The Match Impact Ratings are in for MLS Cup 2012, and unsurprisingly Robbie Keane led the LA Galaxy with an MIR of 68.8. Keane, who has topped the MIR rankings repeatedly this season for the Galaxy was one for three on goal with two of those on target. He suffered two more fouls than he committed, and was called for offside once.
Keane of course toped MLS's player impact index as well, staving off Chris Wondolowski in the Castrol Index. Over the season Wondolowski scored goals at a remarkable clip, but Keane outplayed Wondo in just about every category. During the year Keane was eighth in MLS in on target shots per 90 averaging 0.86. Keane also performed better in duels won and in good passes.
One match is two small for percentages, but two out of three shots on target isn't bad. There was also the two disallowed goals, both which hit the back of the net and one which should have been allowed as Omar Gonzalez was called for a phantom foul. Robbie Keane has shown an incredible selection process, only pulling the trigger when he's certain he can hit the target.
"I wasn't really too frustrated," said Keane. "The first one was offside. You half know as a player and then I saw the replay. The second one was not a foul from Omar. We'd be talking about it if we lost the game, but we didn't so it doesn't matter."
Keane hit 19 of his 25 passes yesterday, and was 50% successful on his dribbles. With one more foul suffered than offside/fouls committed, Keane kept the ball for the Galaxy up in the offensive third. Of course, suffering the foul that sets up the match clinching penalty kick goal is what pushes him past Man of the Match Omar Gonzalez.
Omar Gonzalez also finished high in MIR yesterday, second on the team with 52.75. Gonzalez was one for two on shots and was even on his fouls caused and suffered. That a defender was that high on MIR shows you just how much Gonzalez meant to the Galaxy yesterday. Once he decided to get on the end of some of the free kicks that were coming in, the entire match changed for the Galaxy.
Moving down the list you've got Juninho at 46.5 and Donovan at 37.6. Donovan caused a foul and was called for offside twice without suffering an infraction, he also got a yellow card for time wasting. That (and his howler) keep Donovan from showing up higher. Juninho's assist turned the entire match around, but he was also in the negative on fouls.
Chippen was derided for playing poorly yesterday, but he managed to clock in at 35 on MIR. It's was David Beckham and Mike Magee (9.4 and 0 respectively) that failed to impress our spreadsheets.
The Castrol Index rightly rewarded Keane for all the other things he does for the offense beside simply scoring. That impact he has also has shown up in our MIR throughout the year and it was great of Castrol to send over some information that corroborated what I suspected all along.
Scoring at the rate that he did won Wondolowski MLS MVP, but Robbie Keane did more for the offense as a whole throughout the year. As was said on the broadcast yesterday, few would argue if you wanted to say Keane was the best player in the second half of the MLS season. Given that the Galaxy had the best record in the second half of the MLS season and ultimately their run to MLS Cup, it can be argued that the Galaxy's awful start made folk forget just how talented this team is.
In their note to me trying to quantify why Keane finished ahead of Wondo, Castrol told me that Wondo would have needed two or three more goals to pass Keane. That's how solid Keane was in the other offensive categories, Wondolowski would have had to shatter the MLS regular season goal record to beat him.
MIR is given to LAG Confidential by Patrick Johnston, and the Castrol Index is the property of MLS Soccer.