Barrios is “off” – Some advanced stats to support the case

I was messing around on American Soccer Analysis looking at the xG, xA, and G+ stats for something else FC Dallas related and I noticed some data for our “Barrios is off with his final ball” take. I also found Ricardo Pepi’s name in the stats quite a bit, giving some understanding for the playing time he’s gotten of late.

At first, I considered presenting this data in a tweet thread, but it was getting a little long. So I decided to make a post with some of that data instead. This wasn’t a post I planned on, I just kind of stumbled into the info and thought it worth presenting.

Keep in mind, some of the samples are fairly small and no stat should be read like it’s the bible for roster choices. But it is interesting, I think.

All these stats are for the entire 2020 FC Dallas season.

First, Barrios is still tactically playing well and getting in good positions…

Expected Goals (xG)

BestRicardo Pepi1.91
3rd BestMichael Barrios1.54

But he’s not converting and has the worst reality to expectation rate on the team…

Actual G to Expected G (G-xG)

WorstMichael Barrios-1.54

But Barrios still makes FCD click…

Key Passes

MostMichael Barrios15
2nd MostRyan Hollingshead6

That’s a BIG gap in creating chances.

So it’s no shock then that Barrios should be getting lots of assists…

Expected A (xA)

BestMichael Barrios2.32

But Barrios is not making the final connecting pass either, or else his teammates just aren’t converting his passes…

Actual A to Expected A (A-xA)

WorstMichael Barrios-1.32

Still, overall Barrios is getting in all the right spots…

Top 5 – Expected G + Expected A (vs actual G+A)

xG+xAActual G+A
Michael Barrios3.811 (no hockey assist)
Ricardo Pepi2.083
Kobra1.693
Franco Jara1.462
Reto Ziegler1.371

So, as we’ve been saying, Barrios is just “off” his game on the last touch and the final shot or pass isn’t getting there.

Yet despite being “off,” despite misfiring… Barrios does still make FCD score more…

Top 5Goals Added

Goals Added is ASA’s new stat that measures impact for two possessions around actions.

Goals added (g+) measures a player’s total on-ball contribution in attack and defense. It does this by calculating how much each touch changes their team’s chances of scoring and conceding across two possessions.

John Muller, American Soccer Analysis
Michael Barrios1.18
Ricardo Pepi0.95
Matt Hedges0.48
Bressan0.29
Paxton Pomykal0.24

Which is why Barrios – who has arguably been FCD’s most important player for the last three years – will be given every opportunity to play through his current malaise. He’s going to keep playing because he still makes Los Toros better.

Two Related Stats

A couple others things I noticed that I found interesting or surprising.

Who is assisting better than expected? The Jesus.

Actual A to Expected A (A-xA)?

BestJesus Ferreira0.94

Ricardo Pepi, Bryan Acosta, Reggie Cannon, and Bryan Reynolds are the only other players above 0.

Bottom 5 Goals Added

And who isn’t helping FCD score goal?

Santiago Mosquera-0.46
Johnny Nelson-0.56
Jesus Ferreira-0.57
Thiago Santos-0.64
Franco Jara-0.82

A few quick thoughts (excuses?).

  • Nelson is a defensive defender. This is why he sat for Reynolds/Hollingshead.
  • Ferreira is having a down year – he’s losing PT. (But remember balance this with the stat above that he’s assisting above expected.)
  • Santos is a destroyer-6, not a playmaker.
  • Jara has not been getting service, you see him looking for the ball. But this is improving.
  • Mosquera takes everything away from the goal and doesn’t beat players on the dribble anymore.

Stats are fun.

FCD v Houston 9-12-20 446
Michael Barrios closes in on goal against Houston Dynamo in the 2-1 FC Dallas win, September 12, 2020. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

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