(No offense to TGI Fridays whatsoever. I use a 50:50 solution of their Craft Beer Cheese Sauce and Cucumber-Wasabi Ranch Dip to strip varnish off my uncle Ricky's speedboat.)
Our opening act this afternoon is rap game superstar Pusha T, who grew up in Virginia but was born in the Bronx.
The T stands for tiki-taka. In any event, this is a man who loves numbers as much as we do. Take it away, King Push:
Givenchy fittin' like it's gym clothes
We really gym stars, I'm like D-Rose
No D-League, I'm like this close
'88 Jordan, leaping from the free throw.
Ballers, I put numbers on the boards.
Now, the main event. We've got stats on stats on stats on stats in which to luxuriate before it's time to usher in Portland Timbers Weekend in New York:
- 3 New York City players have played every minute of every game this season: Josh Saunders, Chris Wingert, and Ned Grabavoy.
- 77.7%: Lucky, no? New York City has completed 77.7% of its passes, which ranks seventh in the league. Orlando City places at the top at 81.9%, one of only two teams above the 80% threshold (Montreal Impact).
- 344.7: Trailing only Orlando City (354), New York City ranks second in MLS in accurate short passes per game.
- 55.8%: The rate of possession taken by New York City this season, the highest in MLS. No other team is above 54%.
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
- 0: New York City has not created a shot on target directly off a free kick this year. Only the L.A. Galaxy share this dubious honor.
- 19th: NYC ranks second-to-last in the league with 13.3 "unsuccessful touches" per game-- touches that did not lead to a discernible run of possession.
- 20th: The Bronx Blues rank last in MLS in crosses per game with 12. Seven teams average more than 20 crosses per game.
- 10.2: NYC players are fouled just over ten times per game, which is the lowest rate in MLS. Tell that to Ned Grabavoy, who gets drilled into the grass so often that he needs his own dedicated grounds crew.
- -1: Jason Kreis's team allows 13.3 shots per game, while only attempting 12.3 themselves. Their -1 shot differential places them behind fellow expansion team Orlando City (+2.8) and the upcoming Portland Timbers (+0.8), among others.
- 72: The Bronx Blues are third-worst in the league with 72 inaccurate short passes per game.
- 71.2: Mix Diskerud's attempted passes per game, which ranks first in MLS.
- 2: David Villa's number of shots on target per game, tied with the Red Bulls' Bradley Wright-Phillips for the most in the league.
- 7.2: Among all players with more than two appearances, Kwame Watson-Siriboe's 7.2 interceptions per ninety minutes are the highest mark in MLS.
PHRIDAY PHANTASY PHOCUS
Numbers come courtesy of MLSSoccer.com's fantasy game.
- 31: Josh Saunders is New York City's highest-scoring fantasy player so far this year, ranking seventh overall among MLS goalkeepers with 31 points.
- 28.3% of all fantasy teams on MLSSoccer.com own David Villa, the fifth-highest rate in the league. Naturally, he is NYCFC's most-owned player: Jason Hernandez, the team's second-highest scorer after Saunders, is also the team's second-most-owned player (18.6%).
- 70: Combined clearances, blocks, and interceptions for Hernandez, which is twenty more than any other NYC player. Only Chris Wingert (50) and Jeb Brovsky (31) have more than thirty.
- 0.0%: Despite starting two games so far, Javier Calle is either owned by (1) not a single fantasy team, or (2) a statistically insignificant number of fantasy teams. Midfielder Matthew Dunn -- probably my cousin -- has not made an appearance this year, but is owned by a healthy 0.1% of teams.
- 5280 / 3326: The number of times David Villa has been added and dropped by fantasy teams, which are both the highest among NYCFC players.
- 8 key passes -- those which led to shots on target -- are credited to Thursday goal-scorer Mehdi Ballouchy, which leads New York City. The veteran winger is currently owned by 0.4% of teams.
Whew! I think I'm all number'd out. Time to fire up the Pusha T and get ready to preview Sunday's home match against Portland! Stay tuned for all that and more on Hudson River Blue: Your Home for Numbers and Letters Since 2014.