While most of the Western Hemisphere is indulging in anything and everything Copa, I know I'm not alone in craving some Orlando City soccer. With the downtime we have on our hands, I found myself digging through old spreadsheets and box scores and wondering to myself, "Was Aurélien Collin more effective in 2015 than David Mateos in 2016?"
The cool thing about having this platform is that I don't have to wonder to myself. I can wonder with all of you. Let's have a look at the numbers Collin put up through June 7, 2015, against the work of Mateos in 2016.
I love this stat for center backs -- there's few better ways to stop an oncoming attack than to take possession for your own team. Collin is one of the best we've ever seen in purple at disrupting the passing lanes, and was averaging 3.8 per game one calendar year ago. His infamous aggression led to many possessions won, but it should be noted he also had a penchant for overextending himself in pursuit of these highlight plays.
Mateos plays a more controlled style, and it shows. While he's no slouch in this department, his 2.8 per game is dwarfed by what Collin produced, though it is good enough for second on the team behind Cristian Higuita's clean 3.0 per game.
When all else fails and the opponent gets a shot off, there's one last thing a defender can do to protect his goalkeeper -- get in the way of the shot. It is a bold play, but sometimes, it is a beautiful play. Who can possibly forget the best blocked shot in Orlando City history?
I know this article isn't about everybody's favorite left back Brek Shea, but if you get a chance to publish that video again, well, you take it
Collin was fearless in this endeavor, doing whatever necessary to get himself in the way of 1.5 blocks per game, which would be good enough to lead the club today. Mateos, conversely, averages just 0.2 blocks per game, or one every five games. This is not a manner in which Mateos helps the team.
One of the more underrated statistics, when the offense finds its way into the box, the defense has to get the ball out of there. It doesn't matter a whole helluva lot how -- just get the ball as far away as possible. It is something the Lions struggle with from time to time, with disastrous results.
Mateos registers a respectable 4.8 per game, second on the team only to Seb Hines. Collin, however, was averaging a monstrous 6.2 per game, buoyed by an eight-day stretch of April in which he averaged 12 a game.
The numbers say Collin was the more effective center back. I guess the only question left is, do the numbers tell the whole story?