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Designated Player Watch: The Statistical Impact Of MLS DPs In 2012

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With the recent rash of Designated Player signings in MLS before the end of the transfer window, we thought it would be a good idea to look at their statistical impact on the league.

There are now 31 DPs in MLS, 27 of whom have played in at least one MLS match so far this season. So let's review some of the stats:

DPs per MLS team: 1.63 (Teams with no DPs: Colorado Rapids, San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting Kansas City)

Goals by DPs: 92

Assists by DPs: 70

Percentage of MLS Goals by DPs: 17.7

Percentage of MLS Assists by DPs: 14.3

Percentage of MLS Points by DPs: 16.1

Average Minutes Played by DP: 1,044.7

Average Goals Per DP: 3.4

Average Assists Per DP: 2.59

Average Points Per 90 Per DP: 0.52

Average Match Impact Rating*: 32.25

Here's some of the individual DP leaders:

Most Minutes: Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake, 1,777 (MLS Rank, 24)

Most Goals: Saborio, RSL, 13 (MLS Rank, 2)

Most Assists: David Beckham, LA Galaxy, 9 (MLS Rank, 2)

Most Points: Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls, Landon Donovan, Galaxy, 16 (MLS Rank, 2)

Points Per 90 Minutes: Henry, Red Bulls, 1.29 (MLS Rank, 1)

Match Impact Rating* (min. 1,000 minutes played): Henry, 56.8 (MLS Rank, 1)

DPs don't always pan out and the average production by DPs this season is not so impressive. However, if your team picks the right DP, the benefits are certainly there. Four of the top five scoring teams in MLS this season have at least one DP. Three of the top five teams in points per match in the standings also have at least one DP. Even the two teams with the worst points per match have seen significant production from DPs. Toronto FC has gotten nearly half their 24 goals this season from Danny Koevermans (9) and Torsten Frings (2). Kris Boyd has 36.8% of Portland's goals in 2012.

*For a introduction to the Offensive Match Impact Rating, see our post on it here.