5 Questions: Games, Fouls, Penalties, Answers, And Champions

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Nov 3, 2011) US Soccer Players -- In the ‘regular-season wrap up’ edition, Tony asks about various MLS statistical leaders, which team management is at least willing to ask questions about caliber of play, and finds a National Team alum thriving in the NASL.

What players led MLS in games played this year?

Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere, Kosuki Kimura, and Matt Pickens all played and started 36 games. Pickens led in minutes with 3240 with Larentowicz a mere 8 minutes back. As we said a few weeks back, being able to answer the bell 36 times is impressive.

Which player committed the most fouls during the regular season?

Portland's Diego Chara with 64 in just 28 games. Interestingly, MVP candidate Dwayne DeRosario was third on the list, committing 57 fouls in 33 games. Gershon Koffie of Vancouver suffered the most fouls, with 76 in 29 games.

Which goalkeepers faced the most penalty kicks this season?

Sure, you’d say Matt Reis, and you’d be right, but Nick Rimando also faced seven. Rimando saved two and Reis one. Greg Sutton of the Red Bulls saved the most, three out of five.

Name at least one MLS team official who is willing to ask if expansion may have diluted the league’s quality of play?

Sporting Kansas City’s Robb Heineman. In an interview with Andrew Wiebe on MLSsoccer.com, Heinemann is candid about quality of play in the league, referees, and the use of technology. On expansion in particular, Heineman said: "There is no doubt that expansion has had an effect. There is definitely some dilution without question. We obviously need to get better."

Who won the NASL championship this season?

You might have missed Ray Hudson’s plug for this series during the FC Barcelona game this weekend, but Manny Lagos’ NSC Minnesota Stars defeated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in a 3-1 in a two-game aggregate series.

2 Responses to 5 Questions: Games, Fouls, Penalties, Answers, And Champions

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I go back and forth on the expansion dilutes the pool thing. On the one hand, it seems obvious, especially with increasing number of Yanks playing abroad. But I think increased salary caps, DP slots and, more importantly, much larger numbers of players from Central and South America, as well as Africa – oh, and Canada – I’m not sure I buy it. I think the pool of available players is much, much larger than in the past.

  2. Eric says:

    It’s obvious MLS isn’t a developmental league anymore. They’re about trying to entertain as many people as they can on a limited budget. That influences every dollar that they spend. When foreign players are cheaper, there will be a way to get them into the league.