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Lamar Neagle provides best value in MLS… as effectiveness and cost measured

Nov 11, 2013, 2:05 PM EST

MLS FC Dallas Sounders Soccer AP

This is pretty interesting stuff.

Over at Business of Soccer, the guys have been busy finding out exactly which MLS player has provided the best value for money over the 2013 regular season.

And the winner is… Seattle Sounders attacker Lamar Neagle. Are we surprised?

What these clever clogs did was take the Castrol Index used by Major League Soccer to measure a players meaningful movements and contributions in every game and put it up against their salary released by the MLS Players Union.

(PART I – How Opta altered the Premier League, and soccer, forever)

That then comes out with which players scored the most points per dollar that he is paid, and Neagle came out on top with every point he tallied on the Castrol Index costing $71.

“But Joe, what about the big name players?” I hear you cry…

Well, according to this ranking the league’s Designated Players are way down the list in value for money, for example every point Thierry Henry has on the Castrol Index costs $6,388.

(PART II – Opta and MLS – a beautiful game they play)

Some of the other players with the best value in MLS are New York Red Bulls ‘keeper Luis Robles and New England duo of Jose Goncalves and Diego Fagundez.

No matter how big an emphasis you put on numbers in sport, you have to admit this kind of research and analysis is making waves in the soccer world. The guys over at Business of Soccer could be on to something here.

I spent plenty of time with Sports data company Opta last month and they are the people behind the Castrol Index, along with MLS, to try and get the most accurate readings of the most efficient players across the league.

So many numbers, but so worthwhile if you can use them correctly.

  1. talgrath - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Neagle gets paid virtually nothing, but he’s scored almost as many goals as Obafemi Martins and just 1 less than Eddie Johnson. Sure, one or the othre have been away due to injury or call-ups for much of the season, but he’s a good striker with a nose for goal, even if he isn’t necessarily technically skilled. In a lot of ways, Neagle reminds me of Wondolowski, just not quite as experienced (yet).

  2. Sometimes Interesting - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Neagle is a great value.

    Not to defend Henry, but something this metric won’t account for is jersey & ticket sales, which sometimes validate spending such amounts on players (Keane, Beckham, Henry, Dempsey, etc).

  3. Michael - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    It’s VERY important to note that only the Top 25 were ranked.

    Had all of the regular starters in the league been ranked, it’s likely the multimillionaires would be near the bottom of THAT list too, demonstrating clearly that the value of expensive DPs isn’t on-field play.

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