Sounders Insider

Sounders skeptical of new MLS player rankings

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid and midfielder Brad Evans were skeptical today when asked about MLS's new "Castol Index (outlined in a post below), which attempts to quantify a player's positive or negative impact on his team's ability to score or concede a goal.

The April ratings listed New York's Thierry Henry first in the league, with injured Sounders midfielder Steve Zakuani second. Evans was rated fourth on the Sounders, while -- for example -- goalkeeper Kasey Keller was rated 13th on the team and 166th in the league ... which pretty much justifies the skepticism.

Here's Schmid's take:

(Laughs). "We were wondering who the person was that was sitting there looking at the movement and saying this is a positive movement and this is a negative movement, because everything is a reflection of how good that person is. It it’s some guy who’s played high school soccer and knows very little about the game he’s ‘Oh. Thierry Henry, that must be a positive movement.’ “This guy, oh, that must be a negative movement.’ It’s a very subjective thing. Even when they give you in the Champions League games the distances run, that is off by so much, you wouldn’t believe in reality. ... I can complete a pass to you and it counts as a pass completed, but I can complete a pass there it’s a much better pass, and this pass here might actually have been a bad pass because he can’t do anything with the ball and he loses it. So now who’s sitting there rating that? It’s a tough one. But it’s great for the fans, and they can say ‘Hey, Steve Zakuani’s No. 2,’ and we’re happy for Zakuani."

I also asked Evans, because he was the highest-rated healthy English-speaking player available today (the Sounders rated above him were Zakuani, O'Brian White and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado). But in fairness, he hadn't seen -- or even heard of the list, which was announced this morning. But what's relevant is his bottom line belief that it's a difficult and maybe impossible thing to quantify.

"I thinkit’s tough to rate players, personally," he said. ".. That’s something that the league loves to do, I’m sure, is rank players. It gets them more attention. For us obviously losing (Zakuani) is a great loss – he’s a tremendous player. We could say he’s probably one of the top players in the league for sure, but we try to do as best we can with his loss and filling in that void. It can’t be quantified I think."