye out for more posts like this in the future!