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Sunday Statistical Showdown: Dollars per Goal in MLS - Who is Worth the Money?

Looking at the top scorers in MLS we see two Orlando names on the list in Kevin Molino and Cyle Larin. How valuable are they?

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 season has been an up-and-down year for Orlando City SC. There have been big wins, las-minute gasps, and also some last-minute points dropped. However, a few things that have been noticeable this year for Orlando is that both Kevin Molino and Cyle Larin have been forces on the offensive side of the ball.

We saw this happening last year, as it was the coming out party for Larin, and this year seems to be the same for Kevin Molino, who had an unfortunate  knee injury derail his 2015 season. But this year we have had Larin and Molino at full health for the majority of the season and this has led to them contributing 13 goals and six assists between both of them while being integral parts of the Orlando City plan so far.

This week, considering the lengthy wait we are going through to see OCSC play again, we should look at something positive -- value. The value that we are going to talk about today is how much "value" a player brings when comparing their salaries and their on-field contributions -- specifically goals. Normally, these types of comparisons would be done between players at a certain position or who fill a particular role within a club, but this time around we will be looking at the current league leaders in goals.

The players at the top of the MLS leaderboard when it comes to slotting home the round, white thing are not strangers to the top 10, as we see David Villa, Sebastian Giovinco, Ignacio Piatti, Fanendo Adi and Bradley Wright-Phillips all sit with eight or more goals. After these top five, we then run into our first Orlando City player in Cyle Larin, who has seven goals on the season, and then Kevin Molino follows that up with six. For the first look, all players were chosen who have scored more than six goals on the season.

Goal value here is defined by guaranteed salary divided by goals, giving us the cost of each goal scored by MLS league leaders.

Wow. Molino and Larin look to be pretty valuable. Remember, this look explains how much the club is spending on each goal from these particular players. Molino brings a lot of value here, as he is scoring in bunches while not costing the team an inordinate amount in salary. He is costing the team $18,333 per goal.

Larin follows up in a close second to Molino in value as well, only costing Orlando City $25,286 per goal. Some arguments here could be that these players who are on this list are either league vets or proven International stars, so they will of course have inflated salaries, but what we can say is that if they were getting paid strictly by on-field contributions, these large differences would not exist, like the $871,211 difference in what Giovinco is paid per goal compared to Molino's.

This look was strictly at the top league scorers and if we expand it a bit more and include players who have scored five or more goals we can find some other players throughout MLS who provide value.

So looking a bit further down the field we can see Michael Barrios bringing value to Dallas on a dollars spent per goal metric, as well as other players around the league, such as Joao Plata, Tesho Akindele, and Jordan Morris.

So, here is to Kevin Molino and Cyle Larin staying as valuable as they are. One day soon, both of these players may be commanding a bigger bottom line in the form of salary, but until that day Orlando would appreciate the goal scoring continuing.