The 2021 MLS season is far from over as the MLS Playoffs are about to commence as Carles Gil leads xA MLS charts. However if the regular season is anything to go by, then fans could be in for a rather entertaining feast when it does return to the sporting calendar.
With the Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings that can come with the holiday event fast approaching, there will be a number of attackers who will have been feeling thankful about what they have managed to do on the field thus far, whilst also praying that they will be able to continue in fine form.
Indeed, the MLS has seen a number of goals scored so far in the campaign due to the cutting edge that many of the creators within the 14 teams that have managed to qualify for the Playoffs and each of them will be looking to add even more assists to their tallies.
Soccer has always been a sport that has had many looking at the statistics that are derived by the action that takes place on the field, with many soccer clubs having employed specialist individuals to compile the data and make sense of it thus allowing the club to better position themselves in their upcoming match and give themselves the best chance of winning.
One of the more recent statistics that have become familiar within the sport is the xA statistic. For those unaware, this is the expected assists metric and this will measure the likelihood that a pass that has been played will be turned into a goal.
Carles Gil leads the way in xA in the MLS
Having used data from Opta, the MLS has managed to determine the top 30 xA providers, and it should be no surprise to learn that New England Revolution’s playmaker Carles Gil leads the way in the league so far. Indeed, with the Revs the favorite to be crowned the MLS Cup Champions this season, the team and sports bettors who have used one of Unibet’s NJ sports betting promotions to back them will be hoping the Spaniard can carry on with his magnificent form in creating goals.
Gil, who has played in some of the biggest leagues in Europe, leads the charts with a total of 18 assists from his appearances so far, with his tally better than what would have been expected. According to the metrics, he should have only provided 13.36, thus giving him a differential of +4.64.
His actual 18 total assists have to be considered even more impressive given the other players who appear on the leaderboard. D.C. United’s wingback Julian Gressel is second with a total of 13 assists, although his xA would suggest he is performing better than he should as his total would be expected to be around 10.57 (+2.43).
Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar and Djordje Mihailovic surpass xA metric
New York City FC’s Maxi Moralez comes third with 11 assists, but his performances are as the xA metric would have him at, as he is slightly over the 10.32 he is expected to have, however no player has been able to outperform the data that has been provided like Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar.
The German midfielder has managed to acquire a total of 12 assists in the regular season, which is seven more than he would be expected to have given the data. According to the statistics, the 26-year-old should only have 4.95 assists thus giving him a differential of +7.05, therefore making it hardly surprising that he is in the running for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award.
Another player to be level with Mukhtar in regards to outperforming xA this season, CF Montreal’s Djordje Mihailovic has scored a +6.56 differential as he has 16 total assists compared to the 9.49 expected. Naturally, those 16 assists put him second in regards to the number of actual assists obtained this season so far, two behind Gil.