Danny does like his jumping celebrations doesn't he? Expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing.
Since making his debut for Toronto FC on July 20th against FC Dallas, Danny Koevermans has proven to be one of the most consistent strike options that the club has ever had. We only have a short sample of his work to look at having only made 6 MLS appearances so far but it is safe to say that he is on some of the best scoring form we have seen at this club.
Last week we saw in the list of MLS salaries that Danny is making 1.4 million this season in total compensation which seems to be a pretty good deal for the club when you consider the 6 goals that he has scored since the end of July. This season the MLS scoring charts are being led by Thierry Henry ($5,600,000) and Landon Donovan ($2,300,000) with 12 goals each but they have played 21 games each and that is a whole lot more then the 7 appearances that Danny K has made for Toronto so far this season.
So lets look at the numbers and try to understand just how valuable and efficient that Danny K has been since he joined the club. With Toronto FC Koevermans has made 7 appearances, 6 starts and 1 appearance as a substitute. In those 7 matches he has amassed a total of 511 minutes of playing time which means that with 6 goals scored he is actually scoring at a rate of 1.06 goals per 90 minutes. That scoring rate is the best in the MLS for any player that has played more then 200 minutes. Second and third on that list belong to Charlie Davies at 0.75 Connor Casey at 0.67 so they are some ways behind. You don't have to be a stat head to understand that if you make your living as a goal scoring striker then this stat is how you can really show your value. In terms of Toronto FC scorers the next best rate in this catergory belongs to Alan Gordon who in his 10 games played managed to score 5 goals at a rate of 0.61 goals/90 minutes. For Danny K though his goals per 90 minutes rate of over 1 is only the beginning in terms of the impressive stats he has amassed since joining Toronto FC.
Another key stat for understanding the impact that Danny has made is the fact that he has scored 6 goals having only taken 20 shots. The numbers get even more impressive when you consider that he has scored on 6 of his 11 shots on target. If you have watched any of the games where he has scored you might have found yourself wondering why he seemed to be doing next to nothing and then out of nowhere he pops up and provides a clinical finish. Unlike almost any other striker in the history of the club Danny K has proven to have that special ability to make his chances count.
In fact if you take a look at the MLS stat for Scoring Chance Percentage, which records the percentage of clear cut chances that fall to the player which result in goals, you can see how well Danny has done so far at making his chances pay (to be fair I am not a fan of this stat as much more then a decent indication because it is hard to truly define what is worthy of calling a chance so it is just too arbitrary for me to consider it a reliable stat). For Danny his SC% is currently at 0.30 or 30% so that means that since he has scored 6 goals the MLS stats keepers would say that he has had 20 chances in his 6 matches so basically they are saying that every shot he has taken is a chance. Some of these chances are certainly not going to have been great ones but he is still converting at a rate of almost 1 out of 3 chances and that is what I would consider lethal for a striker in any league in the world.
A quick look around the rest of TFC in this category shows the real gulf in quality of finishing as second place is Alan Gordon at 25% but if you want any player with more then 15 games played the percentages are all below 20. The gap might not seem huge but with chances being so few in the game of soccer scoring 1 out 3 makes a huge difference compared to only scoring 1 out of 5. For the rest of the MLS the best rate for a forward who makes regular appearances belongs to Charlie Davies at 35.5% followed by Connor Casey at 33.3% and then comes Danny K.
So we have seen that he scored over a goal every 90 minutes of play and converts almost 1 out of every 3 chances but what impact has Danny K's presence in the lineup made for Toronto FC. In the 7 matches that Danny has played the team have a record of 3-2-2 with 14 goals scored (a rate of 2 goals per game). In their 23 matches this season where he did not play the club amassed a record of 3-10-10 with 18 goals scored (a rate of 0.78 goals per game). To be fair the rest of the team is much improved since Danny was signed so that increase is not purely on him but to further prove his impact the club went 0-1-1 in the two games were he was an unused sub against Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes and they only managed to score 1 goal. So the stats would suggest that even the new and improved Toronto FC is a lot less dangerous in the attack when Danny K is not on the field.
Let me try and drive this point home a little bit more. In the 23 matches that TFC played without Danny having any involvement they were shut out a total of 11 times so in basically half of the games they played they failed to get on the score board. Since Danny has arrived the team has been shutout once in league play and that was against FC Dallas in his first appearance. The should not come as any real surprise though when you consider that Danny has scored in all but 2 of his appearances so if he is scoring almost every time he is on the field then the shutouts would obviously be decreased.
When the information about player salaries came out a lot of people were surprised to see that Danny was making more money then Torsten Frings but having taken a look at the numbers at this early stage in his time at the club the big Dutch striker is proving to be worth every penny. His value is even greater when you consider that Toronto FC have long been a club that has had a hard time finding goals. The most surprising part is that Danny K is already on the list of all time leading scorers for the clubs as only a handful of Reds have ever notched more then 6 goals. If Danny is around for any length of time at Toronto then he should have no problem climbing up the list and catching up with another forward named Danny (Dichio) and maybe some day Dwayne DeRosario but that is a ways off still.