Who replaces Mike Magee in the immediate future for the LA Galaxy?

Victor Decolongon

A decision has to be made between Michael Stephens and Hector Jimenez on who takes Mike Magee's spot until Robbie Rogers is ready. But mostly, this is an argument against using Big Chances Created per ninety to describe anything.

In breaking down the Mike Magee for Robbie Rogers trade, Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle did a pretty fair job breaking down how it would change things on the pitch. The fact that Magee needs to be up top as a target man to continue to be an MLS leader in goals, that the Galaxy weren't going to use him that way, and that the club's biggest issue was distribution were all well thought out.

However, one of his points is that Hector Jimenez is leading MLS in big chances created per ninety. This isn't just mentioned in passing, but it's used to set up Jimenez as a pure wide midfielder. Then it's posited that Hector Jimenez is no Robbie Rogers.

I can't remember who said that statistics are used like a drunk uses a light post: more for support than illumination. I also don't believe that has to be true, just that statistics have to be combined with analysis. Jimenez wasn't Doyle's point there, but you can bet he'll be my point here.

First off, big chances per 90. The LA Galaxy midfielders who have recorded BCC this year are: Landon Donovan (5), Jimenez (3), Marcelo Sarvas (3). That Juninho doesn't have a BCC is strange. Hector Jimenez has played 298 minutes this year, while Donovan has played 569.

Donovan as such has .00879 big chances per ninety, while Jimenez has .01007 (rounding up at the fifth digit for both). Before you say that's a pretty useless figure, keep in mind that the "league leader" in BBB/90 averages less than one big chance created per ninety (Jimenez will give you .9 big chances created per ninety minutes).

Where did Jimenez' big chances created happen? There was one against Colorado at home on March 23rd and two at Real Salt Lake on April 27th. I wrote about how Jimenez' two BCC performance against Real Salt Lake didn't impress the Castrol Index as his passing rate was so poor. His two key passes, which MLS judged to be big chances, came on long passes from well outside the box. His assist was his only successful pass into the box and his only assist of the year.

So understand that Hector Jimenez leading MLS in big chances created per ninety has more to do with one performance against RSL that didn't impress the Castrol Index and subsequent lack of playing time, than it has to do with him being a solid contributor.

While Michael Stephens doesn't have Jimenez' BCC rate to brag about, I expect him to be the player who steps up with Magee gone and Robbie Rogers still working his way into the starting XI. Doyle is right that there's room for a wide player to roam in Arena's system. Just don't oversell the notion that Jimenez is doing well in the system.

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