clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sanna Nyassi on the Right Wing

New, 25 comments
Speedy, but fast enough?
Speedy, but fast enough?

Sanna Nyassi has a ton of speed. This we know. We see it. It is obvious to even those that don't like the game. In the past Graham wrote on how Sanna lacks some of the more refined parts of the game - passing, vision, shooting.

Against the Columbus Crew we saw the best of Sanna in his great burst into the box that quickly earned the penalty. We also saw the worst of Sanna when he danced on top of the ball while double teamed and ignoring the easy backwards outlet to Zach Scott (he also did pass to Scott at one point, that led to the long cross and Nkufo goal 2).

The pace of the entire team is quicker when Sanna is on the field compared to Alvaro Fernandez. Oddly enough, this hasn't resulted in more goals. This may be because the pace of BOTH teams is higher. While Sanna's defense has improved, it is also more speed based than skillful takeaways.

There are many options on the right wing, no position has more talent on the team. There are of course the natural Right Wings - Sanna, Alvaro, David Estrada, Miguel Montano. But there are also three other guys that could play the position - Mike Fucito, Nate Jaqua and James Riley.

Some of these choices would force other moves. If Sanna is to be the starter on the right, then Alvaro is left without a position, and even Sanna's biggest fans aren't going to claim that he's better than the Uruguay national; are they? James Riley up into an attacking position like that would add some great forward defense, and probably the best crosser of the ball, but would mean that Zach Scott gets a lot of starts.

So the question is simple - who is the best Right Wing on the team? Would playing them there force other changes?

Are there any numbers to support these ideas?

PLAYER

MIN

PP90

SHOTS +/-

GOALS +/-

SHOT % FOR

SHOT % AGAINST

PDO

Alvaro Fernandez

369

0.73

4.1

1.5

12.8

6.6

106

Sanna Nyassi

833

0.32

6.3

0.6

11.0

11.3

100

Mike Fucito

49

3.83

5.5

1.8

15.4

13.0

102

Roger Levesque

504

0.36

0.5

0.9

15.4

12.3

103

Miguel Montano

164

0.00

-3.3

-4.4

4.4

19.6

85

David Estrada

87

0.00

2.1

-3.1

8.7

20.0

89

Nate Jaqua

278

0.00

-4.2

1.0

14.7

10.4

104

James Riley

1821

0.14

1.3

-0.2

11.5

15.9

96

Let's talk data presentation first. Bolded numbers are the guy who leads amongst all in that category. Red numbers are negatives. Most with negatives have sample-size issues.

PP90 = Points Per 90 minutes where a point is a single assist, and a goal counts for two points.
Shots +/- = Team Shots For/Against where positive numbers mean that the Sounders have more shots when said player is on the pitch.
Goals +/- = Team Goals For/Against where positive numbers mean that the Sounder have more goals when said player is on the pitch.
Shot % For = Team Shooting Percentage when said player is on pitch.
Shot % Against = Opposing Team Shooting Percentage when said player is on the pitch.
PDO = is a number generated comparing the individual Shot % For and Shot % against to league averages. 100 means that player is performing at their expected talent level, though small variance isn't a big deal. Below 100 means that player is underperforming. Higher is overperformance. But when analyzing PDO one must take into account said player's skills/peak age versus the league average. Landon Donovan probably should have a PDO greater than 100.

PP90 was generated using USAToday's stats. You may notice that some players have fewer assists than you remember. That is because the league has a habit of taking secondary assists away upon review. The rest of the stats are from a table put together by SBN's resident hockey stats guy Gabe.

In the offseason, I'm going to do some testing on these numbers, but for now, let's just assume that they are guidelines, not truths.

While Nyassi does lead to more shots being taken by the Sounders, they aren't as accurate and so the Sounders don't score as much. Opposing teams are actually more accurate than the Sounders when he's on the pitch.

Sanna isn't the answer. And while other creative solutions could exist, Jaqua for a Target Winger, Fucito for a left-footed Right Wing, Riley for forward defense. The answer for the primary man on the right is actually Alvaro Fernandez, at least until we see more of him as a Central Mid.