Need any reason to vote Dom Dwyer into the MLS All-Star Fan XI?
Dom is one of the best strikers in Major League Soccer history. Racking up 78 MLS goals in just 153 starts, Dwyer has been among the more prolific players in American soccer since bursting onto the scene, first with Orlando’s USL side in 2013 and then with Sporting Kansas City the following year.
What Dwyer excels at, and what he’s continued to do at an elite level even as he’s hit a dry spell through April and May of 2019, is putting himself into goal-scoring positions. I wanted to share this chart from Dummy Run of American Soccer Analysis, where every forward player in MLS is tracked by their expected goals, assists, and buildup:
Been playing around with attacking clusters based on @AnalysisEvolved xG chain contributions. Colors are pretty much arbitrarily delineated by the number of clusters and the 600-minute minimum but still represent your favorite player's ineluctable statistical destiny, sorry. pic.twitter.com/1OuxzlWcRs— Dummy Run (@thedummyrun) May 29, 2019
Dwyer is sitting all the way on the bottom right of the chart. What that means is Dwyer specializes in one role—finding his way into the best position possible to receive a key pass and put it in the back of the net—and does it better than just about anyone in the league. Dwyer is fourth in the league in expected goals per 90 and fifth in shots.
It’s easy to forget that before his recent drought, Dwyer had a goal contribution—either a goal or an assist—in each of Orlando’s first five matches this season. It hasn’t been the easiest season for Dom, but the underlying numbers suggest his All-Star pedigree hasn’t diminished one bit, and it’s easy to see him rediscovering his previously torrid form over the summer.
Most Memorable Moment
Dwyer’s goals are the headline, but the man isn’t a bad passer as well—and he chipped in a beauty to get Orlando level with NYCFC on opening day this year.