Jack McBean was top of the MLS Weekly Castrol Index list this past week, jumping up nineteen spots from last week. He climbed up there for his solid positioning, hold up play, and ability to find opportunities was credited with putting him atop the list. So does that mean McBean played better against Colorado than he did when he scored the goal against Chivas USA?
Certainly he played more minutes against Colorado. In those minutes his movement off the ball was excellent, but he didn't have a big moment like he had against Chivas. Let's take a look at McBean's goal against Chivas, and see who contributed the most to that goal being scored.
What you can't see in that cool field level camera is the build-up to the goal. The possession starts when A.J. DeLaGarza is fouled perhaps thirty-five yards out jostling with Juan Agudelo on a throw in. Sean Franklin takes the free kick quickly getting it over to Marcelo Sarvas, who feeds Juninho, who gets the ball to Robbie Keane at the corner of the box.
This is key because Keane ends up triple teamed with two other Chivas players within spitting distance. McBean is dead center in the box with one marker, Magee has two on him. So Keane sends the ball back to Juninho who reverses the field getting the ball to A.J. DeLaGarza.
Two players move to take on A.J. DeLaGarza, but the one between him and the goal gives A.J. the outside which DeLaGarza takes leaving him behind. The defender trailing A.J. goes to get a foot in, but DeLaGarza slides it down to Sean Franklin. Franklin takes his marker with him shooting the ball right back to DeLaGarza.
There are still four men between the ball and the goal not counting the man who went with Franklin to the touch line. DeLaGarza passes to Magee who's shot is unsurprisingly blocked by Carlos Borja. All Jack McBean has had to do thus far on this possession is stand in the middle of the box.
The ball takes a lucky path after the deflection, to the left of the Chivas defender block and within range for McBean's head. He still has two players standing on the touchline, Kennedy and a Chivas defender, to beat with the shot. It's a floater just past Kennedy's arms and into the back of the net.
In short minutes scoring a goal McBean was bound to look good by our Match Impact Rating, and it showed good on the Castrol Index. To further illustrate the difference between the two metrics, in the same week the McBean earned top of the Castrol Index for his performance against Colorado he only managed a 1.8 in Match Impact Rating.
Contrast McBean's scoring play against Chivas with some of the shot attempts he had against Colorado. In the 36' Sean Franklin chases down a Juninho through ball and beats Colorado around the corner. McBean is the man up top and when his marker leaves to challenge Franklin, McBean is able to find space between two defenders to be able to one touch shot at Clinton Irwin. Unfortunately, Irwin saw what was happening and got himself in perfect position near post.
There was an opportunity in the 10th minute where McBean recognizes Marcelo Sarvas has intercepted the ball so gets himself in position to take a shot with two touches. Again Iriwn does a good job of closing down McBean's angle, saving the shot. Same thing happens in the eighty-fifth minute.
Jack McBean had great movement against Colorado and tops the Castrol Index for the week, while his finishing wasn't that great and he ends up at the bottom on the Match Impact Rating list. So was his performance against Colorado great or subpar?
In the end, I think it's more about an event based metric versus a predictive once. The Castrol Index tells us that McBean is moving well off the ball and that is a good sign that goals are on their way. Match Impact isn't saying McBean is incapable of goals, just on the night McBean didn't factor the same way some of the other players did.
Marcelo Sarvas who earned the penalty got an MIR of 19.1 for being elbowed in the face, Mike Magee got 38.6 for scoring the goal. Interesting Magee actually fell in the overall Castrol Index seven spots despite scoring against Colorado.
It's all a matter of what you value.
Match Impact Rating is graciously given to LAG Confidential each week by Patrick Johnston.