First off, apologies. My computer suffered a fatal disk error last Friday, and it’s taken me awhile to get the one up and running (upgraded to a solid state drive with Windows 10 OS, and mass problems ensued). Onto Goitom!
The Quakes have a solid defense (notice I didn’t say great), and an awful offense. The defense held NYCFC, the highest scoring team in the league, to a clean sheet. But in order to make the playoffs, the Quakes must score goals. The biggest culprits to the scoring slump are Simon Dawkins and Quincy Amarikwa. Hopefully Goitom will be the remedy.
Simon Dawkins, he ain’t no DP. He is supposed to be the one that generates offense, yet his offensive numbers are excruciatingly poor for a designated player. Per game, Dawkins leads the Quakes starting midfielders in dispossesions (1.8) and unsuccessful first touches (1.8), so he is responsible for nearly four non-passing turnovers per game. He averages 0.4 crosses per game. He he has two goals in 19 games. He averages less than 0.1 through balls per game and 1.2 key passes per game; the top 10 players in MLS average 2.3 key passes or better. He has two assists in 19 games (seriously?). His shot conversion rate: 18%, the lowest on the team for offensive players. His non-DP counterpart Alberto Quintero performs better than Dawkins in all these categories except key passes and assists, of which they are tied.
With such abysmal numbers, it’s hard to believe that Dawkins is even worse defensively. Among Quakes midfielders, he has the fewest tackles per game (0.9), and fewest interceptions (0.4). He also has 0.1 blocked shots per game. There is little doubt he is statistically the worst starting midfielder, which is why the Quakes rank last in the West in goals (23), and why San Jose is tied with Seattle and Portland for second-to-last in assists per game at 0.8. I love Simon when he’s playing with 100% heart, but there’s a reason why he went from Tottenham to Aston Villa to riding the bench at Derby County and losing his starting role with Jamaica. He seems to lose interest and/or get frustrated really easily, which affects his performances.
Quincy is another statistics fiasco. Quincy’s job is to generate offense, and he isn’t doing it well. He has two goals and three assists in 18 games. He averages 0.6 shots on goal per game (nearly every other game, he fails to put a shot on goal). His shot conversion rate? 26.8%. Some fans will point to his “great hold up play” of which Quincy leads the team in dispossessions (2.7 per game) and unsuccessful first touches (3.6 per game). That’s not great hold-up play. I love Quincy’s heart and enthusiasm, but Goitom’s arrival will put Quincy on the bench, where he belongs.
Goitom is a great signing both from a system perspective and a Front Office perspective. The Quakes CANNOT do any worse than they have been doing with their stable of ineffective DPs and starters. Innocent and Dawkins appear to be the newest in the long line of John Doyle DP busts, which includes MPG–who was statistically having his best year with the team, yet found himself traded to Orlando–and Geovanni. Goitom is a DP caliber player who has played in the highest levels of Europe, both in Italy and Spain, and had a great run in his native Sweden: 53 goals, 24 assists in 114 matches. If he has a successful run, the team can sign him to a DP contract once the season ends. If not, the Quakes are not locked into another Innocent-esque contract which hamstrings the entire club for several years. It’s a win-win, and a huge improvement from the “spray and pray” approach to DP signings for which Doyle is known.