Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Foul Award Winners 2008

It's time once again to look at the official numbers for fouls committed and fouls suffered, and to put them in the context of "per 90 minutes" rather than just raw totals. Then, we can compare super-subs and iron men alike to figure out which MLS players took home the "foul awards" for 2008.

Here are the categories:

1. Most Fouls Committed
2. Least Fouls Committed
3. Most Fouls Suffered
4. Least Fouls Suffered
5. Most FC Compared to FS
6. Most FS Compared to FC
7. Most FC + FS
8. Least FC + FS

The only requirement I have is that players must have played 20% of the total number of minutes for the season. This year, that was 540 out of 2700. Also, no goalkeepers are considered, only field players.

Before I hand out any awards, I have to take a moment to note the total number of fouls in the league this season. I've mentioned this before, but every year there are always more fouls committed than suffered, likely due to handballs and things of that nature. This season, when you add up the team totals on the 2008 stats page on MLSnet, you get 5,221 FC compared to 4,880 FS. Plus, when you add up the individual player stats (which only list two goalkeepers, Louis Crayton and Dan Kennedy), you get 5,194 and 4,829. I wish they included the keepers.

Then there's the fact that the number of fouls per game is way down from past years. Actually, the total number of fouls committed is down from last year, despite 15 more matches. In fact, this year's numbers are about 3 fouls per game less than any other year. Just look at the chart below. Has MLS and its referees changed the way they called the games, or has the scorekeeping changed? Or maybe the style of play?


FC FS Diff Games FCPG FSPG
1996 4432 4386 46 160 27.70 27.41
1997 4583 4579 4 160 28.64 28.62
1998 5402 5132 270 192 28.14 26.73
1999 5551 5285 266 192 28.91 27.53
2000 6489 6236 253 192 33.80 32.48
2001 5211 4966 245 158 32.98 31.43
2002 4559 4364 195 140 32.56 31.17
2003 4836 4584 252 150 32.24 30.56
2004 4573 4348 225 150 30.49 28.99
2005 5670 5432 238 192 29.53 28.29
2006 5573 5297 276 192 29.03 27.59
2007 5524 5232 292 195 28.33 26.83
2008 5211 4880 331 210 24.81 23.24

So the numbers are what they are. I just analyze what's there. I started a thread on the referee forum on Bigsoccer, let's see what they have to say. Apparently refs have been instructed not to interrupt the flow of the game as much? Anyway, on to the awards.


1. Most Fouls Committed

And the winner is...




DC United's Rod Dyachenko. Zero goals in 2008 to go along with this. Goff said recently he should be waived. On the bright side, last year's winner of this award is now doing pretty well for the Montreal Impact.

2008 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC
1 Rod Dyachenko DC 3.479 776 30
2 Atiba Harris CHV 3.262 2014 73
3 Fred DC 2.663 1690 50
4 Justin Braun CHV 2.658 1219 36
5 Ely Allen LA 2.653 848 25
6 Alan Gordon LA 2.603 1314 38
7 Sinisa Ubiparipovic NY 2.521 821 23
8 Jozy Altidore NY 2.436 665 18
9 Carlos Marinelli KC 2.429 778 21
10 Kheli Dube NE 2.372 1252 33

Three rookies on the list. Harris makes his third straight top ten, while Gordon is here for the second time (2006).

All Time Winners

1996 Jose Vasquez LA
1997 Paul Keegan NE
1998 Paul Keegan NE
1999 Paulo Dos Santos NE
2000 Matt Okoh COL
2001 Matt Okoh NE
2002 Raul Palacios COL
2003 Carlos Ruiz LA
2004 Jesse Marsch CHI
2005 Brian Ching SJ
2006 Marcelo Saragosa LA/DAL
2007 Roberto Brown COL
2008 Rod Dyachenko DC


2. Least Fouls Committed

And the winner is...



Terry Cooke of the Colorado Rapids, only 5 fouls for the season. He has 21 fouls in 96 career MLS games, and he's now lead this category for the third straight year (with another top ten in 2005).

2008 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC
1 Terry Cooke COL 0.265 1698 5
2 Stephen King CHI 0.316 854 3
3 Michael Parkhurst NE 0.321 2520 9
4 Dax McCarty DAL 0.329 821 3
5 Jacob Peterson COL 0.354 762 3
6 Aaron Hohlbein KC 0.389 1158 5
7 Claudio Lopez KC 0.397 2265 10
8 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI 0.413 2398 11
9 Tomasz Frankowski CHI 0.430 628 3
10 Danleigh Borman NY 0.499 721 4

Parkhurst is Cooke's main rival year in and year out, never finishing lower than third.

All Time Winners

1996 Billy Thompson CLB
1997 David Patino COL
1998 Gerell Elliot DAL
1999 Kevin Knight NY
2000 Carlos Valderrama TB
2001 Robin Fraser COL
2002 Richard Farrer DAL
2003 Jesus Ochoa LA
2004 Kelly Gray CHI
2005 Michael Parkhurst NE
2006 Terry Cooke COL
2007 Terry Cooke COL
2008 Terry Cooke COL


3. Most Fouls Suffered

And the winner is...



Another DC player, Marcelo Gallardo. No surprise to see a playmaker win the award, though I'm surprised Blanco didn't pull a repeat. Too bad MG wasn't healthy more often.

2008 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FS
1 Marcelo Gallardo DC 3.333 1161 43
2 Herculez Gomez COL/KC 2.981 1238 41
3 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI 2.852 2398 76
4 Robbie Rogers CLB 2.815 2334 73
5 Kei Kamara SJ/HOU 2.726 1552 47
6 Davy Arnaud KC 2.585 2019 58
7 Guillermo Barros Schelotto CLB 2.559 2216 63
8 Alejandro Moreno CLB 2.558 2428 69
9 Kenny Mansally NE 2.390 979 26
10 Bruno Guarda DAL 2.299 822 21

Schelotto repeats from last year. But the interesting guy to pay attention to here is his teammate, Moreno. The target man has been on the top ten for 6 of the past 7 years. Arnaud and Gomez have also been here before, in perhaps their best seasons (2004 & 2005 respectively).

All Time Winners

1996 Giuseppe Galderisi NE/TB
1997 Damian DAL
1998 Diego Serna MIA
1999 Jason Moore DC
2000 DaMarcus Beasley CHI
2001 Onandi Lowe KC
2002 DaMarcus Beasley CHI
2003 Jose Cancela NE
2004 Davy Arnaud KC
2005 Alejandro Moreno SJ
2006 Jose Cancela NE
2007 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI
2008 Marcelo Gallardo DC


4. Least Fouls Suffered

And the winner is...



The Crew's 37 year old backup defender, Ezra Hendrickson. One FS in 688 minutes, which sets an all time record mark of 0.131 FS per 90 minutes. You can't say it's due to age, since this is the 6th time he's made the top ten in this category. But he knows a thing or two about winning championships.

2008 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FS
1 Ezra Hendrickson CLB 0.131 688 1
2 Clint Mathis RSL 0.153 590 1
3 Matias Mantilla RSL 0.162 554 1
4 Marco Velez TOR 0.228 1973 5
5 Duilio Davino DAL 0.276 1958 6
6 Craig Waibel HOU 0.289 1245 4
7 Jim Brennan TOR 0.292 2462 8
8 Abel Xavier LA 0.316 854 3
9 Michael Parkhurst NE 0.321 2520 9
10 Stephen Keel COL 0.333 540 2

Waibel is the only other player to make a top ten before; this is his fourth. Pretty shocking to see Mathis up there, huh?

All Time Winners

1996 Richard Weiszmann NE
1997 Joey Martinez DAL
1998 Kris Kelderman MIA
1999 Leo Cullen MIA
2000 Brian Johnson KC
2001 Edson Buddle CLB
2002 Zak Ibsen SJ
2003 Daouda Kante NE
2004 Hong Myung-Bo LA
2005 Kenny Cutler RSL
2006 Kelly Gray HOU
2007 Bobby Boswell DC
2008 Ezra Hendrickson CLB


5. Most FC Compared to FS

And the winner is...



Double awards for Rod Dyachenko. No surprise that the leader for fouls committed would also lead this category, although that's only the 4th time in 13 years that one man has led both. Dyachenko committed 2.204 more fouls per 90 minutes than he suffered.

2008 Top Ten



Team Per 90
Min FC FS FC FS
1 Rod Dyachenko DC 2.204 776 30 11 3.48 1.28
2 Carlos Marinelli KC 1.620 778 21 7 2.43 0.81
3 Wilman Conde CHI 1.594 1750 39 8 2.01 0.41
4 Ely Allen LA 1.486 848 25 11 2.65 1.17
5 Justin Braun CHV 1.477 1219 36 16 2.66 1.18
6 Joe Vide SJ/DC 1.458 864 21 7 2.19 0.73
7 Carlos Mendes NY 1.400 964 20 5 1.87 0.47
8 Kelly Gray COL/SJ 1.390 842 20 7 2.14 0.75
9 Alan Gordon LA 1.370 1314 38 18 2.60 1.23
10 Fred DC 1.278 1690 50 26 2.66 1.38

Gordon also made the top ten in 2006.

All Time Winners

1996 Curt Onalfo LA
1997 Cle Kooiman TB
1998 Cle Kooiman MIA
1999 Geoff Aunger DC
2000 Ricardo Iribarren DAL
2001 Brian Namoff DC
2002 Raul Palacios COL
2003 Diego Walsh CLB
2004 Simo Valakari DAL
2005 Esteban Arias CHV
2006 Marcelo Saragosa LA/DAL
2007 Roberto Brown COL
2008 Rod Dyachenko DC


6. Most FS Compared to FC

And the winner is...



The Chicago Fire's Cuauhtemoc Blanco wins here for the second straight year. Last year he blew everyone away with a winning number of -3.869, but this time he barely held off Gallardo.

2008 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC FS FC FS
1 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI -2.440 2398 11 76 0.41 2.85
2 Marcelo Gallardo DC -2.403 1161 12 43 0.93 3.33
3 Herculez Gomez COL/KC -1.672 1238 18 41 1.31 2.98
4 Robbie Rogers CLB -1.658 2334 30 73 1.16 2.81
5 Eddie Gaven CLB -1.558 1848 11 43 0.54 2.09
6 Guillermo Barros Schelotto CLB -1.543 2216 25 63 1.02 2.56
7 Davy Arnaud KC -1.516 2019 24 58 1.07 2.59
8 Taylor Twellman NE -1.412 1211 7 26 0.52 1.93
9 Jaime Moreno DC -1.402 1861 17 46 0.82 2.22
10 Alejandro Moreno CLB -1.297 2428 34 69 1.26 2.56

Several guys here have made mutiple appearances in the top ten: Arnaud (3rd) Gaven (3rd), J.Moreno (4th), and A.Moreno (4th). Twellman's been close to making the top ten many times, and this year he finally did it.

All Time Winners

1996 Giuseppe Galderisi NE/TB
1997 Damian DAL
1998 Gilmar TB
1999 Jason Moore DC
2000 DaMarcus Beasley CHI
2001 Onandi Lowe KC
2002 Brian McBride CLB
2003 Jose Cancela NE
2004 Jose Cancela NE
2005 Jose Cancela NE
2006 Jose Cancela NE
2007 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI
2008 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI


7. Most FC + FS

And the winner is...



The young and reckless Atiba Harris of Chivas USA. He's now claimed this category for the second time in three years.

2008 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC FS FC FS
1 Atiba Harris CHV 5.497 2014 73 50 3.26 2.23
2 Kei Kamara SJ/HOU 4.755 1552 35 47 2.03 2.73
2
Rod Dyachenko DC 4.755 776 30 11 3.48 1.28
4 Kheli Dube NE 4.529 1252 33 30 2.37 2.16
5 Jozy Altidore NY 4.466 665 18 15 2.44 2.03
6 Kenny Mansally NE 4.413 979 22 26 2.02 2.39
7 Herculez Gomez COL/KC 4.289 1238 18 41 1.31 2.98
8 Marcelo Gallardo DC 4.264 1161 12 43 0.93 3.33
9 Wells Thompson NE 4.237 786 17 20 1.95 2.29
10 Sinisa Ubiparipovic NY 4.166 821 23 15 2.52 1.64

This is always an interesting category to look at because you have guys here who have led both the most FC and most FS categories. You have your physical forwards up here too (such as the recently suspended for elbow-throwing Kei Kamara). Altidore was here last year as well.

All Time Winners

1996 Alberto Naveda NE
1997 Paul Keegan NE
1998 Evans Wise NE/TB
1999 Paulo Dos Santos NE
2000 Diego Serna MIA
2001 Onandi Lowe KC
2002 Alejandro Moreno LA
2003 DaMarcus Beasley CHI
2004 Andy Williams CHI
2005 Brian Ching SJ
2006 Atiba Harris RSL
2007 Andrea Lombardo TOR
2008 Atiba Harris CHV


8. Least FC + FS

And the winner is...



Mikey Fairplay himself, Michael Parkhurst of the New England Revolution. On average, he commits one foul and suffers one foul every third game. At this rate, he should be able to play until he's 50.

2008 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC FS FC FS
1 Michael Parkhurst NE 0.643 2520 9 9 0.32 0.32
2 Terry Cooke COL 0.742 1698 5 9 0.27 0.48
3 Stephen Keel COL 0.833 540 3 2 0.50 0.33
4 Duilio Davino DAL 0.919 1958 14 6 0.64 0.28
5 Aaron Hohlbein KC 0.933 1158 5 7 0.39 0.54
6 Jim Brennan TOR 0.950 2462 18 8 0.66 0.29
7 Claudio Lopez KC 0.954 2265 10 14 0.40 0.56
8 Danleigh Borman NY 0.999 721 4 4 0.50 0.50
9 Wade Barrett HOU 1.082 2328 18 10 0.70 0.39
10 Dax McCarty DAL 1.096 821 3 7 0.33 0.77

Parkhurst and Barrett make their 4th top ten, while Cooke makes his third. Parkhurst is just a bit off the record mark he set last year (0.614). One less foul either way would've set a new one.

All Time Winners

1996 Frank Yallop TB
1997 David Patino COL
1998 Leo Cullen MIA
1999 Leo Cullen MIA
2000 Eric Denton DC
2001 Leo Cullen MIA/NE
2002 Richard Farrer DAL
2003 Chris Brown KC/NE
2004 Kelly Gray CHI
2005 Clyde Simms DC
2006 Terry Cooke COL
2007 Michael Parkhurst NE
2008 Michael Parkhurst NE

Comments on "The Foul Award Winners 2008"

 

Anonymous tps said ... (9:12 PM, November 18, 2008) : 

Great work.

 

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