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Opta Stat of the Day: Is a Barcelona product up to leading an MLS midfield?

14 May 5:22 de la tarde

Opta Stat of the Day: Is a Barcelona product up to leading an MLS midfield?

By Matthew Doyle

It's something of a transition year for Sporting KC, as they commit a little more fully to building chances from possession, rather than forcing chances via turnover.

That said, forcing midfield turnovers is still a huge part of their game, their high pressure still works, and someone still needs to do the dirty work in the midfield. Uri Rosell, the Barcelona product, has been more than happy to do that particular job:

Player Recoveries Touches
Rosell, Oriol 102 865
McCarty, Dax 94 699
Chará, Diego 90 825
Bernier, Patrice 90 707
Reo-Coker, Nigel 88 687
Cronin, Sam 87 762
Baca, Rafael 84 592
Michel 82 717
Gonçalves, José 81 569
Johnson, Will 80 778
Ashe, Corey 80 742
Holgersson, Markus 80 596
Beckerman, Kyle 79 799
Sarvas, Marcelo 79 612
Alonso, Osvaldo 78 580

Leading the league in recoveries is no small thing – Ozzie Alonso's done it each of the last two years, and is rightly regarded as one of the two best d-mids in the league. But Rosell could push himself into that conversation if he keeps playing at this level.

Dax McCarty, by the way, probably already belongs in that conversation. He was second in recoveries to Alonso last season, and would be leading the league this year if he hadn't missed the past couple of games through injury. It's fairly amazing that the Red Bulls have coped so well without him.