Chris Wondolowski, Robbie Keane & historical MLS seasons

John Medina

Chris Wondolowski and Robbie Keane just had career-high seasons in goals in MLS, but how do they stack up against historically great MLS seasons? Using the Match Impact Rating, we'll compare Wondolowski and Keane to some of the best seasons MLS has seen.

Robbie Keane finished the 2012 regular season at the top of the Castrol Index and scored the 4th most goals in a season for a Designated Player in MLS history. Chris Wondolowski led the league in goals with 27, tying the record of Roy Lassiter. But how did Wondo and Keano's seasons compare to some of the best historical MLS seasons? We've already shown you where Keane and Wondolowski ranked this season in Match Impact Rating*. So now we'll compare their MIR to some great seasons of the past, Lassiter included.

MIR Comparison
Player Team Season MIR Goals Pts Per 90 Minutes
Diego Serna MIA 2001 71.6 15 1.37
Stern John CREW 1998 71.4 26 1.29
Damian DAL 1997 70.6 11 1.10
Taylor Twellman NE 2002 70.5 23 1.08
Cobi Jones LA 1998 69.4 19 1.35
Diego Serna MIA 1998 65.1 11 0.91
Jaime Moreno DC 1997 64.1 16 1.25
Landon Donovan LA 2008 59.3 20 1.22
Roy Lassiter TB 1996 54 27 1.08
Chris Wondolowski SJ 2012 45 27 1.09
Robbie Keane LA 2012 43.6 16 0.89

Wondolowski may have tied Lassiter for the record in goals and slightly edged him in points per 90 minutes, but Lassiter had big advantages in scoring chance percentage (35.5 to 21.3) fouls suffered per 90 minutes (1.36 to 0.80) which helped him to land a higher MIR. However, it was Diego Serna who may have had the greatest all-time MLS season, going by MIR. Serna racked up more points per 90 minutes than anybody else in the above table and suffered 3.27 fouls per 90 minutes to create chances for his team.

Of the Designated Players who scored more goals in a single season than Keane, only Donovan and Juan Pablo Angel did so at a higher points per 90 minutes (Donovan 1.22 in 2008 for the Galaxy, JPA 1.01 in 2007 for the New York Red Bulls). In addition, only Donovan had a higher MIR in a season (59.3, 2008) in which he outscored Keane's 16 goals in 2012.

We'll have more on historical MIR seasons in the future. For now let's look at Wondolowski and Keane in this season's playoffs.

Wondo & Keane 2012 Playoffs
Player Wondolowski Keane
Goals 0 2
Assists 0 0
Scoring % 0 20
Points Per 90 0 0.67
Shots Per 90 4 3.3
Shots On Goal Per 90 1 1.3
Fouls Committed Per 90 1.5 0.67
Fouls Suffered Per 90 0 0.67
Offside Per 90 0 0
MIR 0.13 32.2

Wondo, who was third in MIR during the regular season, had virtually no impact for the Quakes against the Galaxy in two matches and is done for the playoffs. Overall, Keane is playing below his regular season performance but is coming off a 2-goal match in the Galaxy's' 3-1 series-clinching victory over San Jose. Keane's MIR in that match was an 86.

*For a introduction to the Offensive Match Impact Rating, see our post on it here or take a listen to the podcast (#110).

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