Monday, November 02, 2009

MLS Foul Awards 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of the year again. The regular season is over, so now we can look at the official numbers for fouls committed and fouls suffered and put them in the context of "per 90 minutes" rather than just raw totals. Which players will lead in the eight categories below?

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

Rules:
  • Players must have played 20% of the season, in minutes. This year, that was 540 out of 2700.
  • Field players only, no goalkeepers.

Total Fouls (1996-2009):


FC FS Diff Games FC FS
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
2009 5146 4729 417 225 22.87 21.02

As you can see, this year and last the number of fouls called is way down. Refs have been instructed to not interrupt the flow of the game as much, for better or worse. That explains the Seattle-Houston game last week, huh?

Why the difference in FC and FS? First of all, stats for goalkeepers haven't been listed since 2004. That would only make up a couple dozen fouls, though. I can only assume it's due to handballs.

Also, remember for this table that the average length of a game in 2000-3 was a bit longer due to OT. Now, on to the awards.


1. Most Fouls Committed

And the winner is...



Rookie forward Quincy Amarikwa of the San Jose Earthquakes. Would you have guessed that he commits the most fouls per 90 minutes? The last two recipients of this award were not in the league the next year; I think he'll break that streak.

2009 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC
1 Quincy Amarikwa SJ 3.588 602 24
2 Alan Gordon LA 2.911 1175 38
3 Steven Lenhart CLB 2.789 1065 33
4 Conor Casey COL 2.674 2087 62
5 Eduardo Lillingston CHV 2.637 1263 37
6 Edson Buddle LA 2.582 1255 36
7 Pablo Campos SJ/RSL 2.582 1011 29
8 Ben Olsen DC 2.363 1371 36
9 Marcelo Saragosa DAL/CHV 2.335 1272 33
10 Cam Weaver SJ/HOU 2.332 772 20

Gordon's name should be no surprise - this is his third time in the top ten (2006, 2008). Same thing for Olsen and Saragosa, grizzled veterans of the fouls committed category. They're here for the 5th and 4th times respectively.

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
2009 Quincy Amarikwa SJ


2. Least Fouls Committed

And the winner is...



The two-time winner of the MLS Fair Play Award, New England's Steve Ralston. This is his 4th top ten appearance in this category. Ralston should probably thank Rapids coach Gary Smith in his acceptance speech. Smith released the three-time defending champion, Terry Cooke. Cooke was on pace for a top ten appearance, but didn't have enough minutes to qualify. Who knows if he could've won again?

2009 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC
1 Steve Ralston NE 0.233 1543 4
2 Jacob Peterson COL 0.239 1131 3
3 Justin Mapp CHI 0.267 1013 3
4 Eric Denton SJ 0.336 803 3
5 Richard Mulrooney HOU 0.357 1260 5
6 Steve Zakuani SEA 0.406 1993 9
7 Brian McBride CHI 0.413 1963 9
8 Josh Tudela LA 0.424 637 3
9 Kelly Gray SJ 0.427 632 3
10 Sebastien Le Toux SEA 0.432 1457 7

Peterson's here for a second straight year in the top ten, while Denton/Gray/McBride also all made their second top tens.

All Time Winners

1996 Billy Thompson CLB
1997 David Patino COL
1998 Gerell Elliot DAL
1999 Kevin Knight NY
2000 Carlos Valderrama TB
2001 Robert 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
2009 Steve Ralston NE


3. Most Fouls Suffered


And the winner is...



Seattle Sounders designated player Freddie Ljungberg. This award has now gone to a DP in each season since the rule was passed.

2009 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FS
1 Freddie Ljungberg SEA 3.284 1836 67
2 Fredy Montero SEA 2.517 2217 62
3 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI 2.417 1452 39
4 Macoumba Kandji NY 2.414 1752 47
5 Javier Morales RSL 2.384 2076 55
6 Ben Olsen DC 2.298 1371 35
7 Santiago Hirsig KC 2.218 2110 52
8 Pablo Vitti TOR 2.182 1650 40
9 Robbie Rogers CLB 2.159 1709 41
10 Brian Ching HOU 2.150 1549 37

Blanco's finished in the top three in each of his MLS seasons. Rogers is back for a second consecutive season, while Ching and Olsen make their 4th top tens. Olsen completes a double by being in the top ten for both fouls committed and suffered. That's not exactly rare, however. Adam Cristman, Danny Dichio, and Andrea Lombardo all did it in 2007.

Reigning MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto made the past two top tens in 2007-8. Where is he now? 32nd, right after A.J. DeLaGarza. Alejandro Moreno, who's normally a lock for this top ten, was only 13th. His teammate Steven Lenhart, who started over him in the playoff opener, was right up there at 19th.

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
2009 Freddie Ljungberg SEA


4. Least Fouls Suffered

And the winner is...



Chivas USA defender Shavar Thomas has not only won the award, he's also set an all time record. He was only fouled once in 1,459 minutes of playing time; that should be pretty hard to break. Thomas and runner up Sam Cronin both eclipsed Ezra Hendrickson's record which lasted all of one year.

2009 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FS
1 Shavar Thomas CHV 0.062 1459 1
2 Sam Cronin TOR 0.076 2363 2
3 Chris Tierney NE 0.172 1044 2
4 Jim Brennan TOR 0.218 2478 6
5 Simon Elliott SJ 0.219 1234 3
6 Darrius Barnes NE 0.233 2700 7
7 Bobby Burling CHV/SJ 0.252 713 2
8 Scott Palguta COL 0.257 1749 5
9 Josh Tudela LA 0.283 637 2
10 Aaron Pitchkolan DAL/SJ 0.285 631 2

Thomas also made the top ten in 2003. Brennan and Pitchkolan are here for a second time also.

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
2009 Shavar Thomas CHV


5. Most FC Compared to FS

And the winner is...



San Jose's Quincy Amarikwa wins his second award. He committed 2.093 more fouls per 90 minutes than he suffered. For the fourth straight year, the winner of Most FC also wins Most FC compared to FS. You'd think that happens every year, but it actually never happened in the league's first ten seasons.

2009 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC FS FC FS
1 Quincy Amarikwa SJ 2.093 602 24 10 3.59 1.50
2 Rodney Wallace DC 1.629 2265 52 11 2.07 0.44
3 Jovan Kirovski LA 1.498 1202 30 10 2.25 0.75
4 Eduardo Lillingston CHV 1.496 1263 37 16 2.64 1.14
5 Edson Buddle LA 1.434 1255 36 16 2.58 1.15
6 Aaron Pitchkolan DAL/SJ 1.426 631 12 2 1.71 0.29
7 Yamith Cuesta CHV 1.374 786 15 3 1.72 0.34
8 Julius James HOU/DC 1.334 1214 25 7 1.85 0.52
9 Atiba Harris CHV/DAL 1.178 2139 55 27 2.31 1.14
10 Andy Iro CLB 1.141 631 12 4 1.71 0.57

I know Kirovski gets bashed a lot already, but shouldn't a creative player like him (right?) do better in this category? Second top tens for Harris/Pitchkolan (both 2007).

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
2009 Quincy Amarikwa SJ


6. Most FS Compared to FC

And the winner is...



Three years, three wins in this category for the Chicago Fire's Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who just edges out Ljungberg. The winning number of 1.798 more FS per 90 minutes than FC is by far the lowest #1 total in league history, 26% lower than Blanco's total last year (the previous low #1).

2009 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC FS FC FS
1 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI -1.798 1452 10 39 0.62 2.42
2 Freddie Ljungberg SEA -1.765 1836 31 67 1.52 3.28
3 Amaechi Igwe NE -1.290 628 5 14 0.72 2.01
4 Santino Quaranta DC -1.272 1769 15 40 0.76 2.04
5 Justin Mapp CHI -1.244 1013 3 17 0.27 1.51
6 David Ferreira DAL -1.170 2692 23 58 0.77 1.94
7 Brian McBride CHI -1.100 1963 9 33 0.41 1.51
8 Javier Morales RSL -1.084 2076 30 55 1.30 2.38
9 Mike Banner CHI -1.051 942 6 17 0.57 1.62
10 Jair Benitez DAL -0.935 1155 10 22 0.78 1.71

Look at all the Fire players. Does this mean they're a creative team, or just soft? They did win the team fair play award this year by a wide margin. Mapp (5th) and McBride (7th) make this top ten on what seems like a yearly basis. Also, Igwe...really? He did barely qualify with 628 minutes, so I wonder how a full season would look.

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
2009 Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI


7. Most FC + FS

And the winner is...



San Jose's Quincy Amarikwa is a triple winner. Sure it's a small sample size (602 minutes), barely over the 20% minimum, but rules are rules. The only other player to win three foul awards in a single year was Onandi Lowe of KC in 2001. Lowe played over 1,000 minutes that year and set a record for the highest fouls suffered rate, which is a pretty good accomplishment. The interesting thing will be watching Amarikwa next year and seeing if this holds up.

2009 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC FS FC FS
1 Quincy Amarikwa SJ 5.083 602 24 10 3.59 1.50
2 Alan Gordon LA 5.055 1175 38 28 2.91 2.14
3 Freddie Ljungberg SEA 4.804 1836 31 67 1.52 3.28
4 Steven Lenhart CLB 4.732 1065 33 23 2.79 1.94
5 Ben Olsen DC 4.661 1371 36 35 2.36 2.30
6 Macoumba Kandji NY 4.623 1752 43 47 2.21 2.41
7 Conor Casey COL 4.442 2087 62 41 2.67 1.77
8 Fredy Montero SEA 4.425 2217 47 62 1.91 2.52
9 Pablo Campos SJ/RSL 4.362 1011 29 20 2.58 1.78
10 Cam Weaver SJ/HOU 4.080 772 20 15 2.33 1.75

Atiba Harris, where have you gone? Alas, the two-time former winner only could finish 27th this year. If the pattern holds, he should again be first in 2010. The only previous top ten finisher is Olsen; it's his 7th top ten here! A warrior for sure.

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
2009 Quincy Amarikwa SJ


8. Least FC + FS

And the winner is...



The second rookie to claim an award, Sam Cronin of Toronto FC. He was second to Shavar Thomas in fouls suffered, but here he's second to none. Like Thomas, he also sets an all time record by being involved in only 0.533 fouls per game either way.

2009 Top Ten



Team Per 90 Min FC FS FC FS
1 Sam Cronin TOR 0.533 2363 12 2 0.46 0.08
2 Josh Tudela LA 0.706 637 3 2 0.42 0.28
3 Jacob Peterson COL 0.716 1131 3 6 0.24 0.48
4 Eric Denton SJ 0.785 803 3 4 0.34 0.45
5 Simon Elliott SJ 0.802 1234 8 3 0.58 0.22
6 Scott Palguta COL 0.823 1749 11 5 0.57 0.26
7 Darrius Barnes NE 0.833 2700 18 7 0.60 0.23
8 Chris Tierney NE 0.862 1044 8 2 0.69 0.17
9 Sean Franklin LA 0.880 1125 7 4 0.56 0.32
10 Bobby Burling CHV/SJ 0.884 713 5 2 0.63 0.25

Cronin is taking over this award for fellow Wake Forest alumni Michael Parkhurst. Denton makes a second top ten appearance in this category.

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
2009 Sam Cronin TOR


Further Reading

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Comments on "MLS Foul Awards 2009"

 

Anonymous tps said ... (2:46 PM, November 02, 2009) : 

Shouldn't "Most Fouls Suffered" also be known as "Best Diver"? Look at the rogue's gallery filling much of the alltime list.

 

Blogger James said ... (10:44 AM, November 05, 2009) : 

awesome work. i always like to know who the thugs are

 

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