Since August, Cyle Larin has been searching for that ever elusive 12th goal to take sole ownership of the MLS record for goals scored by a rookie. There have been six matches and 540 minutes of total play since Larin tied the rookie record, a long time to be waiting and chasing. The Mane Land takes a look at Larin so far this season when compared to some of the big names around the league and looks at whether or not he is worthy of a record setting moment.
The first overall pick for Orlando in its inaugural SuperDraft has enjoyed a stellar season so far putting the ball in the back of the net: 11 goals, 20 shots on goal, and 48 overall shots recorded. That amounts to an incredible 55 percent goal conversion rate (found by dividing goals by shots on goal). Compare that with the top five players currently on MLS's scoring leader-board and you can easily see that Larin is gifted.
When looking at the graph there are two different conversion rates, one that uses shots on goal as the denominator (the orange line, Con SOG%) and the other that uses total shots (the blue line, Con SHT%). The measurements allow us to determine whether players are efficient with shots taken or if they just hit and pray. Here, Larin stands above the crowd when compared to the top five scorers currently in MLS: Kei Kamara-18, Sebastian Giovinco-17, Robbie Keane-15, David Villa-15 and Bradley Wright-Phillips-15. His 55 percent conversion rate when he puts the ball on frame is only closely rivaled by fellow sniper Robbie Keane, who nets a goal for every two that trouble a keeper. This bodes well for the rookie in the future, as Orlando has been notorious this season for not creating a ton of opportunities as they have been missing offensive firepower.
To counter the argument that Larin is on the cusp of the record only because he takes a lot of wild shots, the conversion rate shows that he is one of the best when comparing goals and total shots. Robbie Keane again stands tall in this category with Cyle Larin coming in a close second; both of these players clearly are accurate and perhaps Larin would be atop the MLS goal scoring leader-board with more minutes under his belt.
Speaking of goals and minutes played, we also wanted to emphasize how Cyle Larin has produced per 90 minutes played. Normalizing the minutes by dividing total minutes played by 90 allows The Mane Land to look at how many goals these players have scored every per full game played. Larin here also shows to be very comparable to the players we all know to be dangerous within MLS as he sits right in the middle of the pack, even besting David Villa and Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Clearly, Cyle Larin has acclimated himself very well in his rookie season. So we are just waiting for that moment when Lion Nation can stand up with pride. There is still time for Larin to break the record; with six more matches to go, Larin should be able to put in the allusive next goal.
So here is to Cyle Larin netting one today and staking a claim, letting MLS know he is here to stay.