MLS & Penalty Shootouts
|Updated through the 2010 Superliga semifinals.|
Which MLS teams have had the most success in penalty shootouts? Which players would you most want to take a shot under pressure, and who do you want to stay far away from those situations? I've got the answers in this post.
For the long time MLS fans: This post doesn't include the hated MLS shootouts used from 1996-99 to decide tied regular season and playoff games. Just the regular ones used around the world.
A game with an MLS team has gone to a shootout (official competitions only) a total of 44 times. 17 of those games pitted two MLS sides against one another, so in total there have been 61 instances of a team having their players involved in one.
List of Penalty Shootouts Involving MLS Teams
The numbers on the right are the final score of the shootout. An "N" means that the game was played on neutral ground. OC = Open Cup, CC = Champions Cup, CL = Champions League, P = MLS playoffs, and SL = Superliga.
The most famous shootouts would have to be the ones that concluded the 2006 and 2009 MLS Cups. There's also four more finals that have been decided by pks, as well as the great DC-NE semifinal in 2004.
MLS teams are 15-12 in shootouts against non-MLS competition.
Overall, 216 MLS players have taken 335 shootout penalties, and have made 256 (76.42%).
A special mention needs to be made regarding Brian Grazier of the Rapids. He only played in one game, (a 2008 Open Cup qualifier in KC) but still took part in a shootout (and made his shot). The field player who's played the most games without taking part in one is Nick Garcia (it was previously C.J. Brown until last year's playoffs). If you exclude defenders, it's Dema Kovalenko.
The players you would most want to take a shot? Twelve players have taken at least 3 with a 100% scoring rate. Taylor Twellman is at the top of the list, going a perfect 5-for-5. The other current players you would want in your lineup are Chris Tierney, Chris Wondolowski, Pablo Mastroeni, Richard Mulrooney, and Robbie Findley (all 3-for-3).
The guys you would least want in there? Jay Heaps has the most overall misses with three (1-for-4, including the miss in the MLS Cup). His only successful shot was way back with the Miami Fusion. Only one player has taken more than one without scoring, Clint Dempsey (0-for-2). Ben Olsen was in this category, but he made his latest penalty in El Salvador last year (I was cringing watching him prepare for that shot).
Among active players, you wouldn't want Jaime Moreno or Pat Noonan (both 1-for-3 along with Olsen).
Here's the full list:
(includes only data with MLS teams)
Mauricio Cienfuegos, Carlos Ruiz
Abe Thompson, Chris Tierney, Chris Wondolowski, Clint Mathis, Diego Gutierrez, Pablo Mastroeni, Richard Mulrooney, Robbie Findley, Simon Elliot
Ante Razov, Chris Gbandi, Claudio Lopez, Craig Waibel, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Freddy Adu, Jeff Larentowicz, Jose Cancela, Junior Agogo, Kerry Zavagnin, Manny Lagos, Mehdi Ballouchy, Ned Grabavoy, Ramon Nunez, Robbie Russell, Ronald Cerritos, Ronnie O'Brien, Simo Valakari, Stuart Holden, Will Johnson, Zak Ibsen
Adolfo Valencia, Alain Sutter, Alan Gordon, Alecko Eskandarian, Alejandro Moreno, Amaechi Igwe, Andy Herron, Ben Iroha, Billy Walsh, Bobby Rhine, Brandon McDonald, Brian Carroll, Brian Grazier, Brian Kamler, Brian Loftin, Bryan Jordan, C.J. Brown, Carey Talley, Carlos Hermosillo, Chad Barrett, Chase Hilgenbrinck, Chris Albright, Chris Armas, Chris Henderson, Chris Pontius, Chris Rolfe, Chris Wingert, Christian Gomez, Claudio Suarez, Colin Clark, Damian, Daniel Peinado, Daniel Woolard, Danny Califf, Danny Szetela, David Beckham, Dominic Kinnear, Emmanuel Ekpo, Ezra Hendrickson, Frank Yallop, Fredy Montero, Gary Glasgow, Gregg Berhalter, Guillermo Jara, Henry Gutierrez, Herculez Gomez, Ian Russell, Isaias Bardales, Ivan Trujillo, Jack Jewsbury, James Riley, Jan Eriksson, Jason Garey, Jason Kreis, Jeff Cunningham, Jerzy Podbrozny, Jim Rooney, Joey Gjertsen, John Michael Hayden, John Wilmar Perez, Jorge Rodriguez, Kei Kamara, Kelly Gray, Kenny Cooper, Kenny Mansally, Kheli Dube, Kurt Morsink, Marc Burch, Mark Chung, Martin Machon, Mauricio Castro, Michael Harrington, Mike Petke, Miles Joseph, Nathan Sturgis, Nicolas Hernandez, Omar Cummings, Oscar Pareja, Pat Phelan, Paul Dougherty, Peguero Jean Philippe, Peter Vermes, Preki, Rafael Gomes, Ramon Sanchez, Ricardo Clark, Robert Warzycha, Roger Espinoza, Roland Aguilera, Ronnie Ekelund, Roy Wegerle, Ryan McMahen, Ryan Pore, Sacha Kijestan, Santino Quaranta, Sasha Victorine, Scott Bower, Shawn Medved, Steve Jolley, Steve Shak, Steve Zakuani, Terry Cooke, Todd Dunivant, Todd Yeagley, Tony Kuhn, Tony Sanneh, Troy Dayak, Tyrone Marshall, Ugo Ihemelu, Victor Mella, Zach Scott, Zach Thornton
Dwayne De Rosario, Kyle Beckerman, Peter Vagenas
Brian McBride, Cobi Jones, Jeff Agoos, Jimmy Conrad, Jovan Kirovski, Ramiro Corrales, Steve Ralston, Wade Barrett
Brian Ching, Landon Donovan
Andy Williams, Arturo Alvarez, Edson Buddle, Ivan Guerrero, Josh Wolff, Lubos Kubik, Marco Etcheverry, Mike Magee, Paul Caligiuri, Thiago, Wilman Conde
Ben Olsen, Jaime Moreno,
Abel Xavier, Aitor Karanka, Andy Dorman, Brad Davis, Brandon Prideaux, Chris Brown, Corey Ashe, Dario Sala, Duncan Oughton, Eric Wynalda, Fabian Espindola, Facundo Erpen, Francisco Palencia, Franco Caraccio, Geoff Cameron, Jason Farrell, Javier Morales, Jesse Marsch, John Thorrington, John Wilson, Joseph Ngwenya, Josh Gros, Juan Toja, Justin Mapp, Khano Smith, Krzysztof Krol, Logan Pause, Mauricio Ramos, Mike Banner, Mike Lapper, Pablo Ricchetti, Patrick Ianni, Raul Diaz Arce, Richard Gough, Roberto Mina, Tab Ramos, Tyson Wahl, Uche Okafor
Missed = those penalties hit high, wide, or off the crossbar or post. The percentage of penalties saved only includes those that were hit on target.