|Rejoice! An Early SUB WATCH! Also, Independence Day.|
It should have been no surprise to any SUB WATCH reader that, following last week’s Victor Palsson rant, the Nordic Nincompoop was the first man off the bench in the 79th minute vs.Toronto. While the lackluster draw can’t be blamed on him, Palsson certainly didn’t do anything to change opinions of his ineffectiveness.
Palsson was followed by Keel and Miller, both of whom were pressed into service due to 2012 Brian Nielsen award candidate Wilman Conde’s lingering fitness issues, and Heath “Shin Kicker” Pearce picking up a knock late in the game. The TFC game was notable on the sub side for two reasons:
- It brought that average substitution time up to 71.5’—the first time this number has gone over 71 since the very first game of the season v Dallas. There’s money to be made here for you punters on Sunday.
- Using all three subs raised Backe’s subs-per-game average to a very respectable 2.23—well ahead of last season’s sub-2.0 mark. Impress the ladies by spouting off this stat the next time you hear someone complain that Hansy never makes subs.
Time Is on His Side
Back to Palsson. As much as truthiness © Stephen Colbert has come to dominate our culture, is it right to judge Palsson—or any other sub—without a closer examination of the facts? Of course it is, but let’s try it anyway and do some numerology to get a better sense of the Red Bulls sub-o-verse (sorry) at the halfway point of the season. Remember, SUB WATCH makes no guarantees for accuracy here. It’s a free blog, and I have a day job and 14 kids… as far as you know.
First, let’s look at total regulation (i.e. not added extra time) minutes played as a sub.
As you can see, with 145 sub minutes played (smp) Palsson dwarfs the competition, with Mehdi “The Desert Destructor” Balouchy the closest contender at 119 smp. Sure, much of the discrepancy is due to significant shifts in the Red Bulls’ starting XI, but the sheer volume of minutes Palsson is getting is pretty surprising for a guy whose impact is questionable, at best. More on that later.
What are we to make of dear, departed Juan Agudelo on third place with 89 smp. Seems impossible with all of the time away with national squads, injury and getting traded, but the numbers don’t lie. Following Agudelo we have Lindpere, who has shuttled back and forth between starting and the bench, and Kenneth F. Cooper, Esq., who picked up a ton of smp early in the season, then cracked the starters and hasn’t looked back.
That’s all for Part I of this week’s SUB WATCH. Come back Thursday for Part II where we look at Palsson's on the field production. Until then, DOWN THE BRITS!!