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Montero, Gspurning among Castrol honorees

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Nov. 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm with No Comments »
November 8, 2012 2:27 pm

Seattle’s Fredy Montero (and RSL’s Alvaro Saborio) finished among the final top 10 MLS players according to the Castrol Index. Seattle’s Michael Gspurning also totaled out as the league’s top goalkeeper.

Here’s the release from Major League Soccer:

Castrol, an official sponsor of Major League Soccer (MLS), is honored to announce its final rankings report for the 2012 MLS regular season. Castrol Index, the official performance index of MLS, ranked all players from the data collected since the MLS season began on March 10, 2012, through the final game of the season. LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane earned the “2012 Castrol Index Top Player” distinction by accumulating 854 points in 2,520 minutes on the field during the regular season. Keane edged out San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski, the 2011 Castrol Index Top Player, by 18 points as a result of overall play at the forward position.

Keane finished up the season with success in target shots (8th best among 454 players in MLS) and winning duels, as well as good passes. Wondolowski did not manage to overtake Keane on the last day of the regular season, despite being the top goal scorer in MLS. It is important to note that 23% of Wondolowski’s goals were achieved from the penalty spot compared to 7% for Keane and penalty kick goals are given less credit compared to goals scored during the run of play.

Castrol is also excited to recognize the top position players of the 2012 MLS season. The top midfielder is Sanna Nyassi of Montreal Impact, the top defender is Matt Besler of Sporting Kansas City and the top goalkeeper is Michael Gspurning of Seattle Sounders FC. Nyassi’s success at midfield was a result of his effort on offense, particularly on target shots (#2 in MLS), good passes and duels won. Besler’s success on defense was due to his ball clearances (#1 in MLS), interrupting an opponent’s attack and good passes – all decisive skills for defenders. Much of Gspurning’s success in goal was his 79.7% efficiency in saving on-target shots and help from his team, which conceded many fewer goals than other teams.

In its second season, the Castrol Index has provided an opportunity for fans to engage in the sport, and to join in the discussion spurred by sophisticated analysis, previously privy only to coaches and players. Castrol’s team of performance analysts have used the latest technology to provide data for the 2012 MLS season and determine the sport’s second Castrol Index Top Player. In assessing every player’s actions for net positive or negative impact on a team’s ability to score or concede a goal, analysts have logged more than 1,800 player movements per match, examining the merits of every action.

“Following its successful inaugural year, the Castrol Index has continued to grow in the 2012 MLS season – both in terms of fan acknowledgement and engagement, as well as MLS player support and recognition,” said Tracy Drelich-Knauer, Associate Promotions & Sponsorship Manager for Castrol. “Each season we hope to see the Castrol Index become even more part of the MLS dialogue.”

The MLS Cup playoffs kicked off on October 31. Castrol invites fans to visit the Castrol Index website to test their predictions against the Castrol Predictor to determine who will be the final two clubs vying for MLS Cup 2012. This tool forecasts the teams that will advance in the playoffs based on empirical data collected during the season. The Castrol Predictor looks at factors such as the number of goals expected to be scored, the number of goals expected to be conceded and whether the team is playing at their home stadium or on the road. Last year, the Castrol Predictor projected the LA Galaxy to win MLS Cup 2011 – and on December 1, 2012, fans will learn if the Predictor will be correct yet again.

To view the full Castrol Index, visit Fans can also join the Castrol Index and Predictor discussion on Castrol’s Facebook page at or on Twitter using #castrolindex.

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