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Opta Stat of the Day: Why Roy Miller earned back his starting spot with Red Bulls

08 May 4:00 de la tarde

Opta Stat of the Day: Why Roy Miller earned back his starting spot with Red Bulls

By Matthew Doyle

It took two games for Roy Miller to become a punchline this season, but since his return to the lineup in mid-April, the New York Red Bulls have gone 4-1-0. Here's a chart that should give you some idea as to why:


Team Crossing Open Accuracy Crosses/Corners Accuracy
New York Red Bulls 31.21 33.02
D.C. United 27.27 30.32
Colorado Rapids 26.67 30.9
LA Galaxy 25.56 29.26
Seattle Sounders FC 25.22 27.85
Montreal Impact 25 29.27
New England Revolution 24.32 23.58
Sporting Kansas City 22.78 30.37
Chivas USA 22.76 32.92
FC Dallas 22.48 23.16
Houston Dynamo 22.31 27.66
Chicago Fire 20.65 21.05
Vancouver Whitecaps 19.72 22.58
Philadelphia Union 19.23 25.13
Portland Timbers 19.08 20.19
Real Salt Lake 18.38 22.65
San Jose Earthquakes 18.32 23.1
Columbus Crew 16.13 27.27
Toronto FC 12.71 17.47

This is not to say that Miller, alone, is the cause for New York's crossing prowess. In fact, he rates significantly lower than Heath Pearce – the "other" left back in Mike Petke's rotation – by Opta's count.

But one of the best aspects of Thierry Henry's game is his ability to drop deep on the left, find space, then curl in a right-footed cross to the penalty spot – usually aiming for the head of Tim Cahill, who still excels at making those delayed runs from central midfield.

The reason Henry has all that space? Because Miller overlaps as relentlessly as any fullback in the league, dragging defenders away from the Frenchman, creating new passing lanes, and just making it harder to defend that side of the field.