The Seattle Sounders' Clint Dempsey has been voted Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month for April, unsurprising after the run he had scoring seven goals to take the Sounders to the top of the MLS table. He got 84.3% of the vote, with the LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane finishing fourth in voting with 3.58% of the vote.
Dempsey has also dominated the Castrol Index, 220 points above third place Robbie Keane. I asked the statisticians behind the Index to give us some insight on Keane's April performance. With Dempsey's goal-a-palooza, performances like Keane's can often be ignored. In the month of April, Keane jumped from twentieth on the list to his current third. That's a significant jump.
Partly handicapping Keane was lack of minutes. With the bye week, the Galaxy only had three matches giving Keane 270 minutes to work with. The stats guys called Keane a typical forward, in that his ratings will always depend almost exclusively on his shooting performance.
Keane's April was solid with three goals in three outings, good for a goal per ninety. His goals all came from inside the six-yard-box, converting high percentage shot opportunities. In April he had five more shots on target, four of them taken from inside the penalty area.
The other thing holding Keane back slightly in the index is his passing. Being good for a goal every time out in April certainly helps a player rating, but in the last match against Vancouver he lost 25% of his goal credit due to poor passing. The rest of his April matches weren't so bad, pulling the overall passing penalty up to 13%. Perhaps it can be blamed on the turf.
Keane's April was exactly what you want from a forward. His goals against Chivas and Vancouver at the StubHub! Center were match winners, and his goal at Vancouver would have been the match winner if not for a goal-of-the-week-class equalizer.
The Galaxy are going to need more of the same if they're going to get points on the road in May.