Throughout the the year I kept tabs on Major League Soccer's "Team of the Week" (TotW) feature on their website MLSsoccer.com. How it works is that their staff selects a team of 11 players each week that they feel played the best over the previous week. On top of those eleven, they also pick another seven "bench" players.
This method works out to be about 10% or so of all players any given MLS round being selected for TotW or "bench". Armed with that knowledge I felt it might be interesting to sift through all the selections.
Here is how the Crew looked:
Higuain is the only Crew player that shows up alongside the rest. Actually, he's in the top eleven most mentioned players in this MLSsoccer.com feature.
A LITTLE DEEPER
Digging down a little deeper into this weekly list of best players tells me that 51% of all minute gaining players got a least a mention. 40% of those same players got a least one "Best XI" mention.
Perhaps this is a product of parity, maybe a dash of it hype... the remaining just right place right time. Either way, somebody has to make a selection.
The eleven players listed above are the top 2% of mentions. There is a lot to be said for that.
|51||New York Red Bulls||29||22|
|43||New England Revolution||27||16|
|40||Sporting Kansas City||24||16|
|38||Real Salt Lake||21||17|
|30||San Jose Earthquakes||21||9|
When looking at this by team you see that it mirrors the final table pretty well save for Houston and Seattle. Both of whom are a couple franchises that don't value the regular season as much as many might like.
Playoffs though, right? Houston anyway.
There is enough here to tell me that the folks that select this list do a pretty good job at picking the best performers week in / week out.
TO THE DEEP END
Having made the determination that this feature does an alright job at picking good players I decided to take a closer look efficiencies.
Like; If you were to just look Mentions per 90 minutes played (>900 league mins) it'd be Tim Cahill, Mike Magee, Jamison Olave, Deshorn Brown and Ike Opera in the top five. But that is "mentions".
A classy way to look at it is to just pull out Best XI per 90 minutes played.
|Best XI per 90||NAME||Team|
|0.23||Marco Di Vaio||(MTL)|
I'm guessing I could break this down further by matching up more advanced metrics but this is probably enough for now.
Are features like Best XI of the week something to take with a grain of salt? Yeah, probably. But take the selections over the course of a year and you get a really great idea of who the best are.