Thursday, October 27, 2016

10/27/16: Perhaps The Biggest Thing That Needs Resolved, Midfield Production

Meram won player of the month and was a positive this season with 5 goals and 13 assists. Yet, Meram and his plus eight in assists (compared to 2015) aside; midfield production overall down a bit strongly in 2016, compared to 2015.

Between Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuaín, Justin Meram, and Tony Tchani 31 goals were scored in 2015.

That same quartet had 16 in 2016.

With Kei Kamara being traded midseason, most expected his loss to be the big void and major difference as the season progressed. How can Columbus replace his 22 goals from 2015?

Well, at the striker position, Columbus actually did plus one better.

Ola Kamara had 16 goals and pair that with Adam Jahn's 5, and 2016 Crew strikers are not far behind Kei at 21 total.

Throw in Kei's beginning with Columbus earlier this year and Crew strikers had 26 goals in 2016.

In comparison, with Jack McInerney's two and Aaron Scheonfeld's lone goal, Columbus strikers had 25 goals in 2015.

Some might say the midfield didn't hurt us in 2016, it was mostly the defense. However, goals allowed wasn't much more elaborate. 5 more goals were allowed in 2016, 58 to 53.

Yes, the defense is better with a full season of Sauro, Naess, Afful, and perhaps Francis together. Still, despite nearly none of that, wasn't the biggest change.

If the midfield scores 10-15 more goals we win about five more games. Probably what separates us most from 2015 and 2016. It's not it or all. But, with everything else (Kei, injuries, etc.) got relatively less focus.


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