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Key MLS stats: Aaron Boupendza gets dropped, the value of goalkeeping & more

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9 min read
FC Cincinnati

Former FC Dallas data analyst Arman Kafai breaks down a set of insightful stats from around MLS.

Stats courtesy of FBref, Opta, and American Soccer Analysis.

Aaron Boupendza, -0.06

What on earth is going on with Aaron Boupendza, one of the big-time DPs in Cincinnati? 

After signing last summer and providing a real boost, the Gabon international has been benched in both of the last two games (a pair of 2-1 wins for Cincy). To make matters worse for Boupendza, his team’s xG in those matches was the highest of the season. Oh, and don’t forget the club has signed Kevin Kelsy, a 19 year-old forward on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk.

It’s been really difficult for Boupendza to get going. In the two losses right before he was benched, FC Cincinnati played against the Red Bulls (with the best defense in MLS based on non-penalty xG allowed) and CF Montreal (in their first home game of the season). He produced only one shot in those two games, 0.04 xG, and season lows in touches as a starter.

To help us figure out what’s going wrong with the dynamic forward, the receiving category in American Soccer Analysis’ goals added metric can be a helpful indicator. It tells us how dangerous the areas are where players are getting on the ball.

Per 96 minutes, Boupendza’s receiving metric is -0.06 below the average of other MLS forwards this year. Last year in his limited minutes? He was at +0.10. 

Talk about a drop-off.

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