All season long Brotherly Game polled the fans and tallied the "wisdom of the crowd" to determine which players were most important and which players were screwing things up. We've also tracked the expert ratings from Adam Cann and Co. at Philly Soccer Page and the statistically based algorithm created by Whoscored. Who was the best player? Who struggled the most? Let's dig in.
Best and worst games
Here's a look at the scores of each system by game:
The Whoscored rating doesn't show much volatility but the scale of that score is much tighter, generally ranging between 6 and 8. The other ratings are on a scale of 1 to 10. PSP was generally more critical than the fans as their scores were lower in almost every game. Unanimously the 5-1 loss in Montreal was voted the Union's worst performance of the season. Fans voted the 3-0 win over DC United as the team's best game. PSP selected that game and the early 3-0 win over New England as the best games. Whoscored selected the 4-0 road win against New England in August as the Union's best game. All pretty good choices to be honest.
Best and worst players
Each system had pretty different opinions about the top players within the exception of the obvious handful. Here's the top five for each.
As far as Brotherly Game and PSP go, the top three players are aligned. Vincent Nogueira only played in 8 games this season but had a high ranking. Tranquillo Barnetta and Andre Blake are the other top players. There is smoke that Andre Blake might leave the Union to ply his trade overseas and we know that Barnetta is going back to Switzerland next season. These ratings suggest that the Union might have to replace their top three players in just a few months. Alejandro Bedoya (7th by the fans, not ranked in the top 11 by PSP) is one of those replacements but the Union could have large boots to fill.
PSP was a big fan of Brian Carroll's season as the defensive midfielder while the fans didn't rate him among the top 11. The fans like Pontius, Rosenberry and Marquez as their second best trio, which is hard to argue. PSP showed a bias towards Herbers more nuanced game, but the rookie didn't rate with the fans.
The algorithm at Whoscored is just downright silly as we've seen all season. Fabinho and Tribbett are indeed stat mongers but they are also prone to the most significant blunders on the back line. And that score never liked the possession game of Nogueira - and that's enough to disregard the black box method.
Another way to look at top players is by looking at how often they rated in the top three of games. Here is a look at how often players were rated one of the best three players in a game as a percentage of their games played.
Fans were obviously pleased with Andre Blake's performances, voting him in the top three in 85% of his 34 games. Barnetta stands out as well, earning the top 3 in 73% of his games. Here you can see the preference by PSP for the games of Bedoya, Carroll and Herbers relative to Blake.
Most consistent, least consistent
We can look at who was the most consistent and least consistent by looking at the variability of the scores. I will spare you the geeky table and just drop the results. Fabian Herbers and Sebastien Le Toux were standouts from a consistency point of view while on the inconsistent side Mr. Ken Tribbett was easily the most volatile with Roland Alberg as a near second best.
For those who want to have some fun with the data that they helped contribute to create, here is all the data to explore. Click on the player name to isolate their performance.
Thanks very much for voting all year long.