MLS Penalty Statistics (1999-2006)
|I posted about the 2006 numbers in September. Now that we're in the offseason, we can take a look at penalties throughout the years. First, let me say that the numbers I have for the 1996-8 seasons are incomplete, as the MLSnet statistics are unreliable (trust me). That's especially true for the penalties earned stat. They're definitely missing a few penalties, and I don't want to have incomplete data, so I'm leaving those years out.|
Penalties Per Game
This has remained pretty consistent, about one every three games, although I don't know what happened in 1999. I believe that there were a lot of red cards given out that year; maybe that had something to do with it. I don't know about last year, which had a very low rate of pks.
But it may not be that low. The Wikipedia article on penalties states that last year the Premiership had a rate of 0.21. Then there's the 2006 World Cup. FIFA's site lists 13 penalty goals, and I know Gyan missed for Ghana. Any other misses? 14/64 is only 0.22.
I was surprised to see how many more penalties are called for home teams, but it makes sense when you realize that home teams do better and score more goals overall. Last year appears to be out of whack though.
Handball Percentage (of Total Penalties)
This is another stat that I bet no one has thought to look at before. Why all the handballs in 2001? Is it just making up for the few called in 2000? Actually, there may have been a low handball percentage of total penalties in 2000, but 6 in 192 games is the same rate as 1999. Although 2001 had fewer games than any other year, so that makes it even weirder.
It's also amazing when you think about it, that only 6 handballs were called for penalties in each of the past two years. That's only one in every 32 games. Seems like it happens way more often, probably because it's so controversial.
It's been around 80% for four years now, which is pretty good. Wikipedia says that last year, the Premiership's rate was 73%. Also, the German rate for 16 years worth of data was 76%.
Most Penalties Earned (1999-2006)
Now this is a stat that should be a staple in soccer. Every time a player earns a penalty, he's basically giving his team 0.8 of a goal. So guys like Wolff or Simutenkov may have gotten more recognition if this was around. I see no reason why it shouldn't be widespread, after all, MLS used to have the players who caused and earned penalties on their big list of pks on the stats page. They no longer do that for some reason.
Overall, I believe Cobi Jones is still the all time leader. If you add in the 1996-8 incomplete data that I have, Jones and Wolff would both have 13. But it's likely that Jones has another one that I' missing given his form over those years. Moreno has at least 12, as well.
The single season record is 4, held by Diallo (2001, 2002) Serna (2000), and Simutenkov (2002).
Team For & Against (1999-2006)
Chicago and New York have benefited the most, while Columbus and Dallas have seen the calls go against them.