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Player rating results: What has happened to CJ Sapong?

CJ Sapong is suffering from a drought in shots.



Before we get started, apologies are in order. We listed Alejandro Bedoya twice in the survey this week and accidentally omitted the goalscorer Tranquillo Barnetta. I’ve dropped in an estimate for Barnetta based on past games like he’s had this year but there is no official rating for him this week. Here is how the rest of the ratings played out for that disappointing draw at home against Montreal. The fan ratings are accompanied by Philly Soccer Page ratings, Whoscored’s algorithm and Philly Voice.

fan voting week 29

The defenders, despite the late equalizer, swarm the top of this list as all of them were rated above a 6 while all of the midfielders and forward not named Barnetta scored below a 6 (and he wasn’t even rated). The real story however is the low rating of CJ Sapong at 4.7 who for the third time in four matches has been rated the lowest by the fans. Here are the ratings of Sapong over the course of this season.

fan voting week 29 sapong

The heavy green line represents the average of fan ratings, Whoscored and Philly Soccer Page. The black line is the best fit line of the average. The trend shows that Sapongs play, as described by the ratings, has been in decline all season.

Certainly his seven goals as the lone forward in the system is a disappointing tally, but he also seems to be disappearing of late. Starting with game 21 and with the exception of game 24 ,which was the drubbing of New England where Sapong scored in the second minute, the ratings have been very low. Over those last nine games Sapong has all but disappeared from the offense. He's averaging just one shot per game. Prior to this stretch he was averaging 2.5 shots per game.

His shooting efficiency is down as well. Last year Sapong scored on over 20% of his shots. This year that number has dropped to 13.4%, and 11.7% if you remove the goal scored on a penalty kick. That is a low shooting percentage for a forward.

Sapong still manages to hold up the ball well for the midfielders and absorbs plenty of punishment from the opposing defenders. His work rate is still exceptional, but the effort is not translating into opportunities or goals. If the Union are going to go make a legitimate run season they will need Sapong to be more involved when the ball gets into the box on offense.

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